What do fake beards have to do with feminism? Just ask the members of France's La Barbe, who are fighting to change the face of power (labarbelabarbe.org)
The women of La Barbe wear beards as a decidedly tacky political prop, according to an in-depth BBC report on the group. With whiskers and wit, they strive to poke fun at patriarchy and sexist attitudes.
Their modus operandi is simple: they sneak into high-level, male-dominated meetings - like the shareholder meetings of major corporations - then slip on their beards and start reading ironic statements congratulating the men on how effectively they wield power and exclude women.
"In the days of the Third Republic, all the great men used to wear big beards," political science student Ilana Eloit told the BBC.
"That was the end of the 19th century but not much has changed in the way many men behave and think in France."
The women have staged versions of their protest roughly 100 times over the past four years.
They are conscious of the wordplay made possible by their moniker. "Oh la barbe!" for instance, means "what a drag!" "La Barbe" on its own is also used colloquially to mean "enough is enough."
The BBC reports that La Barbe's membership includes women of all ages from a variety of backgrounds.
"Our idea is to create a mirror effect to show a male-dominated situation which highlights the invisibility of women," another group member named Colette told the BBC.
On a recent outing, the group held up congratulatory signs at the Cannes Film Festival. None of the 22 films selected for the official competition were directed by women.
Their protests sometimes end in confrontation, as the women have been roughly handled and have had their property confiscated.
Still, they persist and pride themselves on expressing their discontent through humour and lampooning.
What do you think of La Barbe's approach to activism? What are some other creative protests you have seen?
(This survey is not scientific. Results are based on readers' replies)
More entries for category: Canada
Meet the Community Team
CBC News Community team, from left to right: Andrew Yates, Andrea Lee-Greenberg, Lauren O'Neil, John Bowman
If you're part of the CBC News community, you're likely to meet one of us: we're the folks working to produce and promote your stories. Read more about us.
Other Your Community Entries
- 2012 (1395)
- 'Powerless' U.S. residents share their photos
- Is it important for public figures to come out?
- CBC readers debate spanking as punishment for children
- YouTube stars join forces in viral complaint parody
- July photo contest: art in public places
- France's bearded feminists 'praise' powerful men
- July photo contest rules
- CBC readers share touching Canada Day photos and stories
- iPhone's 5th birthday prompts loving tributes
- Show us your colours through photos of gay pride
- PETA slams Olsen twins as 'Hairy Kate' and 'Trashley'
- June in Tune photo contest: The winner!
- Should we learn to love the unibrow?
- Is the loonie as important a symbol of Canada as the maple leaf?
- CBC readers dish on 'Canadian food' and Maple Syrup
- Are you financially prepared to live past 100?
- Should alcohol flow freely across Canada?
- Will you wait for BlackBerry 10?
- Do you avoid disturbing news coverage?
- Would you grow your own shoes from 'genetically manipulated stingrays'?
- Dozens of Justin Bieber fans injured in Norway
- I [Heart] NY logo revamp? Fuggedaboutit!
- Musical grill blasts beats through your teeth
- Reaction to Canada's 'unique strain of Dutch Disease'
- New York sugary drink ban bubbles over on Twitter
- Mountain Dew + Orange Juice = Taco Bell's new breakfast drink
- Dr. Ruth to launch low-alcohol line of wines
- Reaction to census data on seniors and toddlers
- Should government seek clemency for Canadians on death row?
- Ugly Meter app worries cyber bullying activists
- And the winner of our April showers photo contest is...
- What would you add to Avery Canahuati's bucket list?
- Who is Titanic II backer Clive Palmer?
- Trending April 30: Titanic II, Conrad Black
- Should Conrad Black regain his Canadian citizenship?
- CBC's David McKie on investigative reporting
- Should rooftop missiles be installed for London Olympics security?
- Obama and Kimmel high-five at White House Correspondents' Dinner
- March photo contest: the winner!
- Shatner-hosted 2012 Juno Awards inspire fanfare
- 10 readers share their Katimavik stories
- Katimavik defended 26 years after Hébert hunger strike
- Earth Hour, Mega Millions, angry 'Beliebers' in morning trends
- Maple syrup hoarders prepare for shortage
- Top 5 at 5: CBC North
- Would bigger tax exemptions encourage you to shop across the border?
- What were your happiest years?
- Should charities lose their status for protesting?
- Community reaction to the Pierre Poutine revelations
- Top 5 at 5: Business stories
- Lady Gaga and Oprah Winfrey launch anti-bullying foundation
- Davy Jones honoured by fans on social media
- February photo contest: the winner!
- Women take the leap and propose marriage on Feb. 29
- Community reaction to closing of high Arctic lab
- Would you freeze-dry a deceased pet?
- U.S. storm watchers swap stories on social media
- Should Canada create an asbestos registry?
- January photo contest: the winner
- Top 5 at 5: Montreal stories
- Should Peru's uncontacted tribes be left alone?
- Is Ashton Kutcher right to block journalists from his Twitter feed?
- Would you wear Dress Pant Sweatpants in your workplace?
- Where do you donate your used clothing?
- Could a UN resolution help end Syria's unrest?
- Top 5 at 5: Politics stories
- Do you trust a camel that predicts Super Bowl winners?
- Community reaction to the Shafia trial verdict
- July (8)