What is a feminist, and how do you become one, or act once you do? Is the self-identifying t-shirt compulsory? Or, if you already consider yourself a feminist, how might you be a better one? Our diverse panel discusses one of the key gender politics issues of our time.

We’ve assembled a group of forthright speakers: chair Ralph Dartford, poet and founder of A Firm of Poets; Lennie Goodings, publisher at Virago, the leading international publisher of books by women; journalist and feminist firebrand Mona Eltahawy; and blogger, academic and editor of the Liberal Conspiracy blog Sunny Hundal. They’ll look at the mechanics of feminism and consider how to be a feminist in 2016, when debate and dialogue seem so energised at one moment and in danger of being no-platformed into extinction the next.


Mona Eltahawy

Mona Eltahawy is an award-winning columnist and an international public speaker on Arab and Muslim issues and global feminism. She is the author of Headscarves and Hymens: Why the Middle East Needs a Sexual Revolution. Her commentaries have appeared in several publications and she is a regular guest analyst on various television and radio shows.

Lennie Goodings

Lennie Goodings is Chair of Virago Press. Her authors include, amongst many others, Sarah Waters, Maya Angelou, Eileen Atkins, Natasha Walter, Linda Grant and Marilynne Robinson. Her book, A Bite of the Apple: A Life with Books, Writers and Virago was published in 2020 by OUP. She won A Lifetime’s Achievement at WOW, London’s Southbank Women of the World festival in 2018.

Sunny Hundal

Sunny Hundal is a journalist, a writer and a lecturer on digital journalism at Kingston University. He writes mostly on current affairs, including UK politics, race relations, religion and free speech. He is also author of ‘India Dishonoured’.


Ralph Dartford

Ralph Dartford is the author of Cigarettes, Beer and Love (Ossett Observer Presents 2013) and Recovery Songs (Valley Press 2019). His forthcoming third collection, Serotonin Songs will be published by Valley Press in 2021. Ralph is writer and tutor who mainly works with people who are in recovery from alcohol and substance abuse. His spoken word performance show, Recovery Songs continues to tour nationally.

Arifa Akbar

Arifa Akbar is the Guardian’s chief theatre critic. A journalist for over twenty years, she is the former literary editor of the Independent, where she also worked as arts correspondent and news reporter. She has previously contributed to the Observer and the Financial Times. She is on the board of trustees for the Orwell Foundation and English PEN. Short pieces of her non-fiction have appeared in several anthologies. Consumed is her first full length book.