The article starts talking about the patriarchy of the society, stating that in divorce men were often granted sole custody of their children. Rogers then quickly introduces the Napoleonic Code, explaining that it restricted women's rights within the family. This gave women a different degree of autonomy that redefined their relationships with not only the family, but also the state. In the thesis of her introduction, Rogers informs that like Hesse and Dean she is "interested in women's writings and social practices and how these created opportunities for women in the first three decades of the new century."
In her main body, Rogers explains the reservations held towards women's involvement in intellectual studies, whether they be private or public. In particular, Napoleon felt women needed to be "contained" and controlled. Following this, Rogers cites three women- Francoise Therese Antoinette Le Groing la Maisonneuve, Albertine-Adrinne Necker de Saussure, and Claire-Elise Jeanne Gravier de Vergennes. These women were all educated, but their evenutal viewpoints still conflicted concerning the education of women, especially with the onset of the Revolution. The revolution changed everything for women, and Rogers makes a point of this: Women were not in a new political order, and as such many strove to elevate their status.
In Roger's conclusion, she wraps up by saying that the "reconstruction of the family" in the first decades of the first century was both a symbolic and a material problem. Literature reflected this by "(authors placed their) heroines in situations that force them to confront and to conform to new standards of bourgeoisie femininity." Due to this, women felt more able to challenge their status. This gave them a new place in the world, though their new place was labeled simply a "social space" that "by midcentury, the nuances were largely lost, and historians have rushed perhaps too quickly to accept the division of public and private that the Revolution and the Napoleonic Code seemed to reinforce. Moreover, these intellectual constructs pose problems for understanding the role of more social spaces, such as schools."
The End. :)
Categories: Education, Work, Gender, Families, Politics