Girl Power: 5 Must-See All About Women Festival Talks

Victoria Webster

Mar 04, 2017

The All About Women Festival, a prelude to International Women’s Day on March 8, is celebrating its fifth year as one of Sydney Opera House’s flagship events.

As part of Sydney’s Talks and Ideas program, the day features innovators, culture-shakers, innovative thinkers and storytellers. The festival that features 20 guests from Australia, Iceland, Germany, Malaysia, France, Norway, and the United States, and more, hopes to instigate discussion on matters and ideas that hold great importance for women today.

The 2017 program, co-curated by Danielle Harvey and Ann Mossop, explores issues ranging from equality, unconscious bias and violence, to education, the depiction of women in media, and the impact of war. Packed with ideas, conversation and debate from leading thinkers and culture creators from around the world, All About Women is a festival relevant to everyone.

Meanwhile, here are five events on this year’s program that are not to be missed!

1. Hate Male

“Misandrist. Man-hater. Feminazi boner killer. Joyless harpy, jealous of the prettier girls. Dumb fat cow. Sour-faced wrinkled bitch who’s only angry about rape because no one would ever rape her. Wants to kill all men, but only because no man would ever touch her. You’re a c—. I hope you get raped by someone with AIDS. I hope you get raped by a pack of Muslims. F— you, you f—ing man-hating dyke.

This is just a sample of the ‘feedback’ that Clementine Ford has recieved throughout her 15 years as a feminist. She is a Melbourne-based writer, speaker and feminist who expresses her views openly in the world and online. In her talk she will take the audience on a hilarious and insightful walk through her hate mail(male) – the “love letters” that fired-up men send her.

Clementine’s book Fight like a girl is a must-read for anyone interested in feminism. A brave, inspiring voice for women and advocate for freedom of speech, Ford will explore how women can fight back and resist misogyny.

2. Women and Media

Who better to provide an insight into Hollywood and the international film industry than Geena Davis?

As an academy award winner and one of Hollywood’s most respected actors, she is equally recognised for tirelessly advocating gender equality.

Geena is the Founder and Chair of the non-profit Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, which is successfully influencing film and television content creators to dramatically increase the percentages of female characters — and reduce gender stereotyping — in media targeting children 11 and under. She is an official partner of UN Women, working toward their goal of promoting gender equality and empowering women worldwide.

In this talk questions how film and TV culture reproduces gender stereotypes and how we can change the industry so that it reflects and celebrates real women and girls.

3. Life on Mars

Wouldn’t it be wonderful to know what life is like on Mars? Carmel Johnston is the leader of the HI-SEAS Mars simulation mission in Hawaii and an inspiration to women everywhere. Johnston spent a year with her team living on a simulated Martian station. Discover all there is to know about the red planet, including what it will take to live there once reached by human kind.

4. Testosterone Rex

Cordelia Fine draws on the latest research in evolutionary science, psychology, neuroscience, endocrinology, and philosophy to show us that the sex roles of the past don’t need to determine the present or the future. Looking beyond “nature versus nurture” at a more dynamic reality, she asks us to imagine an equal society based on the full potential of both sexes.

5. The Gut

Best-selling author and ground-breaking microbiologist Giulia Enders explores one of the most complex, important, and even miraculous parts of our anatomy – the gut. Our digestive system is so integral to our overall wellbeing, and Giulia charts the role of our largest sensory organ and it’s link to the brain. With refreshing frankness and incredible insight, you will never think about your poo in the same way.


By Victoria Webster

Victoria Webster is a contributor for The Carousel. She began her journalism career by studying Media and Communications at The University of Sydney.



The Carousel