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Archive for June, 2011

Feminism in Lyon before 1848 — Eugénie Niboyet

Now available thanks to Shawn P. Wilbur at Contr'un:

This short account of the life of Eugénie Niboyet is the first part of an article that appeared in the Revue d'histoire de Lyon (Vol. 7, 1908, pp. 348-358). The second half of the article focuses on Flora Tristan in Lyon in 1844—which will be at least slightly more familiar subject-matter for most people—but the lesser-known Mme. Niboyet was really one of the most formidable figures of feminism in the 19th century. She was a prolific writer, editor, and translator. She organized around women's issues, pacifism and the abolition of the death penalty. She had close ties to most of the prominent radical feminists of her day, as well as to many other prominent radicals. This biographical account really only scratches the surface with regard her various publications, but does give a nice introduction to her early career.


Maximilien Buffenoir

I. —Feminist Tendencies before 1834. Mme. Niboyet.

When Fourier and, after him, the Saint-Simonians denounced the inequality of the sexes as a denial of justice, they revived a long-interrupted tradition. After Condorcet, the ardent forerunner of feminism, who was concerned with the role of woman? The Revolution, accustomed to find in her an enemy more often than an ally, had neglected to take her part after the assassination of Marat by Charlotte Corday. Napoleon was not the man to make her a part of his plans; she herself seemed disinterested in her own cause. Enfantin and Fourier returned her to the consciousness of her rights. The former showed her a new society, where every function will be fulfilled by a couple; the latter claimed to free her, to revise the law of marriage, to raise the anathema pronounced against love by Christianity. Without accepting all these ideas, some women, already distinctly detached from catholic dogma, ...

Read the whole thing at Contr'un.