Camille , je vais au Club
In breaching the norms of patriarchal structures of the nineteenth century, a common trope used against female intellectuals was the de-feminised women. Disputing women’s aims to be involved in the political and public sphere through an educated presence, they were seen to lack womanly virtue. These women were critiqued for ignoring their duties as daughters, wives and mothers, and often played on the idea of the subordinate husband, forced to take up the role of the woman of the house. We can see this in the theme of neglect that is apparent in both prints. In the 1848 French satire ‘Women leaving their husbands to look after children while they go to their club’, the print captures the emerging salon culture and female literary spaces that were seen to distract women from their duties. A wife, holding a text on a discourse of women is in conversation with her husband. She instructs ‘Take care of the pot to the fire and my daughter to bed early. If she screams, give her to suckle… With what, missus? With the bottle, you idiot!’. In confronting and challenging their expected duties, the representations offers an insight into the subversion of traditional roles that was becoming more apparent in the nineteenth century.