European Feminisms, 1700-1950: A Political History

By Karen Offen | Go to book overview

3
Challenging Masculine Aristocracy

Feminism and the French Revolution

The French Revolution ( 1789-95) provoked both a political and a cultural cataclysm in European history. Indeed, as the historian Margaret Darrow has aptly noted, "a Revolution that transformed time with a new calendar, space with new measurements, social identity with a new form of address (citoyen), and even personal identity with a host of new names like Gracchus and Égalité could hardly leave the family unchanged." 1 All existing institutions and practices were called into question, including relations between the sexes and family organization. Feminism was not "born" in 1789, but the onset of the revolution unleashed a spectacular eruption of well-formulated feminist claims; it seemed to some as if Mount Vesuvius itself had once again exploded. The gushing forth of feminist concerns articulated in France at a white heat would spread relentlessly and irresistibly throughout Europe.

Because of this outpouring, the first five years of the French Revolution provide an unparalleled historical laboratory for studying European gender politics. From the convocation of the Estates General in early 1789 (to address the serious financial and economic problems of the realm) to the formation of the estates as a National Assembly later that summer, and throughout the sequential efforts to elaborate constitutions in 1790-91 and 1792-95, feminist claims were repeatedly made and rebutted. Primed by earlier claims, including those of Condorcet, women spoke out on their own behalf, demanding personal emancipation and full citizenship--as women and as half of humanity--in the new regime that was under construction. Revolutionary men made political decisions that would position these women within public life or even exclude them from it. Both revolutionary women and men attempted to manipulate and control a complex outpouring of words, symbols, and images that swirled about "the feminine."

-50-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
European Feminisms, 1700-1950: A Political History
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 554

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.