Transnational Feminism’s Radical Past: Lessons from Italian Immigrant Women Anarchists in Industrializing America

By Jennifer Guglielmo

This article examines the activism of working-class Italian immigrant women anarchists in the United States as a window into the world of early-twentieth-century transnational feminism. Emerging from a diasporic, multiethnic network of labor radicals, the women in this movement did not seek inclusion within the modern nation-state; nor did they rely on established trade unions or cross-class alliances. Instead, they created autonomous spaces for working-class and poor women to articulate their particular struggles and embody l’emancipazione delladonna (women’s emancipation). Together, they asked a question that formed the heart of their politics: “Why does the pleasure of some have to create misery for many?”


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