Olympe de Gouges (1748–1793)
DOI link for Olympe de Gouges (1748–1793)
Olympe de Gouges (1748–1793) book
This chapter discusses life history of Olympe de Gouges, a feminist thinker. Through different genres theatre plays, novels, essays, dreams, treaties and declarations Olympe de Gouges unfolded her feminist and anti-imperial political philosophy. She is still one of the rare philosophers who dissociate sovereignty from the prerogative of taking life and one of the first to imagine sovereignty as emanating from a heterogeneous body politic consisting of the entire population including women and people of colour. Criticism of white male political supremacy is at the heart of de Gouges' writings. Her Declaration of the Rights of Woman and Female Citizens, composed in 1791 and offered by her to Marie Antoinette as an invitation to engage with her feminist political initiatives, is a feminist performative act of reiteration. De Gouges' play Black Slavery, written in 1782, seven years before the outbreak of the French Revolution, deals with the authority of the king vested in his deputy, governor of the island to take lives.