The exhibition A Photographic History of Women in the XXth Century at Galerie Roger-Viollet follows the publication of the eponymous book by Agnès Grossman, published by Gründ.
“Let’s just well say it right away, women have come a long way.
In 1900, women were treated as minors, placed under the guardianship of their fathers or husbands. Power and public space only belonged to men who were considered as the strong sex and women as the weak one. The social order of the time was based on this inequality. Men were supposed to conquer the world when women could only conquer men.
In the early 1900’s, girls were started to to be given a school education similar to the one for boys. At last, a different future was possible, they could be more than just wives and mothers. During the two world wars, women showed that they could replace men with equal competences. Having demonstrated that they were women of duties, it became obvious that they need to gain more rights. Throughout the 20th century, economic, technical, scientific and medical progresses, by changing lifestyles and habits, accompanied women in their liberation process. They also took part in every social struggle.
But it took them almost 80 years to get the fundamental right to dispose of their body and to choose whether to carry a child or not. All these changes are the result of a long fight mostly led by women: suffragettes, political activists, philosophers, lawyers, artists and scientists. These “leading women” were able to gather all the others, with the support of some men without whom nothing would have been possible. By the end of the 20th century, women gained their independence. They acquired all the rights equal to men. It is true that mentalities are still sometimes behind the laws. But the woman of the year 2000 is a woman free of her choices.
This freedom was gained between 1900 and 2000. The history of women during the 20th century, as seen through the Roger-Viollet collections, is the history of their emancipation.
6 rue de Seine,
From January 26 to March 25
From Tuesday to Saturday, 11am to 7pm
6 rue de Seine, 75006 Paris
January 26, 2023 to March 25, 2023