Hungaro-Slavic Women and “National Brotherhood”

This paper uses Carole Pateman’s theory of “national brotherhood” to examine nineteenth-century Slavic patriots living in Hungary. Pateman interprets “national brotherhood” as a pact between men to control women. The multi-ethnic context gave Hungaro-Slavic national brotherhoods unique features: Hungaro-Slav patriots ascribed national characteristics to female sexuality, and emphasized the importance of sexual endogamy among the national women. Comparing Slavic patriotic discourses to Hungarian sources suggests that Slavs’ marginal social status also explains these differences.  This sheds light on women’s low participation in early Hungaro-Slavic nationalism, the gendered nature of early Slovak and Serbian nationalism, and finally expands Pateman’s theory in a new historical context.