I have no idea why I am writing this in English because there is no market for this topic in Shakespeare’s language, but here we go.
I recently read As Primeiras Mulheres Repórteres, written by Isabel Ventura, and found it to be one of the most interesting nonfiction books I’ve come across in a while. I genuinely believe that if you are interested in feminist theory and Portuguese history of the 20th century, this is a book you will enjoy.
Even though the book is divided into four parts, I see it more as two main sections. The first portion of the book has a general approach to the subject matter, explaining the situation journalism was in during Estado Novo, the absence of women’s rights at the time and how the two overlapped and influenced each other. The second portion of the book focuses on shedding light on the women who impacted this field during the second half of the 20th century.
We know that before 1933 (the year of the dictatorship regime’s implementation), there were more women registered with the Lisbon Press Professionals Union than in the years that followed. The book explains that the lack of women in journalism was a complex issue, even with the slight increase starting in the 60s. The regime’s instated morals did not justify this problem; it was instead a pileup of the consequences of these morals and the existing constitutional inequality (inequality which was only rectified in the 1976’s constitution).
Gender injustice started in education, at the very first levels of education. Kids were not only physically divided by gender, having to occupy separate spaces in the schools, but the curricula itself was different. Women received an education that was limited, targeted at domestic activities, and did not promote critical thinking. This gendered education, together with women constitutionally not having the same rights as men, steered away from journalism women who would have wanted to work in that field (as well as many other different careers).
The most crucial idea to cling to, which the text acknowledges several times, is that the feminist struggle is linked to the antifascist one, and that is something I am glad the author explored in detail.
There are many more things to mention, but I suggest you people read the book.
If you know of any other books about women in journalism, let me know. In the meanwhile, keep on reading!