AP Euro Women



1300 - 1550

Christine de Pisan was the first feminist and in the 14th century began writing with the beginning of querelles des femmes.
A humanist education was given to well educated girls however they were considered ornaments for upper class husbands according to Castiglione.
Isabella d'este was a patron of the arts during the renaissance and provided a model for women working in small ways in courts

post - Black Death matrimonial practices


Earlier marriages after Black Death, more readily conceived children and widows hold property

Age of Exploration/Colonialization

Approx. 1400 - Approx. 1700

Many men left Spain for Mexico in hope to acquire landed estates, and some wives accompany them
Many ordinary European women find new opportunities for marriage since there is a lack of white women in New World
Women also find themselves rich once husband die unexpectedly since lot of violence in America. Women own about 25% of land estates in 1700

Joan of Arc

1412 - 1431

fought for France and helped them win but accused for heresy and burned at stake made saint in 1920

Scientific Revolution

1500 - 1700

Women were seen as inferior to men as male superiority was "proven" using scientific reasoning and evidence such as the fact that women had smaller skulls and wider hips. Many women at the time were not allowed to participate in scientific debates and were kept out of the scientific circle, but a few female scientists managed to contribute to the scientific field even if they were not appreciated for it.

Protestant Reformation

1517 - 1648

Family life became more central in Protestantism since priests could marry and mutual love between husband and wife was important however this was not reality and the traditional views persisted of obedience to her husband and taking care of her children
Calvin and Luther believed that the function of women was part of the divine plan as their punishment for the sins of Eve is to nurture and feed their children
Protestantism even removed the woman as the leader of religion in her home since the father was the ruler now
Women were however allowed to read the Bible so some education was allowed to them

Querelles des Femmes

Approx. 1530 - 1540

arguments about the nature and value of women; men use male-dominated science to prove male superiority over women and view them just a child bearers to take care of children and that men were smarter than them and had to control them, while women argued against male images of women that they were equal in mind to men and that didn’t need male authority since were pious, chaste and temperate while also emphasizing that education for women was the key to women’s ability to move in to the world, but scientific revolution more reaffirmed the roles of women and men
(extended from 1500 into the later part of the 19th century)

Margaret Cavendish

1623 - 1673

was an aristocrat who participated in important scientific debated for her time, but was still excluded from membership in the Royal Society because she was a woman although she attended a meeting once. Wrote a number of works on scientific matters, like Observations upon Experimental Philosophy and Grounds of Natural Philosophy in 1668 where she attacked the defects of the rationalist and empiricist approaches to scientific knowledge and was critical to the growing belief that through science, humans would be master of nature. A good example of the women in England and France who worked in science since those in Germany had different experience and could participate in observational science

Maria Merian

1647 - 1717

established a reputation as important entomologist by beginning of 18th century. Received her training from working in father’s workshop where learned art of illustration which helped her exact observations of insects and plants. Published Metamorphosis of the Insects of Surinam which was inspired by her expedition to Dutch colony of Surinam and used illustrations to show reproductive and developmental cycles of Surinam’s insect life


1650 - 1800

Women could not actively debate in Enlightenment issues but many women owned salons such as Madame Geoffrin and Madame Michelin. These served as places where renowned Enlightenment thinkers could go and discuss their ideas
Women were allowed to open up saloons where the arts and science could be discussed but women were also seen as a corrupt force that must be controlled
Salons appeared in beginning of 17th century but rose to new heights in 18th century elegant drawing rooms with women as hosts inviting Enlightenment thinkers to come discuss their ideas freely
Decline in number of women who remain unmarried during childbearing years also increase population growth
Parents, esp. fathers still select marriage partners for children based on interests of family
Lower-class women serve as wet nurses; even middle class artisans had them but it later declined
Children still seen as burden health risk to mother, economic burden to the point where they were abandoned or killed (laws were passed against it)
Leaving children in foundling homes and hospitals more common than infanticide (killing) but overcrowded to child mortality high
Nuclear family- newly married couples who establish own household independent of their parents become common
To save enough to establish own households, both men and women outside aristocracy marry late (in mid to late 20s) which impose limits on birthrate
Among working classes, contributions of women and children to “family economy” crucial since helped in the field parents major in, and women would hold jobs to help family, but the harvests or downturn in employment in cities reduced people to poverty and begging
Many men (including Rousseau) argued that female constitution destined women to be mothers and caused some writers to be critical of attempts some women made in the Enlightenment when writing about intellectual issues since they thought women were intellectually inferior to men
Diderot and Voltaire believed women are capable of same things men are in intellectual affairs
Mary Astell was the daughter of wealthy English coal merchant that made specific suggestions to improve conditions of women, in A Serious Proposal to the Ladies wrote that women needed to become better educated to become equal to men, and in Some Reflections upon Marriage she argued for equality of genders in marriage
Mary Wollstonecraft made strongest statement for women rights and is viewed as the founder of European feminism. Wrote Vindication for the Rights of Women where pointed out Enlightenment thinker contradictions of the view of women by saying women following men is wrong if they believe people following a monarch is wrong, and that if all things have reason so do women
Since women were hostesses of salons, they could affect the decisions of kings, sway political opinion, and influence literary and artistic taste
Marie-Therese de Geoffrin was a wealthy bourgeois widow who welcomed encyclopedists to salon and offer financial assistance to complete the work in secret. Rivaled with the marquise de Deffand who attracted many Enlightenment figures to her salons
Although salons run by women, status of salon depended on the stature of the male attendees able to attract but declined in popularity during French rev. as French and foreign observers complained that females exert influence in French political affairs
Family was individual center and patriarchial

Maria Winkelmann

1670 - 1720

German astronomer who was educated by father and uncle and received advanced training in astronomy from a nearby self-taught astronomer, and became husband’s assistant at astronomical observatory of Berlin by the Academy of Science. Discovered a comet, but when husband died and tried to apply for assistant for astronomer she was overqualified for, they reject her because she was a woman

Peter the Great

1682 - 1725

During Peter the Great’s reign women were benefitted since in the West women were allowed to mix freely with men in social gatherings so upper class Russian women were allowed to mingle with men and were allowed to get rid of their traditional veils. They could also now marry of their own free will

Georgian style

1714 - 1830

The Georgian style allowed for more separation amongst the upper and lower floors since the lower floors were used for entertaining, dining, and leisure while the upper floors were more for privacy and housing; even servants had their own sector now
Although the style initially reflected a masculine interest, the influence of women grew like how the drawing room became a room for women to retreat to for their own conversations

Female Spectator

1744 - 1746

Magazines grew and Joseph Addison and Richard Steele;s Spectator had a strong appeal to women and some magazines were aimed specifically at women such as The Female Spectator by Eliza Haywood

Olympe de Gouges

1748 - 1793

Olympe de Gouges was a female playwright and pamphleteer who refused to accept exclusion of women from political rights that declaration state; wrote Declaration of the Rights of Woman and the Female Citizen that insisted women should have same rights as men; National Assembly ignore her and she is killed during the radical phase

French Revolution

1789 - 1799

women were important in the beginning phases of the revolution such as the March on Versailles . The Women’s March to Versailles: (Oct. 5,1789) crowds of thousands of Parisian women who had finished marching to the Hôtel de Ville(city hall) for bread marched toward Versailles for king and National Assembly to complain to king because they need bread for their children, the National Guard followed them there and the king agreed to their demands after they raided the palace; insist royal family to return to Paris. Escorted King to the Palace of Tuileries on Oct. 6 with wagonloads of flour from palace stores and the guards heads on pikes. However many men did not like women being involved in politics so they discouraged the revolutionary women even though they were a huge help.
In the Radical phase divorce was easier for men and women, fathers had less control over their children (no prison), and all children could inherit property
Charlotte Corday killed John Marat (bathtub guy) hoping that hings will get less extreme in the Revolution (she's from the countryside)

Industrial Revolution

1790 - 1850

The new middle class woman had to find something to do with their time so they decided to stick their noses in the business of the lower classes.
Religion used to teach people how to read through middle class women’s movements such as the Sunday School Movement
Two main things pushed by middle class woman:
1. The Social Question- ppl figuring out how to make their society stable again after industrialization; series of question applied to society (what now to do with society, what role of the people in society, laissez faire vs morality); was the expression reflecting the widely shared concern over post-industrial changes to society; Mainly pushed by mid-class women pushing for reform to improve society from the IR (reacted/try to solve new issues brought up by IR (society, art, literature, religion respond to IR problems); Mainly focus on what now to do with colonial people and how to reform society and mind to be new (slavery)
2. Temperance Movement- social problem, religiously fueled, if we get rid of alcohol consumption, society will become better; especially females (carry Nation- smashed the alcohol bottles and said she had a vision from God telling her to); try to prohibit alcohol (ex Carrie Hatchet america); Lower class targeted by middle class since saw alcohol as source of problems of society and occur from weakness of lower class); secular push for education occurred; strong Christian movement
Saint-Simon- free love, - socialist france, utopian France socialists, setup society, baby steps towards communism, emancipate women
Fourier- socialist france, utopian France socialists, setup society, rotate jobs, emancipate women (emancipation for Women’s rights), baby steps towards communism
Charlotte Bronte- perspective of how it was like to live as a female during IR; wrote Jane Eyre to show women’s options in life, and what you could be (esp lower class women) or lack of options (Romantic)
Cult of Domesticity- women to stay in private sphere, Victorian women, expected to stay at home, dainty, proper, women are incapable of working like men; women should know place in society by being pretty and doll-like; try to figure out where women fit in role; address place for women in society (public or private sphere)
“Victorian” women- upper class (what the individual woman should look and sound like, quiet, pretty, put on pedestal in a nice looking way) (talk about women things only); act ladylike, charming, light, opposite of men (seen as morally superior of men since don’t like sex)

National Convention

1792 - 1795

Women made their demands known to the National Convention (France)

Society for Revolutionary Republican Women in Paris


In 1793 an actress and a chocolate manufacturer founded the Society for Revolutionary Republican Women who say themselves (working-class) as a “family of sisters” who would rush to defend the fatherland
Despite their importance revolutionaries still disliked women’s involvement in political matters and even outlawed women’s club; they thought it went against nature and it was not normal

Napoleon Becomes Emporer/ Civic Code

1804 - 1815

No official code until Nap created 7 most important is Civic Code; Most of the French Revolution legislation was gone under Napoleon. Fathers’ control over the family was restored and women were treated as minors in court making it extremely difficult for them to able to get a divorce.
The Civil Code abolished a lot of women’s rights since women were now listed as minors in court and it was much more difficult for them to gain a divorce. Men could easily divorce their wives and put them in prison for adultery while a woman had to prove that her husband was keeping the mistress in their house. It also reestablished father’s as having control over the family, so a the patriarchy was reinforced putting women less than men. In fact, in court their testimonies were even counted as less than those of men.

Flora Tristen


Combined socialism and feminism for complete equality advocation in the women's union in 1845 but she was ignored

2nd Industrial Revolution

1850 - 1900

Florence Nightingale enforced strict sanitary conditions for the soldiers and set up nursing as a profession for trained, middle-class women; she made sure the British losses in the Crimean War weren’t as large as they could have been without the sanitation
Vera Zasulich became part of Land and Freedom after she worked as a clerk (daughter of poor nobleman) she shot and wounded the governor-general of St. Petersburg; she was put on trial but acquitted by a sympathetic jury
Elizabeth Blackwell (1821-1910)- achieved the first major breakthrough for women in medicine; although she had been admitted to the Geneva College of Medicine in New York by mistake, Blackwell’s perseverance and intelligence won her the respect of her fellow male students; received her M.D. degree in 1849 and eventually established a clinic in New York City
Separate universities for women were created in the medicinal field and even after they got their degree it was extremely difficult to get a license
In Britain, Parliament passed a bill in 1876 giving women the right to take qualifying examinations and then more colleges admitted them except Austria and Germany who did not do it in the 1890s but did so after 1900 but women were not treated as equals
Concept of Working Class hero (manly) since women wondering when they will take part in the social revolution but men do not want them to be in the union because women would dilute the heroic struggle of men and their masculinity; even the group that is voting for women suffrage is mostly misogynistic; Mayday is made to honor the laborer
Department stores- embodiment of consumerism; Many things in disarray and overwhelming with lots of stuff to make people buy things u don't need/didn't go for at the first thing for (impulse buys). These are targeted at middle class women because they have the most time to shop.
Match Girls: fighting against the fining system that says that if you are 1-2 minutes late then they are forced to work for free; huge success because the press starts blowing it up and the company owner caves in getting rid of the fine and giving a bunch of other commissions
Solidarity – housewives, neighborhoods help out; bring new rural women in and protect the children during strikes from being taken by the police and if you are kicked out they will find you a new place; do it so they have more backing
Aletta Jacobs – Birth Control (Dutch physician (doctor) (promoted German invented diaphragms (birth control) allows women to decide whether they want to have children or not) (used to be that more children were better but now children suck the money; financial burden (church says no since you can’t have something between them; social reformers say if we let women to have this no strings attached sex would lead women to do what they want., etc. (start having certain jobs not for women like bar maids and pottery))
Between 1870 and 1890, Marianne North, an unmarried English woman traveled the globe several times as a botanical illustrator and “plant hunter” (on her own or govt. supported searched the world to find plants to classify, grow, and put to commercial use); discovered 5 species and organized a permanent museum in London to display her botanical drawings to the public (wanted to promote ordinary people’s knowledge of the British Empire)
Due to the formation of the best circles political marriage became common between the upper and middle class in order to form a more elite upper class
Upper class Women see themselves as upper-class elite and emphasize the Cult of domesticity since they are the masters in this domain
Rigorous standards of etiquette are introduced and enforced by the ladies of the households; they decide how to dress, what servants do; show off lavish wealth and how feminine you are; teach children and themselves and reinforce the gender roles since they will watch their daughter more than their sons; makes sure the daughters are chaste and sons can go and do what they want but not daughters
Piano mania- (keys can be made of ivory) show power and prowess through the pianos since the women can go and play the piano for their guests or have their servants play
Women play sports too but individual sports like riding on their own; some women push against the women are frail theory and do gymnastics and pick up eastern traditions like yoga (they help make better babies more flexible and strength)
Women played many recreational sports now as well

pre WW1

1850 - 1914

Lots of tension in society since lots of controversial topics like homosexuality and women’s rights
Philosophy: Dreams reveal hidden personality / desires; talking about your problems are accepted (women talk about what it feels like to be a women and unwanted sexual advances; Pankejeff says that the cure is that women are envious of the men’s body and they are making up stories about rape which are not true); Views on sex are that incestual urges constantly suppressed (something that is not really accepted)
Birthrate falling (don’t need children as a farmhand (due to tech); people in cities can have sex without having a baby so it’s all right) (Blame women for it) Female “birth strike” (think females are trying to have less children on purpose), birth control
Birthrate controversy; Less masculine (military risk) (is our man not manly enough to have children; politicians use this by saying they will deal with the ethnicities and the women if they get the power); “best” class could shrink (since working class has more children and maybe they are breeding the weakness)
Proposed solutions = Eugenics (prevent breeding of who you believe isn’t worthy of breeding); Marriage reform (maybe women should have a little more control in marriage), Financial equality(women can own their property and they can also go to a job without their husband’s approval (in Sweden)), divorce easier (in France)
Some middle class and upper class women were allowed higher education and to go into occupations that were occupied by men
Teaching was the first profession to be opened up to women and soon teaching was seen as a women’s job and soon nursing followed
New Women = Jobs (money for herself; can live on her own)! Education (women going into white-collar jobs like teachers (so teaching becomes a woman’s job)!
Dress in practical fashion (less petticoats and less corsets); Have leisure with sports
Ex: Maria Montessori (1870-1952) gets a medical degree and learns all about child development and applies it to education and makes a new school called the Montessori schools saying women can make their mark on the world; there are still restrictions)
Women want many different rights (in most countries can’t vote, go to political parties,education) but decide to focus on Suffrage (then other rights will come later)
Bertha Von Suttner – writes a book (Law Down Your Arms) showing how war is bad and maybe we should stick with Pacifism; maybe women can keep the men out of war)
Mainly middle class activists that pressure governments, create organizations, and organize parades, protests
Millicent Garrett Fawcett (British suffragette) (1847-1899) reform Parliament from the inside for women’s rights (work through the system)
Susan B. Anthony(American) – IWSA (International Women’s Suffrage Alliance) speaks a lot and writes a lot (argument is that long time ago women give up their rights in return for men’s protection and Susan says that we are still giving up our rights but men are not upholding their end of the argument)
Emmaline Pankhurst(British suffragette) – WSPU(Women’s Social and Political Union) women will get nowhere if they do not use violence (starve themselves, smash railroads, chain themselves to Parliament gates, run in front of horses during a race (usually middle class women and don’t get what they want, except Finland (go Finland))

Napoleon III

1852 - 1870

He emphasized the court life and masculinity. This furthered the common perception of the dominance of men over women and further emphasized women’s role in the domestic sphere alone. This of course was not new and the view of a paternalistic government in that the leader knows best was common before the Second Empire as well. There was also the effect of the Paris Commune which further put down women.
In 1871, Paris wanted a self-governing commune in every major French city but it was a weak commune and everyone keeps disagreeing. Soon the Provisional govt sent in the army to crush the Paris Commune. The Paris Commune lasted for 2 months, but their most radical statement was woman’s suffrage. After the Paris Commune was put down, women were blamed for the radically socialist government further degrading the position of women in France during the 1850s to the 1870s

Doctrine of ImmaculateConception


Women – more pious and attend church; 1854- Doctrine of Immaculate Conception claims that the Virgin Mary birthed Jesus without sex meaning she was free of original sin; only human being free of original sin and she is a woman so its big

Suffrage (Finland)


Finland was the first country to grant female suffrage in 1906, Austria, Britian, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, Germany, Iceland, Netherlands, Norway, and Russia

Simone de Beauvoir

1908 - 1986

writes The Second Sex about women not making the necessary decisions to be meaningful in life (women becomes object if you just accept the men’s ideals)

World War I

1914 - 1918

Social order upset (International Women’s denounce war but no one listens); Women step up to help so join labor / industry for war (women make tanks, guns, women are going to work alongside men, work better than men, shame men but are still payed less; open’s up women’s suffrage) (nurses, educators, drivers (ambulance, etc))

post World War 1

1920 - 1930

Women are criticized for being too feminine (taking money and buying dresses) and not feminine enough (working in the industries) for first time women are threatening men), Hold down homes
Europe in turmoil as Soldier / worker protests (soldiers coming to the Homefront who are broken; decisions do women keep their rights and do men take back their jobs, do women want these broken men)
New Economic Policy (NEP) leads to Freer market & trade for economy (capitalism) and it encourages production; food and goods available, Workers Opposition; feel NEP only helps agriculture but they are crushed and leads to purge guidelines followed by millions of Soviets dying, goes against Marxist ideals, push literacy and hygiene, maximize production, Aleksandra Kollontal pushes for birth control, literacy, and daycares and in Soviet Russia (divorce, abortion, and birth control are readily available) Zhenotdel (Women’s democracy eliminate the patriarchal govt. of the rural and Islamic communities and although there is resistance they win because they are backed by the state)
Uses aggressive propaganda campaign (masculinity crisis (put men in that place and makes men feel good about themselves), get women back into the kitchen and says they are beautiful there and are respected there)
Installment Plans! (take car and pay in installments but people are spending money they do not have); New Technology! (Radio, refrigerators, gas stoves, vacuums) (nice for women because since they are housewives they have more leisure time since the food takes less time and so does cleaning)
Society 1920’s- Some feel disenfranchised, Soldiers returning are angry due to no jobs (women took their jobs), lack of support at end of war, seen as “killers” and shells of what they used to be, injured (mentally and physically)
Classes have been blurred in this war (Rudyard Kipling (whose son dies) fights for military graves (equality in the tombs)
Gov’ts try to “Return to Normalcy” (women should go back home from the factories; go back to traditional but roaring 20’s can’t be stopping)
Women had gained suffrage and more independence(like the new idea of flapper women who had more time and were less conservative)

Great Depression

1929 - 1939

Banks fail as money is withdrawn (invested your money and can only pay the money for some people and the others can’t have money), loans not repaid (downward spiral for everything); Leads to the collapse of the world economy as everyone needs to repay America (not good) (men more effected because the heavy industry jobs are lost so women’s jobs not really effected, women the bread bringer and men facing a crisis of masculinity; this crisis of masculinity is used by Mussolini and Hitler)
In Italy and Germany Hitler and Mussolini pushed the women back into the domestic sphere by claiming they were beautiful and belonged there

World War II

1939 - 1945

Allied countries = TOTAL WAR; citizens well informed, do their part
women to factories (2.5 million join the war front (also in Britain but in Russia women have full involvement of women, women bombers (Night Witches (horrible planes but they turn off engine, glide, drop bombs, and glide out), snipers, pilots), rationing, buying bonds (encouraged to hold on to baking grease to make more T&T (Americans commit) (Britain is able to go from working to hiding from bombs to working) (Russia able to move the factories and build the tanks as immediately as they can; Stalin encourages by saying believe in God and fight for Mother Russia if not for communism)
Axis (Doesn’t work for Germany, German women do not comply in the same way because first few years women are not to be in factories but then later on they don’t want to go and Japanese women are never involved in the war effort) (axis powers never have as much industrial output as the allies)

post WW2

1945 - 1950

Denazification; Eliminate conspirators (before these trials there was vigilante justice (if they found out if you were a collaborator or a nazi they would kill you (if you are low ranking) or carve a swastika or sheer the head) (In Russia once the Red army went into Germany there were a bunch of rapes (Russian excuse is that the Nazis did worse and even the women should know they are not innocent)
Welfare State Developing; Gov’t responsible for well being of citizens (primary forefront; wellfare state gets huge push because birth rate too low and living conditions need improvement; gender bias becomes more apparent)
Want good health, large population; give – medical benefits, pensions, day care, energy, housing…etc (give as much as you can to women so they can be housewives; gear the women to staying home because they get maternity leaves so jobs do not hire them; leads West Germany to have a high percentage of old women who are poor (pension is cut when you are married)

Cold War

1947 - 1991

Soviet Bloc; Mostly farms, heavy labor (wages do increase, but women work more on the eastern side of the iron curtain doing unwanted jobs like garbage cleaning (80-95%))
West: Break from traditional values (untraditional is that the new conqueror is the man but role of women is still traditional (faints at the man and calls and flirts, but still subservient to man)
Inequalities remain (glass ceiling that there is an invisible boundary for women, don’t get equal pay for equal work)(doesn’t eliminate domestic abuse (more American women killed by boyfriends and husbands than terrorism in 21st century)
The Pill brought up the question of whether you should have sex so freely; the church opposed it
Throughout the 1960s and 70s divorce rates, birth control. and abortion rates were given/increased

National Organization of Woman


Women’s Movement, NOW (first wave of Betty Friedan (Feminine Mystique (1963) interviews with housewives who say they are very unhappy because they want more freedom which creates NOW (National Organization of Women (equal work, pay, abortion and domestic abuse rights, social equality and treatment) (include gays and lesbians to fight for decriminalization of sex and love; very boundary pushing; in Catholic Italy you get more birth control, abortion, divorce, etc.)