• book

From the Publisher

One of the most radical feminist theorists in Europe before the nineteenth century, François Poullain de la Barre (1647-1723) was a man way ahead of his time. Applying Cartesian principles to "the Woman Question," Poullain demonstrated by rational deduction that the supposedly "self-evident" inequality of the sexes was nothing more than unfounded prejudice.

Poullain published three books (anonymously) on this topic in the 1670s, all of which are included in English translation in this volume. In On the Equality of the Two Sexes he argued that the supposedly "natural" inferiority of women was culturally produced. To help women recognize and combat this prejudice, Poullain advocated a modern, enlightened feminine education in On the Education of Ladies. Finally, since his contemporaries largely ignored Poullain's writings, he offered a rebuttal to his own arguments in On the Excellence of Men—a rebuttal that he promptly countered, strengthening his original positions.

A truly modern feminist, Poullain laid the intellectual groundwork for the women's liberation movement centuries before it happened.
Published: University of Chicago Press an imprint of UChicagoPress on
ISBN: 9780226676555
List price: $37.00
Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
Availability for Three Cartesian Feminist Treatises
With a 30 day free trial you can read online for free
  1. This book can be read on up to 6 mobile devices.

Related Articles

TIME
1 min read
Society

Women’s ‘Empowerment’ Is Not Real Power

THE WORD EMPOWERMENT HAS BECOME the rallying cry of mainstream feminism, with virtually any act performed enthusiastically by a woman—from washing her hair to posting her bikini photos—now designated as “empowering.” But while everyone from Unilever to the Republican Party has embraced the background noise of “empowerment,” this frenzy has done almost nothing to change our society’s structures or understanding of authority. Women are still drastically underrepresented anywhere that genuine power resides in the U.S., especially in business and politics. And save for Hillary Clinton’s nominatio
TIME
3 min read
Society

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

SARAH BEGLEY This is a book about how to raise a feminist. Now that you’re a mother of a girl yourself, what has surprised you? How I’ve never loved like this. Also how ideology doesn’t neatly match real life. Here’s an example: I don’t particularly like the idea of girls wearing pink, and I don’t find pink very attractive. When my child is old enough to negotiate, if she wants everything in pink, I will let her have it—but I’ll have conversations with her about why the pink/blue binary is a problem. What has been your biggest pet peeve in parenting advice? Probably my family and Nigerian fr
The Atlantic
8 min read
Society

The (Feminist) Case for Women's Happiness

Earlier this month, the New York Times ran an article on its website titled “How to Be Mindful While Cleaning the Bathroom.” The piece, part of the paper’s Meditation for Real Life series, offers advice on transforming that most thankless of chores into a spiritually rewarding activity, from the beginning (“once you’ve selected your cleaning tool, take a moment to notice it with your various senses”) and throughout the process (“maintain your focus on each circular, left-to-right or up-and-down motion”). The point of the exercise is not so much a clean bathroom—“you’re not chasing a result”—as