Ôter la raison aux femmes: question d’ordre public
TO DEPRIVE WOMEN OF REASON — A QUESTION OF SOCIAL NATURE
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The arrival of the Revolution brought French society many changes which had been demanded for years. The privileges which oppressed the subjects of Louis XVI were abolished — people were all free and equal in the eyes of the law. However, the “Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen”, which did not mention women, allowed politicians and thinkers of the time to gradually exclude women from public life — first in the new constitutional monarchy and later in the republic. Educational deficiencies and a lack of common sense and even reason were the argument used most often to demonstrate the inability of women to exercise power and to obtain legal and civil liberty. In the new bourgeois order, women’s ambition was limited to the role of mothers and wives. Some women as well as some men did not want to come to terms with such a lack of social balance. They argued that nature equipped women with the same intellectual capacity as men and, therefore, being equal to men, they should be able to enjoy the same rights.
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