EUROPEAN WOMEN’S HISTORY
Women, just like men, had immense contribution to the different aspects of society and therefore the freedom and liberty that many celebrate and enjoy today is attributed to their contribution as well. In that regard, many women made a mark in history through their various contributions and most notably during the enlightenment period falling within late 17th century to the late 18th century. The crux of this paper will be to scrutinize the public status o women from the view points of Germaine de Stael and Marie de Rabutin. It is without a doubt that Germaine de Stael and Marie de Rabutin differed in opinion with regard to public status of women.
From the onset, it is important to appreciate that both made contributions in different respect and therefore earned themselves a place in European women history. Both women had great influence during their times and times that followed and both used writing as means of addressing their views o matters of society. They also enjoyed different forums in the saloons where they articulated their views
According to Kelcey (2011)Germaine de Stael also known as Mme de Stael made great impact in the society through various writings that were synonymous with her and made her famous. Throughout her life she interacted with many people who helped in shaping her life and ideologies. Her greatest contribution was evident in 1788 when she wrote and commended the works of J. Rousseau. Moreover, she agreed with the thinker that women and men experienced passionate love naturally. Similarly, falling for passionate love was not ill because it was the natural thing to do. Mme de Stael’s works progressed into the French revolution. During that time she propagated a view that liberty and tolerance among members of different religions was the only way to progress the society since it would allow for development of literature.
Bock argues that (2011) Marie de Rabutin postulated that women should partake of the passion presented by love. According to her humanity were give love by God and should make use of. Similarly, she argued that love is great and defines the human structure; love cannot be ignored since its presence in the society works to shape the human relationships and interactions. Marie de Rabutin used her solon to advance her view points on various areas. She believed that women had a big role in the society and this is demonstrated in hers ability to convey that ideology to her a daughter through the numerous letters she did to her. Her personal life was a demonstration of her philosophical viewpoints. After the death of her husband, she opted not to marry and this could explain her reasonability that love is precious and doe not come easily or in vein. To her love provided incorruptible status that cannot be compromised that was evident in her own admission that she posed a feeling of love through emotions in a big way. For example, through a letter to her daughter she admits that she is very sentimental to the point of madness and saw the love to her daughter comparable to idolatry.
According to Gordon (2011) Germaine de Stael introduced the concept of woman genius. In other words, the viewpoint presented was the sophistication attached to women. Her works even after her death continued to motivate many women since she presented to them that they too have a n opportunity to shine and seek the pleasures of life as she did during her time. During the enlightenment period, women did not have many rights as their rights were at the mercies of men. Yet, in those tough times women like Germaine de Stael maneuvered to make a mark in life. Through the works of Germaine de Stael, she indicated her position and proved to stand ground in the midst of challenges. For example, she championed vies that did go well with Napoleon. Despite the confrontation and disagreement that saw her run to exile, she stood her ground and continued to champion her concept of woman genus.
According to Gado (2006) despite her marriage and subsequent children, she did not loose focus on what she wanted. Her life and works portrayed women as partakers of the good that life has to offer. In this respect, she visited her mother saloon when she was young and sooner rose and got married to an ambassador. She advanced the concept of intellectual amongst women of her times and times that followed.
Despite both Germaine de Stael and Marie de Rabutin advocating for the potion and role of women in the society, Germaine de Stael advocated genius and intellectual ability among the women folk while Marie de Rabutin saw women as precious who deserved to love and be loved. It is important to note that era that the two ladies prevailed were tough times for ladies. The women of those times were grappling with social injustice that had been inherited in the previous regimes. For example, they did not get opportunity to go to school and were required to serve their husbands. The forums that women offered through the saloons were ample even though the approach and philosophy of the two women were different. One notable difference between de Stael and Marie de Rabutin was that de Stael congregated both men and women together and gave them a forum to share and learn of her ideas. On the other hand, Marie de Rabutin tended to focus her attention to the main subjects; women.
The discussion above has elaborately brought to light the contributions of both Marie de Rabutin and Germaine de Stael in the age of enlightenment. Similarly, it is clear that during those times women faced many social hurdles and even the two ladies had to bear the brunt. De Stael advanced the concept of women genius which made her famous both during her times and times later. Marie de Rabutin noted that women were precious and deserved to love and be loved in those time when women were supposed to be subjects of their husbands and were to be submissive.