Marie-Jo Bonnet

What Does a Woman Desire When she Desires a Woman? New Edition 2022 Publication date : June 8, 2022

Marie-Jo Bonnet is a historian, writer and lecturer. She is a historical figure of the French Women’s Liberation Movement, which she joined in 1971, and a specialist on the history of women and homosexuality. She has published twenty or so books, including Les Femmes artistes dans les avant-garde.

Overlooked since Ancient times, the question of woman’s desire for another woman has constantly resurfaced throughout history, despite being repressed, negated and now seemingly normalised.
What has become of the non-standard woman, stigmatised by patriarchal society as a lesbian, a woman with too much freedom and too far-removed from the phallic norm? Have lesbians lost their subversive nature in favour of the contemporary witch figure, seen as an anti-mother and a woman who is not subservient to men? Have marriage and motherhood softened them? Is lesbian desire no longer an impetus for social change?
In this book, Marie-Jo Bonnet analyses the status of lesbian love in the Bible, psychoanalysis, family, literature and even institutions. She also questions why lesbianism has still not found its place or identity in France’s council estates, when there is no religious or secular prohibition.