College of the Pacific – History
Eva Perón’s “moral reform” feminism inspired the beginnings of feminist expansion in Argentina by praising tradition and promoting gender equality. Peronism, a populist movement, mobilized the Argentine working-class after decades of socioeconomic oppression. Eva Perón empowered Argentine working-class women, her descamisadas (“shirtless ones”), in fiery speeches. Eva Perón’s feminism was exceptional for a first-wave feminist context:: working as a female politician in a traditionalistic nation. Though scholars have labeled Eva Perón a “non-feminist,” I contend that her approach to feminism was extraordinary because of her ability to craft rhetorical appeals to working-class women. I analyzed Eva Perón’s speechwriting during her political career (1946-1952), determining how her visions for feminism and social welfare changed over time and by location. I utilized the rhetorical framework, starting with the historical and rhetorical situation and then finishing my analysis by examining how Eva Perón’s rhetorical choices appealed to messages of respect, loyalty, and love.
Fick, Kayleigh, "Eva Peron: Political Domination through Love, Rhetoric, and Feminism" (2023). Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF). 5.