“My body, my choice” (mon corps m’appartient), “A child when I want to, if I want to” (un enfant quand je veux, si je veux): these famous catchphrases erupted in the seventies.
Back then, women were demanding equality between men and women, as well as their freedom: freedom to deal with their body, especially their womb, the way they wanted to. Freedom to choose to be a mother, or not. Freedom to give birth to planned children.
Thanks to their fights, in France, women and underage teenagers are now provided with free and anonymous contraception, along with voluntary termination of pregnancy (IVG).
The “right to bodily self-determination”? It’s also the right to get married, or not. To choose your husband, to divorce. It’s the right to privacy and the right to sexuality. It’s the freedom to love whoever you like, to be homosexual, straight, bisexual or to go through gender transitioning.
In France, homophobic or sexist insults constitute an offense, just like racist slanders do: violators can serve up to a one-year sentence and receive a fine of up to 45.000€.
“Be realistic, demand the impossible” (soyez réaliste, demandez l’impossible)! Here’s another slogan from 68. French women wanted what one thought was impossible: they’ve furthered their rights by giving a bit of “power to the imagination”!
- Get familiar with May-68 slogans – in French – with this quiz!
To go further
Find governmental ressources on women’s health services in France right here.
Family in France? You’d better get used to men and women being equal. Find this video and others on the MOOC ensemble en France – dedicated to discovering France, its language, values and daily life.