An original point of view on a double controversy which arose during the French Revolution: resistance to the citizenship of women, and a refusal to recognize women as artists. Read More
All women are citizens; some are also artists. Are female citizens and artists the equal of their male counterparts? Of course. Are they equally concerned by politics and art? Naturally.
But when the French Revolution ushered in the democratic era these statements were the source of debate and controversy: many men – who were in no way reactionary – argued at the time that women belonged at home with their families, not out in the city; that they were muses rather than creative geniuses. Two hundred years later, the same discussions continue. This book looks at the consequences of this key moment. It provides an account of the ongoing work which demonstrates this equality, in an 'exclusive democracy' in which everyone – and thus every woman – may theoretically be seen as an individual, a subject, a citizen, a creator.
From Poulain de la Barre, a seventeenth-century philosopher, to the contemporary thinker Jacques Rancière, and including Virginia Woolf and Simone de Beauvoir, the texts collected here demonstrate the extent to which these questions are crucial for modernity: questions of the right to artistic enjoyment, of subversive strategies, of how far women have been emancipated, and of feminism as disruption to Western tradition.