French lesbian author and theorist Monique Wittig's early contestations of woman as the subject of feminism have played an important role in gender studies in both anglophone and francophone spaces. Since the mid-1990s, French lesbian studies scholars and queer theorists alike have looked to her to anchor their contestations of normative sexuality within a French tradition and counter some of the universalizing aspects of Anglocentric queer theory. As a result, polarizing debates have sprung up over interpretations of Wittigian political lesbianism, typically focusing on divergent readings of her theorization of sex and gender between radical lesbians on the one hand and queer theorists on the other. However, far less attention has been paid to the implications of such debates for transgender studies. Since she has been claimed by trans-exclusionary radical feminists as well as by queer and materialist transfeminists in France, her legacy serves as a rich site through which to understand how the ideological conflicts between those groups relate to feminist history. Taking as a point of departure the appropriation of her name by the anti-trans group Résistance Lesbienne (Lesbian Resistance) that took over the 2021 Paris Pride March, this article fleshes out the implications of her work concerning the place of transgender people, and especially transgender women, in feminist spaces. Ultimately, it is her complexity that makes her a crucial figure for transgender studies insofar as she elucidates French “gender-critical” feminism and its transfeminist critics.

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