By Advocate.com Editors
Originally published on Advocate.com January 14 2003 12:00 AM ET
Monique Wittig, a leading French feminist, social theorist, and novelist whose writings are highly regarded by many lesbians and gay men, died of a heart attack in Tucson on January 3. She was 67. Wittig, who moved to the United States from France in the mid 1970s, "when straight women took over the French feminist movement," held radical views, including the idea that "lesbians are not women" but a separate class of people unbound by traditional notions of gender. "She picked up where Simone de Beauvoir left off," said Julia Balen, associate director of the women's studies program at the University of Arizona, where Wittig taught for the last 12 years. De Beauvoir wrote the pioneering feminist manifesto The Second Sex.
Wittig is survived by her partner, Sande Zeig, with whom she coauthored Lesbian Peoples: Material for a Dictionary in 1979.