Letters from citizens to women39s movement activists

Letters from citizens to women's movement activists

“Women’s issues” publicly debated

The content of the letters revolves around issues that concerned women at the time and that were sometimes publicly debated, such as women's education, employment, participation in public life, gender relations and self-determination of life. “As a working title, I called these letters 'Citizens' Letters,' knowing that this term is quite problematic: women at that time – before 1920 – were second-class citizens; disenfranchised, legally disadvantaged, and excluded from the public sphere. “, explains Oesch.

“Citizen letters” is a historical research term and refers to letters from the population to politicians, before 1920 exclusively men. Corinna Oesch sees similarities here with the letters that women wrote to activists of the feminist movement: “Both often contain autobiographical elements. The people who write such letters briefly introduce themselves, describe their situation, their problems. Another similarity is “that a specific concern is presented in which it is assumed that the recipient has the power, connections or knowledge necessary to be able to advance this concern.