Historians since the late 20th century have debated how women shared in the French Revolution and what long-term impact it had on French women. Women had no political rights in pre-Revolutionary France; they were considered "passive" citizens; forced to rely on men to determine what was best for them. That changed dramatically in theory as there seemingly were great advances in feminism. Feminism emerged in Paris as part of a broad demand for social and political reform. The women demanded equality to men and then moved on to a demand for the end of male domination. Their chief vehicle for agitation were pamphlets and women's clubs, especially the Society of Revolutionary Republican Women. However, the Jacobin (radical) element in power abolished all the women's clubs in October 1793 and arrested their leaders. The movement was crushed. Devance explains the decision in terms of the emphasis on masculinity in wartime, Marie Antoinette's bad reputation for feminine interference in state affairs, and traditional male supremacy.[1] A decade later the Napoleonic Code confirmed and perpetuated women's second-class status.[2]

Women had no political rights in pre-Revolutionary France; they could not vote or hold any political office. They were considered "passive" citizens; forced to rely on men to determine what was best for them in the government. It was the men who defined these categories, and women were forced to accept male domination in the political sphere.[3]

Women were taught to be committed to their husbands and "all his interests... [to show] attention and care... [and] sincere and discreet zeal for his salvation." A woman's education often consisted of learning to be a good wife and mother; as a result women were not supposed to be involved in the political sphere, as the limit of their influence was the raising of future citizens.[4] The subservient role of women prior to the revolution was perhaps best exemplified by the Frederician Code, published in 1750 and attacked by Enlightenment philosophers and publications.[5]

The highly influential Encyclopédie in the 1750s set the tone of the Enlightenment, and its ideas exerted influence on the subsequent Revolution in France. Writing a number of articles on women in society, Louis de Jaucourt criticized traditional roles for women, arguing that "it would be difficult to demonstrate that the husband's rule comes from nature, in as much as this principle is contrary to natural human equality... a man does not invariably have more strength of body, of wisdom, of mind or of conduct than a woman... The example of England and Russia shows clearly that women can succeed equally in both moderate and despotic government..."[5] One of greatest influences foreshadowing the revolutionary and republican transformations in women's roles was Jean-Jacques Rousseau's educational treatise Emile (1762).[6] Some liberal men advocated equal rights for women including women's suffrage. Nicolas de Condorcet was especially noted for his advocacy, in his articles published in the Journal de la Société de 1789, and by publishing De l'admission des femmes au droit de cité ("For the Admission to the Rights of Citizenship For Women") in 1790.[7][8]

Revolutionary action

When the Revolution started, some women struck forcefully, using the volatile political climate to assert their active natures. In the time of the Revolution, women could not be kept out of the political sphere. They swore oaths of loyalty, "solemn declarations of patriotic allegiance, [and] affirmations of the political responsibilities of citizenship." De Corday d'Armont is a prime example of such a woman; engaged in the revolutionary political faction of the Girondists, she assassinated the Jacobin leader, Marat. Throughout the Revolution, other women such as Pauline Léon and her Society of Revolutionary Republican Women supported the radical Jacobins, staged demonstrations in the National Assembly and participated in the riots, often using armed force.[9]

The Women's March on Versailles, also known as The October March, The October Days, or simply The March on Versailles, was one of the earliest and most significant events of the French Revolution. The march began among women in the marketplaces of Paris who, on the morning of 5 October 1789, were near rioting over the high price and scarcity of bread. Their demonstrations quickly became intertwined with the activities of revolutionaries, who were seeking liberal political reforms and a constitutional monarchy for France. The market women and their various allies grew into a mob of thousands. Encouraged by revolutionary agitators, they ransacked the city armory for weapons and marched to the Palace of Versailles. The crowd besieged the palace, and in a dramatic and violent confrontation, they successfully pressed their demands upon King Louis XVI. The next day, the crowd compelled the king, his family, and most of the French Assembly to return with them to Paris.

These events ended the king's independence and signified the change of power and reforms about to overtake France. The march symbolized a new balance of power that displaced the ancient privileged orders of the French nobility and favored the nation's common people, collectively termed the Third Estate. Bringing together people representing sources of the Revolution in their largest numbers yet, the march on Versailles proved to be a defining moment of that Revolution.

The Women's March[13][14][15][a] was a worldwide protest on January 21, 2017, to advocate legislation and policies regarding human rights and other issues, including women's rights, immigration reform, healthcare reform, reproductive rights, the natural environment, LGBTQ rights, racial equality, freedom of religion,[19] and workers' rights. Most of the rallies were aimed at Donald Trump, immediately following his inauguration as President of the United States, largely due to statements that he had made and his positions which were regarded by many as anti-women or otherwise offensive.[13][20] It was the largest single-day protest in U.S. history.[21]

The first planned protest was in Washington, D.C., and is known as the Women's March on Washington.[22] According to organizers it was meant to "send a bold message to our new administration on their first day in office, and to the world that women's rights are human rights".[23] The Washington March was streamed live on YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter.[24]

The Washington March drew 500,000 to 1,000,000 people.[25] Between 3,267,134 and 5,246,670 people participated in the Women's March in the United States,[26] or approximately 1.0 to 1.6 percent of the U.S. population. In total, worldwide participation has been estimated at over seven million.[11][12][27] At least 408 marches were reported to have been planned in the U.S. and 168 in 81[11] other countries.[28] After the marches, officials who organized them reported that 673 marches took place worldwide, on all seven continents, including 29 in Canada, 20 in Mexico,[13] and one in Antarctica.[29][30] In Washington D.C. alone, the march was the largest single political demonstration on record. The Women's March crowds were peaceful, and no arrests were made in Washington, D.C., Chicago, Los Angeles,[b] New York City, and Seattle, where an estimated combined total of two million people marched.[32]

Following the march, the organizers of the Women's March on Washington posted the "10 Actions for the first 100 Days" campaign for joint activism to keep up the momentum from the march.[33][34]

Recently, the Women's March has been accused by some of anti-Semitism, homophobia, and transphobia after leaders defended African American activist Louis Farrakhan, who has made statements against Jews and LGBTQ people. Others disagreed, saying that Farrakhan's contribution to civil rights outweighs his views toward minority groups.[35][36]

Fact Check: Supreme Court Nominee Brett Kavanaugh's Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing


NPR's Ailsa Chang talks with Politifact reporter Jon Greenberg to fact-check various statements Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh made at his hearing last week.

'Good And Mad' Examines How Anger Can Be Perilous For Women


Rachel Martin talks to Rebecca Traister about her book Good and Mad: The Revolutionary Power of Women's Anger. She explains why she choose to look at anger expressed by women throughout U.S. history.

Trump: 'Wouldn't Bother Me' If FBI Talked With All Kavanaugh Accusers

President Trump announced a revamped North American free trade deal and then took questions from reporters at the White House Monday.  Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP

President Trump said Monday he wants a "comprehensive" reinvestigation of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh so long as it is over within the one-week timetable as laid out in the Senate compromise reached Friday.

Trump said it "wouldn't bother me" if FBI investigators talked with all three women who have leveled allegations about sexual misconduct against Kavanaugh — allegations that the federal appeals court judge has denied — or pursue whatever other avenues they deem appropriate.

What's important is that the bureau must "go quickly," Trump said, because Kavanaugh has "been treated horribly" and he's been the victim of a "very unfair" process.

"What his wife is going through," Trump said, "what his beautiful children are going through is not describable. It's not fair."

Trump pledged in a White House Rose Garden news conference that he would not constrain the FBI's inquiry, but he also so far has not released the written scope of work that lays out the assignment to the bureau.

Democrats led by the Senate Judiciary Committee's ranking member, Dianne Feinstein of California, have called for the White House to back up its assurances about the FBI investigation by revealing what, specifically, it has written in its instructions.

Trump didn't discuss whether he might release the written scope of work.

The FBI isn't pursuing a criminal investigation into Kavanaugh. It's doing a new background investigation, effectively as a contractor for the White House. That's why the parameters of its assignment, as made by the president and his aides, are important.

Trump said FBI special agents began their work on Friday, worked through the weekend and are "really working hard and putting in a lot of hours."

They are expected to compile their findings in a new report for the White House that it would then share with the Senate Judiciary Committee. The full Senate could then vote on Kavanaugh on Friday.

The president was asked whether he has a "Plan B" in case investigators substantiate the claims about sexual misconduct made by Christine Blasey Ford, Deborah Ramirez and Julie Swetnick — or the FBI discovers something else that could be problematic for Kavanaugh.

Trump said he didn't want to talk about a Plan B but also said he was "open" to whatever investigators find.

"Look, I'm waiting just like you," he said. "If they find something, I'll take that into consideration. Absolutely. I have a very open mind. The person that takes this position is going to be there for a long time."

Trump Says FBI Should Interview Anyone It Wants In The Kavanaugh Probe


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Comment by mary gravitt on October 2, 2018 at 12:54pm

Linsey Graham and Mitch McConnell are trying to amend the Dred Scott Decision to state:  White women in social or political relations; and so far inferior, that they had no rights which the white man was bound to respect.

Trump who hates women sends Kellyanne and Hucklebee out to clean up the shit that the GOP Elephant drops when it insults Women on the verge of Revolution.  He is afraid of white women who see Kavanaugh vs Ford as Thomas vs Anita Hill.  And understand, like the French women who marched on Paris to get the Baker, the Baker's wife, and his Children, American women of all races are ready to march on Washington and prove that they have the Civil Rights that was denied to Dred Scott.

Trump sees the Midterms coming down the track and know he cannot win without the votes of White suburban women.  Maybe it is because these women have never been sexually assaulted.  Oh, I forgot Blessy- Ford is from the suburbs.


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