Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The "femme-homme" of the French Revolution: Gender boundaries and masculinization
by Dallara, Anais, M.A., California State University, Long Beach, 2017, 144; 10255098
Abstract (Summary)

The overall image that emerges from the literature on gender and the French Revolution is that of revolutionary women transgressing traditional gender boundaries by actively participating in the Revolution. This study will show that with few exceptions, most revolutionary women did not attempt to transgress their gender boundaries; instead, they attempted to redefine their sphere of action on the basis of a new ideology born during the Revolution: that of the larger family of the Republic. This study investigates the contradiction between the eighteenth-century idea of the femme idéale and the reality of revolutionary women activism and argues that these women justified entering the public space as part of their duties as patriotic mothers. On the other hand, this study also shows how revolutionary men increasingly started to marginalize all revolutionary women as “femme-hommes” to ultimately exclude them from the public sphere in 1793. While many historians focused on the way women were sexualized and feminized during the Revolution, this paper argues that most revolutionary leaders considered women who attempted to play men’s roles to be women who were becoming men and thus losing their maternal and motherly duties.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Shafer, David
Commitee: Dupuy, Pascal, Schrank, Sarah
School: California State University, Long Beach
Department: History
School Location: United States -- California
Source: MAI 56/03M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: European history, Gender studies
Keywords: French Revolution, Gender, History, Masculinization, Women
Publication Number: 10255098
ISBN: 9781369552997
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