This article explores how the anarchist magazine Mother Earth published by Emma Goldman framed women’s issues during its twelve-year run. The magazine smajor contributions to female emancipation lay in the realm of sexuality: its recognition of the econom ic imperative in female sexuality, a critique of marriage, a cry against sexual double standards, a protest against oppressive moral codes, a challenge to patriarchy, the celebration of sexuality, and the demandfor birth control. Paradoxically, on other key women s issues such as suffrage or employment, the magazine pursued an anti-feminist agenda. The biggest paradox was that Goldman’s idealization of motherhood and essentialist claims about female biology, compounded by the anarchists’ antipathy toward the government and corporate world, made the magazine a vehicle for perpetuating restrictive gender stereotypes and stymied Mother Earth from supporting female forays into the public sphere.
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