Retreat from Liberalism The rise of socialism and the emergence of Social Democratic women's movements had profound and often unexpected consequences for bourgeois feminists. Some individual feminists indeed were so impressed by the socialist women's organisations that they abandoned middleclass feminism altogether and joined them. Sylvia Pankhurst in England and Lily Braun in Germany were two women who succeeded in crossing the barrier from bourgeois feminism to Social Democracy; there were many others less well-known. More common were what the German socialist women's leader Clara Zetkin called 'those female intellectuals who swing back and forth between feminism and Social Democracy'. Writing of one woman in particuar, the Hamburg radical feminist Regine Ruben, Zetkin remarked: 'She may stand inwardly nearer to the latter, but she is held back by material considerations, so that she feels unable to accept the consequences of her own train of thought.'! In some countries, indeed, the logic of the political situation pushed the entire radical wing of the feminist movement into cooperating with the socialists. After the Liberals came to power in Britain in 1905, for example, their continued refusal to grant women the vote alienated the suffragists, who sought closer links with the growing Labour Party; many of their leading members were active in the party, and the major female suffrage organisation, the NUWSS, officially endorsed the party in elections - a striking indication of the way in which the social infrastructure of liberalism in Britain was beginning to crumble even before the First World War.2 In France, too, many of the more radical feminists such as Madeleine Pelletier put their faith in socialist parties, perceiving that the liberals had failed them.3 Elsewhere, even if the feminists' links with socialists were not quite so close, some form of cooperation often became necessary in the fmal struggle for the vote.