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Nýr söguþráður: hugleiðingar um endurritun íslenskrar stjórnmálasögu.

Saga íslenskra nútímastjórnmála hefst á nítjándu öld og tengist lýðræðisþróun og þjóðríkismyndun. Og eins og hún hefur verið skrifuð (og kennd) hingað til er hún fyrst og fremst saga karla en ekki kvenna. Enda þótt þróun sagnfræðinnar sem fræðigreinar, og þá sérstaklega kvenna- og kynjasögunnar, hafi fyrir löngu lagt sagnfræðingum í hendur greiningarramma sem ætti að gera þeim kleift að skrifa stjórnmálasögu beggja kynja hefur íslensk stjórnmálasaga haft lítið um konur að segja. Fjallað er um konur í tengslum við félagsmálahreyfingar nítjándu aldar, meðal annars sem stofnendur kvenfélaga og kvennaskóla. Eins koma þær við sögu þegar rakin er saga kosningaréttarins, fyrst árið 1882 þegar hluti kvenna fékk rétt til að kjósa til sveitarstjórna, og svo aftur 1908 þegar þær nýttu sér með góðum árangri nýfenginn rétt til að bjóða sig fram til bæjarstjórnar í Reykjavík. Árið 1915 fengu konur svo kosningarétt og kjörgengi til Alþingis og sjö árum seinna verða þáttaskil þegar fyrsta konan, Ingibjörg H. Bjarnason, sest á þing fyrir kvennalista. Síðan stíga konur út úr stjórnmálasögunni enda, segir sagan, skilaði næsta tilraun til að bjóða fram kvennalista ekki árangri og í fjóra áratugi eða svo áttu konur sárafáa fulltrúa á þingi. Svipaða sögu er að segja af vettvangi sveitarstjórna og því lítið rúm fyrir konur í stjórnmálasögunni allt til þess að Rauðsokkur, kvennaframboð og kvennalisti skjóta upp kollinum á áttunda og níunda áratug tuttugustu aldar. Í greininni verður sýnt fram á hvernig fjalla má meira um þátt kvenna í þróun íslenskra stjórnmála og út frá öðru sjónarhorni en kvenna- og kynjasagan hefur hingað til gert með kvennahreyfinguna og baráttuna fyrir kvenréttindum í forgrunni. En til þess að svo geti orðið þurfa áherslur stjórnmálasögunnar að færast frá hinu formlega valdi yfir á stjórnmál í víðari skilningi þess orðs.
A New Plot: Revision of Icelandic Political History While historical studies, in particular those on women and gender, have long since developed an analytical framework for treating the political history of both genders, political history has had little to say about women. In 19th-century his- tory, Icelandic women have mostly been presented in connection with establishing women’s associations, schools and similar social movements. Women have also been discussed in the history of suffrage, from when they received the right to vote in municipal elections in 1882 to the time when they exploited their newly won right to run for office on the Reykjavík city council in 1908. After obtaining the right both to vote and stand as candidates to the Althing in 1915, the first to take a seat there, campaigning in a women’s list seven years later, was Ingibjörg H. Bjarnason. once this milestone was achieved, however, history tells us that the next effort to organise a women’s list failed, so that for around four decades, women attained very few representatives in the Althing and became practically absent in Icelandic political history. The same applies to municipal politics: after their initial success, few women are mentioned in Icelandic political history until the Red Stockings Movement (Rauðsokkahreyfingin), the Women’s List (Kvennaframboð) and Women’s Alliance (Kvennalisti) arose during the 1970s and 1980s. This article, however, illustrates a way to unearth greater female components in Iceland’s political evolution, by means of a different perspective than putting the women’s movement and the struggle for women’s rights in the foreground, which women’s and gender history has hitherto emphasised. The suggested approach calls for switching the focus of political history from formal authority to a wider sense of politics, directing attention towards grassroot activities, public discourse and the political struggle for social change, as well as towards power relationships and confrontations at levels other than the upper layer of politics. While this may not be a revolutionary proposal, the situation is such that the academic handling of Icelandic political movements has so far barely touched on these areas. Historians have had a difficult time freeing themselves from the urge to fill in gaps in the history of formal politics and have therefore continued to concentrate on the mostly male politicians who were in the limelight, portraying their achievements and misdeeds, and their relations with leading foreign males. Those historians who have adopted a different approach to history writing have not contributed directly to writing political history. Among these are experts in women’s and gender history who have more or less ignored the history of political parties thus leaving a gap in the political history of women. While studies of women’s history and gender relationships have to some extent introduced female pioneers into the political analysis, this addition has been restricted to the women with tangible influence and power — the parliamentarians, ministers, members of the Red Stockings movement and the women’s lists. In other words, they were only added to the picture on the basis of traditional political viewpoints.