#Three Line Tales: The great man

This is for Sonya’s Three Line Tales photo prompt, and I have chosen to pick up on the subject of the biography, Anatole France, and speculate why a genteel woman would have been interested in such an unconventional individual.

photo by Frank McKenna via Unsplash



She had always been drawn to dangerous men, dangerous in their politics and their relationships, without ever really understanding how their progressive ideas never seemed to include women.

He had insisted she perform the traditional female role of wife and mother, as if plying her with bouquets of roses could make up for being deprived of a life.

When he died, his political opponents called him a primitive, a scoundrel, a derivative second-rate writer, but only she, and his many mistresses, understood where the true shortcomings of his intellect lay.

Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

20 thoughts on “#Three Line Tales: The great man”

  1. Well, how true this is Jane. So many ‘progressive’ men and their intellectual, political, artistic movements were progressive only for the men involved – the fact that the women in their lives were still seen as muses or handmaidens to be picked up when inspiring and dropped when grown tired of, didn’t seem to strike any of them as a double standard.
    Very well written, pointed tale

    1. Thank you! It’s a particular bug bear of mine. They have all been the same, from the historical ‘greats’ like Castro, Guevara, to your average trades union leader, they all think that ‘the workers’ means men, and equal civil and political rights means for men. Women are just not even in the picture. I can’t understand how they reason it out to themselves.

      1. The Pre-Raphaelites were the same – woman as muse but not as equal partner – and Picasso and the French Revolutionaries and so on and so on forever back through history

      2. Not even the Philosophers got it right, though Voltaire is a notable exception. All from the male perspective, as if they deserved a medal for not being complete brutes.

  2. Applause! Right you are that so many progressive men don’t see fit to include women in their progressiveness. Sadly, I have found that for right wing men, women are supposed to play the role of the dutiful servant while for left wing men, women are supposed to play the role of sexy, fun playmates. Neither of this lot sees women as human.

    1. Either way, ‘civil rights’ human rights’ ‘workers’ rights’ always seem to draw the line at ‘women’s rights’. Equality is always between men. The same men who protest in the street about discrimination are quite likely to go home and expect supper to be waiting, or not go home to wife and kids because some wicked woman has tempted them away…

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