The revolt against patriarchy is not new. From the Copernican geocentric revolution, through the obscurantism that rose up against the Enlightenment, without forgetting May 1968 or the current demonstrations by Iranian women, the established order has always been attacked by those who were oppressed by it or who were asphyxiated by the new air that a substituting movement was breathing.
The battle against patriarchy is notably discursive, ideological and propagandistic. The most radical anti-patriarchal movements use censorship and prohibitions to operate and are armed with a discourse that is hollowed out of the void, poorly concealed by the slogans that make it up – “heteropatriarchy, heteronormative society, systemic racism, gender assigned at birth” – reducing any questioning of their discourse to an attack that bears the marks of the patriarchal domination. This went as far as the cancellation of a seminar on Darwin and gender at the Institut d’études de politiques (Institute of Political Studies) in Paris because one of the speakers, Peggy Sastre, argued that male domination was the result of evolution.
So there have always (or almost) been revolts against the dominant discourse. To the students of the “May  emoi”. Lacan reminded the students that “the revolutionary aspiration has only a single possible outcome – of ending up as the master’s discourse. This is what experience has proved. What you aspire to as revolutionaries is a master. You will get one”. And to emphasise that in revolution order is always restored.
Can we be justified in hearing Lacan as an analyst interpreting this revolutionary movement and grasp May 1968 as a formation of the unconscious? The forcing seems gentler if we consider Lacan’s reaction as pointing to the event of May 1968 as an element in the series of repetitions that he would have taken into account. Therefore, the fact that, from time immemorial, there has been an opposition to the dominant discourse and that this opposition always responds to an established order which, if we follow Lacan, seems to call for its own overturning, can it not be read with the notion of necessity (nécessité) in its Lacanian sense, that is, as that which does not cease to be written (ne cesse pas de s’écrire)? The woke discourse, for example, actualises the domination of a norm that it tries to chase away by multiplying master signifiers. Thus, it responds to the domination of One for all, by promoting the One-all-alone.
What would Lacan have said to today’s rebels? We will not know, but we can use his indications: it is less a question of validating or invalidating the emerging discourses and movements, of ranking them in their relevance or even of rising up against them, than of maintaining psychoanalysis as an “artificial lung”, as Lacan invites us to conceive it; a breathing space from which questions can be asked and answers sketched out.
References from the author:
 Hénin E., « Wokisme : “La déconstruction est une machine de guerre contre la civilisation”, interview for le Figaro, March 27, 2023, available on YouTube : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eNepL6dQBYo.
 Cf. « Sciences Po au cœur d’une polémique à cause d’un séminaire annulé sur Darwin et le genre », Figaro Étudiant, 30 juin 2022, available at Figaro.fr : https://etudiant.lefigaro.fr/article/sciences-po-au-coeur-d-une-polemique-a-cause-d-un-seminaire-annule-sur-darwin-et-le-genre_fa85f940-f629-11ec-a311-08ed0407f6e0/.
 Lacan J., Le Séminaire, livre XVI, D’un Autre à l’autre, texte établi par J.-A. Miller, Paris, Seuil, 1991, p. 240.
 Lacan J., Seminar XVII, The Other Side of Psychoanalysis, London, Norton, 2007, p. 207.
 Cf. Lacan J., Le Séminaire, livre XVI, D’un Autre à l’autre, op. cit., p. 240-241.
 Lacan J., « Le jouir de l’être parlant s’articule », La Cause du désir, n°101, mars 2019, p. 13.
Translation: Polina Agapaki
Proofreading: Robyn Adler
Picture : © Catho Hensman