Hay Festival 2022 – Gender

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Event 7

Events taking place live 26 May–5 June 2022

Torrey Peters talks to Louise Hare

Detransition, Baby

Venue: Summerhouse
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Torrey Peters’ Womens Prize-longlisted debut novel is a uniquely trans take on love, exes and motherhood. Reese nearly had it all: a loving relationship with Amy, an apartment in New York, a job she didn’t hate. She’d scraped together a life previous generations of trans women could only dream of; the only thing missing was a child.

Then everything fell apart and three years on Reese is still in self-destruct mode, avoiding her loneliness by sleeping with married men. When her ex calls to ask if she wants to be a mother, Reese finds herself intrigued. After being attacked in the street, Amy detransitioned to become Ames, changed jobs and, thinking he was infertile, started an affair with his boss Katrina. Now Katrina’s pregnant. Could the three of them form an unconventional family – and raise the baby together? She talks to the author of This Lovely City, Louise Hare.

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Torrey Peters talks to Louise Hare

Event 49

Events taking place live 26 May–5 June 2022

Rosie Boycott and Carmen Callil in conversation with Laura Bates

Imagine... Equalities: How Far Have We Come?

Venue: Llwyfan Cymru – Wales Stage
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1972 was a landmark year for the emerging women’s liberation movement. A time of great optimism and hope, it saw the birth of two great feminist institutions – Spare Rib and Virago Books. Both challenged the stereotyping and exploitation of women and played a key role in transforming the role of women in society. But fifty years on, how far have we come?

Join Carmen Callil, writer, publisher and founder of Virago, and Rosie Boycott, co-founder of Spare Rib, journalist and cross-bench peer to discuss this question with Laura Bates, founder of the Everyday Sexism Project, an ever-increasing collection of over 100,000 testimonies of gender inequality, to discuss gender issues and where we stand on gender equality today.

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Rosie Boycott and Carmen Callil in conversation with Laura Bates

Event 69

Events taking place live 26 May–5 June 2022

Laura Bates and Laurie Penny in conversation with Viv Groskop

Imagine... Equalities: Women, Misogyny and Power

Venue: Llwyfan Cymru – Wales Stage
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In Fix the System, Not the Women, founder of the Everyday Sexism Project and author of Men Who Hate Women Laura Bates debunks the myth that acts of violence towards women are merely ‘isolated incidents’, laying bare the patterns of systemic misogyny that is so deeply ingrained in our society.

In Sexual Revolution: Modern Fascism and the Feminist Fightback, Laurie Penny tells the story of how modern masculinity is killing the world, and how feminism can save it. It’s a story about sex and power and trauma and resistance and persistence.

Together they discuss misogyny, power and envision the possibilities of our moment.

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Laura Bates and Laurie Penny in conversation with Viv Groskop

Event 75

Events taking place live 26 May–5 June 2022

Jacqueline Rose and Amia Srinivasan

Sex and Violence

Venue: Starlight Stage
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Violence – particularly against women, and often sexual – has become exponentially more visible across the world. The renowned feminist thinker and the Professor of Social and Political Theory agitate for new frameworks to achieve sexual justice.

Jacqueline Rose’s On Violence and On Violence Against Women is a blazingly insightful, provocative study of violence against women, tracking multiple forms of today’s violence – ranging through trans rights and #MeToo; the suffragette movement and the sexual harassment faced by migrant women; and the sharp increase in domestic violence over the course of the pandemic.

Amia Srinivasan’s The Right to Sex rethinks sex as a political phenomenon. Since #MeToo many have fixed on consent as the key framework for achieving sexual justice. Yet consent is a blunt tool. To grasp sex in all its complexity we need to interrogate the fraught relationships between discrimination and preference, pornography and freedom, rape and racial injustice, punishment and accountability, pleasure and power, capitalism and liberation.

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Jacqueline Rose and Amia Srinivasan

Event 81

Events taking place live 26 May–5 June 2022

My Pen Is The Wing Of A Bird

Venue: Llwyfan Cymru – Wales Stage
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A special event in partnership with Untold’s Write Afghanistan project to launch My Pen Is The Wing Of A Bird: New Fiction by Afghan Women, the first anthology of short fiction in translation by Afghan women. Contributor Masoma Kawsary joins translator Zarghuna Kargar and Untold Narratives’ Founder and Director Lucy Hannah to discuss and perform extracts of these powerful, profound and deeply moving new pieces.

“These stories will expand your mind and elevate your heart” – Elif Shafak.

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Event 86

Events taking place live 26 May–5 June 2022

Kübra Gümüşay talks to Sophie Hughes

Imagine.... Equalities: Speaking and Being

Venue: Llwyfan Cymru – Wales Stage
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Kübra Gümüşay is an award-winning author and activist from Germany. In her bestselling book Speaking and Being she examines how language dictates politics and shapes the way we think. Language opens up our world, and in the same instant, limits it. What does it mean to exist in a language that was never meant for you to speak? Why are we missing certain words? How can we talk about our communal problems without fuelling them? What does it actually mean to speak freely? As a writer and activist fighting for equality, Gümüşay has been thinking about these questions for many years. She addresses language and equalities related to gender with translator Sophie Hughes.

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Kübra Gümüşay talks to Sophie Hughes

Event 118

Events taking place live 26 May–5 June 2022

Sadia Azmat in conversation with Natalie Haynes

Sex Bomb

Venue: Cube
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Sadia Azmat is a comedian who loves sex. She is also a hijab-wearing Muslim woman. The two are in a lifelong relationship, but it’s complicated.

Sadia has many different sides to her: she is the good Muslim sister and the loud and proud comedian; she is the quiet and loving friend and the horny and outspoken one. So why does everyone put her in a box and expect her to choose between one or the other?

In a life of ups and downs, swings and roundabouts, Sadia has learnt the hard way that she can embrace her sexuality and be a proud British-Indian Muslim. Unafraid to spill the honest truth and finding the funny in every experience she has, she makes Sex Bomb explode with personality, warmth and joy.

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Sadia Azmat in conversation with Natalie Haynes

Event 144

Events taking place live 26 May–5 June 2022

Joeli Brearley and Anna Kent talk to Nicola Cutcher

In Pursuit of Better Births

Venue: Cube
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How honestly do we talk about birth? How safe is birth today? Could better conversations lead to better births? Founder of Pregnant Then Screwed, Joeli Brearley highlights the traumatic and isolated experiences of women on maternity wards throughout the Covid pandemic. In her memoir Frontline Midwife, Anna Kent shares her experiences of working in South Sudan, Bangladesh and the NHS. They talk to freelance journalist, writer and documentary filmmaker Nicola Cutcher.

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Joeli Brearley and Anna Kent talk to Nicola Cutcher

Event 190

Events taking place live 26 May–5 June 2022

Anna Fleming and Helen Mort

Women Who Take Risks

Venue: Cube
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Anna Fleming’s Time on Rock: A Climber’s Route into the Mountains charts her progress from terrified beginner to confident lead climber, and the way in which learning to climb offered a new relationship with both the landscape and herself. She describes how climbing invites us into the history of a place: geologically, of course, but also culturally, delving into what it’s like to be a woman in such a male-dominated world – and the ways in which the climbing community is trying to shift that balance.

Poet and novelist Helen Mort’s A Line Above the Sky is a love letter to losing oneself in physicality, whether climbing a mountain or bringing a child into the world. Melding memoir and nature writing to ask why humans are drawn to danger, and how we can find freedom in pushing our limits, she examines attitudes to women who take risks, particularly once they become mothers, and questions who their ‘body’ belongs to. Helen’s own story is haunted by the life of Alison Hargreaves who died on K2, having gone against convention by refusing to give up her career as a professional mountaineer after having children.

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Anna Fleming and Helen Mort

Event 199

Events taking place live 26 May–5 June 2022

Lianne Dillsworth talks to Stacey Halls

10@10 Debuts: Theatre of Marvels

Venue: Wales Dome
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Zillah has left behind the shadowy slums of St Giles to become the star of Stratton’s Variety Show, cast as ‘The Great Amazonia’. When a new act is introduced – a black woman with vitiligo exhibited as the ‘The Leopard Lady’ – Zillah is forced to confront the dark side of her profession. Featuring a defiant heroine and a theatrical world of fragile dreams and ruthless ambition, Dillsworth’s book shines a light on the experience of being Black and British in Victorian London through one woman’s journey to live her life on her own terms. She talks to author of The Foundling Stacey Halls.

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Lianne Dillsworth talks to Stacey Halls

Event 206

Events taking place live 26 May–5 June 2022

Dylan Huw, Crystal Jeans and David Llewellyn talk to Kirsti Bohata

Lunchtime Lecture: Queer Square Mile – Queer Short Stories from Wales

Venue: Llwyfan Cymru – Wales Stage
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Dylan Huw works bilingually across criticism, fiction and collaborative projects, and is one of the Arts Council of Wales' Future Wales Fellows. Crystal Jeans, short story writer and novelist, won the Wales Book of the Year for her novel Light Switches Are My Kryptonite. David Llewellyn, novelist and scriptwriter, was shortlisted for the Polari Prize with A Simple Scale. Kirsti Bohata, Professor of English Literature and the Co-Director of the Centre for Research into the English Language and Literature at Swansea University, maps the importance of the short story form in the development and portrayal of queer culture to mark the publication of a groundbreaking anthology of queer writing from Wales.

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Dylan Huw, Crystal Jeans and David Llewellyn talk to Kirsti Bohata

Event 258

Events taking place live 26 May–5 June 2022

Sandra Newman talks to Julia Wheeler

The Men

Venue: Cube
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Jane Pearson is camping with her husband Leo and their son Benjamin in the California woods when suddenly every single person with a Y chromosome vanishes from the world. After the disappearance, Jane enters a reality she barely recognises, where those who remain must create new ways of living while coping with devastating grief. Meanwhile, strange video footage called The Men is being broadcast online showing images of the vanished marching through barren, otherworldly landscapes. From the author of The Heavens, this is a gripping and disquieting novel of political utopias and impossible sacrifices that interrogates the dream of a perfect society. Newman talks to journalist Julia Wheeler.

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Sandra Newman talks to Julia Wheeler

Event 267

Events taking place live 26 May–5 June 2022

Raven Smith talks to Nell Frizzell

Raven Smith’s Men

Venue: Cube
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Part memoir, part commentary on masculinity, this isn’t so much for men, as about them. Raven has been trying to distill what it is about men that has kept him intrigued his whole life. Firstly, he loves them. Secondly, he can see how problematic they are. Thirdly, both these things converge in his own sense of self and his own masculinity. His book is about particular dynamics, a cautious reverence of a life lived in parallel with other men, observing masculinity’s odd amorphous boundaries. He doesn’t shy away from difficult truths, but there’s plenty to laugh about. Raven Smith has been 32 for several years and lives in London with his husband and cat. He talks to journalist Nell Frizzell.

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Raven Smith talks to Nell Frizzell

Event 289

Events taking place live 26 May–5 June 2022

Mary Ann Sieghart talks to Katya Adler

Women & Power: The Authority Gap

Venue: Festival Friends Stage
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Mary Ann Sieghart brings up harsh realities that may seem astonishing – including the fact that very often it is women themselves who perpetuate sexism. She maps out the measures we can take, as individuals and society, to counteract an irrational but tenacious product of our social conditioning. She provides a startling perspective on the unseen bias at work and in our everyday lives, to reveal the scale of the gap that still persists between men and women. Drawing on cutting-edge work and original research commissioned to support her arguments and findings, she discusses the issues with the BBC’s Europe editor.

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Mary Ann Sieghart talks to Katya Adler

Event 298

Events taking place live 26 May–5 June 2022

Nicola Sturgeon talks to Katya Adler

Women & Power

Venue: Baillie Gifford Stage
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The First Minister of Scotland and avid reader makes her Hay Festival debut to share her thoughts on being a woman in politics and what a post-Brexit, post-Covid, net-zero world will look like.

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Nicola Sturgeon talks to Katya Adler

Event 300

Events taking place live 26 May–5 June 2022

Mary Wellesley

Hidden Hands: The Lives of Manuscripts

Venue: Starlight Stage
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Medieval historian Wellesley charts the history of manuscripts in England. She discusses the many contributors to the creation of these venerable, beautiful and delicate objects, and highlights the little-known women’s histories, assembling evidence of an overlooked world of female scribes, patrons and readers.

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Mary Wellesley

Event 309

Events taking place live 26 May–5 June 2022

Rebecca Gibbs, Kate Muir and Louise Newson

The Menopause Roadshow

Venue: Festival Friends Stage
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The Menopause Revolution goes on the road with the obstetrician and gynaecologist, the author of Everything You Need to Know About the Menopause (But Were too Afraid to Ask), and the menopause expert and author of Preparing for the Perimenopause and Menopause.

Dr Rebecca Gibbs is Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist at the Royal Free Hospital. She is also a volunteer for the Daisy Network, which helps women with premature ovarian insufficiency. Kate Muir’s book is the thinking woman’s guide to the menopause, questioning misplaced shame, bad science and centuries of patriarchy. Dr Louise Newson runs the world’s largest menopause clinic and is on the government’s Menopause Taskforce.

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Rebecca Gibbs, Kate Muir and Louise Newson

Event 317

Events taking place live 26 May–5 June 2022

Atina Krajewska

Lunchtime Lecture: Reproductive Rights, Democracy and the Rule of Law

Venue: Starlight Stage
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Is abortion law a litmus test for democracy and the rule of law? Adequate protection of reproductive rights should be viewed as an essential element of the legal fabric of democratic society, argues the academic. She examines the relationship between reproductive rights, democracy, and the rule of law, taking as a case study, Poland, which, like Hungary, Brazil, USA, has experienced two processes: anti-constitutional backsliding and restrictive abortion reforms. Long before these processes became apparent the implementation of reproductive rights, especially by doctors and law enforcement agencies, indicated that the rule of law was weakly institutionalised.

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Atina Krajewska

Event 328

Events taking place live 26 May–5 June 2022

Miriam Toews talks to Claire Armitstead

Women & Power: Fight Night

Venue: Summerhouse
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The Canadian writer, author of A Complicated Kindness, All My Puny Sorrows and Women Talking discusses her poignant, hilarious and deeply moving new novel with the Guardian's Associate Culture Editor. Fight Night is a girl’s love letter to the women raising her and a tribute to one family’s fighting spirit.

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Miriam Toews talks to Claire Armitstead

Event 343

Events taking place live 26 May–5 June 2022

Janina Ramirez talks to Kavita Puri

Femina: A New History of the Middle Ages

Venue: Starlight Stage
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Ramirez reappraises medieval history to reveal why women were struck from historical narrative and restores them to their rightful positions as the power-players who shaped our world. An Oxford lecturer, BBC broadcaster, researcher and author, she has presented and written BBC history documentaries and series on TV and radio, and writes for both children and adults. Femina is published on 21 July 2022: the first 40 people to buy a ticket to the event will receive an advance proof copy! Kavita Puri is an award-winning journalist, executive producer and broadcaster for the BBC. She is also the author of the critically acclaimed book Partition Voices: Untold British Stories.

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Janina Ramirez talks to Kavita Puri