In May 1968 I was at the Sorbonne. The revolutionary fête seemed to me to be threatened by "isms," including feminism, that conferred dignity on the ruling ideologies. Three of us, then ten of us, formed a group of women in which top priority was given to making connections between two "discourses": psychoanalytic discourse and historical materialism. . . .
The actions proposed by the feminist groups are spectacular, provoking. But provocation only brings to light a certain number of social contradictions. It does not reveal radical contradictions within society. The feminists claim that they do not seek equality with men, but their practice proves the contrary to be true. Feminists are a bourgeois avantgarde that maintains, in an inverted form, the dominant values. Inversion does not facilitate the passage to another kind of structure. Reformism suits everyone! Bourgeois order, capitalism, phallocentrism are ready to integrate as many feminists as will be necessary. Since these women are becoming men, in the end it will only mean a few more men. The difference between the sexes is not whether one does or doesn't have a penis, it is whether or not one is an integral part of a phallic masculine economy. . . .
Women cannot allow themselves to deal with political problems while at the same time blotting out the unconscious. If they do, they become, at best, feminists capable of attacking patriarchy on an ideological level but not on a symbolic level. An example? The Last Tango in Paris. A liberated young woman kills a man in order to escape from being raped. She kills a poor psychotic with her father's revolver. That's the typical feminist! Bourgeoise, in revolt, wearing boots. She commits a heinous crime in the name of the father and with absolute impunity.
Quoted in Nicole Muchnik "Le MLF c'est toi, c'est moi" [The MLF is you, is me] in Le nouvel observateur, September 1973.
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Publication information: Book title: New French Feminisms:An Anthology. Contributors: Elaine Marks - Editor, Isabelle De Courtivron - Editor. Publisher: University of Massachusetts Press. Place of publication: Amherst, MA. Publication year: 1980. Page number: 117.