A Different Approach Than Landes And Scott Essay

A Different Approach Than Landes And Scott Essay

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Taking a different approach than Landes and Scott, Alyssa Goldstein Sepinwall examines male support of women’s inclusion in the public sphere. Although certain historians would disagree with her, she argues that certain Jacobins, including Robespierre, were in fact Old Regime feminists, and that their revolutionary arguments for women’s inferior status did not stem from the general atmosphere of chauvinism during the Old Regime, but represented a conservative retreat from their previous position on the issue. Sepinwall uses archival materials from the Academy of Arras and works published by Léon Berthe to examine the admission of two women to the Academy in 1787, Robespierre’s support of the decision, and his support for the inclusion of women in academic gatherings. Through in-depth, albeit somewhat speculative, analysis of Robespierre’s texts, she demonstrates Robespierre’s support for the inclusion of women in society. In addition to the future Jacobin’s shift away from their previous stance in favor of the inclusion of women is public life, Sepinwall attributes the revolutionary policies that excluded women to specific circumstances that were present during the Revolution; for example, she attributes, the banning of women’s political clubs as a response to a brawl between two groups of women and suggests that women’s actions made men less inclined to champion their cause.
Another group of activists whom Historians have also examined are the militant women of the Revolution. In their article “Women and Militant Citizenship in Paris,” Darline Gay Levy and Harriet B. Applewhite examine the participation of women in political life during the Revolution and they argue that this participation laid the foundation for women’s...


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...epresentations inherited from the nineteenth century.” She claims that “studying women during the Revolution allows us to enrich our comprehension of the revolutionary phenomenon.” She utilizes police records to find traces of the ordinary, working-class women, who Godineau argues were:
stirred by all their human richness and complexity, their dreams and their wounds in which family relations often held a large place. Movement and violence, precariousness and solidarity, Revolution and daily life can be found in the realm of sentiment as well as in the theater of urban life.

For Godineau, the question of citizenship remains at the core of relations between women and the Revolution. She argues that although few women claimed full political rights during the Revolution, they nonetheless demonstrated citizenship through their participation in the political space.

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