The Seduction of Modern Spain: The Female Body and the Francoist Body Politic

The Seduction of Modern Spain: The Female Body and the Francoist Body Politic

The Seduction of Modern Spain: The Female Body and the Francoist Body Politic

The Seduction of Modern Spain: The Female Body and the Francoist Body Politic

Synopsis

Aurora G. Morcillo received her PhD in 1995 from the University of New Mexico. She is an Associate Professor of History and Women's Studies at Florida International University in Miami. Her first book True Catholic Womanhood: Gender Ideology in Franco's Spain, was published in 2000 with a second edition in 2008.

Excerpt

Against the white sand, the contours of my father’s body were well
defined, emphasized its existence, an independent, solid existence
in a world where everything was liquid, where the blue of the sea
melted into the blue of the sky with nothing between. This inde
pendent existence was to become the outer world, the world of my
father, of land, country, religion, language, moral codes. It was to
become the world around me. a world made of male bodies in
which my female body lived.

—Nawal El Saadawi, A Daughter of Isis

Our own bodies provide the basis for an extensive array of ontological metaphors. These metaphors we live by help us recognize phenomena in our world in terms that we can understand on the basis of our own motivations, actions, and characteristics. Viewing something abstract in human terms has an explanatory power that makes sense to most people.

This book is about the symbolic relationship between the Spanish body politic during the dictatorship of Francisco Franco (1939–75) and the allegorical female body of the nation. It is also about the metaphorical use of gender imagery in political discourse in the transition from the early period of autarky in the 1940s to the “consumerism” and “aperturismo” (literally meaning opening) that ensued in the late 1950s and 1960s. For purposes of this study, the ontological metaphor is that of the gendered nation. the concept of “nation” turns into the physical figure of a “woman” with all the attendant qualities—nurturing, vulnerability, fertility.

The main focus in my interpretation of gender politics during the later phase of Franco’s dictatorship is the centrality of corporeal gendered metaphors in the regime’s rhetorical framework, rooted in the ideology of “organic democracy.” Within this organic, biological metaphor of the nation, women’s bodies played . . .

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