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Abstract

Bean na h-Éireann is credited with being the first nationalist-feminist paper of Ireland, however scholars who generously award this title are mistaken. The articles of Bean na h-Éireann not only avoid commentary in favor of the women’s movement but actually hinder the women’s agenda by conforming to the preexisting ideas “women’s issues” such as clothing, consumerism, household duties and childcare. This paper analyzes the articles during the entire length of publication (1908-1911). Rather than encourage the women of Ireland to expand their roles in the nationalist movement, writers force their readers to stay within the confines of the household sphere by focusing on issues such as “Christmas Gifts and Where to Buy Them,” “How Irish Women Should Dress,” and “A Note of Safety Pins.” Articles such as these did not further any feminist agenda and instead kept Irish women in their pre-established realms of domesticity. I believe that the ideas of Bean na h-Éireann were too limited on “women’s issues” to be the radical feminist journal it is credited as.

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