Osez le Féminisme

A feminist group, Osez le Féminisme, is calling attention to the city map’s big gender gap.

The women’s movement just got a bit literal in Paris. Yesterday locals and tourists navigating Ile de la Cité, the island in the Seine set smack in the center of the city, had to find their way via streets renamed for some of history’s leading ladies, courtesy of a French feminist group. The Local has the details:

The move was a stunt by outspoken French feminist organization Osez le Féminisme, members of which spent Tuesday evening covering around 60 of the real street signs with those only bearing women's names. The move was a protest against the fact that just 2.6 percent of the streets in the capital are named after notable women.

Osez le Féminisme chose a number of scientists, artists, and politicians for its new street names. A map outlining the changes shows the Rue Florence Arthaud, Pont Josephine Baker, the Boulevard Emilie du Châtelet, and of course the Quai de Nina Simone.

Osez le Féminisme

On its website, Osez le Féminisme writes (via Google Translate) that across France only 2 percent of streets are named for women, with 31 percent named for men and the rest neutral. The 2.6 percent of Parisian rues with female names reflect 166 womenmany of them wives or daughters of famous men. Osez le Féminisme claims only three of the city’s 302 subway stations are named for women, though the T3 tram names women at nine stations.

The group would like to see gender parity come to the street names of Paris by 2019, with a spokesperson telling The Local the bulk of the change should come from neutral streets. Paris has been out ahead of much of the world in terms of street policy—taking aim at car pollution, improving walkability, and making plans for more cycling. Maybe it can lead on street name equity, too.

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. A man walks his dog on a hilltop overlooking San Francisco in the early morning hours on Mount Davidson.
    Equity

    When Millennials Battle Boomers Over Housing

    In Generation Priced Out, Randy Shaw examines how Boomers have blocked affordable housing in urban neighborhoods, leaving Millennial homebuyers in the lurch.

  2. A photo of a resident of Community First Village, a tiny-home community for people who were once living in homelessness, outside of Austin, Texas.!
    Design

    Austin's Fix for Homelessness: Tiny Houses, and Lots of Neighbors

    Community First! Village’s model for ending homelessness emphasizes the stabilizing power of social connections.

  3. Life

    Amazon HQ2 Goes to New York City and Northern Virginia

    After Jeff Bezos set off one of the highest-profile bidding wars in modern history, Amazon picked two East Coast cities for its new headquarters. The surprise extra: There's something in it for Nashville, too.

  4. A photo shows the Amazon logo on a building.
    Amazon HQ2

    Amazon’s HQ2 Spectacle Isn’t Just Shameful—It Should Be Illegal

    Each year, local governments spend nearly $100 billion to move headquarters and factories between states. It’s a wasteful exercise that requires a national solution.

  5. Design

    Stan Lee’s New York City

    The Marvel Comics maestro gave his superheroes a city that’s colorful, dangerous, rude, quippy, and full of heart. It might be his greatest creation.