The Mary Sue

The Women of the Future… Of France… Of 1902

Our Adorable Past

Don’t let the seeming progressiveness of these French playing cards from 1902 fool you: women were not actually allowed to participate in French elections until 1945. These cards were intended to be racy, silly, and improbable, even as they depicted women in the impressive (and since achieved!) positions of statesmen, rescue workers, soldiers, students and doctors. Which should be obvious as soon as you notice that the three star general has her stars of rank painted onto her bare arm.

Although, we have to say, if we got to dress in hats with ducks on them, fetching pince nez, and high-collared coats like the Journaliste above, we’d be pretty happy.

While these cards are racy for the standards of 1902, they’re perfectly safe for work these days. Venture forth unafraid!

The Member of Parliament.

The Mayor (And now I’m wondering what a gender swapped production of Les Miserables would be like… AWESOME, I’m guessing).

The Doctor.

The Lawyer.

The Master of Arms.

The Cabby.

The Student.

The General.

The Lieutenant.

The lowly Infantryman.

The Marine.

The Fireman.

The Policeman.

The Conscript.

Yes, the masculine forms of the words are the proper translations, as French is a language with gendered nouns, and a few other gendered problems as well, that France spends lots of time trying to keep from changing.

(via io9.)

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