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international women: paris

​They don’t call it International Women’s Day for nothing. This year we travelled the globe, asking women in Tokyo, Berlin, Paris, Mexico City and the US who their role models are, what feminism means to them and what the best thing about being a woman...

by i-D Staff
|
Mar 15 2016, 1:05pm

Lucile Martin

Where are you from?
I grew up in the south of France, in Aix-en-Provence. I now live between Strasbourg -- where I study graphic design -- Paris, and Brussels where I develop my projects.

What do you do? Does being a woman impact it?
I am a graphic designer but my work relies on constantly researching new forms and mediums of expression -- my imagination never stops. Textile is one of these media and I love working with it. Since I was a little girl, I have always been fascinated by my mom's collection of textiles, from wax to batiks with crazy patterns and colors. I launched a silk scarf brand called Un Mètre Carré (or One Meter Square, in English) in collaboration with four friends. When I was a teenager, I used to do graffiti -- my goal being that people wouldn't differentiate my signature from a boy's one. This idea keeps fueling my work today.

Who are your female role models?
My mom is the most remarkable women in my life. I could talk about plenty of other women who have always inspired me a way or another but it wouldn't be as sincere.

What does feminism mean to you?
For me feminism is about fighting for certain values, fighting for the hope that people will stopped being judged in accordance with their sex.

Do you think men can be feminists?
I think a man can be feminist as much as a woman can be machist.

If you could change one thing about the world what would it be and why?
I wish Otis Redding never got on that plane.

What's the best thing about being a woman in 2016?
Little by little, things will change.

What advice would you give the next generation? 
I hope they will remain independent and that they won't give in to prejudice. 

lucilemartin.fr

Dustina Muchuvitz

Where are you from?
Paris.

What does feminism mean to you?
A shared desire for gender equity and equality.

Do you think men can be feminist?
Yes.

If you could change one thing in the world what would it be?
That everyone can live as they please.

What advice would you give to the next generation?
Let nobody else define you.

Maïna Silva Jouyaux

Where are you from? 
I was born in Paris. My father is from Britanny and my mom is Brazilian.

What do you do ? Does being a woman impact it?
I am design assistant at Marc Jacobs Paris. In fashion I don't really feel that being a woman impacts my work too much.

Who are your role models?
Françoise Héritier amongst others who've written about the cultural construction of the female condition and male domination, a lot of women that don't have famous names, and Rihanna.

What does feminism mean to you?
It means being aware of male domination in society and rejecting indifference or resignation. I created a feminist Facebook page in order to share knowledge on the subject, rants, and good articles. Feeling supported is important when you lead a fight on a daily basis.

Do you think men can be feminists?
Who am I to say that someone that claims himself as a feminist isn't? I'm always happy when I meet men who feel concerned by gender inequalities.

If you could change one thing about the world what would it be and why? 
More empathy. If men were more willing to put themselves into women shoes I'm sure things will be different.

What's the best thing about being a woman in 2016?
Being aware.

What advice would you give the next generation?
See other women as sisters, not as rivals. 

Annabel Fernandes

Where are you from?
London.

What do you do? Does being a woman impact it?
I'm an editor at Purple Fashion magazine. Being a woman means I have a different sensuality towards the sexuality we so openly discuss in the magazine.

Who are your female role models?
I find the women that surround me on my day to day most inspiring. My mom above all. I can't help but try and emulate her everyday. 

What does feminism mean to you?
It means the right for women to gain equal rights, for which we so rightly deserve. We still a lot to fight for but I'm hopeful for the future.

Do you think men can be feminists?
Of course!

If you could change one thing about the world what would it be and why?
Injustice.

What's the best thing about being a woman in 2016?
I love seeing more diverse female representation in the media. It's comforting to see women loving their bodies. Women are more outspoken than ever before. It's crazy to think that we were so repressed that we couldn't communicate our desires freely and openly to each other.

What advice would you give the next generation?
Take risks and be spontaneous.

Shanti

Where are you from?
I come from France. One of my ancestors was part of a notorious feminist group during the Paris Commune. She was called Paule Minck and fought for women rights with Louise Michel. She led important educational reforms and manned the barricades in Clignancourt. I now live in this exact area. Things have come full circle.

What do you do? Does being a woman impact it?
I'm a filmmaker. In my professional world like many others, women are more and more confident -- it is the normal course of things. A confident woman gaining power always suprises people which is both annoying and gratifying somehow.

What does feminism mean to you?
"Women join men!" as André Léo used to say.

Do you think men can be feminists?
If they stop yelling "women, I love you," I think they are on the way.

If you could change one thing about the world what would it be and why?
I would swap soldiers' guns for bouquets of flowers.

What's the best thing about being a woman in 2016?
I feel like the guys who always say "hello gorgeous" when you walk past them in the street have somehow disappeared a little bit. Or maybe it is just me becoming undesirable…

What advice would you give the next generation?
It might be the other way around actually and new generations should give us advice. They don't carry our burdens, they have moved forward. 

Séléna Théret

Where are you from? 
Courbevoie, a Parisian surburb.

What do you do? Does being a woman impact it?
I currently work for Radio France Culture while studying journalism. I also co-present a rap show called Paris-Brooklyn every Friday night on a Parisian web radio station. Being a woman doesn't impact on my work when I present my rap show. My voice is as loud as the boys.

Who are your female role models?
My grandma who left Algeria to settle in France in the 60s. She adapted to her new life there, like a lot of immigrants did at that time, while she raised eight kids. My mom also, she taught me to observe before judging anything or anyone. I really admire those two women are proper forces of nature who fought for their independence in a Muslim and patriarchal family, both in their own way.

What does feminism mean to you?
I link feminism to militants. I really respect and thank those who fought for us to have the right to vote, to work and be equal to men.

Do you think men can be feminists?
A man can fight for women rights as much as a straight guy can for gay rights. I actually think it's more powerful.

If you could change one thing about the world what would it be and why?
That France will be governed by someone not from the white, Catholic, aristocracy, who've been in charge of politics for centuries.

What's the best thing about being a woman in 2016?
I live my life not as a woman but as a human being.

What advice would you give the next generation?
That everybody should mix together as much as possible, and leave their comfort zones. Mixing is about sharing and about opening one's mind. I would also tell them to smoke good weed to stop stressing too much about life.

Lina Soualem

Where are you from?
Paris, France.

What do you do? Does being a woman impact it?
I usually think of myself as a person before a woman, until I'm confronted in my work or in my daily life with sexism. When I realize that the obstacles I am facing are linked to the fact that I am a woman, my attitude and perspective change. 

Who are your female role models?
Well, it might sound cheesy but I would say my mother. My mother is Palestinian and was born in a little traditional Palestinian village in Galilee. She has fought since an early age to be able to be the woman she wanted to be in a patriarchal and conservative society, and has succeeded in becoming an actress, despite her family's reluctance.

What does feminism mean to you?
Feminism means something positive. It means questioning our current social hierarchies. It means fighting against patriarchy, sexism and stigmas. It means being conscious, proud and defending your freedom and dignity.

Do you think men can be feminists?
I think men can and should be feminists. I'm sure they'll be much happier if they were.

If you could change one thing about the world what would it be and why? 
I would want politics and people to focus on recognizing each people or civilization's unique identity, history, and collective memory. While "history is written by the victors," we should raise our voices, and write "the other history": the one made by the silenced stories.

What's the best thing about being a woman in 2016?
The best thing, and the worst, is that we have still a lot of work to do, so we will stay busy!

What advice would you give the next generation?
Don't accept the idea that the way we look is more important than the way we think.

Credits


Photography Léon Prost

Tagged:
Culture
Paris
Fashion
international women's day
international women
léon prost