"We translate what the American women write, they never translate our texts." This complaint by Hélène Cixous, one of France's leading women writers, is accurate. There are exceptions,1 but in general the texts that have been produced in France since May 1968 around and about the women's liberation movement are not known in the United States. Our book is therefore the beginning of an exchange.
What is going on in France has certain surface resemblances to what has been happening in the United States. There has been a temporary working together of diverse women's groups on such central issues as contraception and abortion; a split between reformists and radicals; a development of tensions, often ruptures, between homosexuals and heterosexuals; a formation of early links, later shattered, between feminist movements and other political, social movements whose goal is also to change both consciousness and the quality of life. Although the proportion of women involved in the women's liberation movement is significantly higher in the United States than it is in France, although consciousness-raising groups on the American model are virtually non-____________________