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Guest Blog: we can't end violence against women by kicking men out of feminism

(95 Posts)
KateMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 05-Dec-12 11:38:37

This week's guest blog is from Holly Baxter, who is co-editor of The Vagenda. Initially set up to call out women's magazines for limiting women's horizons, The Vagenda has helped to popularise feminism for a new generation of young women, and this week the team signed a book-deal.

In this guest blog, which is part of the #16days of activism to eliminate violence against women, Holly argues that the battle can't be won if we won't allow men to fight beside us. Her post is partly in response to recent events at the London Feminist Film Festival, where activist and panellist Julia Long asked all the men to leave a post-screening talk.

Read the blog, and do tell us what you think.

FYI, StewieGriffinsMom has set up a bloghop for #16days posts, so if you post about the 16 days of activism to eliminate violence against women, do add your URL on her blog, and tweet us @mumsnetbloggers too - we'll RT you if you do.

PlainBellySneetch Wed 05-Dec-12 21:23:42

"Cock-slamming"
I'm sure there's a special phrase for it, that I'v missed. I mean wacking your privilege on the table and saying "TOP THAT"

StewieGriffinsMom Wed 05-Dec-12 21:23:43

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

PlainBellySneetch Wed 05-Dec-12 21:27:24

plain - you don't see why SGM shouldn't break a confidence?
How can it be a confidence? It was a public event.
Things which were discussed in confidence are entirely irrelevant to this event as a thing. It's not a collection of behind-the-scene scuttlings. It's a public event, and can only be discussed as such. In fact, it only has meaning as such. Otherwise, it's just your book club.

WidowWadman Wed 05-Dec-12 21:27:55

Where's the rule that says that you can only blog about mumsnet members when doing a guest post?

LRDtheFeministDude Wed 05-Dec-12 21:27:56

I've got to say, desite having heard Julia Long speak, I have no idea what her 'message' is and didn't realize it was reducible to something so simple as you suggest. Nor do I think one has to be 'privileged' to accept the very simple concept that, sometimes, it is good to have women-only spaces.

LRDtheFeministDude Wed 05-Dec-12 21:28:33

plain - she's not talking about the conference, she's talking about a confidence concerning the conference. As she said.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Wed 05-Dec-12 21:32:54

So Julia long is slamming her privilege on the table, in a cock-slammy way?

LRDtheFeministDude Wed 05-Dec-12 21:34:06

Now there's an implausible image.

AbigailAdams Wed 05-Dec-12 21:38:54

I thought PlainBellySneetch was accusing me of cock-slamming?? Rather ironic either way, really.

PlainBellySneetch Wed 05-Dec-12 21:39:17

LRD: " Why do some people believe their right to hear or be part of a conversation must take precedence over the rights of others?"

Well, why do some people believe their right to cock-slam takes precedence over the rights of others? Especially when they've got the precious name of 'feminism' in their hands, which they hold on behalf of all women everywhere?

As described, Julia's call at the London Feminist Film Festival was an exercise in shaming. She made the men present do the walk of shame. That's horrific. Can you not see that most women who identify as feminists recoil from this?

TunipTheVegedude Wed 05-Dec-12 21:41:17

I hope MNHQ is going to delete all these personal attacks.

PlainBellySneetch Wed 05-Dec-12 21:41:35

" So Julia long is slamming her privilege on the table, in a cock-slammy way?"

Precisely. Privilege doesn't have to be decades-old to be privilege. She's privileged, and she threw it around at that event.

TunipTheVegedude Wed 05-Dec-12 21:43:36

Were you there, PlainBellySneetch, or are you basing this on what you read in the CiF article which seems to have got some things wrong in any case?

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Wed 05-Dec-12 21:45:04

Wow. Ok. Err.

confused

PlainBellySneetch Wed 05-Dec-12 21:49:37

I wasn't there - and neither, as far as I can tell, were others on the thread. But I will gladly correct if it's not the case that a panellist aske the male attendees to leave a session.

TunipTheVegedude Wed 05-Dec-12 21:53:16

It just seems plain daft to me to be banging on about what Julia Long did until we actually know what she did.

LRDtheFeministDude Wed 05-Dec-12 21:56:09

plain - I don't know what 'cock slamming' is, but I'm a woman. I don't have a cock, and I don't 'slam' anyone else's. Ok?

If you notice, the info we have suggests men were asked to leave. What is wrong with that?

What is shameful about men getting up to leave a room? Do you honestly believe it's shameful for me to be silent, or not to participate? What kind of narrow-minded sense of masculinity is that?

My DH would happily leave a room if he thought it'd facilitate a discussion on a subject - such as the subject of this film - that was concerned with women-only spaces.

Just like if someone had said to me, as a non-lesbian woman, that they'd rather I leave, I would go. And just as, if I went to an event to learn about ethnic minorities in Britain, I would not consider it 'shameful' to be asked if I'd leave during part of the event.

I would be happy to do that and I would feel respected - that people had let me be part of a debate as a guest in an issue that primarily does not concern me.

I think this attempt to make out that Long and others were portraying men as 'the enemy' is a ridiculous last-ditch attempt to gain what you see to be the necessary stature for men. The men at the even do not seem to have minded. But you feel you must find some kind of identity for them that isn't just not-quite-welcome. You've got to dignifty them with the status of Public Enemy No 1.

It is daft and derails the debate.

AbigailAdams Wed 05-Dec-12 21:56:27

I'm guessing that there is another agenda going on here with PlainBellySneetch.

Discussions don't have to include all voices otherwise all discussions everywhere would have to involve the entire world. Which would be a little ridiculous. Discussions are routinely run within parameters and the parameters for this discussion, it seems, was for it to be women-only. Which was highly relevant and appropriate considering the film content.

PlainBellySneetch Wed 05-Dec-12 21:56:31

I'm pretty sure that she'd have sprung up somewhere online by now, if she was going to.

The fact that she hasn't blogged/guest-blogged/CiF'd it makes me suspect that she's wanting to be a bit backwards in coming forwards.

LRDtheFeministDude Wed 05-Dec-12 21:56:57

Ah. Many cross posts.

Yes, tunip, you're right.

PlainBellySneetch Wed 05-Dec-12 21:57:24

That last was to Tunip. I have to duck out for a minute.

chibi Wed 05-Dec-12 21:57:59

i am pretty gobsmacked at the way in which this blogger has used the montreal massacre to make a point about men (maybe) being asked to leave a film or discussion or whatever.

i am canadian. i was a 14 year old girl on 6 december, 1989 and it was a huge fucking deal that young women not much older than myself were murdered because of misogyny.

i can't articulate how it was to be a young woman in canada on that day, and the days after.

it was shocking to realise that it didn't matter who they were, only that they were women, and in a place where someone felt they shouldn't be. the coupling of their tragedy to make some crummy point in some blog dehumanises them again - their stories don't matter, who they were doesn't matter, only that they are women, and there to be used to make some kind of point.

LRDtheFeministDude Wed 05-Dec-12 21:59:03

That's awful chibi. sad And I completely see your point. While wondering what the heck Baxter was thinking.

chibi Wed 05-Dec-12 21:59:39

Geneviève Bergeron, aged 21; Hélène Colgan, 23; Nathalie Croteau, 23; Barbara Daigneault, 22; Anne-Marie Edward, 21; Maud Haviernick, 29; Barbara Maria Klucznik, 31; Maryse Leclair, 23; Annie St.-Arneault, 23; Michèle Richard, 21; Maryse Laganière, 25; Anne-Marie Lemay, 22; Sonia Pelletier, 28; and Annie Turcotte, aged 21.

i remember.

PlainBellySneetch Wed 05-Dec-12 22:00:12

"I'm guessing that there is another agenda going on here with PlainBellySneetch. "

Um, no. I am a person, on my own, unsupported, connected or funded by any other person or thing.

I'd just like feminism to be owned by women generally, rather than by groups of narrow interest. I think more good will be done that way.

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