Women and the French Revolution: the start of the modern feminist movement

Historian article

By Luke Rimmo Loyi Lego, published 17th May 2023

Luke Rimmo Loyi Lego explores the role of women in the French Revolution, and how their challenges to traditional gender roles laid the foundations for the modern feminist movement. 

The study of the French Revolution is often restricted to its impact on the Enlightenment ideas of influential men such as Rousseau, Voltaire, and Locke. The contributions of women to the Revolution and the feminist movement can be overlooked. Despite facing criticism and resistance from some of the very revolutionaries who championed liberty, women played a vital role in the Revolution by advocating for their own rights. They challenged traditional gender roles and adopted positions of political power, becoming the embodiment of liberty, equality, and intellectual growth. The liberal ideas that originated during the French Revolution continue to propel the feminist movement to this day, leaving a lasting legacy... 

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