Sex, Honor and Citizenship in Early Third Republic France by A. Mansker

By A. Mansker

A repositioning of French women's fight for suffrage in the unique cultural panorama of the masculine honour process. even if activists demanded admission to the preferred ritual of the duel or publicly shamed males for his or her extramarital sexual behaviour, they appropriated extralegal honour codes to enact new civic and familial identities.

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Extra info for Sex, Honor and Citizenship in Early Third Republic France (Genders and Sexualities in History)

Example text

Casalé, judged himself stricken by Mlle Arria Ly’s anathema against the contact of the sexes. 35 Like Lux, such commentators referred specifically to the prewar journalistic culture of honor. They condemned Massat for violating the unwritten rules of their profession. Male journalists of the belle époque had developed a strict, fraternal social code that allowed them both to regulate behavior within their profession and to regard themselves as members of an elite corps. As scholars have suggested, this code was most likely elaborated in response to the public’s low estimation of journalists in the years before the war.

Indd 33 8/22/2011 4:34:09 PM 34 Sex, Honor and Citizenship in Early Third Republic France of honor. In a letter published in the mass-circulation democratic newspaper La Dépêche de Toulouse, she wrote, He has refused to fight me because he is scared, because he has seen that he has before him a resolute enemy. I affirm all of this on my honor ... He knows very well that a feminist who is consistent with herself will never ask a man, whoever he may be, to avenge an attack on her honor by another man.

In this way, discussion of the affair often revolved around rejecting the sexual concept of female honor. As Paul Brulat of Le Progrès de la Somme noted, “The duel did not take place, but the question was posed before public opinion, and it produced discussions of the highest interest. ”40 Some journalists began to contemplate the possible contours of a new definition of honor centered on a gender-neutral notion of professionalism. Honor without sex: women’s bodies, sport, and violence The central question that underpinned such debates was on what basis women were barred from the public codes.

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