Clementine Ford to speak in Daylesford

Fearless feminist campaigner Clementine Ford will speak about misogyny and enacting change at Daylesford’s Words in Winter this August. 

Through her debut novel, Fight Like A Girl, Ford became a beacon of hope and inspiration to thousands of women and girls around the globe as she called on women to rediscover their fury at how unequal the world is for them.

“The response has been amazing,” Ford said. 

She had been particularly surprised by how many men had read her work.

“I was surprised by how many men read it who weren’t necessarily interested in feminism before. They either heard about me or were party to an increase in conversation around feminism and picked it up in the hope to learn more about the idea.”

Within the book, Ford questions why society considers the notion of feminism to be a threat. She said this is due to it being a threat to the status quo.

“Women aren’t supposed to threaten the status quo. Women are hesitant to call themselves feminists as the reality is they will be punished for it. And oftentimes they are,” Ford said.

“Feminism has always inspired angst, paranoia and fear in the people whose power it threatens to take away.

“We are all trying to negotiate our way through a patriarchy but not all of us are yet at a point where we are comfortable with everything that comes with that,” she said.

FEMINIST: Writer and online sensation Clementine Ford will speak at Daylesford's upcoming Words in Winter Festival about how ideas about masculinity need to change.

FEMINIST: Writer and online sensation Clementine Ford will speak at Daylesford's upcoming Words in Winter Festival about how ideas about masculinity need to change.

Her second novel, Boys Will Be Boys is set to be released this October.

“It looks at the way society constructs masculinity to accept certain behaviours to not only exist but also be propagated. That is behavior that not only causes harm to girls and women, but also causes harm to men,” she said. “This is seen through the sense that masculinity means killing your emotions and not speaking about your mental health issues. It is toxic masculinity that underpins domestic violence.”

Ford said the book takes a cross section look at all different elements of influence in people’s lives and how our society lays a groundwork for enforcing harmful male stereotypes. She discusses everything from assigning gender at a young age to the influence of pop culture and the construction of male sexuality.

As a result of her support for feminism and empowering women, Ford has received major backlash from misogynists online.

“Social media can be a tool for good. It has been hugely positive in connecting marginalised people with each other and allowing them to organise protests and make social change by influencing changes. But unfortunately, that’s always going to be accompanied by a toxic backlash. 

“What we really need to do is look at how we can counter that backlash by looking at what underpins it and who is participating in it.”

Ford will speak in conversation with Maia Irell at Daylesford’s Senior Citizens Hall on August 25 from 2.15pm. Bookings essential.