Conclusion: Giving the Lie

  • Andrea Mansker
Part of the Genders and Sexualities in History book series (GSX)


On December 2, 1911 a small notice appeared in Le Rappel de Toulouse, the Radical-Socialist paper, for which Ly’s adversary Prudent Massat had held the editorship for less than a year. The staff tersely alerted the public to Massat’s hasty resignation from the direction of Le Rappel. For the paper’s readers, and indeed any locals who had followed the amusing succession of heavily publicized affaires d’honneur in which Massat had become entangled over the previous few months, this news could have come as no surprise. Immediately after he had been persuaded by members of the Toulouse press to resolve the Ly-Massat conflict to the feminist’s advantage, Massat found himself confronted by a number of public challenges to his masculine and professional reputation. One of these perceived insults issued from the pen of his socialist adversary and editor-in-chief of Le Midi socialiste, Vincent Auriol, on the day following the September 2 meeting. In addition to publishing a merciless account of Ly’s public humiliation of Massat, Auriol accused his political rival of running a smear campaign against the Toulousain socialists that dishonored the journalistic profession.2 This was at best a questionable pretext for a duel, considering that the staff of both papers had long made mutual character-assassination their principal stock-in-trade. The local press immediately saw through Massat’s pretense, interpreting his impulsive provocation of Auriol as an attempt to rehabilitate his reputation following Ly’s branding of him as a coward.3 As all parties involved seemed to understand, Massat’s masculine credentials had been severely undermined by his unprecedented granting of “satisfaction” to a woman in the extralegal system of honor.


Single Woman Honor Code Public Justice French Woman Home Front 
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  1. 12.
    Nye, “Honor and Shame,” in Peter N. Stearns (ed.), Encyclopedia of European Social History from 1350 to 2000, vol. 5 (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 2001), 103–13.Google Scholar
  2. 14.
    On codes of honor and shame during the Great War, see Gullace, “The Blood of Our Sons”; Allen J. Frantzen, Bloody Good: Chivalry, Sacrifice, and the Great War (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2004); Ute Frevert, Men of Honour and A Nation in Barracks: Modern Germany, Military Conscription and Civil Society, transl. Andrew Boreham with Daniel Brückenhaus (Oxford, 2004); Leo Braudy, From Chivalry to Terrorism: War and the Changing Nature of Masculinity (New York, 2003).Google Scholar
  3. 21.
    Ruth Harris, “The ‘Child of the Barbarian:’ Rape, Race, and Nationalism in France during the First World War,” Past and Present 141 (Oct 1993), 170–206; Stéphane Audoin-Rouzeau, L’Enfant de l’ennemi, 1914–18 (Paris: Aubier, 1995); Susan Grayzel, Women’s Identities at War: Gender, Motherhood, and Politics in Britain and France during the First World War (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1999), 50–85.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 22.
    Margaret Darrow, French Women and the First World War: War Stories of the Home Front (New York: Berg, 2000), 114–25.Google Scholar
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    De Witt-Schlumberger, Situation internationale du suffrage des femmes en Mars 1918 (Paris: UFSF, 1918), 3.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Andrea Mansker 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andrea Mansker
    • 1
  1. 1.Sewanee: The University of the SouthUSA

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