In the last twenty years there have been a number of historical and sociocultural studies of Italian Americans. Few, however, have seriously addressed the female experience in the Italian American culture. Indeed, Italian American literature is so deeply immersed in a masculinist view of the Italian American culture that a female corrective to this asymmetry is not enough. Upon critically reviewing the literature, the necessity for a feminist perspective becomes obvious. Consequently, the purpose of this article is two-fold: 1) to expose some of the mythology which surrounds the image of Italian American women; and 2) to suggest a feminist framework within which future studies of Italian American women may take place.

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