The Socialist Women, No. 1: Insurrection against Husbands is Proclaimed as being the First and Holiest Duty of Life!
Honoré Daumier ( French, 1808 - 1879 )
The three women in this scene place their hands on a man’s top hat to make an oath. The woman to the right holds what is presumably a man’s umbrella. Honoré Daumier expresses his disfavor for the feminist movement at a time when women’s roles were rigidly defined: they were expected to confine themselves to the home. The caption sarcastically asserts that women’s primary duty is to rise up against their husbands.
On April 20, 1849, this image appeared in Le Charivari, where most of its writers and illustrators staunchly opposed the feminist fight for women’s right to vote. For his part, Daumier ridiculed the feminist movement by concentrating mainly on its leaders, whose sensibilities he believed were similar to that of countless other women. He presented them in an unattractive manner and depicted their followers participating in silly behaviors.
Martha MacLeod, DMA label copy, 2016.
- National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC
Read a biography of Daumier from the NGA.