Helenlewis
Talks & Ideas
IN-visible ID-entities 2

Well-behaved women don’t make history: difficult women do. At this event writer Helen Lewis will explore how feminism’s success has been down to complicated, contradictory, imperfect women, who fought one another as much as they fought others, but who have been whitewashed or forgotten in our modern search for feel-good, inspirational heroines.

In Difficult Women: A History of Feminism in 11 Fights, Lewis introduces us to working-class suffragettes who advocated bombings and arson; the princess who discovered why so many women were having bad sex; and the ‘striker in a sari’ who terrified Margaret Thatcher. She shares a funny, fearless and shocking narrative history of the fight for women’s rights, and where it should go next. “Whoever said feminists lack a sense of humour has not read enough Helen Lewis,” said The Times.

Helen Lewis is a staff writer at The Atlantic, and former deputy editor of the New Statesman. She is a regular host of BBC Radio 4’s The Week in Westminster and a regular panellist on the News Quiz and Saturday Review. 

Hosted by Ailbhe Smyth


The broadcast of this event will be accompanied by subtitles/closed captions. You will have the choice to turn on subtitles/captions when viewing. Captioning supported by Halifax Foundation of Northern Ireland

Books, including a limited number of signed copies, will be available from No Alibis Bookshop.

Part of IN-visible ID-entities 2, an on-going BIAF initiative encouraging cultural collaboration across the island and supported by the Government of Ireland’s Department of Foreign Affairs.


First broadcast on Saturday 24 October at 7pm

Now available to watch again on BIAF YouTube Channel

Full of vivid detail, jam-packed with research and fizzing with provocation

Sunday Times on Difficult Women