Rus Articles Journal

Who such grisettes?

In all “safe“ countries the feminism already died. Fight of women for social equality (namely this equality also was a feminism ideal) ended full (well, almost full!) victory. Accusation of “male chauvinism“ and attempt to be engaged not in so female professions to the detriment of on what you were blessed by the nature, is caused as it seems to me, by more reasons sexual, than social. Present “amazons“ do not notice

how ridiculously they look. And calling itself at the same time feminists, they reduce to the level of a trite joke what was fight not so comic one and a half centuries ago. Sometimes even sacrificial. Yes, as well as any real fight, feminism 19 - go centuries had the heroines. These ladies sometimes seriously risked life for the sake of a victory of the idea. For what they, without any doubt, should be respected and remembered.

But the victory in fight for social equality of women was ensured not by(with) heroism of singles, but the whole army of young girls. Provided with the price of the life. At the price of the successfully developed life which set others a way and an example.

In France the unpretentious gray dress was a fighting form of this army. For as nicknamed the girls carrying it grisettes (“ of grisette “, from the French word “ of gris “ - “gray“). Thanks to the French writers and poets picturing life and customs of the Parisian bohemia, grisettes are counted most often according to the category of prostitutes. What is absolutely incorrect.

These girls earned a living not by a body, and business. They were, mainly, florists, milliners and seamstresses. Then choristers and actresses of corps de ballet were added to them. Their work was not bad paid both in Paris of times of Balzac, and in fifty years, in Paris destroyed and reconstructed by the baron Osman. In that Paris that became, without exaggeration, the most magnificent city of the world of that time.

Former poor people and beggars could already not live in this city. They or fell into oblivion, or subsided to the province. And here the maidens possessing craft in this city survived. And not just survived, and became one of remarkable types of brilliant Paris. Which they inhabited nearly eighty years.

Grisettes not in the smartest quarters lodged. Among other things they densely occupied for some reason the hill Montmartre which did not enter city line and remained the Parisian suburb. However, grisettes and in rich quarters lived. Not on the first floors, naturally, and in skies, in penthouses.

Earning itself means of livelihood own work, these girls for the first time in France and, perhaps, and in Europe, began to build the life on own understanding and taste. Including to choose to itself the man - the cohabitant or the spouse.

Until then female life was defined not by the woman, and those who “bore responsibility for it“: at first the father, and then - the husband. In such life the marriage was the main event and a greatest luck. If for one reason or another to the woman did not work well, considered to marry that her destiny was not set.

To a “standard“ way there were two alternatives: monkhood and prostitution. Life of the Parisian grisettes specified one more, quite worthy, a way of existence of the woman in bourgeois society. Which, eventually, led to serious changes in this society. And not only in Paris, and not only in France, and around the world.