Gender equality is a hot topic at Cannes this year, with the notable absence of Harvey Weinstein. Kristen Stewart protested by removing her shoes.

A Symbol Of Female Solidarity

The actress, who in the recent years earned the moniker Queen of Cannes, isn't representing a film at the 2018 festival. Instead, she has a spot on the all-important jury alongside Cate Blanchett and Ava DuVernay.

However, not having a film to represent didn't stop her from making headlines. In fact, the internet reacted to a photo of her staring longingly at Blanchett.

In keeping with the female solidarity message at this year's event, the actress took off her painful high heeled shoes on the red carpet of the BlacKkKlansman premiere. The film, by Spike Lee, stars Corey Hawkins and Topher Grace and takes on the checkered history of the Ku Klux Klan.

Stewart usually swapped heels for Converse at the most glamorous moments, but this time taking off her shoes was definitely political.

A Form Of Protest

Stewart was protesting against Cannes Film Festival's infamous and widely criticized heels-only rule for women.

Last year, the actress told THR that she found it unfair to force female attendees to be uncomfortable while men had the option to dress however they pleased.

"If you're not asking guys to wear heels and a dress, you can't ask me either," she stated emphatically at the time.

Back in 2015, a group of well-dressed women was denied entry into a screening at the prestigious festival thanks to their choice of flat shoes. This led to an immediate and very vocal backlash against the prestigious festival.

Time For A Change

Stewart doubled down on her previous comments during a roundtable discussion last year.

"Things have to change immediately. It's just like you simply cannot ask me to do something that you are not asking him [to do]. I get the black-tie thing but you should be able to do either version-flats or heels," she explained.

Although several Twitter users applauded Stewart's rebellious move, others criticized her for what they viewed to be a small gesture in a serious, ongoing debate for women's rights. Either way, she certainly caused a stir.

The Cesar-winning actress also stormed the red carpet in another way when she teamed up with Blanchett and DuVernay on Saturday for a march highlighting the lack of female directors included at Cannes over the years.