How women are shaping their own destinies despite what 'society' thinks
Among the many scandals, controversies and lawsuits that have mired the US presidential race, some of the most highlighted have been Trump’s completely lax attitude towards consent, and the perception this creates that rich men can do what they want, to the women they want.
But even before this shocking news turned Trump’s campaign on its head, his attitude towards his female opponent – starting from his constant discussion of her husband’s life and career to his patronising pat on her back at the end of every debate – has put every feminist’s teeth on edge. Out of the many low moments that Trump had during the presidential debates, one particular moment that stuck and went viral on media was when Trump called Clinton ‘a nasty woman’.
This election has been defined by gender politics, and Trump’s comments have sparked some very serious concerns regarding cultural prejudices against strong, accomplished women.
The ‘woman card’ has definitely been an issue throughout, and those who don’t support either candidate have also accused Clinton of claiming to be a champion of women’s rights without actually doing anything for women. As Susan Sarandon recently put it, she won’t be voting for Trump but not for Clinton either, “because I don’t vote with my vagina and this is so much bigger than that”.
To dive into this debate, the Dhaka Literary Fest 2016 will also be featuring a star-studded panel titled ‘Nasty Women’ to discuss prejudices against strong women who are carving out their own destinies, despite what ‘society’ thinks, says, enables or otherwise. The panel will feature the following women:
One of India’s best-known journalists, Dutt was also the youngest to receive the Padma Shri Award. In a career that spans 23 years, she has done conflict reporting in Kashmir, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Egypt and Libya, and interviewed some of the biggest political leaders across the world, including the Clintons. She is currently consulting editor with NDTV, and is also the author of This Unquiet Land: Stories from India’s Fault Lines.
An Anglo-Australian author, Evie Wyld has published three books and a graphic memoir, and has won several awards including Australia’s Miles Franklin Award in 2014. In 2013, she was listed as one of Granta’s Best of Young British Novelists.
Deborah Smith is the winner of the 2016 International Man Booker Prize along with Hang Kang for the translation of Kang’s The Vegetarian. In 2015 Deborah completed a PhD at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, on contemporary Korean literature, and founded Tilted Axis, a non-profit press focusing on contemporary and cutting-edge Asian fiction in translation.
Bee Rowlatt is a writer and journalist who authored In Search of Mary, inspired by the life of pioneering feminist Mary Wollstonecraft, who Rowlatt has described as her hero and inspiration. In Search of Mary won the UK’s ‘Real Life Reads’ 2016 and made the Independent’s Best Biographies list. She also co-wrote Talking about Jane Austen in Baghdad and is one of the writers in Virago’s Fifty Shades of Feminism. She is also a regular guest on BBC Woman’s Hour and has reported for BBC World Service, Newsnight, and BBC2.
Lady Nadira Naipaul
A Pakistani journalist, Lady Naipaul was born Nadira Khannum Alvi and raised in Kenya. Her career as a journalist also involves working for Pakistani newspaper The Nation for ten years.