Art & Design


Cherchez La Femme

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On a Tuesday once a month The Fox Hotel plays host to a conversation of sorts, an open discourse…let’s just say it: a frank dialogue on feminism. Cherchez la femmea monthly digest of pop culture and current affairs from a feminist perspective’ is the brain child of self-proclaimed feminist thinker and bon vivant Karen Pickering. Over the last year she has brought many issues to the table including feminism and sport, the law, motherhood, fashion, the arts, the brand, narrative and, most recently, sluts. Pickering was one of the organisers of the Melbourne Slut Walk.

The night I attended the atmosphere was cosy (more like a group of friends getting together to swap war stories than ‘we sit here and talk’ and ‘you listen’ type setup). The topic was Feminism and Narrative with theatre director Lucy Freeman, writer Stephanie H. Convey, screenwriter Marissa Cooke and our host Pickering. The setup is simple – Pickering gives us a brief overview of the feminist credentials on hand that night and then launches into discussion where questions, and in some cases anecdotes, are encouraged from the audience.

Then there’s a break, more wine is bought and considering there’s a prize on hand for question of the night all the feminists return to what some might say is a livelier chat. Cherchez la femme is a much needed evening where feminists and women of all persuasions can safely discuss and bring to life issues particular to them without having to justify their beliefs to a larger audience.

When talking to Pickering about the environment she’s created she does admit it’s something the women are very protective of. An audience member pointed out that an evening spent defending feminism for the justification of one person seemed to go against what Cherchez la femme was about, but that hasn’t put Pickering off what with an evening of men proclaiming themselves to be feminists perhaps taking to the panel one night soon.

For $5 this is an evening not to be missed if you’re up for a bit of feminism-related chit-chat and a flagon of wine.

When: Tuesday 2 August 7pm – 9pm
Where: The Fox Hotel, cnr Wellington St and Alexandria Pde, Collingwood


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