Delphine Seyrig (1932 - 1990) was a French stage and film actress and film director
Delphine Seyrig made her name by incarnating, as she puts it, “a sophisticated, inaccessible woman, a dream who is not the true ideal because she doesn’t do the washing up.”
Outside her spacious living room one can the laughter and chatter of the women who participate in her feminist activities. She launches into an explanation of feminism which, when she discovered it, was a catalyst that gave her the confidence to express all the she had intuited and bottled up.
“It starts off when you’re a little girl. You are almost born angry. You notice the difference between little boys and girls. At school, you learn that everything has been created and invented by men. I knew I had to smile, be mischievous and pretty. People had a low opinion of my intelligence. When I tried to speak about things that were important to me I was told it was nonsense. So I became superficial in order to please. I saw a choice before me, although I couldn’t formulate it: to rebel right from the start, or to say to myself, ‘In order to survive, I must become what others want me to be. Otherwise I will be crushed. It’s evident that people aren’t interested in me, so to be recognized I will exist for others. In myself I am nothing.’ I chose the latter course and succeeded in giving the image that men wanted, always with a nagging feeling of disquiet.”
Read the full excerpt from Through Parisian Eye [PDF]