More reading on Women & the Cuts

December 7, 2010

Greetings all,

I’m here with some information which may be of interest for our theme this month, on how the UK’s new budget will effect women.

You may have heard that the Fawcett Society recently put forward a legal challenge to the government’s emergency budget. The challenge was on the basis that it would bring greater harm to women than men, and was therefore against discrimination laws. Sadly, the High Court has refused this challenge this week.

However, there’s lots of interesting work being done on the gender equality of the cuts, and below is some interesting reading:

Hope to see you all on Wed 15th to discuss this more!


Reclaim the Pub: How will the cuts affect women

December 7, 2010

Hello pub reclaimers! Following my rather garbled last post, I can confirm that the next Reclaim the Pub will be taking place on December 15th. Yes, it’s a Wednesday, and we usually meet on Thursdays. It’s party season, and Wednesday was all they had.

We’ll be in the same place as usual: The Roebuck, which is near Borough Tube, and has plenty of bicycle parking available. If you have Facebook, feel free to RSVP to the event. Our table is reserved for Ms Lovelace, as always🙂

Our theme this month is “How Will The Cuts Affect Women?” For why this issue is important, have a look here.

Anyone is welcome! All you need is ideas and opinions!


We’re back!

December 3, 2010

Hello, Pub Reclaimers!

Following a few months in the wilderness, Reclaim The Pub is officially back on, now organised by me and Georgie

We’ll be organising another evening of feminist discussion and the beverage of your choice this month. We’ll keep you posted. IT;s likely to be 15th or 16th December.

The theme of our next meeting will be “How will the cuts effect women?” For more about why this matters, have a look here!

More information coming soon!


What’s Your Story?

August 14, 2010

After the last Reclaim The Pub on Thursday (thanks to everyone for coming!), I started thinking about why I call myself a feminist and others don’t. Maybe even the definition of feminism that I ascribe to. It got me thinking about when I first started reading about feminism, and how angry it made me that women all over the world still have to fight for equality. At the time, my mother was going through her own personal struggle with the break up of my parents marriage, so we were both learning about feminism together, and having a brother and some very good male role models around (my grandad could be the greatest man alive!) probably contributed to my emphasis on gender equality now.

I understand feminism to be about gender equality, and that this equality is beneficial for both men and women. Kids learn to respect and understand eachother, and then grow up to form mature relationships with eachother. Financial responsibilities are shared, emotional struggles are halved by having an equal to communicate with.

I treat men and women completely equally, expect the same standards for both, am equally impressed by any persons ability to reach stuff off the top shelf or cook a slap up meal. I don’t know many men that knit or crochet, but the guy who runs IKL in Waterloo is probably just as good a place as any to start. I’d like to think that gender stereotyping is losing its value as more people embrace the idea of equality.

How do you identify with feminism on a personal level?

Cx


RECLAIM THE PUB: QUATRE

August 11, 2010

It’s that time of the month again! Sorry for the late notice, I hope you can still make it (or haven’t already missed it)…

Reclaim The Pub: Quatre!

Come on down to the Roebuck Pub, 50 Great Dover Street. About equidistant from Borough and Elephant and Castle tube stations and a couple of extra minutes walking distance from London Bridge. Click here for more details.

I’ll be getting there for about 6pm tomorrow (that’s Thursday 12th August), straight after work. Look out for me sitting at a table, lovingly booked under the name Ada Lovelace.

Cx


LASHINGS OF GINGER BEER: ONE NIGHT ONLY IN LONDON!

August 7, 2010

Hey kids,

This is for one night only in London so get in there while you can! Lashings of Ginger Beer, tonight at The Roebuck, featuring our very own Pub Reclaimer, Chloe!

They have a Facebook Group, where you can RSVP. If you’re heading North, why not book a ticket for their Edinburgh Fringe show? They’re on for 2 weeks 15-30 August.

Queer feminist cabaret. Combining lush Victorian drag with thigh-high PVC boots, upbeat musical theatre optimism with 21st-century political rage, this is music hall for the internet age. Re-living the politically-charged roots of burlesque, we aim to provide titillation for the brain by entertaining and challenging our audiences in equal measure. This Radical Feminist Burlesque Collective takes in a wide variety of perspectives – kinky and vanilla, monogamous and polyamorous, transgendered, lesbian, bisexual, and straight. Every performance is different: song, dance, comedy, poetry, and more besides!

Have a jolly good time!

Cx


Reclaim The Pub: Trois

July 7, 2010

Quick reminder: Our third installment of Reclaim The Pub will be held at the Roebuck, directions to which you can find here. Get there anytime from 6pm on Thursday 8th July (that’s tomorrow at time of writing), a table has been reserved under the name “Ada Lovelace” as usual.

Looking forward to seeing you there!

Dawn and Carmen

PS: Please note, we are not affiliated with The Roebuck Institute, but support everyone’s right to freedom of expression and wish Jack of Kent the best of luck in his recent endeavour into pop fiction.


Schroedingers Rapist Debate

June 27, 2010

I’d love to know your opinions on this, as we’ve just been having a discussion about it on Twitter (follow us @dawnhfoster and @carmenego)

I read a post this morning that I found interesting and re-tweeted it:

http://kateharding.net/2009/10/08/guest-blogger-starling-schrodinger’s-rapist-or-a-guy’s-guide-to-approaching-strange-women-without-being-maced/

I’d better clear some things up on a personal level as I have a lot of friends and fellow Twitterers who were offended by this article.

  1. Most women probably don’t spend every waking minute of their day wondering whether the postman or unusually friendly man at the bar will rape them. I know I certainly don’t. This article says they definitely do, which would be impractical if you’re a woman and have a job or letter box or any sort of social life.
  2. I live my life, like the vast majority of women, on the basis that I will not get attacked, mugged, run over, slip on a banana skin cracking my skull open, fall off a cliff, die under a piano etc etc.
  3. Whilst the article is worded a bit (ahem) contentiously, I think there are some good points made, that have perhaps been lost in the overprecautious anecdotes and blunt tone.

The way that I read the article was as an exaggerated anecdote about personal safety. Ok, it reads as if the onus is on women to not get attacked, rather than this tiny proportion of men who commit rape to just not attack. I’ll get back to that in a minute. What I was particularly interested in was:

When you approach me in public, you are Schrödinger’s Rapist. You may or may not be a man who would commit rape. I won’t know for sure unless you start sexually assaulting me. I can’t see inside your head, and I don’t know your intentions.

From time to time, I get people approaching me out and about, telling me I look nice, yet I find it very difficult to take it as a compliment. As much as I’d love to take the compliment at face value, I instantly check what I’m wearing: Is it low cut? Is the skirt too short? Were the fishnet stockings and hotpants combo a bad idea? Am I wearing something that indicates I’m “up for it”? I’m really sorry that this is such a backwards thing to say, and that’s it’s opinions like these that propagate a culture of fear. But when a compliment is given out of context, I question it.

@HolfordWatch tweeted:

Also issues with risk assessment? In broad terms, people often overestimate risk of violent crime compared to other risks / + to what extent can one accurately predict the risk posed by one person or situation over another?

We can do our own research and find out for ourselves that nearly 9 out of 10 rapes are perpetrated by someone known to them. And yet look what our beloved news is telling us…

http://www.harrowobserver.co.uk/west-london-news/local-harrow-news/2010/01/22/rape-allegation-in-harrow-park-116451-25661640/

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/4986942/Black-cab-rapist-John-Warboys-targeted-young-middle-class-women.html

http://www.sundaysun.co.uk/news/north-east-news/2010/05/09/tyneside-rapist-released-on-bail-79310-26407090/

This constant narrative feeds into us women, and it’s hardly surprising to see articles like this:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1251040/Rape-Its-fault-victims-say-50-women.html

So when a stranger approaches you out of the blue and starts a conversation, I’m not sure it’s completely unfair to suggest that some women might question your motivation for doing so. @LouiseJJohnson says:

When approached by a bloke, many women think “Oh No Not Again” because too often, a similar situation has turned out badly.

What do you think? Are you a woman who modifies your behaviour to the same extent that the woman who wrote the original blog post does? And if so, why? If it doesn’t make a statistical difference if you get assaulted then why is it such an issue?

Were you offended by this article? On re-reading, substituting gender for ethnicity, I have to say I see the point that a lot of men raised, that it was playing on the assumption that all men are potential rapists. We do not assume that all Muslims are potential terrorists, or that all women are potential bunny boilers, or that all white people are racist, why should this be any different?

Cx


Feminism in The Stylist

June 9, 2010

I rarely pick up copies of The Stylist on my commute, but today noticed several women quite absorbed in an article titled “Are You A Secret Feminist?” Turns out, The Stylist is also available online, and you can read the article, and an interview with four prominent feminist campaigners online here on pages 37-43. What do you think?

D x


More Food for Thought

June 4, 2010

The good thing about only having a meeting once a month, is that a lot happens between meetings, in terms of current affairs, politics and world events.

In particular this month, there’s been a lot of discussion on the proposal to grant anonymity to rape defendants.

These two blogposts by Laurie Penny on Liberal Conspiracy and Rumbold on Pickled Politics show both sides of the argument from a woman-friendly perspective. What do you think? Would anonymity work in women’s favour in cases that receive intense media coverage, eg. celebrity cases? Does anonymity just further the false argument that women “cry rape” for attention?

On a lighter note, if the weather isn’t too inclement, we’re considering Reclaiming the Park, perhaps on a weekend with a picnic: mini-feminists are encouraged to join us. Would anyone be interested?

Dawn and Carmen x