Raffi studied women of all social classes in villages, provincial towns and Tiflis, and gave descriptions of their lifestyles, customs, psychology and intellectual development. The issue of national values was of worry to other literati as well. Earlier, Stephan Voskan voiced his concern in his newspaper Arevmutk The West writing that European influences could not be absorbed without basic education about them, and their external splendor should not be adopted without awareness of its significance. Thus, the task of the Armenian literati was to let in those influences that were necessary for the Armenian society, and that could merge with the national traditions.
Literature in foreign languages was studied, assessed, discussed and translated with an undivided attention and at an amazing speed.
This material was later not only published in the periodical press, but also printed as separate volumes. This information was skillfully used as a tool for building up and sustaining advocacy. This was a very significant stance. The author noted that it was not incidental that in societies where women were deprived of mobility and rights, the nation and state at large were static too.
The Armenian society, as shown above, proves this conclusion true.
In his first article Artsruni criticized the educational system of the time, namely, the school and the family. By examining the contemporary family with all its vulnerable features, he stressed that women were deprived of rights.
He boldly published his convictions on the matter and stood by his beliefs over years, namely, that a society could not develop and prosper as long as women remained uneducated or received foreign education. According to Artsruni, justice and equality could prevail only in a civilized society because the more enlightened the society was, the more it strived for justice and equal rights for all. This belief was one of the main pillars of his paper Mshak. Serious and large-scale studies were conducted. Most notably, articles written by women started to appear on the pages of Mshak.
Scanning through the pages of the paper, one can form an idea about the progress made by the Armenian women in that particular period. If women are indifferent to a cause, an idea, a phenomenon, that cause, that idea, and that phenomenon will remain frozen. These statements were very contagious.
And indeed they were affecting people. The public activism of Armenian women in Tiflis was an ample proof for that. Artsruni did not just urge, stimulate and encourage. The situation was different in the case of Western Armenians. In addition, opposition of conservatives was much stronger. Srbuhi Dussap was to take the lead in this story of courage. She urged women to shatter prejudices, and start to work, first of all, to save their families from poverty and destruction, and secondly, to live a dignified and independent life, fully using their own moral and intellectual capacity.
Thus, the preparatory stage outlined by Raffi had become a reality. In 19th century Constantinople was the largest cultural center for Western Armenians. The greater part of writers, publicists, publishers, educators and artists lived and worked here. In s, dozens of organizations were founded in various neighborhoods of Constantinople. These were small organizations with a limited scope of operation and existed as an auxiliary to a larger organization.
For the most part they were short-lived. However, these very organizations consolidated the existing forces and shaped an environment of healthy competition that brought about self-improvement and development, accumulation of experience and a higher starting point for future endeavors. These were the initiatives that paved the way for nationwide activities in their scope and goals.
These organizations pursued either educational and cultural or charitable goals. In fact, it is not always easy to see a clear divide between the two types of activities. By late s, the time was ripe for enthusiastic women in Constantinople to engage in national wide undertakings. A generation had emerged that felt prepared, and especially obliged to carry out the mission of national revival in all Armenian provinces.
The idea of educating all Western Armenians had circulated for some time already among the educated young men and women. This was the demand of society because a generation of enthusiastic and educated young women had emerged which did not want and could not refrain from the implementation of nationally important issues.
At the time of opening the school had 93 female students. The school gave its first two graduates in In , the Society opened its fifth school in the small town of Berrie in Charsanchag Province. The middle schools provided three or four years of instruction in subjects such as Armenian reading and writing , religion, history, geography, home economics, arithmetic, ethics, needlework, drawing, physical training and singing. The students that excelled in their studies were awarded silver crosses, and the graduates were hired by the local schools, or schools of the Society.
Yeprem Poghossian, referring to Zhanamak newspaper Time, , , provides evidence that during the first phase of its operation, , the Society founded ten schools in the provinces. In the second phase falling between , 39 schools were opened. In , the teacher-training school in Karin gave its first graduates, 21 in number. Eight of them the same year were hired by the schools of the Society.
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This productive operation of the Society, however, was interrupted in The goal of the Society was to promote education of girls and train teachers for the provinces. To that end, a task was set to open private schools where Armenian girls could get tuition-free education. If the former strived to open schools in the provinces, the latter aimed at securing a smooth and effective operation for those schools by staffing them with qualified teachers.
This fact accounts for the co-existence and longevity of the two large Societies. By , the number of students at the Society had reached of whom 60 studied tuition free. Twelve of the 60 students were in the boarding school and all their costs were covered by the Society. The Society resumed operation in , after 13 years of interruption. Those were extremely hard years. The number of students went up dramatically owing to the tragic events. On March 30, , the Society solemnly launched its orphanage were orphans were sheltered.
In , they transferred the orphans to Salonika, Greece, and later to Marseille, France.
In addition, the statement assumes that men do not like families, children or wives, which is also not entirely accurate. Their relationship although typical of that era, was anti-feminist and controlled only by the man. Karlina Leksono Supelli. The comic world is filled with male heroes who either fight crime or are patriots fighting for the nation. In , the age of majority in Finland for both men and unmarried women was lowered to Watch: How did Wollstonecraft react to the horror of the terror in France? Naiset historiankirjoittajina.
In , the Society permanently moved to Le Raincy, Paris. The middle school changed its status to a lycee in The main focus of their operation was similarly education and charity.
For example, the aim of the Union of Armenian Alumnae Hay Sanouhineri Mioutioun founded in , was to establish contact with the American and the British civic groups and "familiarize them with the [Armenian] nation with honor and all sides of it. In the postwar years, women were involved not only in orphan-care, but also founded workshops to help Armenian women earn their living and support the orphaned girls to get on their feet.
Significant was also the Meghu Bee workshop established in The new tendencies that emerged in the second decade of 20th century could have brought about interesting developments had the public life evolved in a natural way. However, the course of history had been irreversibly changed. It had grown into a component of the Armenian culture, and it could not confine itself to the capital city only. The enthusiasm displayed in Constantinople triggered a feeling of competition and spread onto Armenian-populated provinces and towns. Organizations were mushrooming in the locations where Armenian schools existed and Armenian periodical press was published, pursuing the same objectives as their counterparts in Constantinople.
This was the logic of the time. There seemed to be an unwritten agreement between the individual and the society, according to which the society was obliged to take care of the education of an individual, and the individual had to pay back through the only means possible, that is contribution to the education of the next generation. This was how education was reproduced and continuity ensured.
Overall, organizations were founded and operated between 19th and early 20th centuries among the Western Armenians. These facts are explained by the presence of Perj Proshian in Shushi who worked there during these years. Nonetheless, among Eastern Armenians Tiflis, the largest Armenian-populated cultural centers in the South Caucasus, was the host of main public activities of women. Moreover, in quantitative terms the Western Eastern experience greatly differs from Eastern Armenian experience.
In the Western Armenian case, dozens of small organizations were founded whose experience later was used to establish one or two large organizations. In case of Eastern Armenians, a total of seven or eight organizations operated, usually with great impact. The average annual constituency of the Society was members.
On December 11, , the Society initiated the opening of St. Nshan parochial school for girls in a private home near the St. Nshan Church. The school opened with 22 female students and eight teachers. The operation of the school was suspended in spring of , along with other Armenian schools. The school reopened in October in a one-and-a-half storied building with comfortable and bright classrooms which was built with the funds of the Society and parishioners, as well as donations received. The St. Forty to sixty students studied there per year. On May 29, , the school held the first graduate ceremony for its eleven female graduates.
The new state regulations of banned public organizations from engaging in educational activities, and the operation of the Charitable Society was terminated.
In these workshops intended to teach dress-making, stocking-making and hat-making, female students took a four-year educational program to acquire basic knowledge in addition to mastering one of the crafts. In two other women's organizations were established in Tiflis. Her regret that the novel could cease to be a private pleasure, read alone with a flashlight under the covers, is understandable. But their reaction is not what concerns educators. I simply asked who was teaching the novel, hoping I could follow up with interviews about their experiences. I received only a handful of responses.
They were not encouraging. One educator admitted how unfair this was, considering that the girls are made to read books focusing on boys.
Another was more vehement, stating simply that the boys would loathe it. The surest way to teach them how to hate reading would be to make them suffer through Little Women , she said. This is the real issue. A book that is about girls, whose very title seems to announce its gender exclusivity, is to be kept at home, not brought into the glaring light of the schoolroom.
Little Women was initially a wildly popular book devoured by children and adults of both sexes. As a book for young girls, then, Little Women seems to warrant little if any attention in the schools. I searched in vain for a local school where I live, in New Orleans, that was teaching it. As we have seen, Little Women became less of an innocuous family tale and more the kind of book that could ignite uncomfortable discussions.
Created by Grove Atlantic and Electric Literature. VIA W. For instance, one education blogger complains, I yowled when Little Women first appeared on the Common Core list of exemplary texts for 8th graders. You can find her at anneboydrioux.