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New Women of the Old FaithGender and American Catholicism in the Progressive Era$
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Kathleen Sprows Cummings

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780807832493

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9780807889848_cummings

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The Morbid Consciousness of Womanhood

The Morbid Consciousness of Womanhood

Catholicism, Antisuffrage, and the Limits of Sisterhood

(p.157) Chapter Four The Morbid Consciousness of Womanhood
New Women of the Old Faith

Kathleen Sprows Cummings

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter focuses on Katherine E. Conway, a journalist and author based in Boston, who frequently commented on the constellation of issues that constituted “the woman question” in late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century America. Like most other Catholics, Conway had little patience for the New Woman's wholesale renunciation of ties to tradition, family, and community, and criticized her for “clamor[ing] for new spheres of influence, or the reform of the universe.” Most significant, however, Conway despised the New Woman for introducing a scourge into American society, a disease to which she believed she and other Catholic women were immune: “the modern malaria of the morbid consciousness of womanhood.”

Keywords:   Katherine E. Conway, woman question, New Woman, reform, American society, Catholic women, morbid consciousness

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