Freedom, Equality and Fraternity. The French Revolution summed up very well the longings of many. If we are all born with the same rights, some women thought, and not even God can tell us what we should do, then we…
Well no, when Olympe de Gouges adapted the principles of the revolution to women, she got guillotined.
Moreover, in the new rights that were being forged, it was necessary to make it very clear that freedom, fraternity and equality were not for women. The 19th century was a misogynistic century in its laws, norms, art and philosophy. Many women, who were not stupid and understood that “we are all equal” does not mean “half of us are equal”, rebelled. Creating an interesting hodgepodge of seemingly contradictory ideas.
My Victorian Ladies are those women. The ones who did not adapt to the order of slavery imposed by the new law. A law that no longer derived from God, whom Nietzsche had already disposed of, but from nature, as Rousseau defended.
And a twisted nature it was. Somehow it needed to demonstrate that the subjugation of women was normal and desirable. Just in case women started believing that they were the creators of life. And then, on top of that, wanted equal rights.