For: Professor Germaine Greer and Times columnist Melanie Phillips.
Against: Baroness Helena Kennedy QC, Barrister and Principal of Mansfield College, Oxford and Sophie Walker, Founding Leader of the Women’s Equality Party.
Three months after the Harvey Weinstein exposé, #MeToo remains one of the most contentious movements of our time. Having begun in Hollywood, the #MeToo reckoning has touched television, the media, politics, sport and, now, the charity sector. As the New York Times has just been honoured with a prestigious George Polk Award for its coverage of the issue, we are delighted to announce a public debate bringing leading figures together to go head to head over the #MeToo movement.
Come and decide with us: Is the movement misdirected and it’s not going anywhere, has it gone too far or has it not gone far enough?
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SPEAKERS FOR THE MOTION:
Germaine Greer is a world-renowned feminist, intellectual and orator. She is the author of a number of influential books including The Female Eunuch, Slip-Shod Sibyls and The Whole Woman. She was a special lecturer at Newnham College Cambridge and Professor of English and Comparative Studies at Warwick University. Her television appearances include The Late Review, Have I Got News for You, Angry Old Women and, controversially, Celebrity Big Brother.
Melanie Phillips is a British journalist, broadcaster and author. Her weekly column, which currently appears in The Times of London, has been published over the years in the Guardian, Observer, Sunday Times and Daily Mail. She also writes for the Jerusalem Post and Jewish Chronicle, is a regular panellist on BBC Radio’s The Moral Maze and speaks on public platforms throughout the English-speaking world.
Her best-selling book Londonistan, about the British establishment’s capitulation to Islamist aggression, was published in 2006 by Encounter, New York. An updated paperback edition of Guardian Angel, her personal and political memoir, was published in the US by Bombardier in January 2018. Her first novel, The Legacy, will be published by Bombardier in April.
SPEAKERS AGAINST THE MOTION:
Helena Kennedy QC has practised at the Bar for 40 years in the field of criminal law and has conducted many of the leading cases in those years, including the Balcombe Street Siege, the Brighton bombing trial, the Guildford Four Appeal, the Michael Bettany Espionage case, the Jihadist fertiliser bomb plot, and the transatlantic bomb plot. She has championed law reform for women, especially relating to sexual and domestic violence and developed the defence of Battered Women’s syndrome in the British courts. She has chaired the British Council for 6 years and the UK Human Genetics Commission for 8 years. She is chair of Justice, the British arm of the International Commission of Jurists and Principal of Mansfield College, Oxford. She is the chair of the Booker Prize Foundation.
Sophie Walker is Founding Leader of the Women’s Equality Party, Britain’s first feminist political party formed in 2015 to speed up the glacial pace of change and put women’s rights at the top of the agenda. In 2016 she ran for London Mayor on a manifesto to close the city’s 23 percent pay gap and lack of affordable childcare and won 1 in every 20 votes cast. In 2017 she contested the ‘men’s rights activist’ MP Philip Davies after he filibustered a bill to end violence against women and girls, and helped to halve his constituency majority. A former Reuters correspondent of 20 years, Sophie came to politics via disability campaigning and activism when her daughter was diagnosed with autism. Sophie is an ambassador for the National Autistic Society and for IncludeMEtoo, supporting disabled children and their families from diverse backgrounds.
Hannah MacInnes is a regular host and moderator for the How To Academy, chairing interviews, events and debates across a wide range of subjects and current issues.
Before going Freelance she worked for over 7 years at BBC Newsnight, as Planning Editor and as a producer / filmmaker. Whilst there she secured a number of newsmaking interviews with leading figures, including former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, Mikhail Gorbachev and a UK broadcast exclusive with Hillary Clinton, as well as with a range of cultural names from Helen Mirren to Benedict Cumberbatch.
She writes for the Radio Times and moderates at other major literary events including Hay and Cheltenham Festivals.