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History of Feminism in France (WWII-1970s)

from De Courtivron and Marks, editors, New French Feminisms

Jana Evans Braziel, Assistant Professor
229B Mc Micken Hall
Department of English and Comparative Literature
University of Cincinnati
ML 210069
Cincinnati, OH 45221-0069
Office # (513) 556-0834
Fax # (513) 556-5960

April 1944 French women obtain the right to vote

1949 Simone de Beauvoir publishes The Second Sex

1967 Neuwirth Law authorizes the sale of contraceptives. Formation of the feminist groups Féminin-Masculin-Futur and Féminisme-Marxisme

May-June 1968 Mass student revolts and worker strikes in France universities and factories

1968 Françoise Parturier publishes "An open letter to men" and the very influential feminist group, psychanalyse et politique (psych & po) is formed

1969 Monique Wittig publishes The Guerrillas

1970 Founding of the Féministes révolutionnaires, a group of radical feminists committed to the disruption of patriarchal order

April 1971 Manifesto of the 343:  "A million women have abortions in France each year. Because they are condemned to secrecy, they are aborted under dangerous conditions. If done under medical control, this operation is one of the simplest. These millions of women have been passed over in silence. I declare that I am one of them, I have had an abortion. Just as we demand free access to birth-control methods, we demand freedom to have abortions" (signed by Simone de Beauvoir and Marguerite Duras, among others).

Summer 1971 March from the Bastille to the Nation for contraception and free abortion on demand.

1974 Repeal of the law prohibiting abortions. Publication of Luce Irigaray's Speculum of the Other Woman and Julia Kristeva's About Chinese Womenin France.

July 1974 Founding of the Ligue du droit des femmes presided over by Simone de Beauvoir.

1975 Hélène Cixous publishes "The Laugh of the Medusa" in Líarc.

1977 Publication of the Histoires du MLF by Annie de Pisan and Anne Tristan. Publication of the History of French Feminism by Maïté Albistur and Daniel Armogathe and also of This Sex Which is Not One by Luce Irigaray.

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