Now out: The Art of Being Dangerous


In 2016 I was invited to contribute to a year-long celebration of female achievement. As the project leaders explained:

The Project asks: what does it mean to be a 'dangerous woman'?

The idea that women are dangerous individually or collectively permeates many historical periods, cultures and areas of contemporary life (despite, and in some instances in response to, explicitly feminist movements).

We may take lightly the label attached by mainstream media outlets to women such as Shami Chakrabarti of Liberty, or Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon as being 'the most dangerous woman in the UK'. But behind this label lies a serious set of questions about the dynamics, conflicts, identities and power relations with which women live today.

The Dangerous Women Project curated 365 responses to those questions from all over the world between International Women's Day 2016 and International Women's Day 2017. The book is now out, containing my essay:

Here is my earlier online contribution to the project. As my book chapter argues, Bernhardt is a  bisexual Jewish actress who had a leg amputated in 1915 and who defiantly represented France, womanhood, and female empowerment as she aged and toured the world: