Braving the Law: Madeleine Pelletier
Like the other authors we have discussed, Dr. Madeleine Pelletier (1874–1939) is best known for her activities as a militant feminist and political activist.1 However, Pelletier was the only one of them born into a working-class family. She grew up in an insalubrious one-room apartment behind her mother’s fruit and vegetable shop in the neighborhood of Les Halles.Though her mother earned the money for the family—her father was paralyzed and confined to a chair—she was not a positive role model for Madeleine.An ardent Catholic and royalist, uneducated, dirty, and a slave to her work and her family, Pelletier’s mother symbolized the working-class woman’s plight. This may explain why Pelletier would never romanticize the working-class lifestyle like Starkoff and other leftist militants. On the contrary, she fought to raise the proletariat out of the degradation in which they lived.
KeywordsChloroform Tuberculosis Beach Sine Lution
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- Gordon F., The Integral Feminist: Madeleine Pelletier, 1874–1939 (U of Minnesota P,1990)Google Scholar
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