Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Is that de Gaulle gave the vote to women? – Release

There are 70 years to the day, the French voted for the first time. To celebrate this anniversary, several members of the UMP welcomed on Twitter. “It was General de Gaulle who gave the vote to women, do not forget” said Jean-Pierre Lecoq, mayor of the 6th arrondissement of Paris. MP Jean-Francois Mancel said he, “thank you” to Charles de Gaulle, while Xavier Bertrand enthuses: “There are 70 General de Gaulle allowed women to exercise their right to vote for the first time in France. “

De Gaulle, new feminist icon? Should we really book all our praises to the general? Not really. “This is not to deny that he played a role since it was he who signed the Ordinance of 21 April 1944 which established the right of women to vote,” Christine decrypts Bard, professor of history at the University of Angers and author of Women in French society in the twentieth century . “ But this decision is not taken by him alone, but collectively by the Consultative Assembly of Algiers, by vote.”

The proposal to extend the voting rights to women is also advanced by a Communist Fernand Grenier. Initially, the text provided only to establish the eligibility of French. Fernand Grenier proposes to add the right to vote. This will give: “women are eligible voters and the same conditions as men” . The text voted by 51 votes against 16.

So it is a bit early to present Charles de Gaulle as the great promoter of women’s suffrage. “Do not rewrite history: the women’s suffrage was not a particularly important topic for de Gaulle” says Christine Bard. “In his memoirs, the vote is in three lines. He had traditional views on the role of women, although this does not prevent him to accept the idea of ​​citizenship of women, the more subversive in the nineteenth century. “

Read also Testimonies: “There was no question of giving my voice to my father,” Interview: “There is more popular feminist movement”

In 1944, women’s suffrage became almost an obligation: it is for France to catch (large) vis-à-vis behind other European countries. The Senate, which blocked until all evolution, no longer exists. “It took these very exceptional circumstances for the French to vote. It’s much more complex than the idea of ​​the great man who “gives” the right. “


Besides, forget the words “give”, “grant” or “grant” . “Use these words, it is acting as if women were passive, indifferent, as if they had not really asked” , irritated university. “It is a myth that the French were poorly invested. Admittedly, in France, the movement was less radical than in England, more respectful of legality. But there has been a very rich suffrage movement, with many associations, newspapers, tens of thousands of activists. The problem is forgetting. This story is not valued in our collective memory “

At the end of the war, it is the participation of women in the resistance that will play as important argument. It can not deny political rights to women who fought against the Nazis. But this invisibilise because a past feminist struggles for the right to vote. “In 1944, it obscures the role of suffragists. We then forget that if the women gained the right to vote, it is because of the suffragists demanded for decades. “

To put record straight The Minister of Justice Christiane Taubira has, too, a small slotted tweet: “No, neither given nor granted conquered! By generations of women obstinate, clever, courageous, strong. Thank you. “


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