Engendered Seen + Heard: Women and War honors the actions and words of women whose works we hold in our collections. With a focus on the French Revolution, the American Civil War, and World War I, the women in this exhibit represent a wide range of views on the role of women in society.
In the century and a half that spanned the French Revolution to World War I, it was commonly believed that women were biologically and intellectually inferior to men. This belief relegated women to the private domestic sphere, where they tended to the home and family.
However, wartime necessities placed women from virtually every social level into more active, public roles. By participating in the work force, military, and politics, women could enjoy new freedoms and opportunities. Many of these women used these experiences to vigorously advocate for rights that were denied to them due to their gender.