Women and Militant Citizenship in Revolutionary Paris

TitleWomen and Militant Citizenship in Revolutionary Paris
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication1992
AuthorsLevy, Darline Gay, and Harriet B. Applewhite
EditorMelzer, Sara E., and Leslie W. Rabine
Book TitleRebel Daughters: Women and the French Revolution
PublisherOxford University Press
CityNew York, NY, USA

Excerpt from Women and Militant Citizenship in Revolutionary Paris by Darline Gay Levy and Harriet B. Applewhite in lieu of an abstract: "In revolutionary Paris, the political identity of women as citoyennes was made problematic not only by constitutional definitions but more generally by an exclusive, gendered political language. Notwithstanding legal, linguistic, and ideological limits and exclusions, women of the popular classes and smaller numbers of middle-class women claimed citizenship. Their practice of citizenship was shaped and limited by prevailing cultural values; but it also is true that their citoyenneté challenged and episodically recast or subverted these values." The chapter by Levy and Applewhite is included in the book Rebel Daughters: Women and the French Revolution. This interdisciplinary collection of essays examines the important and paradoxical relation between women and the French Revolution. Although the male leaders of the Revolution depended on the women's active militant participation, they denied to women the rights they helped to establish. At the same time that women were banned from the political sphere, "woman" was transformed into an allegorical figure which became the very symbol of (masculine) Liberty and Equality. This volume analyzes how the revolutionary process constructed a new gender system at the foundation of modern liberal culture. [Publisher's Description]

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