Women's Fightback 20, winter 2014

What's wrong with "identity politics"?


Lynn Ferguson

“The personal is political” was one of the main slogans of the women’s movement of the late 60s and early 70s. It meant making “personal” issues into issues for collective action; telling women that their problems were not just a matter of personal inadequacies, but part of a social oppression directed against all women; and enlarging socialist ideas with a wider humanism.

With the ebb of the movement, the slogan has been inverted: the political is personal.

Two women every week


Janine Booth

In England and Wales, women are killed by current or former male partners at the rate of two a week. Thanks to Counting Dead Women for its work in telling these truths.

One hour in every eighty-four
Another body hits the floor
A hundred women every year
Killed by one they once held dear Nine a month, four a fortnight
Do these figures sound too forthright?
Facts don’t lie; the truth will speak — Two women every week

Pro choice campaigners in Ireland take the pill train

Campaigners took a train to Belfast and back to Dublin on 28 October to bring non-surgical medical abortion pills into Ireland where they are illegal. The action recreated a similar one taken in the 1970s to bring the contraceptive pill to Ireland.

Teaching men to sexually abuse to attract women...what?


Rachael Barnes

A petition, launched on Saturday, calling for the denial of a visa to American “pick-up artist” Julien Blanc, has been signed by nearly 25,000 people. Blanc has already been removed from Australia, for organising a tour of seminars “teaching” men how to prey on women by “short-circuiting their emotional and logical mind”. His seminars and Youtube videos are not only verbally derogatory to women, but are racist and contain solid evidence of him harassing and sexually assaulting women.

How do we fight back?


Gemma Short

Gemma short reviews everyday sexism by Laura Bates

Everyday Sexism is based on a project which collected hundreds of thousands of stories, anecdotes and testimonials from women, contributed via Twitter and the everyday sexism blog.

These make for uncomfortable reading. Many of the testimonials speak of explicit and violent sexual assault. Much of it makes you angry. It is a condensed reflection of sexism in all areas of society.

Feminism is cool now, but where are the politics?


Beth Redmond

The number of young women openly calling themselves feminists is, in my experience, constantly increasing.
In the four years between me starting university and now, the attitude of a large number of student women has shifted dramatically, for the better, but there is an exceptional way to go yet.

Austerity cuts closing refuges


Rosalind Robson

Refuges across in England and Wales are being shut down as money for domestic violence services are cut and the national network of specialist safe houses is under threat.

Violence is not "part of the job"


Becky Crocker

25 November is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.
Both the International Transport Workers’ Federation and the European Transport Workers’ Federation have publicly marked this day and raised the profile of their ongoing campaigns to tackle violence and harassment against women who work in the transport industry. The UK Rail Maritime and Transport (RMT) union will mark this year’s day with a meeting for all women trade unionists and allies.

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