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: