Title

Olympe de Gouges and Qiu Jin: The Revolutionary Women of France and China

Class Year

2013

Access Type

Archival Only

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department or Program

Independent Program

First Advisor

Sumita Choudhury

Second Advisor

Peipei Qiu

Abstract

The extent to which the reform movements of revolutionary China and France “emancipated” women is difficult to assess. In many ways, French and Chinese women both benefited greatly from the sociopolitical changes wrought by the reformist ideologies of these periods in their respective countries. The public discourse surrounding revolution allowed female perspectives emerge from the domestic sphere and into the mainstream political community. Two women in particular, Olympe de Gouges and Qiu Jin, became notable enough to have their subversive voices silenced, once more, by their oppressive governments and subsequently be heralded as ground- breaking feminist thinkers in their respective societies. This report attempts to analyze how these two revolutionary feminist authors were able to capitalize on the newfound opportunities to voice their ideologies to their fellow countrymen and why, despite the vast physical and temporal distance between them, their methods so often resembled each other. To what extent did knowledge of revolution abroad affect their visions of revolution at home? To what extent were thy able to break away from the ideas of the past?

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