"All Unfortunate Young Women Are Lyrical Poets…"

Tatiana Iatcu
2007 Philologia  
During the 19 th century, especially in the rst half, society in Romania did not give women the same chances to develop, subordinating them to men and restricting their activities to the domestic sphere. e quintessence of the model of femininity is found in Jules Michelet's book La femme, which is represented by a humble wife, submissive and utterly obedient, as opposed to that of manliness, whose main characteristics are strength and courage (Vasilescu 2004: 1). e same frank dichotomy is seen
more » ... y Garabet Ibraileanu 1 who says that " ere is nothing more di erent than a man from a woman" (1972: 110). But things were going to change. e beginning of the modern epoch in the history of the Romanian people was represented by the 1921 Revolution, which was followed by many programs for reform. One of these included the constitutional project, initiated by Ionita Sandu Sturdza. e capitalist development of economy and the formation of the bourgeoisie imprinted an acute character to social and political con icts, which culminated in the 1848-1849 Revolution, an integral part of the European democratic revolution. e birth of the modern Romanian state in the second half of the 19 th century (1859) brought with it a new image of the woman, as mother of the family and of the nation. With roots in Romanticism, this image of the woman has lasted up to the modern times and is well re ected in paintings -my country is represented by Maria Rosetti in a painting called "Revolutionary Romania", by Constantin Daniel Rosenthal. Education was not a strong point in women's upbringing, whether they belonged to the slum or nobility, because they were supposed to admire men's pro ciency in forbidden domains. A good example is given by Elena Vacarescu, a member of a Romanian noble and highly educated family, who complained about her father's prejudice. He considered women inferior in all elds of activity. But there were a lot of counterarguments given by women who succeeded in their scienti c careers, such as Christina Cutzarida, doctor in medicine in Paris in the 1880s and Sarmiza Bilcescu, the rst woman with a PhD in law at University of Sorbonne
doi:10.2478/v10027-007-0009-0 fatcat:agky4ge2ojbojnabndpecrgkui