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There were some highly educated French women who played a role in the enlightenment. They hosted literary salons where writers, artists, nobles, hgih state officials, wealthy bourgeoise and visiiting digintaries met to discuss, to debate, and to engage in polite social intercourse. The salon became an instrument of intellectual, and thereby political, power. It was said that to enter the Academie Francaise, for example, one had first to receive the approval of the salon of Madame de Lambert. Salons also had a powerful impact over public taste; Madame Geoffrin's salon was said to be important in winning critical acclaim for new artists and literary works. The 'Czarina of Paris' as she was known, was thus an important disseminator of Englightenment values and shaper of public opinion. The influence of the salons was probably declining from the 1770s as new organs of sociability and opinion-forming developed (masonic lodges, clubs and so on). The dominance of women became a target for criticism. The salonnieres were seen as aristocratic bluestockings, who rendered politicis and politicians effeminate. This misogynistic attack was launched from within the Enlightenment. Writer and political theorist Jean-Jacques Rousseau's view, that women should be excluded from poltiics and should stay at home and bring up children, was influential right across the polticial spectrum.