Je ne suis pas féministe, mais...
I Am Not a Feminist, But…
Florence Tissot, Sylvie Tissot
»I remember as a teenager being told that there was a masculine and a feminine way of striking a match. People tried to give everything a gender, even things that don’t have one.«
– Christine Delphy
Christine Delphy developed a feminist consciousness early on in life. But the later founder of the French MLF (Mouvement de Libération des Femmes) doesn’t see herself as a real feminist in the beginnings of her politicisation, avoiding the stigma linked to this term. During a TV interview in 1985 also featuring Simone de Beauvoir, she reflected on the sentence employed by many women taking up the cause for their rights, and from which they inherited the feminist moniker: »I’m not a feminist, but …«
In a combination of new interviews alongside archival material from the 1970s and 80s, this documentary gives equal treatment to both previous as well as current battles central to European feminism. In the form of personal anecdotes, the lesbian sociologist and feminist talks about her views on the right to abortion, racism, the glass ceiling for women in universities and about what influence US American feminism had on its counterpart in Europe.
The retrospective sections of the documentary give us an insight into Delphy’s relationship to legendary figures such as Monique Wittig or Delphine Seyrig during the most active period of the feminist movement. The film-makers also devote prevalence to debates currently preoccupying France, for example on racism. And picking up a thought as relevant today as it was in the past, we are told: »There are reasons to be angry, and women still aren’t angry enough.«
Presented by: LAG Lesben in NRW
As deputy curator of the Cinémathèque française (Paris), she has been responsible for exhibitions on French film-makers like Jean Cocteau and François Truffaut. She has written several articles for the film publications Vertigo and Cahiers du cinéma and is a committed activist fighting for feminist causes with the LGBT group Pink Panthers.
Professor of political science at the University of Paris and feminist activist, Sylvie Tissot runs the website Les mots sont importants which publishes articles on racism, sexism and homophobia. She is currently researching a project that compares Paris and New York in terms of gay-friendliness.