What Were The Role Of Women In The French Revolution Essay

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The French Revolution of 1789-1799 aimed to spread Liberty, Equality and Brotherhood through France and through Europe. It wished to create a French Republic and it ultimately resulted in the overthrow and executions of the King Louis XVI and Queen Marie Antoinette. It failed, however, to secure voting rights for women. Despite this, participation of women in the Revolution was clear. However, the question remains - just how did women help the Revolution, and how important were their roles?
Firstly, feminist militancy and activism was very present in the French Revolution. The prime example of this was the March to Versailles of October 1789. Two important womens’ rights activists were Pauline Léon and Théroigne de Méricourt. They called for the permission to protect the Revolution by allowing women to carry pikes, pistols, sabres and rifles. They argued that the right to bear arms would consequentially ‘convert’ women
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She wrote various plays, novels and pamphlets addressing the issue of women’s rights. She said that while men and women were different biologically, they should be treated the same socially and politically. She also appeared in front of the National Assembly where she aimed to reform the political structure of women and men (what does this mean?). She wrote the “Declaration of the Rights of Women” which demanded that women have the same rights as were already granted to men. In this response to the “Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen”, she called for women to create a National Assembly of Women. This group would help the Assembly of Men in their efforts in the French Revolution. Overall, she felt men and women should be equal citizens and thus she focused more on the reform of women’s rights in France. During the Revolution, this is what many of the women of France wanted. Thus, de Gouges played an important role in the

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