In this article, I decided to spread the light on the history of Feminism in France and to make a small summary of the most important women in this movement.
A few important women…
In France, the feminism was already began with Christine de Pizan, in the Middle Age. She was born in 1364 in Venise but this Italian woman grew up in France. She is not considered as feminist in the modern way but still, she is fighting for the image of women who were at that time totally belittled by men. But she is not standing up to change the patriarchal structure or the ethic of the society where she lives. She is even advocating chastity and patience, thoughts which are not shared with modern feminists. De Pizan thinks that the difference between men and women is due to education and not to Nature.
Simone de Beauvoir est née en 1908 à Paris. She is nowadays considered as one of the most important woman of the XXst century and there is a reason for this. She became famous mostly because of her work and particularly, her book “The second sex”. She describes a society where women are inferior to men. She dared to talk about maternity and above all abortion, act which was considered as homicide at that time.
With Gisele Halimi and Elisabeth Badinter, they wrote the “Manifest of the 343”. And with Gisèle, they created the move “Choisir” which was a big step for abortion
Monique Witting was born in 1935 in Dannemarie. She is one of the founders of the “Mouvement de Libération des femmes”. With some women, she went to put a bouquet on the unknown soldier’s tomb and this movement was considered as the beginning of the feminist movement in France.
She thinks that women are composing a social class and that their wills are opposed to men’s one. For her, the marriage is just a way for a husband to exploit his wife.
A few historical facts…
Feminism is France was marked by both continuity and shifts.
The Industrial Revolution helped the women from all the classes to organize and so the Feminist movement was able to grow. But the major changes were made after the Second World War.
The biggest event probably occurred in 1944 when women obtained the Right to vote. A big step for the gender equality.
Then, after the Second World War, a few women writers had influence over the feminist movement: Simone de Beauvoir (Le Second Sexe), Monique Wittig (Les Guerriers), Julia Kristeva (Les Chinoises) or Hélène Cixous (Le Rire de la Méduse).
A new wave of Feminism started on 1968, when girl students and workers got together. The image of women was changed with this movement of liberation. 1970 really marked the beginning of the “Mouvement de Libération des Femmes” (MLF). A lot of women decided to join this movement and to fight for their rights.
During the 1971 summer, women decided to walk form the Bastille to Place de la Nation is order to ask for contraceptive but also for free abortion for women. In 1974, the abortion was finally allowed in France thanks to Simone Veil who was Minister of Health at that time.
Nowadays, the fight for the Gender equality is still on and more and more women are joining the movement all around the world.
_ Sexually yours !
Posted by Marie