Jacques-Alain Miller—Dear Éric Marty, I put together a little speech to start with. I received your book last Wednesday with a dedication that I could not decipher. I leafed through it for twenty minutes, and I thought of Marx’s sentence in The Holy Family about the reception by his contemporaries. From An Essay Concerning Human Understanding by John Locke, on which I had done my dissertation in philosophy with Canguilhem: “He was greeted with enthusiasm, like an impatiently awaited guest.”
I’ve wanted for your book, it’s caught my eye since it first appeared. Without knowing it, I wanted for it. And first of all because I never entered the work of Butler, in which Zizek, who was then my pupil in Paris, had tried to interest me since the publication of Gender Trouble in 1990. A number of analysts, inside and outside l’École de la Cause freudienne, have since explored the maze of gender theory, not me. However, said theory is now a worldwide phenomenon. You start your book with an emphatic phrase: “Gender, gender, is the last great ideological message from the West to the rest of the world.” The tone is “romantic,” to use a favorite word of Butler, but, in her eyes, stigmatizing.
Is your sentence excessive? It is in any case indisputable that the ideas of the cultists of gender, to put it in the words of Chairman Mao, penetrated the masses and became a material force. These ideas are imposed on the United States, they weigh on the evolution of mores in all advanced democracies, to call them so, they inspire the legislation of several countries, including Argentina, where the influence of Lacan is so marked in intellectual life. In Europe, a law similar to Argentine law is currently being discussed in Spain. Followers of gender theory are active in France, they had their richest hours when Najat Vallaud- Belkacem was Minister of Education.
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