// 11 March 2009

First up Fem Academ is starting an Oxfordshire Feminist Network – see “>here and here for details and sign up!

Walls Come Tumbling Down highlights Alastair Campbell’s New Statesman initiative to find out what one sentence people would want in the next election manifesto. My suggestion would be:

“To take seriously tackling all forms of oppression against women ranging from the pay gap to sexual violence, from objectifying advertising to limited opportunities and to ensure that women become important, autonomous and unoppressed individuals in society”

See here to make your own suggestion and to see what’s being suggested by others. Remember to cross-post your suggestion in the comments on this post too!

Meanwhile, in activist news of other sorts. Amber Rudd, Conservative Party spokesperson for Hastings and Rye has published an article claiming, amongst other things:

I certainly believe that most people accept that there should be equality of opportunity between the sexes.

So we are all feminists now.

Equality is what feminism means – don’t let the radicals hijack the word to mean something extreme.

Nobody assumes any more that women should play a certain role.

Yes, of course, so next time I’m told I have to be defined by my marital status (“Is that Miss or Mrs?”, next time I read working women “hurt” their children, or that a rape victim “was asking for it”, next time I overhear, or have shouted at me, that a man would “fuck me” or “give me one”, next time I see women’s bodies exploited to sell deodorant or see an advert suggesting I’m so dumb I’ll allow any man wearing a certain product to insert his penis into me, the next time I hear about a woman experiencing domestic violence or being coerced to have sex by her boyfriend, after all those things, I’ll just remind myself that Ms Rudd is, of course, right and I’m not assumed to play a certain role or socially constructed as a sex object with no identity outside of my sexual and marital relationships. Of course.

More positively – the End Violence Against Women consultation is out including a survey and the formal consultation. Go be an activist and take part!

Comments From You

Suzi FemAcadem // Posted 11 March 2009 at 11:49 am

Thanks for mentioning us Louise! One thing that’s become clear in the past few months is that whilst there a lot of awesome groups in Oxford – Pro Choice Oxford, and Ladyfest Oxford to name but a few, there isn’t one definite network for these groups to meet together, or for feminists new to the city to obviously get in touch with.

So we’ve started one! If you’re based in Oxford/shire then do please sign up and hopefully we’ll have a monthly meet up and running soon.


Laura // Posted 11 March 2009 at 1:48 pm

Yet another piece of evidence that the Conservatives are misogynist bastards who can’t be trusted with power.

By the way, referring to her as their ‘spokesperson’ for Hastings and Rye plays into their hands. She’s their candidate, pure and simple, has never been elected, and to refer to her as their spokesperson validates her position in a way that she has yet to earn, and bestows a sense of inevitabilty on her victory. That’s why they do it. I prefer candidate because it makes linguistically clear that she (and all the others) are rejectable.

Lindsey // Posted 12 March 2009 at 8:46 am

I had an unexpected ‘miss or mrs’ event last week, that mostly caused embarrassment for the person asking (another good reason to scrap it). A man with an eclipboard was collecting email address for earth hour and only gave the two options (no ms :( ) It went sort of like this:

Man: Miss or Mrs?

Me: Miss

Man: Aaah

Me: It’s fine, I don’t want to be married.

Man: That’s right, better off alone.

Me: I’m not alone! You’re making a lot of assumptions.

He apologised and I did feel for him as he was very cold and tired, but he did automatically read so much in to this little title that would not be possible for a Mr. Why do we need any titles any more? Unless you’re a Dr does it matter?

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