Women in Need
Inside the Family
Making Ends Meet
19th century France was no haven for
the equality of women, however, the sound of female voices still resonates.
yourself as a poor mother in Paris in the 19th century. The floor
you sleep on is damp and the noise of Paris rings in your ears.
You can hear the prostitutes
talking in the street, the taverns filled with drunk citizens,
and the sounds of change clanging around in pockets of the rich.
The life of the poor in 19th century France was a struggle.
Being poor and being a women made this struggle no more easier.
Paris was only beginning to politically induce public charity
(or welfare). However, being a mother, especially a single mother,
being considered to receive these public funds was a painstaking
|"La Bastille" 1871.
Bertall [picture above] As pictured above the woman's
position is forward in motion, arm raised and stance
strong. Her mouth is open and clothes raged but one
can sense her passion for the cause she is fighting
for. Although she is the main focus, the background
conveys a battle scene where smoke fills the air and
the signs of combat litter the ground. With weapon in
one hand and a home made flag in the other she is ready
to defend her beliefs.
One French woman activist in France during
the 19th century was Jeanne Deroin. She aided Niboyet by contributing
articles to La Voix des Femmes
until it disappeared in June of the same year. Deroin was intensely
excited and interested about publishing women's works and creating
equality for women.
On December 31, 1805 Jeanne Deroin was born into the poor house
of a working class family. Spending her early childhood in poverty
she was a laundress and embroidered by trade, she later became
a teacher and set up a school for children from poor families.
But only was it after many attempts from failing the permit test
because of poor penmanship was she able to set up the school.
As a participant in the 1848 revolution she wanted to ensure
women's demands were included in the new Republic (or at least
somewhat heard). Deroin's hope for the New Order was based on
social and gender equality, unfortunately this was not acknowledged
at the time.
Associated with (although not a part of) the Saint-Simonian movement,
Jeanne Deroin was imperative to two important developments for
French feminism. First, Deroin questioned the authoritarian basis
of much of the new doctrine (of the Saint-Simonians). Secondly,
she enthusiastically participated in the major events of the revolution
|La Grèce sur les ruines de Missolonghi.
1863. Pictured above is
Eugene Delacroix (most notable known as the leader in the
painting "Liberty Leading the People on the Ramparts").
Although her activism occurred in the later half of the 19th
century, she carried on the traditional ideas for women's
rights that Jeanne Deroin and Flora Tristan originally had.
She was an activist during the time of the Commune in France.