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Glitter and Vindication: The Marketing of Emancipation llustrations by Lisa Nagel.

Glitter and Vindication: The Marketing of Emancipation

An excerpt from “Des paillettes aux revendications: quelques bribes du possible ‘renouveau féministe’” (Nouveau Projet, 07). By Aurélie Lanctôt, translated by Melissa Bull.

IN AUGUST 2014, Beyoncé gave a remarkable performance at the MTV Video Music Awards. As the queen of pop performed “Flawless,” eight gigantic neon letters spelling out “F-E-M-I-N-I-S-T” illuminated the stage behind her, and excerpts from Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s 2012 TEDx talk “We Should All Be Feminists” were sampled into the hit song. Beyoncé had made her stand.

Later that fall, British actor Emma Watson delivered an acclaimed speech before the General Assembly of the United Nations at the launch of HeForShe: A Solidarity Movement for Gender Equality. In it, Watson invited men to engage themselves in the fight against gender in-equality. “We want to try and galvanize as many men and boys as possible to be advocates for gender equality,” she said.

The actor wasn’t shy about labelling herself a feminist, explaining that, despite the fact that feminism has, according to her, “become an unpopular ...

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