First of all, a big thank you to everyone who came along.
It was a cold November night but we reclaimed it! Joining thousands of women (and what a beautiful sight it was) and a notable amount of police officers through central London we sang, stomped a little bit and held up our placards with pride. And we now have a rather brilliant banner.
You can see the official pictures here and here’s a little selection of the network.
Reclaim the Night: Come March!
Reclaim the night is fast approaching! For those of you who don’t know what this is, it’s a yearly national march organised by the London Feminist Network to stand up and say NO to rape, and all forms of male violence against women, this year the message the march intends to bring forward also includes an emphatic NO to cuts to women’s services, which have been disproportionately affected by governmental austerity measures.
UCLU Women’s Network is joining the march and we’re thinking BIG! Join us and the LGBT forum in the quad at 5pm on Saturday November 26th, to walk and join the main march leaving from Whitehall. Unfortunately the main march is WOMEN ONLY, sadly most LFN events are, but the rally afterwards is open to all and we should be easy to find with all our banners so men are welcome to join us there!
No, no, no not an existential crisis (let’s wait till Christmas is out the way at least…)The next women’s network forum (17th November) is entitled ‘what do we want from the women’s network?‘. As with any political stance, discussion from a wide variety of viewpoints is extremely important and we want as many ideas and opinions as possible to make a network that is inclusive and representative of the UCL voice; for women and men! You don’t need to sign up for a membership or anything of the sort, just come along. Organising and understanding the problems women face and how we can speak up for oppression or indifference to the concerns of our generation is the first step to instigating change.
Is it a filthy word? A dated one? Here we would certainly argue against the received attitude of many, but it’s not a mood distant from our campus and our capital city. We live in a country with one of the lowest rates of conviction for rape in Europe and 95% of women don’t feel safe on the streets at night. Being concerned about the safety and welfare of women is a feminist issue, (The Women’s network will be offering free self-defence classes to anyone involved, you lucky people!) yet the word induces yawns and tired ugly stereotypes that feminists are tired and ugly. Some can argue we live in a post-feminist society: we’ve got the vote and don’t have to wear skirts in the office, what more do we need? The only time post-feminism can work is in a post-patriarchy. Does that imply an opposition against men? No, just equality, sounds kinda simple but blimey we’re still not there yet.
It’s easy to be indifferent, but the more people we have involved the more we can all benefit from it.
Are we the only university that want to establish a feminist voice? Of course not, education is a thriving place for feminist discussion and we certainly can’t let the side down. Here a few examples of the great work and ideas that are out there that can inspire us:
Young Feminists Unite
London Met on why ‘Cosmo on Campus’ is a damaging message
A Feminist Q&A from Goldsmiths
Royal Holloway Feminist’s society
Welcome to the new, shiny site for the UCLU Women’s network.
We’ve got a fantastic year ahead with events, discussions, demonstrations and lots of coffee drinking to be getting on with and you can get involved.
Along with our active Facebook group we’ll be posting diary dates for events here and be starting up discussions that anyone can contribute to.
We’re an inclusive community to a wide range of views and ideas and always happy for more people to get involved. If you’d like to contribute an article, review or let us know of an event that would be interesting don’t hesitate to e-mail us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
and don’t forget to follow us on twitter @uclwomensnet
Pipes not essential but always welcome