History for Everyone 1/2015

 Authors:

Boris GOLEC

 

Mateja RATEJ

 

Marina VRHOVAC

 

Polona SITAR

 

Maria PAPATHANASSIOU

Articles:

Fanny “The Contesse” – A Sketch of a Forgotten Novelist

“Darn Women, Why Don’t They Go See a Doctor Earlier?”

“New Woman – A Caring Mother, Wife and Housewife and Much More – Employed, Educated and Politically Active”

“That Feelin’ When You have Gotten Your First Salary – Now You can Finally Buy Something for Yourself”

Rural labour, gender and social hierarchies: Peasants’ wives and female rural servants in Austria during the late 19th and the first decades of the 20th century

 

Image42 

 

 

Boris GOLEC
Fanny “The Contesse” – A Sketch of a Forgotten Novelist
“Nomen est omen”: born Baroness of Valvasor, daughter of Countess Christalnigg, wife of Carlo Morelli, life companion of Petar Nisiteo
Frančiška – Fanny Morelli (1761-1829) from Klagenfurt, born Baroness of Valvasor, was for a long time a forgotten name from the margins of Slovenian territory. At the turn of the 18th to the 19th century, she was admired by connoisseurs of fine arts in particular between Gorizia, Padua and Venice, where for a short period she published a literary magazine. She wrote mostly fiction, and her unpublished novel in French is today considered missing. She was related to three leading early historians, authors of the regional histories of Carniola, Carinthia and the Gorizia region. She was the grand-niece of the Carniolan polymath and historian Janez Vajkard Valvasor (1641-1693); her maternal lineage stemmed from the Carinthian historian Michael Gothard Christalnick (1530/40-1595), and she became the wife of Carlo Morelli (1730-1792), author of a comprehensive history of the Gorizia region. As a widow, she lived with the Dalmatian scientist Petar Nisiteo (1774-1866). Fanny also spent some time in Morelli’s manor in Ozeljan in the lower Vipava Valley and maintained contacts in Carniola, including with Jožef Kalasanc Erberg (1771-1843), cultural historian, art patron and collector of antiques and works of art.

Mateja RATEJ
“Darn Women, Why Don’t They Go See a Doctor Earlier?”
Gynecologist Benjamin Ipavec’s criminal case from 1929
This cultural history paper focuses on a suspended criminal case that took place before the Maribor District Court in 1929 against a respected Maribor gynecologist, Benjamin Ipavec, on account of the suspicion that he was carrying out illegal abortions. Ipavec’s court file, which is held by the Regional Archives Maribor, illustrates the plight of women who had to rely on their own resourcefulness in case of unwanted pregnancy. Abortion was initially illegal in the state of Yugoslavia. In the late 1930s, low birthrates became a highly politicized issue within the Slovenian People’s Party. The party referred to the decreasing birth rates as a moral disease of the nation, abortion became the white plague, and the doctors who performed it, murderers and the most abhorrent plague upon the nation.

Marina VRHOVAC
“New Woman – A Caring Mother, Wife and Housewife and Much More – Employed, Educated and Politically Active”
Vida Tomšič and the Woman Question
The article deals with Vida Tomšič and her struggle for gender equality, which became synonymous with “the woman question”. The Communists derived the latter from Marxist theory, according to which full economic independence of women would automatically result in their equality. The woman question was included in the working class revolutionary program, thus distancing it from feminism. Although socialism in Slovenia yielded more social rights, it placed new burdens on women’s shoulders. In addition to being a mother, wife and housewife, the new proclaimed role was that of an educated, employed and politically active woman. The article is based on an analysis and interpretation of primary and secondary sources and presents the work and mentality of one of the most influential female politicians in the former socialist system.

Polona SITAR
“That Feelin’ When You have Gotten Your First Salary – Now You can Finally Buy Something for Yourself”
Images of everyday life for Slovenian women after 1945, from the perspective of employment and consumption
The article focuses on comprehension of the changes that came with full-time jobs for women during the era of socialism in Slovenia. We will try to understand what the money earned by women themselves meant to them and how they managed it. We will investigate how they spent it and how their external appearance changed after they got a job, and how much it mattered to them. The pressure from working full-time, while caring for children and the household was one aspect of life under socialism—however, not the only one. The new identity of a working woman manifested itself on the outside in a new, tidier appearance, and financial independence induced them to start engaging in diverse leisure time activities outside their homes, while cultivating their womanhood through consumerism.

Maria PAPATHANASSIOU
Rural labour, gender and social hierarchies: Peasants’ wives and female rural servants in Austria during the late 19th and the first decades of the 20th century
The paper deals with peasants’ wives (Bäuerinnen) and female rural servants (Mägde) in Austria during the late 19th and the first decades of the 20th century), drawing mainly on autobiographical records kept at a rich documentation of the University of Vienna. Much has been written on (urban) female servants and their relation to (mostly upper) middle class women they served, but very little on peasants’ wives and female rural servants, the latter working within a completely different context and for the most part together with the peasant’s wife. The paper examines the dynamics between work, gender and social position. On austrian farms (especially in the Eastern Austrian Alps, where animal husbandry, demanding permanent labour force was crucial to the economy) rural servants usually constituted the main part of a farm’s labour force. There functioned an work hierarchy formally and essentially structured along gender and age. Peasants’ wives functioned as co-workers but also heads of the groups of female rural servants. The latter were not necessarily strangers to the peasant couple. They could be children of agricultural labourers and/or cottagers “protected” by the peasants, they could be (usually illegitimate) foster children having grown up in the farm, distant relatives and even (in fact often) close relatives of either the peasant himself or his wife – they could be their aunts, sisters or daughters. On their part peasants’ wives had usually worked as female rural servants before their marriage and had then similar experiences to the women who worked on their behalf. Questions arise as to the ways various relations and living experiences interacted with work and relations within its context.

Leave a Reply