A Republican Housewife: Marie‐Jeanne Phlipon Roland on Women's Political Role

Hypatia 31 (1):107-122 (2016)
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In this paper I look at the philosophical struggles of one eighteenth-century woman writer to reconcile a desire and obvious capacity to participate in the creation of republican ideals and their applications on the one hand, and on the other a deeply held belief that women's role in a republic is confined to the domestic realm. I argue that Marie-Jeanne Phlipon Roland's philosophical writings—three unpublished essays, published and unpublished letters, as well as parts of her memoirs—suggest that even though she adopted a Rousseau-style rural republicanism that relies on complementarity of men and women's virtues, she somehow succeeds in proposing a less sexist picture of the republican family, one that makes it possible for men and women to take an equal part in family business and politics



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