A day in the life of a lady
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A day in the life of a lady "...a husband who would wish to have sole possession of his wife would be regarded as a disturber of public happiness." --Montesquieu. **The lady awakes!. The lady’s bath.

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A day in the life of a lady

A day in the life of a lady

"...a husband who would wish to have sole possession of his wife would be regarded as a disturber of public happiness."--Montesquieu


A day in the life of a lady

**The lady awakes!


A day in the life of a lady

The lady’s bath


A day in the life of a lady

The Lady’s Toilette. “The court saw there, also, the toilette of the princess, which was much admired, both for its articles of gold and silver and for its embroidery and lace."


A day in the life of a lady

The Promenade. After this might be a promenade in the park. Special days and hours were established for young ladies to display themselves as a public spectacle for any gentlemen who were present, sort of like speed dating, but slower. If a lady caught the eye of a gentleman, he would inquire about the name and status of the lady so he could make his move. If she were interested, she had fewer and more subtle options to show her interest, such as “accidentally” dropping her handkerchief in front of him, so he could pick it up and present it to her.


A day in the life of a lady

The lady’s music lesson


A day in the life of a lady

The art of conversation which was described as "a gay dialogue in which each listens but little, yet speaks...in a rapid prompt & vivacious manner."


A day in the life of a lady

The lady’s favorite card game, Whist


A day in the life of a lady

Courtship, with mom hiding in the bushes


A day in the life of a lady

"You must never tell your lover that you do not believe in God. As to your husband, it doesn't matter. But with a lover you must always keep a retreat open, and a religious scruple can end a love-affair at once.”--Unnamed Lady, 18th cent.


A day in the life of a lady

Reading someone else’s love letter aloud for entertainment


A day in the life of a lady

***Madame de Pompadour, Louis XV’s primary mistress who largely ruled Louis and France for twenty years.


A day in the life of a lady

Louis XV first met Madame de Pompadour at a costume ball cleverly disguised as a yew tree (Louis that is). When she died, it was said Louis shed exactly two tears.


A day in the life of a lady

Poor woman with shortened gown and patched petticoat


A day in the life of a lady

Since life then was so much more public then and given so many affairs due to arranged and empty marriages, a system of secret “texting” with fans evolved so lovers could communicate even in the middle of a crowd. Therefore, fans were a must as an accessory for the fashionable 18th century lady.


A day in the life of a lady

2 sides of a French Victorian fan

Front

Reverse


A day in the life of a lady

THE LANGUAGE OF THE FAN

To a large extent, the fan was the 18th century equivalent of the cell phone, “texting” messages across a ballroom floor to one’s secret boyfriend.

1) The fan placed near the heart: You have won my love.

2) closed fan touching the right eye: When may I see you?

3) The number of sticks shown answers: At what hour?

4) Threatening movements with a fan closed: Don't be so

imprudent

5) Half-opened fan pressed to the lips: You may kiss me

6) Hands clasped together holding an open fan: Forgive me

7) Covering left ear with open fan: Do not betray our

secret

8) Hiding the eyes behind an open fan: I love you

9) Shutting fully opened fan slowly: I promise to marry you

10) Drawing the fan across the eyes: I am sorry

11) Touching finger to tip of the fan: I wish to speak to you

12) Letting the fan rest on the right cheek: Yes

13) Letting the fan rest on the left cheek: No

14) Opening and closing the fan several times: You are

cruel

15) Dropping the fan: We will be friends

16) Fanning slowly: I am married

17) Fanning quickly: I am engaged

18) Putting the fan handle to the lips:Kiss me

19) Opening a fan wide: Wait for me

20) Fan placed behind the head: Do not forget me

21) Fan placed behind the head with finger:

Goodbye

22) Fan in right hand in front of face: Follow me

23) Fan in left hand in front of face: I am desirous

of your acquaintance

24) Fan held over left ear: I wish to get rid of you

25) Fan drawn across forehead: You have changed

26) Twirling fan in left hand: We are being watched

27) Twirling the fan in the right hand: I love another

28) Open fan in the right hand: You are too willing

29) Open fan in the left hand: Come talk to me

30) Drawing the fan through the hand: I hate you!

31) Drawing the fan across the cheek: I love you

32) Presenting the fan shut: Do you love me?


A day in the life of a lady

THE LANGUAGE OF FLOWERS

Along those lines, various types and colors of flowers carried symbolic significance, as seen in paintings, although the meanings escape most of us today.

- Yellow= disdainful love or infidelity

- Red= passionate love or shame

- Green= hope; blue= heaven

- Purple= power or royalty

- Primrose blooms suddenly & in unexpected places-> assoc. w/1st loves

- Rose assoc. w/love, but also beauty, heartbreak, joy, humility, et. al.

- Forget-me-nots assoc. w/true love from story of lover who bends over to

pick some pretty blue flowers, falls in river, & as he is being swept away,

called "Love me...never forget me!"

- Crocus assoc. w/carefree youth; in ancient liter. assoc. w/passionate love

- Narcissus assoc. w/self-satisfaction, egoism, conceit, & not being able to

love others from Greek myth of Narcissus & Echo

- Passionflower assoc. w/faith, relig. superstition, susceptibility, or token of

remembrance since it resembles Christ's crown of thorns & nails


A day in the life of a lady

Big hair is back!!

Nothing seemed to define fashion more than Big Hair during the Enlightenment. In England, this was largely a reaction against the Puritan style of women keeping their hair covered during the repressive era of Cromwellian rule. Much of this goes back to medieval Europe when it was customary for women to keep their hair covered as a matter of modesty. Even now, the expression “let one’s hair down” implies cutting loose for normal modest standards of behavior. Similarly, the continued use of veils by some brides reflects our culture’s long-standing concern with protecting women’s virtue.


A day in the life of a lady

During the Enlightenment, elaborate hairstyles were definitely in vogue, with women trying to outdo each other in magnificence. Some women’s hair would be piled so high that they refused to go out on ballroom floors out of fear it would get caught in the chandeliers and burn down. One German visitor remarked that a French woman’s face was halfway between her toes and the top of her hair. In addition, women would incorporate various objects, such as birdcages with live birds, into their hairdos. For a while a model warship to commemorate a French naval victory was a fashionable hair accessor.


A day in the life of a lady

“The triumph of the ridiculous”

Swans attacking a woman’s big hair


A day in the life of a lady

In the later 1700s, the trend swung back to simpler styles to keep in step with the Enlightenment’s move to a more natural values as epitomized by Neo-classical and Romanticist art.

Marie Antoinette (left) was actually an example of the hair being toned down right before the French Revolution.


A day in the life of a lady

The portrait of Madame Bergeret by Boucher isan example of the later 18th century’s simpler and more natural ideal of feminine beauty.


A day in the life of a lady

Boucher, Madame Bergeret (detail)


A day in the life of a lady

Boucher, Madame Bergeret (detail)


A day in the life of a lady

Interestingly, men’s fashions and standards of masculinity in the 1700s might seem somewhat effeminate to us today. Along with powdered wigs, brighter colors, and silk hose, it was considered perfectly appropriate for a man to cry or comment favorably on the legs of another man.


A day in the life of a lady

The term “macaroni” was applied to Americans who wanted to follow the less than manly fashions of Europe.


A day in the life of a lady

Breasts, Big Hair, along with various and sundry other spare partsorA Brief History of Women’s body image and beauty standards as defined by society


A day in the life of a lady

There is evidence of a biological standard of beauty, defined primarily by the ability to bear and nourish healthy children, although that standard has much wider parameters and can largely be summarized by the maxim: useful is beautiful.

Our earliest evidence of standards of beauty are prehistoric figurines found throughout the Mediterranean and Europe and commonly referred to as “Fat Venuses”. These small Paleolithic statuettes, such as the (above), probably don’t represent primitive man’s ideal of woman, but they suggest that more curvy or full-bodied women were preferred. For example, if the four-inch tall Venus of Willendorf (left) were to scale, her bust-waist-hips measurements would be 96”-89”-96”.

Women having more body fat than men, typically could and often had to survive on less than men back when food was scarce, Ice Age winters were bitterly cold, and childbirth was dangerous. Presumably, women who survived & had children that survived were typically large-breasted; making large breasts evolutionary winners. However, beauty has always been as much a matter of cultural preference as biology, and those preferences have changed at a somewhat dizzying pace.


A day in the life of a lady

Catherine de Medici, known as the fashion dictator of the 16th century, recommended an ideal waist size of 13 inches. By this time, she could demand such crazy ideals because corsets had become the rage.

Between the 1500s and 1900s, women’s breasts went through radical mutations in fullness, flatness, position and cleavage. Eighteenth century Europe, in particular, switched breast vogues with wild abandon. However, women, armed with whalebone, iron and padding, tried their hardest to fulfill fad ideals.


A day in the life of a lady

The early corset ended just below the bust, pushing breasts up. The added lift was not enough for some, however.

Toward the end of the 1700s, an early version of the Miracle Bra pushed the bust high — sometimes near the chin.

Later, corsets flattened breasts by squeezing the upper body. They were made of cloth, whalebone & metal. One was even made entirely of metal — the “coat-of-armor” corset.

Right: Vivien Leigh, as Scarlet O’Hara in Gone With the Wind, gets her corset cinched up to a new level of beauty (and pain).


A day in the life of a lady

For a brief time during the French Revolution and Napoleonic era (c.1789-1815), women got a reprieve from the corset, as the tighter more restrictive fashions of the Old Regime were replaced by the looser, simpler, and “revolutionary” neo-classical style much as older political and social conventions were replaced.


A day in the life of a lady

Women during this period were also more politically active, some of them expecting more rights, as reflected in Mary Wollstonecraft’s “The Vindication of the Rights of Women.”


A day in the life of a lady

A fleeting Parisian fad during the French Revolution even called for dresses to be cut below the bust. Although short-lived as a fashion statement, the bare-breasted look survived as the pure embodiment of liberty as in Delacroix’s painting below.


A day in the life of a lady

However, the militaristic culture of the Napoleonic era and the conservative backlash against the Revolution after his fall led to a similar fashion backlash. More specifically, corsets made a comeback, along with bustles to accentuate the backside. Thus the nineteenth century was once again a period of difficult breathing for women as well as lower status.

Another fashion of pre-twentieth century women was the bustle, which accentuated/exaggerated the back-side of women. Sir Mix-a-Lot would have approved.


A day in the life of a lady

Young girls were sometimes forced to wear corsets, and those who complained were scolded. Besides, after a few weeks, pains (or all sensation) in the ribs and organs typically disappeared.

Corsets eventually became controversial for health reasons, including fainting and muscle atrophy.

Many women, however, defended corsets.

“(If) the various organs are prevented from taking certain form or direction, they will accommodate themselves to any other with perfect ease,” said one woman in a letter to Queen, an 18th-century magazine.


A day in the life of a lady

After centuries of constrictive fashion, however, women in the 20th century began to choose comfort over the agony of 13-inch waists and bust pinchers.

The flappers of the 1920s shocked their mothers by showing their natural shapes. Coco Chanel introduced clothing that felt as good as it looked.

For whatever reasons, along with the women’s vote came shorter hair styles and a preference for smaller busts, causing critics to complain of the increasingly blurred distinction between men and women.


A day in the life of a lady

In the 1940s, the fuller figure came back into vogue, as seen in the pinup art popular with GI’s during World War II. Marilyn Monroe, the sex symbol of the 1950s, had curves that were a far cry from the “thin is in” fashion of the 1920s.


A day in the life of a lady

The head secretary on the TV series, Mad Men, Joanie, typifies the ideal female figure for the 1950s and early 1960s.

Below: For some reason or other, this is the most common camera angle shown of Joanie on the show.


A day in the life of a lady

The current ultra-thin ideal can largely be traced to Twiggy, the first “super-model”, a classic example of the media catering to the youth culture of the 1960s. Since then, women have been starving themselves in pursuit of ideals that for most are impossible to attain.


A day in the life of a lady

A

FC.100A ENLIGHTENMENT, REVOLUTION, & WOMEN’S CHANGING ROLES

Views by French philosophers on liberty and equality (FC. 100)

Enl. View that women are closer to nature than men contradictory conclusions:

Enl. Criticisms of slavery open way for women to advocate equal rt’s for themselves

Many phil’s (eg., Montesquieu, Voltaire, & Diderot) concede women are rational beings like men

Women are less rational than men Domestic. defined soc. role

B/c nature compared to civ is good  Women are as good as men

Overall a more positive view of women, despite views of Rousseau & Enl. Dr’s that women are distinctly inferior to men

Louis XIV’s court at Versailles dominates Fr. socially & intellectually (FC. 95)

1600s: Women at ct. start holding intellectual salons that attract men of lower status than hostess Hostess controls agenda

1700s: Salons move from court’s infl. to more public venues, but still hosted by women which is compatible w/their perceived domest. roles

French Rev. (FC. 105)

French Rev. (FC. 105)

Hostesses take active part in discussions & even get their own works published Opens way for other women (e.g., Elizabeth Vigee Lebrun)

Rising involvement of women in Revolution & expectations of more rights reflected in:

M. Wollstonecraft’s “Vindication of the Rights of Women” (1792) advocates equal rts for women

Women’s restrictive corsets & huge powdered wigs replaced by more nat’l Neo-Class. styles

Napoleon (FC. 106)

Napoleon (FC. 106)

Napoleon’s Milit. Cult.Women back in subservient status Greater diff’s b/w sexes as seen in

Women: Return of corsets along w/bustles & hats to cover hair

Men: Facial hair & drab colored clothes except neck ties

Ind. Rev. (FC. 111)

New factors that allow women to work for equal rights (FC. 114)

Ind. Rev. (FC. 111)


A day in the life of a lady

Madame de Geoffrin’s salon where the brightest minds of the age would gather to discuss and critique one another’s work


A day in the life of a lady

FC.100.A ENLIGHTENMENT SALONS & THE CHANGING ROLE OF WOMEN

A


A day in the life of a lady

FC.100.A ENLIGHTENMENT SALONS & THE CHANGING ROLE OF WOMEN

A

Views by French philosophers on liberty and equality (FC. 100)


A day in the life of a lady

FC.100.A ENLIGHTENMENT SALONS & THE CHANGING ROLE OF WOMEN

Enl. View that women are closer to nature than men contradictory conclusions:

Women are less rational than men Domestic. defined soc. role

Since nature is good compared to civ.  Women as good as men

A

Views by French philosophers on liberty and equality (FC. 100)


A day in the life of a lady

FC.100.A ENLIGHTENMENT SALONS & THE CHANGING ROLE OF WOMEN

Enl. View that women are closer to nature than men contradictory conclusions:

Women are less rational than men Domestic. defined soc. role

Since nature is good compared to civ.  Women as good as men

A

Views by French philosophers on liberty and equality (FC. 100)


A day in the life of a lady

FC.100.A ENLIGHTENMENT SALONS & THE CHANGING ROLE OF WOMEN

Enl. View that women are closer to nature than men contradictory conclusions:

Women are less rational than men Domestic. defined soc. role

Since nature is good compared to civ.  Women as good as men

A

Views by French philosophers on liberty and equality (FC. 100)


A day in the life of a lady

FC.100.A ENLIGHTENMENT SALONS & THE CHANGING ROLE OF WOMEN

Enl. Criticisms of slavery open way for women to advocate equal rt’s for themselves

Enl. View that women are closer to nature than men contradictory conclusions:

Women are less rational than men Domestic. defined soc. role

Since nature is good compared to civ.  Women as good as men

A

Views by French philosophers on liberty and equality (FC. 100)


A day in the life of a lady

FC.100.A ENLIGHTENMENT SALONS & THE CHANGING ROLE OF WOMEN

Enl. Criticisms of slavery open way for women to advocate equal rt’s for themselves

Many phil’s (eg., Montesquieu, Voltaire, & Diderot) concede women are rational beings like men

Enl. View that women are closer to nature than men contradictory conclusions:

Women are less rational than men Domestic. defined soc. role

Since nature is good compared to civ.  Women as good as men

A

Views by French philosophers on liberty and equality (FC. 100)


A day in the life of a lady

FC.100.A ENLIGHTENMENT SALONS & THE CHANGING ROLE OF WOMEN

Enl. Criticisms of slavery open way for women to advocate equal rt’s for themselves

Many phil’s (eg., Montesquieu, Voltaire, & Diderot) concede women are rational beings like men

Enl. View that women are closer to nature than men contradictory conclusions:

Women are less rational than men Domestic. defined soc. role

Since nature is good compared to civ.  Women as good as men

Overall a more positive view of women, despite views of Rousseau & Enl. Dr’s that women are distinctly inferior to men,

A

Views by French philosophers on liberty and equality (FC. 100)


A day in the life of a lady

FC.100.A ENLIGHTENMENT SALONS & THE CHANGING ROLE OF WOMEN

Enl. Criticisms of slavery open way for women to advocate equal rt’s for themselves

Many phil’s (eg., Montesquieu, Voltaire, & Diderot) concede women are rational beings like men

Enl. View that women are closer to nature than men contradictory conclusions:

Women are less rational than men Domestic. defined soc. role

Since nature is good compared to civ.  Women as good as men

Overall a more positive view of women, despite views of Rousseau & Enl. Dr’s that women are distinctly inferior to men,

A

Views by French philosophers on liberty and equality (FC. 100)

Louis XIV’s court at Versailles dominates France socially & intellectually (FC. 95)


A day in the life of a lady

FC.100.A ENLIGHTENMENT SALONS & THE CHANGING ROLE OF WOMEN

1600s Women at ct. start holding intellectual salons that attract men of lower status than hostess Hostess controls agenda

Enl. Criticisms of slavery open way for women to advocate equal rt’s for themselves

Many phil’s (eg., Montesquieu, Voltaire, & Diderot) concede women are rational beings like men

Enl. View that women are closer to nature than men contradictory conclusions:

Women are less rational than men Domestic. defined soc. role

Since nature is good compared to civ.  Women as good as men

Overall a more positive view of women, despite views of Rousseau & Enl. Dr’s that women are distinctly inferior to men,

A

Views by French philosophers on liberty and equality (FC. 100)

Louis XIV’s court at Versailles dominates France socially & intellectually (FC. 95)


A day in the life of a lady

FC.100.A ENLIGHTENMENT SALONS & THE CHANGING ROLE OF WOMEN

1600s Women at ct. start holding intellectual salons that attract men of lower status than hostess Hostess controls agenda

1700s Salons move from court’s infl. to more public venues, but still hosted by women which is compatible w/their perceived domest. roles

Enl. Criticisms of slavery open way for women to advocate equal rt’s for themselves

Many phil’s (eg., Montesquieu, Voltaire, & Diderot) concede women are rational beings like men

Enl. View that women are closer to nature than men contradictory conclusions:

Women are less rational than men Domestic. defined soc. role

Since nature is good compared to civ.  Women as good as men

Overall a more positive view of women, despite views of Rousseau & Enl. Dr’s that women are distinctly inferior to men,

A

Views by French philosophers on liberty and equality (FC. 100)

Louis XIV’s court at Versailles dominates France socially & intellectually (FC. 95)


A day in the life of a lady

FC.100.A ENLIGHTENMENT SALONS & THE CHANGING ROLE OF WOMEN

1600s Women at ct. start holding intellectual salons that attract men of lower status than hostess Hostess controls agenda

1700s Salons move from court’s infl. to more public venues, but still hosted by women which is compatible w/their perceived domest. roles

Hostesses take active part in discussions & even get their own works published Opens way for other women (e.g., Elizabeth Vigee Lebrun)

Enl. Criticisms of slavery open way for women to advocate equal rt’s for themselves

Many phil’s (eg., Montesquieu, Voltaire, & Diderot) concede women are rational beings like men

Enl. View that women are closer to nature than men contradictory conclusions:

Women are less rational than men Domestic. defined soc. role

Since nature is good compared to civ.  Women as good as men

Overall a more positive view of women, despite views of Rousseau & Enl. Dr’s that women are distinctly inferior to men,

A

Views by French philosophers on liberty and equality (FC. 100)

Louis XIV’s court at Versailles dominates France socially & intellectually (FC. 95)


A day in the life of a lady

Madame de Geoffrin’s salon where the brightest minds of the age would gather to discuss and critique one another’s work


A day in the life of a lady

FC.100.A ENLIGHTENMENT SALONS & THE CHANGING ROLE OF WOMEN

1600s Women at ct. start holding intellectual salons that attract men of lower status than hostess Hostess controls agenda

1700s Salons move from court’s infl. to more public venues, but still hosted by women which is compatible w/their perceived domest. roles

Hostesses take active part in discussions & even get their own works published Opens way for other women (e.g., Elizabeth Vigee Lebrun)

Enl. Criticisms of slavery open way for women to advocate equal rt’s for themselves

Many phil’s (eg., Montesquieu, Voltaire, & Diderot) concede women are rational beings like men

Enl. View that women are closer to nature than men contradictory conclusions:

Women are less rational than men Domestic. defined soc. role

Since nature is good compared to civ.  Women as good as men

Overall a more positive view of women, despite views of Rousseau & Enl. Dr’s that women are distinctly inferior to men,

A

Views by French philosophers on liberty and equality (FC. 100)

Louis XIV’s court at Versailles dominates France socially & intellectually (FC. 95)

French Rev. (FC. 105)

French Rev. (FC. 105)


A day in the life of a lady

FC.100.A ENLIGHTENMENT SALONS & THE CHANGING ROLE OF WOMEN

1600s Women at ct. start holding intellectual salons that attract men of lower status than hostess Hostess controls agenda

1700s Salons move from court’s infl. to more public venues, but still hosted by women which is compatible w/their perceived domest. roles

Hostesses take active part in discussions & even get their own works published Opens way for other women (e.g., Elizabeth Vigee Lebrun)

Mary Wollstonecraft’s “Vindication of the Rights of Women” advocates equal rights for women

Enl. Criticisms of slavery open way for women to advocate equal rt’s for themselves

Many phil’s (eg., Montesquieu, Voltaire, & Diderot) concede women are rational beings like men

Enl. View that women are closer to nature than men contradictory conclusions:

Women are less rational than men Domestic. defined soc. role

Since nature is good compared to civ.  Women as good as men

Overall a more positive view of women, despite views of Rousseau & Enl. Dr’s that women are distinctly inferior to men,

A

Views by French philosophers on liberty and equality (FC. 100)

Louis XIV’s court at Versailles dominates France socially & intellectually (FC. 95)

French Rev. (FC. 105)

French Rev. (FC. 105)


A day in the life of a lady

FC.100.A ENLIGHTENMENT SALONS & THE CHANGING ROLE OF WOMEN

1600s Women at ct. start holding intellectual salons that attract men of lower status than hostess Hostess controls agenda

1700s Salons move from court’s infl. to more public venues, but still hosted by women which is compatible w/their perceived domest. roles

Hostesses take active part in discussions & even get their own works published Opens way for other women (e.g., Elizabeth Vigee Lebrun)

Many phil’s (eg., Montesquieu, Voltaire, & Diderot) concede women are rational beings like men

Enl. Criticisms of slavery open way for women to advocate equal rt’s for themselves

Mary Wollstonecraft’s “Vindication of the Rights of Women” advocates equal rights for women

Women are less rational than men Domestic. defined soc. role

Since nature is good compared to civ.  Women as good as men

Overall a more positive view of women, despite views of Rousseau & Enl. Dr’s that women are distinctly inferior to men,

Rising involvement of women in Revolution & expectations of more rights

Enl. View that women are closer to nature than men contradictory conclusions:

A

Views by French philosophers on liberty and equality (FC. 100)

Louis XIV’s court at Versailles dominates France socially & intellectually (FC. 95)

French Rev. (FC. 105)

French Rev. (FC. 105)


A day in the life of a lady

FC.100.A ENLIGHTENMENT SALONS & THE CHANGING ROLE OF WOMEN

1600s Women at ct. start holding intellectual salons that attract men of lower status than hostess Hostess controls agenda

1700s Salons move from court’s infl. to more public venues, but still hosted by women which is compatible w/their perceived domest. roles

Mary Wollstonecraft’s “Vindication of the Rights of Women” advocates equal rights for women

Enl. View that women are closer to nature than men contradictory conclusions:

Enl. Criticisms of slavery open way for women to advocate equal rt’s for themselves

Hostesses take active part in discussions & even get their own works published Opens way for other women (e.g., Elizabeth Vigee Lebrun)

Women are less rational than men Domestic. defined soc. role

Since nature is good compared to civ.  Women as good as men

Overall a more positive view of women, despite views of Rousseau & Enl. Dr’s that women are distinctly inferior to men,

Rising involvement of women in Revolution & expectations of more rights

Many phil’s (eg., Montesquieu, Voltaire, & Diderot) concede women are rational beings like men

A

Views by French philosophers on liberty and equality (FC. 100)

Louis XIV’s court at Versailles dominates France socially & intellectually (FC. 95)

French Rev. (FC. 105)

French Rev. (FC. 105)

Napoleon (FC. 105)

Napoleon (FC. 105)


A day in the life of a lady

A

FC.100A ENLIGHTENMENT, REVOLUTION, & WOMEN’S CHANGING ROLES

Views by French philosophers on liberty and equality (FC. 100)

Enl. View that women are closer to nature than men contradictory conclusions:

Enl. Criticisms of slavery open way for women to advocate equal rt’s for themselves

Many phil’s (eg., Montesquieu, Voltaire, & Diderot) concede women are rational beings like men

Women are less rational than men Domestic. defined soc. role

B/c nature compared to civ is good  Women are as good as men

Overall a more positive view of women, despite views of Rousseau & Enl. Dr’s that women are distinctly inferior to men

Louis XIV’s court at Versailles dominates Fr. socially & intellectually (FC. 95)

1600s: Women at ct. start holding intellectual salons that attract men of lower status than hostess Hostess controls agenda

1700s: Salons move from court’s infl. to more public venues, but still hosted by women which is compatible w/their perceived domest. roles

French Rev. (FC. 105)

French Rev. (FC. 105)

Hostesses take active part in discussions & even get their own works published Opens way for other women (e.g., Elizabeth Vigee Lebrun)

Rising involvement of women in Revolution & expectations of more rights reflected in:

M. Wollstonecraft’s “Vindication of the Rights of Women” (1792) advocates equal rts for women

Women’s restrictive corsets & huge powdered wigs replaced by more nat’l Neo-Class. styles

Napoleon (FC. 106)

Napoleon (FC. 106)

Napoleon’s Milit. Cult.Women back in subservient status Greater diff’s b/w sexes as seen in

Women: Return of corsets along w/bustles & hats to cover hair

Men: Facial hair & drab colored clothes except neck ties

Ind. Rev. (FC. 111)

Ind. Rev. (FC. 111)


A day in the life of a lady

A

FC.100A ENLIGHTENMENT, REVOLUTION, & WOMEN’S CHANGING ROLES

Views by French philosophers on liberty and equality (FC. 100)

Enl. View that women are closer to nature than men contradictory conclusions:

Enl. Criticisms of slavery open way for women to advocate equal rt’s for themselves

Many phil’s (eg., Montesquieu, Voltaire, & Diderot) concede women are rational beings like men

Women are less rational than men Domestic. defined soc. role

B/c nature compared to civ is good  Women are as good as men

Overall a more positive view of women, despite views of Rousseau & Enl. Dr’s that women are distinctly inferior to men

Louis XIV’s court at Versailles dominates Fr. socially & intellectually (FC. 95)

1600s: Women at ct. start holding intellectual salons that attract men of lower status than hostess Hostess controls agenda

1700s: Salons move from court’s infl. to more public venues, but still hosted by women which is compatible w/their perceived domest. roles

French Rev. (FC. 105)

French Rev. (FC. 105)

Hostesses take active part in discussions & even get their own works published Opens way for other women (e.g., Elizabeth Vigee Lebrun)

Rising involvement of women in Revolution & expectations of more rights reflected in:

M. Wollstonecraft’s “Vindication of the Rights of Women” (1792) advocates equal rts for women

Women’s restrictive corsets & huge powdered wigs replaced by more nat’l Neo-Class. styles

Napoleon (FC. 106)

Napoleon (FC. 106)

Napoleon’s Milit. Cult.Women back in subservient status Greater diff’s b/w sexes as seen in

Women: Return of corsets along w/bustles & hats to cover hair

Men: Facial hair & drab colored clothes except neck ties

Ind. Rev. (FC. 111)

Ind. Rev. (FC. 111)


A day in the life of a lady

A

FC.100A ENLIGHTENMENT, REVOLUTION, & WOMEN’S CHANGING ROLES

Views by French philosophers on liberty and equality (FC. 100)

Enl. View that women are closer to nature than men contradictory conclusions:

Enl. Criticisms of slavery open way for women to advocate equal rt’s for themselves

Many phil’s (eg., Montesquieu, Voltaire, & Diderot) concede women are rational beings like men

Women are less rational than men Domestic. defined soc. role

B/c nature compared to civ is good  Women are as good as men

Overall a more positive view of women, despite views of Rousseau & Enl. Dr’s that women are distinctly inferior to men

Louis XIV’s court at Versailles dominates Fr. socially & intellectually (FC. 95)

1600s: Women at ct. start holding intellectual salons that attract men of lower status than hostess Hostess controls agenda

1700s: Salons move from court’s infl. to more public venues, but still hosted by women which is compatible w/their perceived domest. roles

French Rev. (FC. 105)

French Rev. (FC. 105)

Hostesses take active part in discussions & even get their own works published Opens way for other women (e.g., Elizabeth Vigee Lebrun)

Rising involvement of women in Revolution & expectations of more rights reflected in:

M. Wollstonecraft’s “Vindication of the Rights of Women” (1792) advocates equal rts for women

Women’s restrictive corsets & huge powdered wigs replaced by more nat’l Neo-Class. styles

Napoleon (FC. 106)

Napoleon (FC. 106)

Napoleon’s Milit. Cult.Women back in subservient status Greater diff’s b/w sexes as seen in

Women: Return of corsets along w/bustles & hats to cover hair

Men: Facial hair & drab colored clothes except neck ties

Ind. Rev. (FC. 111)

New factors that allow women to work for equal rights (FC. 114)

Ind. Rev. (FC. 111)


A day in the life of a lady

The question of “nurture versus nature” (are we products of our inborn natures or the environment) has sparked debate through the ages. It has assumed especial significance in the debate over how different men are from women. Throughout most of history, the assumption was that men simply had abilities that were both different and superior to those of women. However, the work of Helvetius and the nineteenth century philosopher, John Stuart Mill, who followed Helvetius’ idea, helped open the door for an argument in favor of women’s equality.

John Locke

Helvetius


A day in the life of a lady

Playing off this idea, an Englishman, Jeremy Bentham, came up with a philosophy known as Utilitarianism, claiming that if we provide a perfect environment for people, it will create perfect humans. Thus Bentham advocated a wide range of reforms affecting everything from postal services to prisons.

Bentham even claimed he could use calculus to quantify how much pleasure someone got from a particular experience.

Jeremy Bentham


A day in the life of a lady

However, in the 1800s experiments on peas by an Austrian monk, Gregor Mendel, led to the field of genetics, which swung the pendulum back toward the idea that everyone’s own innate personalities and abilities are determined by our genes.

Gregor Mendel


A day in the life of a lady

In the 20th century, the pendulum swung back again toward the “nurture” side of the argument. This was based largely on the work of B.F.Skinner who did experiments on rats and pigeons, using positive reinforcement to encourage them to learn various tasks such as finding their way through a maze at the end of which was a reward in the form of food.

B.F. Skinner


A day in the life of a lady

Skinner’s work especially resonated in the 1970s with advocates of the Women’s Liberation Movement, since it seemed to minimize any innate differences between men and women. Therefore, much in the spirit of Jeremy Bentham’s Utilitarianism, the idea emerged that if boys and girls were raised in a gender neutral environment, boys would be less aggressive and violent and girls would be more assertive in traditional “male” environments, such as the classroom and workplace.

The attitude toward gender neutral childcare still has a political edge to it as suggested by this cartoon. Some people claim it could undermine the moral fabric of our society.


A day in the life of a lady

However, the pendulum has been swinging back toward the nature argument. Recent scientific research shows significant differences in men’s and women’s brain structures. These differences affect such things as motor and spatial skills, how we communicate with each other, and the incidence of learning disabilities. Many of the differences stem from the introduction of large amounts of testosterone into a male fetus, which helps explain some statistical differences in brain function between the two gender-groups.


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