French Revolution and Women's Rights

Olympe de Gouges, Hannah More (1799), and Millicent Garrett Fawcett were women who played a significant role in shaping history. Most of the time, their worth was reduced to the point that their contributions were not glorified in the written pages of history. Reading through French revolution, and first-wave feminism documents, most women were highlighted for their strength, either taking care of the family, managing the household or putting bread on the table; they were mentally and physically powerful in comparison to men.

During the French revolution, women not only demanded for the right and opportunity to establish the women power, but also demanded their own freedom.

As women were responsible for causing the revolution. whereas Upper- and middle-class women were more concerned with adequate education, liberty, freedom and especially for the involvement in the army; they wanted the same rights and advantages as men. Women’s contributions and constant demand for their rights during the revolution was the turning point in French as well as first-wave feminism history.

France went through many changes, especially during the period of the French Revolution. Various ideas and proposals were considered on daily basis. The revolutionary changed the society systematically which ones has never thought before. In the document of Declaration of the Rights of Woman and of the Citizen, by Olympe de Gouge, she argues that, “Woman is born free and lives equal to man in her rights.

Social distinctions can be based only on the common utility” (Document 1791). De Gouges proclaimed that men and women are equal in society in every aspect, and therefore, women are entitled to the same freedom’s men are.

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Like the period, lives for women were in critical condition in terms of education, professional occupation and suffrages, in which men do not consider women full citizens. Gouges’ document highlights that women should incorporate among those part of France’s National Assembly. Hence, it expressed that women are similar to their husbands who have regular and natural rights. It is rights, just as the related obligations and duties to society, which are the plot in the document.

The essential rights that ought to be extended to women: security, freedom, protection from injustice, and most importantly the right to take part in making laws and keeping a public point of view. Nevertheless, the article stretches out property to get the right to own property independently from their husband. More profoundly, most unsettled components of the declaration were to give women freely name the father of her children and to be qualified for the property to the children, since it holds that men who father youngsters outside of marriage must be considered responsible for those children similarly as if they were fathered inside marriage. The document urges women to perceive the unequal ways they were been treated publicly and to act to cure that suppression.

Further, the declaration incorporates a social contract between man and Woman. In that agreement, a man and a woman consent to join as equivalent partners to properties and sharing the belongings among their children. First-wave feminism heavily built on the political theory and practice of the French Revolution. Whether the petition that was written by Hannah More (1799) or the petition by Millicent Garrett Fawcett (1868), they were fighting for education, suffrage, and for job opportunity for women in society. Hannah defend for a better society in terms of having a quality, purposeful life. Knowledge is the key point and source for exhibiting life in best way.

As she pointed out, education for women is necessary, not just to become the orator, pleader, and debater, but also to act throughout the process. The education that is provided to women would enable them to balance their minds, and that would benefit society. In addition, to obtain all kinds of study extract difference between truth and lie, which basically lead women to determine and face reality. For instance, Miss More categorized women in terms of false and better education. When ones look toward false education, one may look down on unhealthy activities like vulgar entertainment, shabby curtailments, conflict, small minds and bad decision making.

Whereas if a woman is given better education, she can cultivate her understanding and direct her objective. Therefore, better education for women reinforces for a higher responsibility for work, as well as it exercise is to be contemplate as a tool for strengthening the body for the reason. Nonetheless, Miss More mentioned that education helps women better understand and develop the ability to see, tackle, and make correct judgements. Women are better in all kind of imagery, when it comes to showing different kinds of sentiment and feelings as they influence gratefulness and adapt their perception in valuing their belief. Millicent Garrett Fawcett worked to show some changes in education for female suffrage and promoted the higher education of women.

In Fawcett’s viewpoint, the mental strength of the women of middle and upper classes was the consequence of lesser education. There was a major differentiation between education of the middle and working class. As she argues, when it came to the education of the middle class and the lower-class women, they were given least priority as well as the issue were neglected. Later, she mentioned that women lack the mental training which is the biggest issue from their point of view; when it comes to powerful minds, women are at least as good as men. Society observe the indifference in that case they need to observe the consequence. According to capability, education should be given to women for the mental development.

Women had devoted their entire life to domestic pursuits, so there should be opportunities for them to pursue professional job. Women should have proper training, so they can assist their husbands in their daily professional works. Both boys and girl need the advantage of equal education. Fawcett was more concerned with, and prioritized, women’s suffrage by obtaining education for women in the society. Therefore, looking through French revolution and first- feminism document, both of them build the ladder of human right and freedom. The article and the agenda in both of the document turn the marks and performed the justification in terms of education, equality, women choices, gender stratification, and freedom. The revolution gave a new look to the people that would get effected long into the future. The revolution grabs the attention to political issue of equality and liberty.

In addition, the movement save large number of women who were underprivilege. Its help the women to understand the new way of the relationship in society in the wider scope. The revolution creates chaos and change that people were more willing to accept the change. However, before the revolution women had no power within whereas high class were oppressed with rule, and power; the revolution helped to end to the social discrimination and significantly brought positive change to many their lives. After the revolution the French society had influenced the development on various subject like; arts, politics, literature which help in forming of democratic countries.

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French Revolution and Women's Rights. (2021, Apr 25). Retrieved from

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