How it started and developed the manifesto you've signed (along many celebrities of the french culture)?
For me, it's started behind my computer when I listened to Catherine Millet on the radio. In an interview about her book on D.H. Lawrence, the journalist asked her what she thought about #metoo and #balancetonporc (the french hashtag « rat your pig out » for women denouncing everything from callous men to rape on Twitter). At first, she didn't want to answer, saying she wanted only to speak about literature. And then, after the insistence of the journalist, she said she was very suspicious about the « movement », that it could display some puritanist urge and a fear of sex. It was like a breath of fresh air, because I felt very isolated at the time with my own fears and questions – in France, because I saw people worried about the excesses of Metoo right at the beginning in the anglosphere. So I contacted Millet, who I knew from 10 years or so. When we saw each other, with a friend of mine and writer, Abnousse Shalmani, she told us she was also contacted by Sarah Chiche, one of my former publishers who became a friend over the years, who was also worried. She wrote the first draft of the text and then we edited it in 10 days or so. At first, we wanted it just to be an open letter, signed by us and Catherine Robbe-Grillet, a friend who (for the anecdote) convinced me to write my first book in solo about my view on feminism. Then, we had the idea of making some kind of manifest and asking other women to join us - everything speeded up when Brigitte Lahaie, former porn star of the 1970's and now a very famous radio host, asked around for signatures. One of our last signatories was Catherine Deneuve - the text was set to be published on the next day when we had her formal approval.
In Argentina, some slogans as "the personal is political" became a staple in discussing feminism, with the immediate effect of placing the whole item in a emotional-subjective field, which I think banalizes any serious thought or real political constructions eventually derived from it. What is your idea about it?
I'm very suspicious of it. Another way to say it is "everything is political", which is the textbook of a totalitarian mindset. No, I don't think everything is political and I think many areas of our lives - and especially our private lives - are devoid of "systemic power structures". To think "the personal is political" is to show a lack of understanding of the complexities and nuances and diversities of the human emotional and sexual behavior. In other words, it's utter bullshit and it's a dangerous one.
Does exist in France (or maybe Paris) divergent points of view or attitude between lesbian-gays groups? If that's the case, how they differ and why?
I think there's a profound cultural divide between lesbians and gays - it's the first time I tell it publicly, but I'm bisexual myself, my first consensual sexual experience was with a gay man 20 years older than me and I lived the first part of my adult life as a fag hag. In France, the powerful lesbians (the ones we see in the public sphere) are the orthodox feminist ones, which means they are mostly angry, boring and intellectually kind of poor, as totalitarians often are. The likes of Colette or Marguerite Yourcenar are long gone... But the "gay scene" is much vibrant, diverse and fun - and, as I see it, much more literally powerful. For the anecdote, a prominent gay man wanted to sign the manifest and openly support it, but he changed his mind fearing a hard clash with the lesbians of his organization. I think he was sadly right. One of the problems we have now with feminism, it's that it's been hacked by some bitter lesbians who, again, don't represent at all the diversity of lesbians in particular and women in general.
When Catherine Millet visited Buenos Aires, smashed in her conference the "sorority" concept (causing a serious distress among certain activists). Although is a "logic-free" construction I see (through my own experience as journalist) how the idea is presented over an over as the holy grail of feminism. Do you know or suppose why?
I think it's displays the religious (or "mystic" as Bertrand Russell said) nature of the feminism I despise. They don't want to understand, let alone change, reality, they want to build cults, tribes, ministries where they stay among clones and hunt the heretics. For that, they need a dogma and a gospel - the utopia of the sorority is one of these unfalsifiable categories. The less "sororal" women I met in my professional life were orthodox feminists and it's no accident. Feminism has become the last occurrence of virtue signaling weapons for self-serving hypocrites.
Texte intégral de l'interview parue dans Paco, le 11 avril 2019