mardi 12 mai 2009


I write this article to answer Stacey’s question : why was 1975 the Year of the Woman ? First of all, it was not just a French initiative, it was an international decision. The UN decreed 1975 Year of the Woman, answering the national feminist movements. This year was dedicated to intensive actions for women’s rights all over the world. The main theme was : “equality between man and woman, development and peace”. UN decided also that the 8th March will be the international Woman's Day.
You can imagine how these feminist groups liked this... First, they fought a lot against the idea of The Woman, and now the international community decided to celebrate Her? Obviously, there were (and are) only men in the UN... It was a patriarchal initiative, as if men have said : “Poor women, we have to help them!”. For these women, who fought by themselves for their rights, rejecting the idea of women’s weakness against men’s strength, this was an unbearable idea.
The feminists answer the UN with one of their favorite ways : parody. The MLF published in its own newspaper a quiz for women ; they answer the questions and know if they are the “ideal woman” (for men of course). You can read this very funny article here
The group “Les insoumuses”, led by Delphine Seyrig and Carole Roussopoulos, made a movie called “Maso et Miso vont en bateau”, to answer Bernard Pivot’s emission at the end of the 1975 year, called “L’année de la femme, ouf! c’est fini.” He invited Françoise Giroud, State Secretary of the feminine condition, and it was a surrealist show. Pivot interviewed some political or “important” men, each more chauvinist than the others (Jacques Martin, Pierre Bellemare, Marcel Julian...). Françoise Giroud, who was asked to react to what she heard in these interviews, had amazingly stupid answers like : “There are women who liked chauvinist men” or “Women behave like persecuted persons.” “Les Insoumuses” made this parodic movie to make fun of her, who is supposed to represent them, (she is “Maso”) and of the men (they are “Miso”). You can watch a too short extract of this amazing movie, and you understand the tone of it :

2 commentaires:

  1. Thanks for answering my question. A very interesting analysis of the period and the events that concerned it.

    Some corrections: French (adjectives of nationality are always capitalized), the UN decreed, 8 March would be International Women's Day, you can read this article, surrealist show or program, chauvinist is used to described sexist men, you can also watch.

  2. I love the excerpt from the film--I'd love to see the whole movie...