Inventing the "Mulher Paulista": Politics, rebellion, and the gendering of Brazilian regional identities

Barbara Weinstein

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    This article considers the complicated relationship between women's mobilization and their recognition as political actors. In 1932 the state of São Paulo, long Brazil's dominant political center, took up arms against the federal government, headed by Getúlio Vargas, in protest against São Paulo's diminished status under the new dictatorship. A key feature of this short-lived civil war was the prominent role of women in the regionalist movement. Contemporary accounts emphasized the active participation of women - testimony that implies an expanded female presence in the public sphere. I argue, however, that identification of the movement's female supporters with an archetypical figure, A Mulher Paulista (The Paulista Woman) limited the subversive implications of women's mobilization. Far from celebrating women's new role in politics, women and men involved in the movement construed women's participation as exceptional and motivated by moral outrage, not politics. Furthermore, the figure of A Mulher Paulista had a specific class and racial valence; the paulista leadership represented her participation as emblematic of the modernity and civic superiority of regional culture, compared to the poorer, less Europeanized regions of Brazil that supported the dictatorship.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    JournalJournal of Women's History
    Volume18
    Issue number1
    StatePublished - 2006

    Fingerprint

    regional identity
    politics
    dictatorship
    participation
    mobilization
    Brazil
    political center
    women's movement
    political actor
    Regional Identity
    Gendering
    Rebellion
    testimony
    civil war
    Federal Government
    protest
    modernity
    leadership
    Participation

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • History
    • Gender Studies

    Cite this

    Inventing the "Mulher Paulista" : Politics, rebellion, and the gendering of Brazilian regional identities. / Weinstein, Barbara.

    In: Journal of Women's History, Vol. 18, No. 1, 2006.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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