October Weekend 2021 Saturday 02 October - Sunday 03 October | Tickets now on sale

From The Feminine Mystique to Fifty Shades - 50 Years On

Lisa Appignanesi, Bidisha, Julie Bindel, Leah Thorn


“The book that pulled the trigger on history”, The Feminine Mystique created an instant impact on its publication in 1963, altering consciousness, culture and lives. On the 50th Anniversary of its publication, Jewish Book Week looked at the continued reverberations of Betty Friedan’s feminist rallying cry, in a discussion including two generations of women writers and artists.

Lisa Appignanesi, Julie Bindel, Bidisha and Leah Thorn examine how a book ignited a revolution, taking the pulse of feminism in 2013, offering a preview of the forthcoming anthology, Fifty Shades of Feminism.

Lisa Appignanesi

Lisa Appignanesi has been a university lecturer in European Studies and was Deputy Director of London’s Institute of Contemporary Arts. Her works of non-fiction include Freud’s Women (with John Forrester), a biographical portrait of Simone de Beauvoir, and a history of cabaret. She has edited The Rushdie File and a number of books on contemporary culture, as well as producing various films for television. Lisa Appignanesi lives in London with her two children.


Bidisha is a broadcaster, film-maker and journalist specialising in international human rights, social justice and the arts. She writes for the main UK broadsheets and presents and commentates for the BBC, Channel 4 News and Sky News, where she has been a regular since 2016. Her fifth book, Asylum and Exile, is based on her outreach work with asylum seekers and refugees in London.

Leah Thorn

Leah Thorn is a Nice Jewish Girl from Gants Hill, who found herself through the Women\'s Movement of the 60\'s and 70\'s. Now a spoken word poet, Leah uses creativity to support women in prison to find their voices. She recently compiled and edited release, an anthology by, and for, women in prison who self harm.

Julie Bindel

Julie Bindel has been involved in the women\'s liberation movement for more than 30 years. She is a writer, journalist, broadcaster and campaigner to end all forms of sexual violence towards women. Julie has written on topics as diverse as female sex tourists in Jamaica, the death of the hostess trolley, and serial killers.