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Women, Periodicals and Print Culture in Britain, 1830s-1900sThe Victorian Period$
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Alexis Easley, Clare Gill, and Beth Rodgers

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781474433907

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474433907.001.0001

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Making Space for Women: The Labour Leader, the Clarion, and the Women’s Column

Making Space for Women: The Labour Leader, the Clarion, and the Women’s Column

(p.365) 22 Making Space for Women: The Labour Leader, the Clarion, and the Women’s Column
Women, Periodicals and Print Culture in Britain, 1830s-1900s

Deborah Mutch

Edinburgh University Press

In this essay, Deborah Mutch considers the women’s columns of two socialist periodicals in the 1890s: the Labour Leader (1894–1922), edited by Keir Hardie, and the Clarion (1891–1935), edited by Robert Blatchford. In spite of the progressive, ethical brand of socialism promoted by the two male editors, Mutch demonstrates that broader anxieties about the place of women within the socialist movement can be mapped spatially in their periodicals. What emerges from a spatial analysis of the women’s columns in both is a clear sense of the relationship between column inches and the gender politics that undergirds each periodical’s editorial agenda. Measuring the space allocated to women in both periodicals yields the conclusion that ‘women’s voices and women’s problems held only a fraction of the importance of men’s,’ which functions to further highlight the ‘marginal position’ that women occupied within British socialism at this time (p. 377).

Keywords:   Socialist press, Women’s columns, The Labour Leader, The Clarion, Keir Hardie, Robert Blatchford, Women’s spaces

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