Also called the Declaration of the Rights of Woman and Citizen

The French Revolution brought about radical changes in the traditional political and intellectual establishment. As such, it gave rise to an assertiveness in French women. Middle class woman, Olympe de Gouges, was among those who felt the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen in 1789 did not go far enough. In 1791 she wrote a letter to protest the continued unequal position of women. She addressed it to the Queen, Marie-Antoinette, rather than King Louis XVI or the national assembly, demanding political and social rights for women.

Her letter to the Queen called for the Queen's aid:

It will never be a crime for you to work for the restoration of customs, to give your sex all the firmness of which it is capable. This is not the work of one day, unfortunately for the new regime. This revolution will happen only when all women are aware of their deplorable fate, and of the rights they have lost in society]. Madame, support such a beautiful cause; defend this unfortunate sex, and soon you will have half the realm on your side, and at least one-third of the other half.

The entire text can easily be found by typing "The Declaration of the Rights of Woman" into any search engine.

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