The Republic of Men: Gender and the Political Parties in Interwar France

TitleThe Republic of Men: Gender and the Political Parties in Interwar France
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsRead, Geoff
Number of Pages289
PublisherLouisiana State University Press
CityBaton Rouge

In this volume, the author explores the intersection of gender bias and the eight most important political parties in interwar France, breaking new scholarly ground in profound ways. The first to compare gender discourse across the political spectrum in a national context and trace the origins of the fascist “new man” in other political traditions, the author evaluates the impact of gender discourse upon policy during a pivotal period in French history. Skillfully exploring how differing political traditions—from left to right—influenced and reacted to each other, the author shows that regardless of the party, predominant notions of gender manifested themselves in misogyny and double standards when it came to women’s emancipation. Despite the hostility of male politicians and party members, and despite women’s exclusion from both parliament and the vote, he argues that women were nonetheless crucial to politics and visibly prominent within almost every political party in interwar France. The author explains this seeming contradiction by demonstrating the existence of a conservative trend in gender politics that by the mid-1930s had enveloped even the Communist Party. 

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