The Hay 30 – Laura BATES

Laura Bates is the founder of the Everyday Sexism Project, an ever-increasing collection of over 100,000 testimonies of gender inequality. The project has expanded into over 20 countries worldwide and become internationally renowned, featuring in media from the New York Times to the Times of India.

Laura writes regularly for the GuardianTIME magazine, Independent, Grazia, Red Magazine and others. She was the recipient of the Georgina Henry award at the 2015 British Press Awards. Laura's first book, Everyday Sexism, was shortlisted for Waterstones book of the year and the Political Book Awards Polemic of the Year. Her latest book, the Sunday Times Bestseller Girl Up, was published by Simon and Schuster in 2016.

Laura works closely with politicians, schools and universities worldwide, as well as bodies from the United Nations to the Council of Europe to combat gender inequality. She is also Contributor for Women Under Siege, a New York-based organisation working against the use of rape as a tool of war in conflict zones worldwide, and she is Patron of Somerset and Avon Rape and Sexual Abuse Support, part of the Rape Crisis network.

Laura was awarded a British Empire Medal in the 2015 Queen’s Birthday Honours List. She has been named a Woman of the Year by The Sunday Times, Cosmopolitan, and Red magazine and was named 9th on the BBC Radio 4 Woman’s Hour Power List 2014. She received the 2014 Oxford Internet Institute Internet and Society Award alongside Tim Berners Lee. 

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The Hay 30 is made possible by the generous support of the CASE foundation.

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Hay Digital 2020

Gloria Steinem talks to Laura Bates

The Truth Will Set You Free, But First It Will Piss You Off

Hay Digital 2020, 

In a special recording of the Hay Festival Podcast, the writer shares her Thoughts on Life, Love and Rebellion with the founder of The Everyday Sexism Project. For decades, people around the world have found guidance, humour and unity in Gloria Steinem's gift for creating quotes that offer hope and inspire action. From her early days as a journalist and feminist activist, Steinem's words have helped generations to empower themselves and work together.


Buy the book at Waterstones

Hay Festival 2017

Harriet Harman talks to Laura Bates

A Woman’s Work

Hay Festival 2017, 

A fascinating account of an exemplary Parliamentary and political career from an insider committed to progressing gender equality. There’s a great quote about her in The Times: “Countless blows have tempered Harman into something fearless and indestructible”. She talks to the founder of the Everyday Sexism project.

Winter Weekend 2018

Helena Kennedy talks to Laura Bates

Eve Was Shamed

Winter Weekend 2018, 

The QC forensically examines the pressing new evidence that women are still being discriminated against throughout the legal system, from the High Court (where only 21% of judges are women) to female prisons (where 84% of inmates are held for non-violent offences). In-between are the so-called ‘lifestyle’ choices of the Rotherham girls; the failings of the current rules on excluding victims’ sexual history from rape trials; battered wives being asked why they don’t ‘just leave’ their partners; the way statistics hide the double discrimination experienced by BAME and disabled women; the failure to prosecute cases of female genital mutilation… the list goes on. The law holds up a mirror to society and it is failing women.

Cartagena 2015

Laura Bates en conversación con Jineth Bedoya

Sexismo a diario

Cartagena 2015, 

Laura Bates es una periodista que escribe para medios como The Guardian, The Independent, Financial Times, Grazia y Red. Tras haber sido acosada sexualmente en un transporte público, creó el proyecto online Everyday Sexism (Sexismo Cotidiano), en el que recopila testimonios de mujeres que han sufrido discriminación de género. Recientemente ha publicado un libro sobre el proyecto bajo el mismo título. Charlará sobre su trabajo y el uso de internet para campañas de activismo social con la periodista Jineth Bedoya.

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Hay Festival 2014

Laura Bates talks to Anita Anand

Everyday Sexism: The Project That Inspired a Worldwide Movement

Hay Festival 2014, 

In 2012 after being sexually harassed on London public transport a young journalist started to collect stories for a piece she was writing on the issue. Astounded by the response she received and the wide range of stories that came pouring in from all over the world, she quickly realised that the situation was far worse than she’d initially thought. Sexism is endemic – socially, politically and economically. And enough is enough. Welcome to the fourth wave of feminism.

Year round events

Laura Bates talks to Bryony Gordon: Men Who Hate Women

September Book of the Month Live Q&A

Year round events, 

We have 50 bookplated copies for pre-order which we can dispatch on the publication date of September 3. (Only signed bookplate copies are available)
Pre-order your signed copy here

The bestselling author and founder of The Everyday Sexism Project talks to Bryony Gordon, journalist and mental health campaigner, whose latest book is Glorious Rock Bottom.

‘Laura Bates has done it again. From bantz to outright brutality, she exposes the landscape of misogyny. Passionate and forensic, Bates produces a powerful feminist clarion call. The world needs to take notice. Things must change.’ -- Anita Anand

Imagine a world in which a vast network of incels and other misogynists are able to operate, virtually undetected. These extremists commit deliberate terrorist acts against women. Vulnerable teenage boys are groomed and radicalised.

You don't have to imagine that world. You already live in it. Perhaps you didn’t know, because we don’t like to talk about it. But it’s time we start.

In this urgent and groundbreaking book, Laura Bates goes undercover to expose vast misogynist networks and communities. It’s a deep dive into the worldwide extremism nobody talks about.

Interviews with former members of these groups and the people fighting against them gives unique insights on how this movement operates. Ideas are spread from the darkest corners of the internet – via trolls, media and celebrities – to schools, workplaces and the corridors of power, becoming a part of our collective consciousness.

Uncensored, and sometimes both shocking and terrifying – this is the uncomfortable truth about the world we live in. And what we must do to change it.
About the Speakers:
Laura Bates studied English at Cambridge University and went on to be a freelance journalist. She has written for the Guardian, the Independent, the New Statesman, Red Magazine and Grazia among others. She is also contributor at Women Under Siege, a New-York based organisation working to combat the use of sexual violence as a tool of war in conflict zones worldwide. She is the founder of the Everyday Sexism Project.
In the 18 years that she has worked for the Telegraph, Bryony Gordon has become one of the paper's best-loved writers. She is the author of the bestselling The Wrong Knickers plus The Sunday Times Number One bestseller Mad Girl which was nominated for a British Book Award. Her weekly column in the Sunday Telegraph has won her an army of fans who have followed her journey from single girl about town to - finally! - settled mum. Bryony is now 37 and lives in Nappy Valley (Clapham) with her daughter Edie and her husband, a financial journalist. The last sentence is one she never thought she would see written down on paper.

Photo credits: Laura Bates © Siggi Holm

Hay Festival 2016

Laura Bates talks to Bryony Gordon

Girl Up

Hay Festival 2016, 

“They told you you need to be thin and beautiful. They told you to wear longer skirts, avoid going out late at night and move in groups – never accept drinks from a stranger, and wear shoes you can run in more easily than heels. They told you to wear just enough make-up to look presentable but not enough to be a slut; to dress to flatter your apple, pear, hourglass figure, but not to be too tarty. They warned you that if you try to be strong, or take control, you’ll be shrill, bossy, a ballbreaker. Of course it’s fine for the boys, but you should know your place. They told you that’s not for girls – take it as a compliment – don’t rock the boat – that’ll go straight to your hips. They told you beauty is on the inside, but you knew they didn’t really mean it. Well I’m here to tell you something different…” Hilarious, jaunty and bold, the founder of the Everyday Sexism Project exposes the truth about the pressures surrounding body image, the false representations in media, the complexities of sex and relationships, the trials of social media and all the other lies they told us.

Winter Weekend 2014

Laura Bates talks to Francine Stock

Everyday Sexism

Winter Weekend 2014, 

It seems to be increasingly difficult to talk about sexism, equality and women’s rights in a modern society that perceives itself to have achieved gender equality. Laura Bates is the founder of the Everyday Sexism Project, a collection of over 10,000 women’s daily experiences of gender inequality. 

Hay Festival 2018

Laura Bates talks to Owen Sheers


Hay Festival 2018, 

The Everyday Sexism founder reflects on the true scale of the challenge to our aspirations to equality. From Weinstein to Westminster, from banter to consent, and from the President’s Club to equal pay, she makes a passionate argument for stepping back, opening our eyes and allowing ourselves to address the bigger picture.

She talks to the writer Owen Sheers, author of The Men You'll Meet.

Hay Festival 2015

Laura Bates, Nimko Ali, Sonia Faleiro and guests

Magna Carta 800 – What Do We Want? Equality

Hay Festival 2015, 

Is equality law working to deliver equality for women? If not, what’s it going to take? Bates is the founder of the Everyday Sexism project. Nimko Ali is a social activist, an FGM survivor and campaigner, co-founder of Daughters of Eve. Journalist and writer Sonia Faleiro is the author of Beautiful Thing: Inside the Secret World of Bombay's Dance Bars and 13 Men.

Hay Festival 2015

Laura Bates

Everyday Sexism 2015

Hay Festival 2015, 

The online Everyday Sexism Project exists to catalogue instances of sexism experienced by women on a day-to-day basis. It shares stories from women around the world. The founder reports on the last year’s work.

Hay Festival 2017

Laura Bates

Plan International UK: Because I am a Girl

Hay Festival 2017, 

The global children’s charity introduces the world’s biggest campaign for girls’ rights. The founder of the Everyday Sexism project shares her story and talks about barriers facing girls today in the UK and around the world: from online trolling to period poverty and gender stereotypes. Join the conversation and explore what it means to be a girl today.

Hay Festival 2016

Lindy West talks to Laura Bates

Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman

Hay Festival 2016, 

Lindy West wasn’t always loud. She was once a nerdy, terror-stricken teen who wanted nothing more than to be invisible. Fortunately, that cripplingly shy girl who refused to make a sound grew up to be one of the loudest, shrillest, most fearless feminazis on the internet, making a living speaking up for what’s right instead of what’s cool. She reveals the obstacles and misogyny she’s had to overcome to make herself heard, in a society that doesn’t believe women (especially fat women and feminists) can ever be funny. “Her talent and bravery have made the internet a place where I actually want to be”–  Lena Dunham.

Hay Festival 2015

Mona Eltahawy talks to Laura Bates

Headscarves and Hymens: Why the Middle East Needs a Sexual Revolution

Hay Festival 2015, 

The campaigner and commentator explains that since the Arab Spring began, women in the Arab world have had two revolutions to undertake: one fought with men against oppressive regimes, and another fought against an entire political and economic system that treats women as second-class. Her illuminating and incendiary book is a plea for outrage and action on women’s behalf, confronting the ‘toxic mix of culture and religion that few seem willing or able to disentangle lest they blaspheme or offend.’

Hay Festival 2016

Rachael Jolley, David Aaronovitch, Laura Bates, Nikesh Shukla

The Index Platform: What’s Offensive?

Hay Festival 2016, 

What are the limits of free speech and civility? What is the nature of ‘offence’? What earns ‘respect’? If words can hurt you, are sticks and stones and broken bones the answer? Rachael Jolley is the editor of Index. David Aaronovitch writes for The Times. Laura Bates is Founder of the Everyday Sexism project. Nikesh Shukla is a novelist and editor of The Good Immigrant anthology to be published in September.