THREE FEMINISTS THREE COUNTRIES THREE DATES BEIRUT LONDON MOSCOW I was really afraid of being
accused of something, or upsetting someone…
that kind of thing. So men have better reflexes
than women? When driving, I’m talking about driving. My ex used to always be like, you know, ‘Girls would just reject me at school,
because they can wear make-up. They can like trick me. You can wear make-up too, man. Exactly, that’s what I said! DATING A FEMINIST Hello. My name is Taisiya,
I am 30. I am a co-founder
of Kinky Russia project and the Ladies of Burlesque show. My best date turned out
to be my worst one. We laughed,
we talked about everything, we kissed and walked together. And I went back home feeling I’d really found someone
I could spend my life with. And he never called again. The worst thing in a man? For me, it’s probably
sexism and intolerance. When you tell people or write on Tinder that you run kinky parties
and burlesque shows men immediately start texting about sex. But being kinky doesn’t mean I’m just looking for a one-night stand
or quick sex. As any other woman I want to find a man I can trust, someone who would respect me,
and accept me for who I am. My name is Becky Young,
I’m 30 years old. I’m the founder of Anti Diet Riot Club
and a freelance event producer. I am a feminist. The quality in a man
that is important to me: being caring, not taking himself too seriously. Ideally not being misogynist. The best date I’ve ever had was – very unexpectedly – with a couple. The worst I’ve ever had
was with a doctor who just kept cutting me off and being super judgemental
about everyone in the restaurant, and it ended up
being expensive, as well. So I just felt it was
such a waste of time and money. No one’s perfect, but if you’re rigid and stubborn
then it’s not really gonna work. My name is Nay, I’m 22. I work with people
living with disabilities. And I’m a feminist. My oldest hobby, when I’m at home,
is playing the cello. I remember
one of the worst dates I’ve had was with the guy was literally
mansplaining about everything the whole time. And I speak a lot, so if I don’t have space
in the conversation I’m really annoyed. Whatever the situation is, having a debate,
especially concerning feminism, can get a little bit harsh,
a little bit violent. So a man who will take the time to listen
and to at least answer kindly, even if there is a lot of disagreement,
it’s always nice. And just to treat people around him,
men and women, in a way that is kind, calm too. I like calm men. – Hi! How are you?
– Hi, Samir. – It’s been ages.
– Yeah. How’s life? – Good, thanks! Hi! How’re you? Nice to see you!
Thanks for coming! That’s alright! It’s been an expedition. Yeah, I know!
Sorry about the, like, tense cameras. Time to relax, right? Er… massage? – Cheers!
– Cheers! – I’m actually gonna pour it.
– Go for it! You know, I hear the piano,
and regret that I stopped playing. I like your tattoos! – Can we have a bottle of water as well.
– Cold or room temperature? – Cold.
– Room temperature. Two bottles,
One of them room temperature. – Very different opinions.
– I know. I don’t drink room temperature water. So, what are you doing then in London? Literally just working at the moment
for the guy, who… I am staying in his hostel,
just doing bits and bobs of maintenance for him. Is it like workaway or something? Yeah, it’s just a trade-off for bedding,
it’s just easy, sort of… not through a… – Are you a carpenter?
– Yes, I am. Or was… is? When was the last time you had a date? Official date?
As friends or as something else? I don’t know. It’s weird… As something else – like a month ago. – How was she?
– She was cool. What’s your ideal woman? I don’t like to brag about these things. No, no it’s okay. – My ideal woman, physically?
– Yes. Physically I like brunettes. Okay, and the rest? For me it’s important to be very straightforward,
honest and respectful. How did it all start? Well, it started about
five years ago. I went to a party of parties there,
and I just fell for it, I liked it straightaway. Burlesque specifically? No, they were fetish parties. I first discovered kinky parties,
and then burlesque. Kinky – what’s the Russian for that? Kinky means weird,
perverted, “sexual”, not like all the others,
unusual. MOSCOW, RUSSIA RANKS 81 OUT OF 153 COUNTRIES
FOR GENDER EQUALITY MEN AND WOMEN HAVE EQUAL
ACCESS TO EDUCATION ABORTIONS ARE LEGAL AND FREE DOMESTIC VIOLENCE IS NOT A CRIME I run Kinky Russia project
which is in fact three projects in one: Kinky Parties, Kinky Market – where you
buy outfits for those parties, and Kinky Practice –
workshops on sexual BDSM practices. I’ve been doing all that
for the last three years. I graduated in film-making, but I left that behind
after discovering with the world of kinky and burlesque, because it was
way more interesting for me. When we started organizing kinky parties, the feminism
started creeping into my life because the kinky world values
are closely related to equal rights, mutual respect, and to the idea that
a woman can be proactive in sex, and any sexual relations must be based
on mutual consent of two adults involved. All the senior managers in our company
are women. It is a “fem start-up”. I stress that because Russian BDSM
is pretty orthodox. It is all about men telling women
how to be submissive. And if you don’t like
the rougher side of things you end up being called weak and “not good enough” to be called submissive. And they blame those [men]
who like to switch, change roles… There is a lot of negativity towards men who are not masculine enough,
who like to submit. As if you’re more masculine
if you’ve learnt how to spank a woman or pull her around by the hair. We are doing a lot to educate people. Our lectures are all about equality, feminism and sex education. We explain why it is so important. Because many newcomers arrive expecting something funny about sex. They take the bait
and expect a lot of free sex, and we have to tell them:
“Hold on, we need to tell you something”. Because no equality means no great sex. In Russia feminist men are a rarity. In our kinky community there are
a few guys who are interested in the subject, but they were snapped up a long time ago. I’ve had some experience
in breaking up with a guy. Actually, I haven’t yet had
relationships long enough to call it breaking up. I can usually spot a dud fairly early on. Once I took a potential boyfriend
to a burlesque show, and he saw a plus-size girl
taking to the stage and dancing. And the guy pulled such a face of disgust that I first thought
something wrong happened on stage – that she’d fallen over or broken a heel. I asked him what was up. And he said: “Eurgh, is she really
going to take her clothes off?” And it sort of hit me, and I could see he and I
just wouldn’t work. He actually apologized later on;
he said he’d been joking. But it didn’t help. Sometimes I think that perhaps
I haven’t had long-term relationships because I respect myself too much to allow myself to get involved
in abusive relationships, or relationships where I don’t feel
respected or appreciated. I decided I’d be cool, and wrote on my Tinder profile
that I was a feminist. First, the number of likes
I was receiving halved, and secondly, I was then – completely
unexpectedly – seen as some sort of representative for feminism, because every other person
asks me questions like “What is feminism all about? Is it about not shaving your armpits
and hating men?” So, I had to get into debates with people
to explain that it isn’t. Every time I answer in a more
and more heated way because it really drains me. And unfortunately,
because of that, people react like “Why are you so aggressive?
I just asked you a question”. But actually he “just asked”,
like, the two hundredth time. Modern burlesque is definitely
feminist art. It is all about equality,
about diversity which means that,
whatever your skin colour, however tall you are, your gender,
your weight – you are always right for burlesque. I have always loved being on stage. I like the artistic freedom,
and I like to open up through sexuality. I like creating costumes,
creating a character, I like dancing
and being looked at and admired. Burlesque is about a woman
coming on stage on her own terms and showing her body
just because she is okay with doing that. In burlesque
there is no full monty, you always have nipples pasties (stickers)
and your panties on. Unlike strip tease,
burlesque isn’t about objectivisation, it isn’t about
putting your body up for sale to encourage men to buy and use it. The burlesque audience is 70% female. They see women like themselves on stage – with imperfect bodies, cellulite or the like. They see that a woman
can openly express her sexuality, that it is not a taboo, that it’s beautiful and respectful. For a very long time sex industry – – shops, education, porno – used to cater primarily for men. And we organized our party in such a way
that women would feel comfortable. It’s a kind of matriarchy. Well… I’d call it equality.
Everybody should feel welcome: not just men or just women – everyone. At our party one time you can come wearing mask
and become somebody you want. Or, you can do the opposite,
and take your mask off. Like, if you’ve always
felt like a little kitty inside, now you can at last be yourself. Are there any limits to what goes on there? Russian law. – That’s it?
– Yes. I mean, you can have sex
if you you want to. We have a few rules though:
everything goes’, “no” means “no”, if want something – ask for it,
don’t like it – say “no”. So it’s basically a culture of consent. Have you dated people
who are feminist before? Absolutely, I’ve dated.
I mean it shouldn’t be an issue. It’s not an issue,
it’s the biggest thing. I don’t know how much
I’m allowed to swear here… I think you’re allowed. I do.
Maybe they’ll blank it out. Okay, cool.
Well, it’s just not a fucking issue. I understand why you’re raising it, 100%.
And I agree with it. I wish it wasn’t an issue
that we had to stipulate. “Hey, look, this is the thing…”
But it’s no, fuck, it’s just being a human. Would you date a feminist? Yes, of course. Okay.
With everything that comes with it? As long as I have
my personal opinion as well about things. Wait, like, what do you mean? Let’s say we’re not agreeing on a certain subject,
I will express different opinion. For example? But I would respect what my partner thinks. A question that a lot of people ask is would you get on a plane
if the pilot was a woman? Yeah, would you? Of course. The whole, like, feminist dating thing…
I don’t really talk about it. It doesn’t necessarily come up
on a first date. It’s not just – bang!
Deal with it! Oi, look! Hey! This is what I believe! Yeah! You gauge over time
if someone’s into it or someone is, like, I don’t know… Of course! There’s always. … anti it. And then you kind of…
“See you later!” Close the door.
Queen wave, I’m out! LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM RANKS 21 OUT OF153 COUNTRIES
FOR GENDER EQUALITY RANKS 38 FOR EQUAL ACCESS TO EDUCATION ABORTIONS ARE LEGAL AND FREE WOMEN EARN ON AVERAGE 16% LESS THAN MEN When I was in Mexico
with my ex-boyfriend at the time, I found this photo of myself
from a year before, and I was really skinny, because I’d lost loads of weight
because I was actually ill. And I got really upset
that I’d failed again. Even though I’d been really unwell, and that’s the reason
why I’d lost weight. And I was really happy
with my boyfriend, that’s why I put on weight probably,
because you get comfortable. But I felt so much shame
and disappointment with myself. I was crying, I was so upset. I planned to go on this new diet. Nd then I was looking for fit-spiration
on Instagram and on social media, and I actually found
the complete opposite. I discovered
the bodypositive movement online That was kind of
the beginning of the journey for me. I was, like, “That’s the kind of person,
the kind of woman I want to be”. I wanna live unapologetically,
in, like, loud colours, wear a bikini,
and not feel embarrassed about it. So this is our second part of the day” “The politics of ugliness
in a beauty-obsessed society”. I am Becky, I’m the founder
of the Anti-DIet Riot Club, and I’m going to be hosting this… Anti-Diet Riot Club
is a community and platform. We host meet-ups and events,
talks, work-shops that are all about fighting back
against diet culture and educating people on the reasons
why diets don’t work, and are actually damaging
for your mental and physical health. And we try to inspire people to love
and look after their bodies as they are. It all just came off the back of my personal journey
with body acceptance, and feeling not good enough in my body, constantly dieting and, you know, failing,
and then dieting again. I think I was, like, first starting to talk,
argue with people, with my brothers, with family members,
with friends probably when I was 14-16. That was like 10-15 years ago. It was definitely
like a dirty word – feminism. To be a feminist
was to be hairy, and lesbian, and all these stereotypes. But I think when I really started
talking about it was when I was at Oxford. It’s just that kind of place
You just talk more about your politics. I’m quite a privileged woman,
I live in the UK, I’m white, I’m semi-abled –
I’ve got a bone condition. But it doesn’t completely affect
my ability to get round. But still there is no way
you can get through life, I think, as a woman, and not experience sexual harassment
from people, comments about your body,
comments about your weight. We have legislatively and economically
more equality, and people always say that. But what patriarchy does is then
it changes its clothes, and then comes at you in a different way. And feminism
doesn’t just fight for women, it fights for people who are trans,
it fights for men, it fights for queer people,
and people who are differently-abled. Feminism now, in comparison to, like, 15 years ago
when I was first starting to think about it, is totally framed differently. In the media It’s kind of a buzz word; celebrities are all clamouring
to say they’re feminist. I think, even 10 years ago
it always used to be a question in interviews: “Would you consider yourself
a feminist?” And so many people would be like, “No! I believe in equal right,
but I wouldn’t call myself a feminist”. And it used to piss me off so much! I think now people are a lot less
scared of the word, or a lot less scared of being a feminist
or what that might mean for you. Like, you can be sexy
and be a feminist now, you can be attractive, you can be straight,
and all these things… So it’s kind of fashionable.
I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing, but what’s worrying
is when that dilutes what feminism means. So if it just means wearing a hat in a shape of a vulva
on your head and going to a protest, or equating feminism
with just helping a certain type of woman. That’s the ‘Burn the patriarchy” candle. I bought it at one of our events in 2018. I haven’t actually lit it yet…
though maybe I will do. I told my ex-boyfriend I was going to be on this dating show
about being a feminist. He was, like, “Do you think that affects you,
as dating as a feminist?” He said he was a feminist to girls,
and they really liked it. And I was, like, “Of course they do!”
That is a great thing for you to say! But still think if I put on my dating profile,
that I’m a feminist, it would definitely
warn some people off. But that’s probably
what I want it to do. I think that [with] all the men
I’ve dated we had arguments about gender and feminist issues. I’ve never broken up with them
because of it, because I think that
everyone thinks differently and I can’t expect everyone
to be perfect. But I think I’ve probably
let things slide in the past, that I wouldn’t stand for now. Just because that’s
what I involved with now, and it’s nice to be able to talk about it,
and not feel like I have to hide, well, not hide that part of myself, but not feel like I can’t debate
and discuss it, and I feel challenged by them,
encouraged by them, rather than feeling, like, “Urgh, I can’t talk about this with you
because you just don’t get it”. I think maybe going out
with me is difficult… if I’m feeling angry about something. Maybe people get tired of me constantly bringing up
gender or inequality. I don’t get that, I think
that’s the right thing to bring up, but for my ex, I think
I bored him a little bit. So maybe that came into
why we’re not together anymore. There’s so much time and energy wasted
on finding a partner, and it takes a lot out of your life. And if a partner fits into that,
that’s good, but it’s not necessary. What does a feminist look like to you? I kind of checked with my friends
before I came here. Really? Like,
whether you should take a gun or not? I was really afraid
of being accused of something or upsetting someone…
that kind of thing. Listen, I’m not very good
with definitions. I see, but what comes to your mind
when I use the word ‘feminist’? There are a lot of women
who are being unfairly judged just because they are women. And they don’t have
the power to change that. I have a few striking people around me
who come to mind. For example, I know a couple of girls
bold enough to live a very different life
from what’s considered the norm. I don’t judge them,
but they are just really different… Wait a minute, what do they do
that means you can judge them? I’m talking about openly gay women who are always banging on
about their lifestyle, even sort of show off – at least that’s what it looks like. I’ve talked to lots of people in Lebanon
who say things like: “Look at that woman,
she doesn’t know how to drive,” “She’s just a woman”. – And you wouldn’t say stuff like that?
– No, I’m against that kind of thing. It’s meaningless. There was even a study going round,
saying that women drive better than men. Of course. But it’s just that with men,
the reflex is faster. To do what? To dodge an accident, or… So men have better reflexes than women? When driving.
I’m talking about driving. How do you explain that? I don’t know. I just read something
but I don’t know. But tell me your opinion
and I will base mine on that. I don’t have an opinion. For me I just drive better
than all of you men. Forget about driving. For my feminism is something huge;
it’s a huge part of my life. And I’m curious what other people
think of the subject. For example, with you, Samir,
I’m asking you: “Such-and-such a person is a feminist.”
What does it mean to you? I’ve never asked myself that. What does it mean to me?
It literally just… you know, you know,
looking at the changes [we’ve had] over the last 125 years,
pre-Suffragettes. And this is actually
an important point of division between a lot of people:
equality and equity. The whole equality argument
has always been, like: “We just want to be equal.”
Like, “equal” makes sense. But there are other people
who want equity, which is to be in power.
“Now it’s our turn” kind of mentality. Doesn’t that defeat the purpose of you
just doing the same as the bad people? Another example I have is a friend
who has a degree in philosophy. She takes part
in international conferences. She studied the issue in great detail. And I respect her approach most of all because in her case
it is not just empty words, but real action. – Can I ask you a question?
– Yes. For example,
when I put a story on Instagram with some very radical statements,
with my feminist opinions, and some people answer me. I despise certain opinions I get.
Do you think it’s disrespectful of me? It depends how you answer. But you need to know
that when someone is angry, he acts in a way
that’s a bit disproportionate. But am I the angry one,
or is he the angry one? No, if he attacked you. But why was he angry? – It made you “boil” a bit.
– Yes, of course. In these cases I stop respecting
the opinion of the opponent. I tell myself I’m talking about things
that directly concern me. This is to break down taboos
among men and women on something that only concerns women. I’m in favour of breaking down taboos
and all of that. But there is something in human rights
that says: your freedom ends when mine begins. You can’t attack someone’s freedom. If their opinion doesn’t match yours,
it’s the end of it. You can try to convince them,
but you won’t change them. Trust me. That makes me angry! You can’t change people. – You can try to…
– Don’t try to change them. You can change people! If not, we’re… You can change people but don’t try
because you will get tired. You have to talk,
dialogue is very important. It’s very tiring with certain men. BEIRUT, LEBANON RANKS145 OUT OF 153 COUNTRIES
FOR GENDER EQUALITY 111th PLACE FOR EQUAL ACCESS TO EDUCATION ABORTION IS A CRIME CITIZENSHIP IS ONLY INHERITED BY PATERNITY I.E. FROM THE FATHER, NOT THE MOTHER I never feel safe walking in the street
during the day or during the night. I was only 12,
I was going back from school, walking with some friends. and we’d had a water fight or something,
so I was soaked. and we were running in the street
to get back home. There was a truck
with people from the army And one of them wolf-whistled. I remember feeling very, very shocked
and very scared. And then a guy on a motorcycle
passed right next to us. And he yelled at me in Arabic:
[expression]. This means: “Take off your shirt”. And when I arrived home I was scared,
I was panicking, and I think it is one of the moments
when I realised I was angry. And I also felt really disgusted. What should I have said?
Should I have answered or not? Should I have not walked in the street
with this shirt on? And I love that it represents
a woman with our flag, and there’s her heart burning, you see? “Keep the flame burning
for the revolution!” I love it! Lately in Lebanon,
we’ve been having this huge revolution. It has been an opportunity
for all the movements in Lebanon to come forward and to speak out
about the injustices and inequalities. We had a big march in support of women
who have been sexually harassed. It was symbolically amazing
to see all these women coming together and expressing themselves so loudly
on the subject! On Instagram I try
to be vocal about these things, to share. And one day I really wanted
to talk about menstruation, because it’s one of the things
that’s very important to me, how we should feel empowered
as women. And to have something so personal to us
being so taboo in society is very unjust. And I remember the feedback. A lot of women were, like: “Yeah, this is so empowering,
so amazing! We should think this way;
we shouldn’t be ashamed”… And there were two or three men saying: “Yes, but when we go to take a shit,
we don’t talk about it on social media!” If you don’t understand
why periods are a taboo, ask. If you don’t know
why women are sometimes ashamed, ask. If you don’t know
why it hurts sometimes, ask. If you don’t know how periods
affect women in your life, ask. If you don’t understand how it
affects their life psychologically, ask. If you don’t know
how it affects their sex life, ask. ASK! There is always someone
– and it’s almost always a guy – that will say something
that I will feel is very stupid and unfounded. Like, “Oh my god!
You always post about feminism! Can you talk about something else?” As if it’s not my whole life
that is concerned by this. Originally I’m not
a very patient person. I will always be the person
who will stop at everything that is annoying in the conversation
or in the social situation, and get back at it. “By the way, you said this and this,
sorry, but it’s not right”. Even if we’re having fun, even in the context
where it doesn’t seem appropriate, I will open the subject. Because it’s annoying! When I receive hate,
I think it’s a part of the dialogue, and whatever I say to this guy, if I say it a few more times, or another feminists says it to him
a few more times, maybe we’ll spark a new idea
in his head, and a few years later he won’t say
exactly the same things the same way, andthis is already a progress. Toxic masculinity
and masculine domination of all situations at all scales of life
are still very present. They are the protectors,
they are important; they are the pride of the family. This is still in every family
in Lebanon, in a way. If you are with a big group,
and there are men and women, you always see
how men will monopolise the conversation, how you can’t really talk about things
you want to talk about. When a woman
is even just a little bit emotional or angry when she speaks
about something she’s directly disregarded
in what she’s saying, because she’s “too something”.
“She’s too emotional” or “too sad.” If I say sometimes that
“Oh my god, I hate men!”, I don’t want people to shut me up. To me it’s very obvious that
I don’t hate every individual male. I hate the entity,
I hate the patriarchy. I will always feel way more comfortable
in a world of women, in a room full of women,
in a room full of people who I feel will be way more empathic to my life
than men have ever been. So do I hate men? Yes and no. I love feminism because it gave me
the sense of relief and courage to feel that I’m not alone
when I feel there’s a problem. I’m not crazy when I say there’s a problem. I was scared at one point of my life
to say the word “feminist”, and I remember the transition
when I started to say I don’t care anymore. Of course I’m a feminist.
Of course it’s important to me. I’m sure 100% it had a huge impact on me
that we’re four sisters, no brothers. I’m glad. The only man at home is my father,
and he’s very kind and very gentle. For example when I joined
a feminist group at my university, and I was waiting for my father
at the restaurant – I will never forget – he had magazines [with headlines]
written on them about feminism. And in front of everyone at the restaurant
he handed me the magazines, and said: “You like these things, right? You’re interested in feminism, right?” And I remember that I was really touched. He would say this word so loud, really, in front
of everyone, [including] men of his generation, and that he was so supportive of it. It was one of those moments when I thought:
“Oh, my god, I have the best dad in the world!” So, you’re against radical steps
but in favour of real action. But usually those who go for real actions
get bullied for their activism, they get told they’re doing it to show off, etc. Those who stay at home
and just try to set an example get bullied for not knowing
the subject well enough… Let’s not label things. It shouldn’t just be for the sake of attention,
but for making a difference. But sometimes drawing attention
is a way to make a difference. Promoting the image
of strong independent woman is one thing, but taking to the streets for a gay pride event – well, not necessarily pride,
but something like that – that’s a little bit different. I’m not against pride, but for Russia
it is just sort of weird, at least for now. Well, it is only weird because
you’ll end up in jail for doing it. For me, with feminism,
as well as with homosexuality, the thing is that you just try to set an example. You do not take the streets
just for the sake of it. But you find yourself
being disrespected here, and get bullied there,
just because you’re a woman. Or get “mansplained” on how you should run your own business. And you can’t help but speak up
about the problem, not because you want to show off or unleash all your personal issues on the world, but because you’re forced –
by the situation – to speak up. For example, if we’re having
a discussion about feminism, and I’ve brought up the subject
with a group of people and it gets heated. Do you understand when I say I let myself be angry,
because it’s something that’s too big? Of course, it affects you… your principles. That is my life: being a woman. But you don’t have to
attack someone in the same way. You can attack in different ways. That are more diplomatic and respectful? Yes. This is, again, my personal opinion. Yeah, I do respect your personal opinion. Do you think there is equality, or do you think people
should be trying to get equality? Yeah, I think it’s something
we’re working towards. I like to hope it’s something
that’s constantly being worked towards. At the moment, probably pushing the issue, and in a sense,
we’ve got a lot of things going on – with climate change and global politics. Yeah, there’s loads of issues. There’s a lot of shit going on.
But [feminism] is something that’s constantly… So much of it is tied up not only with gender, but race and colonialism, and other identities. That affects people. Like the climate change,
the global warming, global politics… – It affects different groups of people.
– It has a knock-on effect. Everything is related to it, like you said. With all these problems
you’re going to have some crossover. Yeah, for sure. The situation with women’s right
is getting better, as far as I understand. We are not a completely
backward country in that respect. But with stereotypes about women… I think those are harder to overcome. It’s easy to change the law,
but breaking down a stereotype takes a long time… You do know they recently decriminalised
domestic violence, don’t you? It is now the law here that if a husband
beats his wife he won’t get punished. I haven’t looked into that much… And it goes without saying that sex
between husband and wife is always considered consensual. So if a wife says “no”
and her husband does it anyway – it’s not considered rape
as it took place in family setting. You’ve got me with
that decriminalisation thing… You didn’t know? I heard something but never looked into it much. In my family I’ve never
come across things like that, and I got used to thinking
those problems don’t exist. I think we agree there is a certain
inequality between men and women? Inequality? Yes. At a certain level, yes. What do you mean by that? I mean, sometimes salaries or important
professional positions are taken by men. Yes, but why? – It’s always been that way.
– And that’s not a problem? – It’s not a problem.
– Is it a fact? It’s not a problem, but if a woman has the skill
to get that position, why shouldn’t she? Would she get there? Do you think she has the same opportunities
to get there if she has the same skills? Will she get there, I don’t know. Does she deserve to? Yes! If we’re speaking about Lebanon
and the Arab world, in this context, speaking about women, it’s not
the same as in Europe or the States. – But why?
– Because you will always have this sense of patriarchy here. Only this century have women
in Saudi Arabia started to drive. Not this century, it was 3 years ago. Before coming here I thought
about feminism as a social issue, rather than a sexual issue. Women’s issues in terms of their sexuality,
their self-fulfilment had never concerned me personally,
because I’m a man, obviously. Somehow I was sure everything was fine. I’ve never personally experienced
the fact that it could be hard to say “no”. I’m really going through my drink here. It’s kind of embarrassing. – It’s not embarrassing!
– Maybe more cocktails? Do you like mezcal? I still don’t know what it is. It’s like tequila,
but made with a different cactus. Is it agave? Yeah, like a blue agave rather than
the green agave, or something like that. You can’t really “shot” it like tequila, you have to… I’m willing to bet I can. – You have to kiss it.
– I’m betting I can. No, it’s fire water. It is expected from men
that they earn a certain amount, attain a certain social status, etc. Well, at least that’s what I see everywhere. I understand. But among other things feminism
is about relieving men of that burden, – …share it equally…
– I’m all for it! It motivates people, very much so. Without it perhaps men
would turn into… er… Without it perhaps men would help
more with the housework… But I do help with housework! What’s the difference
between men and women today? You ask really philosophical questions! This is my entire life,
so of course I ask questions about it. I’ve never talked about this with anyone. No woman has ever asked you
about inequalities between men and women? No, because I already know
that there are inequalities. What’s the difference between you and me? – Our genitalia.
– Genitals. Okay. – That’s all.
– That’s all? Well, you’re a person like me. Of course we’re both people. But you also said
when you were saying you read that men have faster reflexes when driving. This was just a scientific experiment
that was conducted… What else do we do better,
and what else do you do better? It’s a very tough question, Nay. You gave a very simple example:
reflexes in the car. My head is exploding after my day at work, and I’m here to drink some beer and relax! – Isn’t this relaxing?
– Well, I’m not here to write a thesis. Do you have this kind of conversations a lot
with people that you date? Or not really? I’m having these conversations
a lot with my mother, who is the hardest person I’ve ever known. Is she a feminist? I’d rather describe her as a humanist. She describes herself like that, as well. She just wants people to do well. That’s a pretty fucking good way to look at it. Just imagine if the same
were expected from women – that they have to achieve
a certain status, all that… Do you really think women
aren’t expected to do that? The stereotype is treating woman
as property, or as a child… I mean, that’s the stereotype. And also, if we’re talking
about the demands on a woman, that she should be good-looking,
well-turned-out, “a lady in the streets and a freak in the sheets” – all that crap… Yeah, and I think that’s exactly
what we have to fight against. We should break down stereotypes
and change the way people think. I just always have these arguments – not arguments, but debates
with people I have dated before. I’m quite opinionated and, you know,
I’ll just say something, and they’ll be like, “Yeah, but
what about men in this way?” or, you know, “The same thing
happens to men”. But it’s just different.
I think it’s not the same. Or it happens to men on individual level,
but on the structural level, like across the board,
it’s not the same power structure. My ex would always be, like: “Girls would just reject me at school,
because they can wear make-up. They can, like, trick me. – You can wear make-up too, man.
– Exactly, that’s what I said. It’s just fucking dumb. This is just fucking stupid. Like, someone can be manipulative
by wearing make-up? Well, you can just fucking deal with it. Yeah. Would you wear make-up? No? Me? Probably not. I think men should be more encouraged to. A story from my childhood. I was probably in the sixth grade, and there was some kind of fancy-dress ball. And I wanted to go as Puss in Boots. I put on my mum’s red coat,
with no clothes on underneath, and her hat and covered my face with a cat mask. The only thing missing were the boots. I had no boots but my mum did. So I put them on
and went to school in high heels. Cool! – That was sort of weird.
– Really? Yeah. But I wasn’t embarrassed though. Cool. But would you be now? In high heels? Well, yes, I probably would be. But if you went as Puss in Boots? Go to a particular party as Puss in Boots?
I think I could. It’s unfair that it’s “okay”, seen as “okay”
for women to [wear makeup], and not manly for men to. Yeah, right. I don’t think that’s right.
But I think it should be a choice. But isn’t it a choice? Surely it is a choice; there’s just more stigma around men doing it. For sure. And maybe there’s
more pressure on women to do it. I think well, yeah… Absolutely, there is… Like expectations. We can choose to, like,
go against the grain, which is harder. – Can I ask you a question now?
– Go ahead. Your relationships. I don’t know anything about them. What was your last relationship like? No, this is very private. I don’t want any names,
I don’t want a country. I just want your point of view
on your ex-boyfriend. Oh my god, I’m so sorry. Give me a more precise question,
because I can’t answer it like that. – Did you feel like he controlled you?
– Who are you talking about? – Your ex.
– Which ex? I don’t know, Nay. I don’t know them. What would be your type [of woman] on paper? Are you doing this to me on camera? I’m definitely asking this back.
That’s definitely happening. Honestly, I just like people who – my first and foremost thing is:
just let me be me. That’s the biggest thing. I’m gonna be a dickhead, it’s inevitable. It’s always been very hard for me
to label things in my life. Same. Because I have a specific idea
of what relationships are. Same. And to get along with a man, especially
these last years with ideas that I have, the views that I have on men,
I can’t get along with men. Have you had lots of serious relationships? Lots of serious relationships? I’ve had a few multi-year relationships. And before we get more into me,
it’s your turn doing the “your type” question. You’re really trying to avoid it. I don’t really care about looks and all that. I don’t have a specific type of looks. Funny is kind of a thing for me. Funny, kind, obviously not a complete misogynist
or racist, nothing like that. That would be a big no-no. The standard. Yeah, that would be a no-no. Someone who gets along with my friends. I don’t date a lot at the moment because
I have such a close group of friend, old friends, and I want someone
who gets along with them. I saw one of your posts
about traditional family values. Are you completely against them? Oh lord, why? It’s just that when people speak of
the family values here they usually mean these patriarchal ideas about a long-skirted
Vedic woman bringing peace to her family, to her husband, keeping house
and home, and all that. That is what “family values” means here. People now tend to think
primarily about self-fulfillment, and everything else has to be work around that. And if we look at what women
are able to do now, in a good sense, how well they do in everything – we understand that the very definition of “family”
is soon going to change dramatically. I agree. How did you handle problems
with your ex when he was being sexist? If he was being sexist? I’m going to talk about men in general. Okay? I do the same with everyone in front of me
that says something I don’t believe in. I know. But it’s different
when you love the person. – No.
– It’s not different? It’s the same debate. Same debate? But same emotions? No. There was a moment in my life
when I dreamt of having a daughter. That’s cool. I don’t know why,
I just had the feeling that my child would understand me better
than anybody else, would be closer to me
than anybody else just by nature. But I had the feeling that
it’s not a man’s job to bring up a child… I mean, on his own. To be fair, I also had a moment when I thought
I’d rather have a child and bring it up alone. I hadn’t had relationships
with anybody for a long time, and that feeling of
the clock ticking was haunted me. But then I decided that having a child
just for the sake of it, just to have someone who loves you
and looks up to you, is wrong. I first want to find a man and then have a child. And it doesn’t necessarily
have to be a monogamous family, not necessarily in wedlock. I’m open to the idea
of a polygamous or open relationship. It also could be an arrangement where both sides agree on terms
and follow them. For me any of these options would be acceptable. – Oh, yes!
– Oh, come on! You have to kiss it, right?
Can you “shot” it? – Sip.
– Sip. – Then have little bites of the orange.
– Okay. – Yes.
– Don’t down the shot? – No.
– Okay. Sip and savour. – What if I want to?
– You do whatever you want. You can do it, but I advise to sip it. Cheers! I’m really kind of fan of this. – I have lessons to give.
– Okay. Can we have the bill, please? I’m actually a pretty modest person
who just sometimes likes to put on high heels… – That’s nice.
– …and dance in front of the mirror. Seriously? Do you really? Yeah. Sometimes when you
get back home from work and just want to shake off all the negative, you just turn on some music and dance. That’s cool. I do the same. Shall we maybe go out again
before I leave Beirut? Why maybe? Let’s do it! Yes, if you want to.
If you can still tolerate me after this date. I can. But maybe
with one or two more alcoholic drinks. That would make it easier, yes.
I do understand that. I will need more than one beer
if we talk about the same subject. If it’s another subject, it’s something else. This subject is always going
to come up in conversation with me. I’ve got to say, I’m about to die I’m so hungry. How about we go somewhere and have dinner –
you know, without the cameras. – It’s on me.
– No, no. – Come on…
– You can. But it’s okay. – No, it’s on me. Really.
– If next time it’s on me. – Yes, of course.
– Promise? – But you invite me.
– Okay, I’m inviting. – You text me first.
– Yes, no problem. Deal? – Deal.
– Okay. Thank you. Although I really did try to prepare for this, it turns out that I don’t know that much
about the subject. There’s still a lot to learn,
as it doesn’t really concern me, but it can be interesting. And after that conversation
I think I could even go to one of the events she told me about. As for the date itself… Well, I’d like to spend more time with her, and I hope we meet again sometime soon. Well, I like his eyes
but I don’t like the fact he smokes. I didn’t expect I’d meet a guy who’s a feminist, who’d say “Yes, of course, equal rights!” – like it was meant to be. He has a pretty mainstream way of thinking,
that I think I can work with. It was excellent. Nay is a great person. It was the first time I was talking about topics
that are taboo, especially in Lebanon. It’s very interesting to look at them
from another point of view. I still have lots of questions,
and I’m sure she has, too. But next time – night time, wine. At first it was smooth, I didn’t feel the hour pass. And even when I was a little bit provocative, because I wanted to see where I was going
to hear something that isn’t very just, he’s always calm and it’s true
that he will always relate everything to general ideas of respect. What I always don’t like is that
it’s never nuanced enough, it’s never exactly what I want to hear. It’s always about me calming down
a little bit in [terms of] my ideas. It’s something I hear all the time. Samir and I have friends in common,
and he’s really nice. So if I happen to see him again
and we grab a drink – yeah, sure. I think it went really well. Obviously, being on camera
was a little bit different, but that was pretty good, like. She’s nice. She’s obviously a bit of a laugh,
so it’s another positive, I think. I will definitely ask her out again. Yeah. It went well. I really think he’s really nice. He was late and that’s not great. But I liked that he seemingly knew
what feminism is about. Maybe I’d like to see him again. I think we’re going to have
another drink at least. Yeah.