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La Fronde (The Sling) 1897


Activist Marguerite Durand founded the feminist newspaper, first published in France. Using her high profile name, she attracted notable Parisian women to contribute articles to La Fronde which was run and written entirely by women. Equality was an important message, so the current day was displayed according to calendars such as the French Revolutionary calendar, the Jewish calendar, and the Gregorian.

Extensive coverage on a broad range of feminist issues, including the rights of women to practice the profession they desired was the hallmark of the paper. Among those profiled were Jeanne Chauvin who demanded of the French government that they grant her the right to practice law, and Madeleine Pelletier who argued for the right to become a psychiatrist.

Circulation briefly reached a peak of 50,000, however, in September 1903, financial problems forced the paper to cut back to a monthly publication. It closed in March of 1905.



  1. Susan Macatee says:

    I’m always amazed at the lengths women had to go through to procure the basic rights that we all enjoy today.

  2. Denise Eagan says:

    I agree with you Susan, it was amazing huh? It seems, based upon this, that the US was a little ahead of France in the Women’s Right’s movement. After all, we had Ms. Woodhull running for President long before La Fronde was published–even though women couldn’t vote!

    I wonder when French women got the right to vote?

  3. Camilla says:

    How interesting! The Feminist/Suffragette movement in Belle Epoque France was actually much harder than the struggle in Great Britain or America because women weren’t taken as seriously in intellectual fields in France. And French women didn’t get the vote until after WWII according to this website. Amazing!

  4. Denise Eagan says:

    Camilla, not until after WWII? Wow! Thanks for the site–I’m going to check it our right away.

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