Laura Bates, campaigner & writer: One minute interview

Bates is the founder of the Everyday Sexism Project

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The Independent Culture

Where are you now and what can you see?

Sitting at Leominster station on the way back from the Hay Festival, having taken an accidental scenic detour by getting on the wrong train. I can feel the sun on my face and see the railway tracks stretching away into the distance on both sides.

What are you currently reading?

Headscarves and Hymens by Mona Eltahawy. I was lucky enough to interview Mona recently and she is enormously inspiring and very, very funny.

Choose a favourite author and say why you admire her/him

Kurt Vonnegut, for forcing us to see from an alien perspective and realise the absurdity of the norms we accept without question. The same technique can often be usefully employed in the fight against gender inequality. (Imagine a world in which we blamed and doubted the victims of any other crime in the way we often treat rape victims.)

Describe the room where you usually write

I write in my bedroom, in a bay window with tall sash windows looking straight out on to the street so I can procrastinate by people-watching. There's a treadmill in the corner with a makeshift plank strapped across it because I liked the idea of a walking desk but couldn't afford a proper one.

Which fictional character most resembles you?

Hermione Granger.

Who is your hero/heroine from outside literature?

Malala Yousafzai, who showed a generation of girls that they can change the world.

Laura Bates is the founder of the Everyday Sexism Project. She was on the judging panel for the 2015 Bailey's Women's Prize for Fiction