Olympe de Gouges’s 1791 declaration of women’s rights

Olympe de Gouges’s first-wave feminism and her The Declaration of the Rights of Woman (1791). The first two items:

“1. Woman is born free and remains equal to man in rights. Social distinctions may be based only on common utility.
2. The purpose of all political association is the preservation of the natural and imprescriptible rights of woman and man. These rights are liberty, property, security, and especially resistance to oppression.”

More here and here.

Her inspiration in part was Thomas Jefferson’s 1776 Declaration. Jefferson also had this to say about women, commenting on their status in primitive societies in comparison to what civilized societies should strive for:

“The women are submitted to unjust drudgery. This I believe is the case with every barbarous people. With such, force is law. The stronger sex therefore imposes on the weaker. It is civilization alone which replaces women in the enjoyment of their natural equality.”

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