Chapter

“Playing the Princess”

Susan Grogan

in The New Biography

Published by University of California Press

Published in print April 2000 | ISBN: 9780520221406
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520935310 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520221406.003.0003
“Playing the Princess”

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During the early nineteenth century, philosophers and moralists increasingly emphasized the differentiation between sexes, and between the social roles they should play and the social spheres they should occupy. Women's role was increasingly defined as a “private” one, removed from the exercise of public authority or influence, and a variety of arguments was presented to justify their exclusion from the public arena. A highly gendered notion of revolutionary “virtue” further justified the political authority of men in the new régime. Male virtue rested on disinterestedness, on adherence to abstract principles, and pursuit of the general personal cost. Female virtue lay in fostering the happiness of those near and dear to the woman and in the emotional connectedness that ran counter to dispassionate public decision making.

Keywords: gender; Flora Tristan; female; male; activist; virtue

Chapter.  11255 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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