Ever dreamed of getting up close and personal with some of the most influential modern feminists? Here’s your chance.
The annual Festival Albertine returns November 1st-5th with an important theme, “Feminism Has No Boundaries.” Located in the Cultural Services of the French Embassy, acclaimed female thinkers from both the United States and France will come together to discuss critical women’s issues. Panels include From the Voting Booth To Your Living Room, a discussion about the necessity of diversity and inclusivity in politics, and Body: Image vs. Reality, an exploration of reclaiming and representing the female body. Robin Morgan, an influential activist who worked alongside Simone de Beauvoir, and Gloria Steinem, a prominent figure in second wave feminism, curated the festival.
Notable speakers also include Christiane Taubira, a French politician and former Minister of Justice, in conversation about women in politics. Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood, will discuss how women’s welfare impacts the future, and Roxane Gay, author of Bad Feminist and An Untamed State, will discuss the ways in which she fights the objectification of female bodies.
The timing of the festival is fitting given the international discussions of gender relations. In an MSNBC interview, Gloria Steinem spoke about the Harvey Weinstein scandal: “If you steal money, you probably get arrested and convicted […]. But if you do something that is very sexist or racist […], it takes more cumulative instances for it to be recognized. So we have reached a tipping point, I think.”
France, too, has been facing up to its own problems around sexual harassment and assault. Its gender and equality minister Marlène Schiappa recently proposed a bill that will fine men for catcalling and street harassment. “The point is that the whole of society has to redefine what it will accept and what it will not,” Schiappa said in an interview with La Croix. Fittingly, there will be a panel at this year’s Festival Albertine, It Starts in the Streets, which seeks to examine the efficacy of both political and artistic activism.
The festival takes place November 1st-6th at Albertine Books, located in the Cultural Services of the French Embassy (972 5th Avenue). All of the events are free and open to the public, but seating is limited and given on a first-come, first-serve basis. If you aren’t able to make it, all of the discussions will be streamed at https://livestream.com/frenchembassy.