French feminists wear fake beards to fight inequality

A group of French feminists have started protesting against inequality by wearing fake beards

A group of French feminists have come up with a new way to fight inequality – donning fake beards.

La Barbe, a Paris-based direct action feminist group, infiltrate high-level, male-dominated meetings.

During the meetings they rise to their feet, put on the beards, then read out ironic statements congratulating men on their supremacy.

The group includes women of various ages, united by a ‘determination to fight entrenched sexism’.

One member, Ilana Eliot, says the facial hair ridicules outdated male attitudes.

She says: ‘In the days of the Third Republic, all the great men used to wear big beards. That was the end of the 19th Century but not much has changed in the way many men behave and think in France.’

Recently they protested at the Cannes Film Festival after none of the 22 films selected for the official competition were directed by a woman.

‘Generally, feminist happenings are all about women,’ says Colette Coffin, another member of La Barbe.

‘But we focus on men because the problem for us is not women, it’s men.

‘Our idea is to create a mirror effect to show a male-dominated situation which highlights the invisibility of women.’

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