A curious analysis from Pierre Rosanvallon about the privitization of women and sentimentality of family constructed by the French Revolution–the biological function of women and the place of the family interfered with the immediacy and individuality sought by the revolutionaries themselves.

… the resistance to granting political rights to women in France derives a specific character from the fact that sexual difference, institutionalized in the family, could not be seen as constituting the equivalent of an ‘intermediate body.’  In other words, the gendered condition of men and women could not be recognized in the public sphere, for to do so would have been to concede that the public sphere did not transcend all differences.  Hence there were only two ways of looking at the gendered condition.  Either it was subsumed by a form of radical individualism, thus in a sense positing that sexual difference was merely one social construct among others; or it was ‘privatized’ or ‘functionalized,’ by which I mean that the family was posited as the only true cell of society, so that the social individual consisted of a man and a woman. … If the gendered condition could not be subsumed in and absolute individualism, then the political exclusion of the revolutionary period can be understood as a reaction to the unprecedented upheaval that such absolute individualism would have implied. (The Demands of Liberty)

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