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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

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

Kathleen Sprows Cummings

Publisher:
University of North Carolina Press
DOI:10.5149/9780807889848_cummings.8

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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