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In 1983, Argentines rejoiced with the return to democracy and the fall of the military dictatorship that, in power since 1976, had established one of the most brutal regimes in the region. Democratization was intrinsically related to the human rights movement that made the right to life and physical integrity the foundations of democratic citizenship. Consequently, debates about citizenship were central in public life and social mobilization during the transition to democracy. Feminists intervened in these debates by denouncing the limits of citizenship for women: gender discrimination and inequality and traditional notions of motherhood condemned women to second-class citizenship and were evidence of unfulfilled promises of equality and inclusion in a nation supposedly for all. Feminists revealed that, despite claims of unrestricted democratic participation and national membership, the only true citizen of Argentina as a subject of rights was male and heterosexual.  

Natalia Milanesio is a professor of Modern Latin American History at the University of Houston. She is the author of Destape: Sex, Democracy, and Freedom in Postdictatorial Argentina (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2019) and Workers Go Shopping in Argentina: The Rise of Popular Consumer Culture (University of New Mexico, 2013). Spanish translations of both books were published by Siglo XXI. She has published in leading journals in the field, including the Hispanic American Historical Review, Gender and History, the Journal of Women’s History, and the Journal of Social History. She is currently a Leverhulme Visiting Professor at UCL Institute of the Americas. 

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