Mitsyuk N. A., Shulga M. M. Ruth Brian Owen: the political career of the first female diplomat in the United States, P. 161—175

The purpose of the article is to examine the political career of Ruth Brian Owen, the first female diplomat in American history. The authors set out research tasks related with the identification of factors that contribute to the involvement of women in the political life of the United States, the identification of the main channels of political socialization, as well as the influence of patriarchal and conservative attitudes on roles of women in power. The main methods used in the research were: the discourse analysis, the comparative historical analysis, as well as the method of narrative analysis of the text. Using gender, biographical and microhistorical approaches, the researchers used auto-documentary sources, materials from the American press of the 1920s — 1940s, and official records of meetings of the U.S. Congress were used. The study of R. Owen’s political career showed that the involvement of women in political life in the 1920s — 1940s was contributed not only by the feminist discourse of the first wave and the activities of defenders of women’s rights, but also because of the crisis conditions that were a consequence of the First World War, the Great Depression. “New Deal” by F. D. Roosevelt promoted the active involvement of women in politics. R. Owen embodied the ideals of a “new woman” who managed to combine family life, motherhood with a career. Despite her active civic position, R. Owen neither expressed views on women’s emancipation, nor was a supporter of feminist discourse. The activities of the first women politicians were influenced by traditional views, which reflected the porosity of patriarchy. Women’s political activities centered around social welfare and family politics. R. Owen’s appointment to a diplomatic post in Denmark was linked with a number of restrictions, including the formal title (“Minister to Denmark”, but not “Ambassador”), which indicated the inequality of similar posts in the civil service held by men and women. Despite the fact that in her political career, R. Owen’s activities were often influenced by traditional stereotypes about the social roles of women, she managed to destroy male dominance in American diplomacy and pave the way for other American women to diplomatic posts.
Read in PDF