The Link between Nationalism and Feminism

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Nationalism and feminism are two very closely linked ideologies. Webster's Dictionary defines nationalism as loyalty and devotion to a nation and feminism as the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes. Both nationalism and feminism deal with loyalty to a cause, in addition to fighting to support that cause, because it is felt that the cause is important. In the 20th Century these two ideologies were closely related, because feminists contributed to the strengthening of their own nation of feminists.

        First off, Treitschke is a great example of nationalism. He was a German that supported Germany, and felt that everyone in Germany should work together for the greater good of Germany. He said The simple loyalty of the German contrasts remarkably with the lack of chivalry in the English character, which demonstrates his belief that Germans as a whole nation work very well together. He believes that this is better than how England operates, because the English don't work together, but instead work for individual gain. He additionally said that

The state is a moral community, which is called upon to educate the human race by positive achievement. Its ultimate object is that a nation should develop in it, a nation distinguished by a real national character. To achieve this state is the highest moral duty for nation and individual alike.

He wanted to show that there is nothing more honorable than supporting your nation. He felt that everyone is equal, and should make Germany the greatest.

        Treitschke also believed that it was important to compete for national honor and pride, as opposed to silly little prizes. He said The English possess a commercial spirit, a love of money which has killed every sentiment of honor and every distinction of right and wrong. and ...even the youth of the [British] nation have turned their sports into a business, and contend for valuable prizes, whereas German students wrought havoc on their countenances for the sake of a real or imaginary honor. These are not only additional examples of his belief that the Germans are far superior to the English, but this also shows that contributing to making the nation stronger is the ultimate honor.

        Shaw was a woman that was in favor of feminism. She believed that liberating women wouldn't have an effect that is negative, specifically saying that The great fear that the participation of women in public affairs will impair the quality and character of home service is irrational and contrary to the tests of experience. She was quite certain that by giving more power to the nation of women, no one else would be negatively impacted.  She also said

Woman as an industrial factor and wage-earner is not new. But woman as an industrial competitor and wage-collector with man is new, not because of woman's revolt against her own industrial slavery, but because changed economic conditions...have laid their hands upon the isolated labors and products of woman's toil...

Shaw believed that women were very qualified to do the same jobs as men. This is important, because women working with men in harmony would contribute to building a stronger nation. Both men and women would be working together towards a common goal of helping the nation.

        Another strong feminist was Qiu Jin, who devoted her life to women's liberation. She wrote about how horrible life was for women in China, and how women must work together for change. She said that the greatest injustice in this world must be the injustice suffered by our female population of two hundred million. This is because of how poorly females were treated. She also made a call to action, stating that [women] must know that [they'll] get nothing done if [they] rely upon others. [They] must go out and get things for [themselves]. She wanted women to get things done for themselves. She didn't necessarily mean that she wanted women to work alone as individuals however. She wanted all women to work together as a single feminist nation.

        In 1915 women were in a much worse position than men were, specifically with respect to employment. This is mainly due to the fact that school boards preferred female teachers...because they would do what male principals told them while accepting less than a man's wage. Women all over America were being subjected to hard work at an unfair wage.

        Nationalism and feminism are linked by the fact that feminism is a form of nationalism. Both Shaw and Jin wanted to get women to be devoted to working towards a common goal. Additionally, the secondary source, America in 1915, talks about how women were oppressed, and were not treated fairly. All of these sources tie in closely with the definition of nationalism, which deals with devotion to a nation. Feminists can be thought of as a nation, as they are a group with common ideals and goals. Treitschke believed that people in nations were meant to work together, which definitely goes along with the goals of Shaw, Jin, and other women living during that time period.

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The Link Between Nationalism and Feminism. (2019, Aug 02). Retrieved July 13, 2024 , from

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