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On Modern Women and Their Rights

  • Paperback: 268 pages

  • Publisher: Escribana Books (August 7, 2018)

  • Language: English

  • ISBN-10: 1940075629

  • ISBN-13: 978-1940075624

  • Price: $30

“Born in 1867, Carmen de Burgos straddles two eras: the end of the nineteenth century and the start of Modernity. In many ways, her thinking follows a similar path to that of Spanish society, albeit in the liberal strain. Her attitudes towards women’s rights change as she matures, and she becomes progressively more militant. Towards the beginning of her writing career, she is mainly concerned with women’s education and does not question the ideology of domesticity, whereas by the end of her life, as the present translation evinces, she has a fully developed set of demands including political, civil and reproductive rights. […]

In On Modern Women and Their Rights, Carmen de Burgos elaborates extensive and erudite arguments to counter the anti-feminist assertions that female difference leads of necessity to inferiority. She challenges the phrenological definition of women as intellectually inferior to men by bringing to bear recent findings which point to the fallacy of a direct relationship between the size of the brain and an individual’s intelligence. She refutes the notion that women are by nature, due to their nervous system, more volatile and passionate than men by highlighting the numbers of crimes of passion committed by men as opposed to women, and noting that it is men who start wars and abuse their mates. Burgos also provides a historical overview of women’s participation in important historical and cultural movements.”

Gabriela Pozzi and Keith Watts

About the Author

Born in 1867 in Andalucía, Carmen de Burgos is one of the most important Spanish first wave feminists. In 1903 she became a columnist for the newspaper El Diario Universal, and later for several other dailies, including El Heraldo de Madrid. From these platforms she launched surveys gauging public opinion on such topics as divorce, women’s suffrage and dress reform. As the first Spanish woman war correspondent she covered the colonial war in Morocco. Burgos also founded the Crusade for Spanish Women, and was an active member of other groups that championed feminist causes. Arguably, what makes Burgos unique among first wave feminists is that she develops strong and cogent arguments for the benefits feminism could bring to working class women. She specifically addresses the pay and legal status of women factory laborers; and she calls on them to unionize to demand the same rights as men. A prolific and popular writer, Burgos published approximately 110 novellas, eight long novels, numerous manuals for women, essays and treatises on women and myriad translations. She died in 1932 while she was running for a seat in the newly formed Parliament as candidate for the Radical Socialist Party.

Translators and Editors

Gabriela Pozzi is a Professor of Spanish Peninsular literature at Grand Valley State University in Michigan. Born in Argentina, she earned her doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania. She has published a book, Discurso y lector en la novela española del siglo XIX (Rodopi), and an edition of the Romantic poet, José de Espronceda (Akal). She has also written on Emilia Pardo Bazán, Benito Pérez Galdós and other nineteenth-century Spanish writers. More recently, she has published articles and given talks on the works of Carmen de Burgos and Rosa Chacel.

Keith Watts is an Associate Professor of Spanish at Grand Valley State University in Michigan. He received his Ph.D. from the University of New Mexico. He teaches courses in Hispanic linguistics and translation, and has published essays and presented at national and international conferences on his research on Spanish in the United States and other topics of a sociolinguistic nature.


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