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Photo of Marguerite Stern by Pauline Makoveitchoux

French Radical Feminist Erased From Film About Movement She Founded

A documentary aired at Cannes about an anti-femicide movement started by Marguerite Stern refused to acknowledge the campaign's founder.

Sasha White
Sasha White

Marguerite Stern, a French radical feminist, has been written out of her own story due to her stance on trans issues. A recent documentary shown at Cannes Film Festival is all about the movement Stern founded — but one little detail seems to be missing. The filmmakers have omitted the founder from the narrative, Stern writes in The Critic.

The film, by Marie Perennès and Simon Depardon, is about a group of women “armed with white sheets and black paint” who plaster feminist slogans protesting femicide by night. The feminist collages were started by Stern in Paris in 2019, and the movement has since grown internationally. As trans ideology took over Stern’s network of activists, the messaging shifted and the creator behind it all became maligned and hated.

According to Stern, the new film entirely writes her out of history, refusing to credit her. And why? Because of her view that “being a woman is a material reality, not a feeling.” This blatant erasure of Stern is yet another example of trans activists rewriting history to silence their critics and, of course, appropriating what is rightfully a woman’s.

A public campaign against femicide, Stern’s collages began as messages honoring the victims. The original collages contained messages such as “to our murdered sisters,” and “we are all heroines.” Stern was involved in a tight-knit group of activist women and immersed herself in street activism. But a rift grew between Stern and many of her fellow feminists when she remained steadfast on the definition of a woman. This disagreement – that a woman is an adult human female and not merely a feeling that a man can identify into – has been the cause for Stern’s experience of intense harassment and sabotage from genderists, who view her as a heretic for refusing to affirm trans-identified men as women.

“The collage project grew to proportions way beyond just Stern, but this success came with a takeover by the authoritarian queer brigade.”

As gender identity ideology gained followers, it began to take over feminist circles, with Stern’s group being no exception. The collage project grew to proportions way beyond just Stern, but this success came with a takeover by the authoritarian queer brigade. Some collages now contain hateful anti “TERF” messages, like “burn TERFS at the stake” while others demand that readers “respect people’s pronouns.”

Stern had already been canceled by gender ideologists: they targeted her for abuse and deplatforming, sent her death threats, and even threw an egg at her during a protest. For all the controversial actions Stern has done in her career as a radical activist (going topless with Femen, getting arrested in Tunisia) it is her view on the trans issue that has marked her as a target for people who for the past several years have done their best to destroy her life.

In January 2021, I interviewed Stern about her work, her history, and her views on feminism and gender. She told me that when she was a part of Femen, “the death threats were coming from the extreme right and Islam.” But now, she said, “it’s coming from people who call themselves feminists.” She also became the first recipient of the Plebity Free Speech Fund, to help her get through a particularly bad period of cancellation, when she was unable to get work due to the severe backlash against her in the French media.

“The trans movement hijacked a project created by a woman, then set out to destroy this woman.”

Of course, the grand irony of the situation is that Stern, who made a name for herself by standing up for the victims of violence against women, has now become a victim not only of the male violence she dedicated her life to fighting, but from people who claim to be feminists. How can anyone claim to be standing for women while at the same time punishing women for not wanting to share spaces with men? And why can't we tell the truth about this toxic biology denialism? The answer is that the truth would make their whole movement crumble.

Truth is kryptonite to the trans movement. That’s why they come down so hard on people like Stern who are not in any way harming trans people, but simply standing firm in their knowledge of what a woman is. Anyone claiming to fight a “feminist” cause would be the first you would expect to know what a woman is. Sadly, in this day and age, it is precisely these totalitarian liberal feminists who consider it bigotry to correctly define their own sex. Instead of turning their ire toward violent men and standing beside Stern, these ideologues turn on her for daring to disagree with them, thereby losing all credibility in their own political fight.

With this new documentary, the final phase of shunning is complete: Stern is fully erased, at least in this iteration of the story. The passage of time and the swing of the cultural pendulum will eventually reveal the truth. The trans movement hijacked a project created by a woman, then set out to destroy her – not for anything she did wrong, but because she takes issue with the fantasy that sex does not exist. It speaks to the state of the left that they have abandoned Stern in favor of backing trans-identified males instead of the women they purport to empower.

“Their willingness to put themselves on the line in the name of truth is a reminder that the right path is often the most difficult.”

Stern is currently promoting a fellow French radical feminist, Pauline Makoveitchoux, a photographer whose striking black and white portraits of women make up a series called “Women are not afraid.”

Makoveitchoux told 4W she has been a victim of harassment, threats and cancel culture–for the now-familiar reason: she refused to include men who identify as women in her portraits and was labeled not “inclusive” enough.

“In 2021, one of my exhibits in my hometown of Vitry-sur-Seine was damaged for not being "inclusive enough" (understand that I refuse to include men who crossdress in my art).”

Makoveitchoux’s photographs are beautiful: in hundreds of shots, young women gaze into the camera with both defiance and softness. The feminist photographer is hoping to grow her project and showcase more women who refuse to be afraid. “I have decided not to be intimidated, and to continue photographing women everywhere,” she told 4W.

These types of shaming and silencing tactics only work in the short term. Although Stern, Makoveitchoux, and many others face setbacks in the meantime, change is inevitable because the trans movement is based on brute force and censorship. This is not sustainable as shame only creates its own opposition. Their movement has no moral or logical backing because it is built on a foundation of lies, and the pushback has already begun to go mainstream here in the U.S. For now, many women continue to suffer under the branding of this scarlet letter, but their willingness to put themselves on the line in the name of truth is a reminder that the right path is often the most difficult.

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Op EdCancelled WomenFranceFeminstterfmale sexual violencefemale erasuregender critical

Sasha White

Sasha White is an interview host at, and co-host of the Identity Crisis podcast with M.K. Fain.