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WPUK launch new wider based campaign - but contrarily only to their immediate followers.

(38 Posts)
stumbledin Mon 14-Jan-19 23:35:54

Not sure I support the idea of a top down campaign that women (and men?) are supposed to be passive supporters of, but genuinely wonder at the tactic of launching to what is in effect its immediate fan base.

The campaign is about:

1. Women have a right to self-organise
Women have a right to self-organisation, to speak and to be heard free from fear of abuse, threat or vilification in public and political discourse and in academia. This should be actively facilitated by those with civic or legal responsibility for promoting equality.

2. The law must work for women
The law must be strengthened to ensure that all women who want or need single sex spaces (including toilets, health provision accommodation, prisons, sports, sexual and domestic violence services) are able to access them without resorting to extraordinary measures. Service providers should be supported in offering such services through legal and financial means and clear guidance must be issued on the exercising of such rights.

3. An end to violence against women
Government must make the end to male violence against women and girls a priority. Sustainable funding for independent women-led services for women subjected to VAWG must be fully resourced by central government alongside the implementation of statutory relationships and sex education in all schools.

4. Nothing about us without us.
All organisations, committees and politicians speaking on issues of material concern to women to demonstrate that they have widely consulted the women they represent and serve and that such consultation informs their action and their policies.

5. Sex matters
Rigorous collection and analysis of sex-based data and high-quality research must be central to the development of any services, policies or actions which address women’s needs or which challenge sex discrimination and inequality.

(I wonder if these were drawn up through some sort of democratic consultation - or ... ?)

(Also not sure how effective as a campaign to have a meeting structure of a platform where agreed speakers presumably go through the new demands. Aren't we all more adult than that - equal? - and wouldn't it be great if those attending had read and thought about the demands and so could straight way go into an open discussion)

MsJeminaPuddleduck Mon 14-Jan-19 23:55:33

Errr .. which of these 5 demands do you have a problem with Stumbledin?

Aren't they fairly basic to feminism?

MsJeminaPuddleduck Mon 14-Jan-19 23:58:49

There new demands sound great to me - just wish WPUK could move the launch to a bigger venue.

Btw Stumbled - the events are open - anyone can go

rosablue Tue 15-Jan-19 00:00:36

But what they haven't mentioned anywhere is a key central point - their definition of a woman... which obviously used to be so obvious that it didn't need a definition. And then it did. And suddenly it wasn't quite the same as it used to be, at least by some people - and now - who knows? In this day and age, you'd want them to mention it up front...

Yambabe Tue 15-Jan-19 00:02:45

Well they could if this one hadn't sold out within a few hours smile

My understanding is that the event is the "official" launch of their new resolutions, that the speakers will explain the scope and aims of each one in detail and that the whole thing will be filmed and either live-streamed or available on youtube to anyone who wants to view.

All sounds good to me.

BubonicTheHedgehag Tue 15-Jan-19 00:03:53

Is that WPUK or FPFW?
Can't be arsed to haul the various fliers and clippings out of the bottom of my bag, at the moment!

womanformallyknownaswoman Tue 15-Jan-19 00:15:48

Where are they on advocating on austerity and it's horrendous effects on lone mothers and their children?

I find WPUK's stance as being for women, yet complicit in the silence against austerity together with its close ties with Labour and myopic vision to their complicity in austerity very incongruent. I also think their rejection of Posie was a huge faux par and one I can't get past. I notice they have taken off from their front page of the website anything that refers to socialist feminists yet this was from one of their founding women's speeches:

It can only be created through respectful debate and discussion, even when we disagree, and by uniting against those that oppress us all: the right-wing press and establishment that fan the flames of both transphobia and misogyny, and the Tory government that has brutally cut services to both women and trans people; a Tory government that seeks to divide and set us against each other in competition for scarce resources.

It seems like one has to be woke Labour to belong there

Didactylos Tue 15-Jan-19 07:02:32

I thought 4 and 5 would be pretty important to the fight against austerity measures: if these principles had been in place then many austerity policies which have disproportionately impacted women (eg most of them) might have been subjected to more rigorous scrutiny in their planning stages and thus altered or abandoned.

Knicknackpaddyflak Tue 15-Jan-19 07:14:39

All that sounds good.

I just don't believe they mean 'single sex'. Unless they've had a huge u turn, they're believers in TWAW aren't they?

Knicknackpaddyflak Tue 15-Jan-19 07:16:18

Ah sorry! WPUK - I thought this was the WEP.

More coffee needed.

SpartacusAutisticusAHF Tue 15-Jan-19 08:09:26

I'm somewhat alarmed at their use of the disability rights slogan 'nothing about us without us'. Stealing another movement's language is a bit crass.

feministfairy Tue 15-Jan-19 09:18:31

Looks great. And even if the 'nothing about us without us' is borrowed from another campaign, it's a bloody important principle and about time it was implemented for adult human females.
I know that feminist campaigns are always picked apart by others but I'm not going to. There is a growing network of women's groups fighting in all sorts of ways against the political and literal eradication of women and I reckon we should support and celebrate them all as far as is possible.

SaskiaRembrandtWasFramed Tue 15-Jan-19 09:37:40

Nothing about us without us predates the disability rights movement by several hundred years.

SpartacusAutisticusAHF Tue 15-Jan-19 09:40:43

It does Saskia, but not, I believe, in the U.K./US in this sort of way. It is currently strongly associated with the disability rights movement.

SpartacusAutisticusAHF Tue 15-Jan-19 09:41:42

I'm just a bit sick of appropriation.

SaskiaRembrandtWasFramed Tue 15-Jan-19 10:03:37

I'm not sure if it is appropriation. It is associated with the disability rights movement in the UK and US, but in Poland it's associated with the Solidarity movement. I think it has been used by various marginalised groups simply as a way of demanding they have some input into decisions made about them and it does have a very long history. Thinking about it, it's not dissimilar to 'no taxation without representation', which has also been used in other contexts.

I'm sorry if you feel it's been appropriated though - maybe contact the WPUK and let them know it might be seen as insensitive.

SpartacusAutisticusAHF Tue 15-Jan-19 10:07:41

I guess it feels like it would if another group started using 'the personal is political'.

SaskiaRembrandtWasFramed Tue 15-Jan-19 10:17:00

I guess it feels like it would if another group started using 'the personal is political'.

I can see what you mean! Unfortunately, I think it's inevitable that when a slogan is adaptable it will be used in multiple situations. Would it help to think about the women with disabilities who are affected by both issues? For them it works on two fronts.

SpartacusAutisticusAHF Tue 15-Jan-19 10:19:35

I really don't want to derail so I'll ponder whether it's worth contacting them.

SaskiaRembrandtWasFramed Tue 15-Jan-19 10:36:03

You aren't derailing! You commented on something you felt strongly about, that may well be an issue for other people. It was worth saying!

Do contact them, they should know if people might be unhappy about the use of the slogan.

Imnobody4 Tue 15-Jan-19 10:38:22

Why the negativity? Hope 2019 isn't the year we descend into infighting. I can't see what the problem is with the demands.

CharlieParley Tue 15-Jan-19 13:46:11

SpartacusAutisticusAHF while I appreciate that you feel the use of this slogan is appropriation because you are so very familiar with it from disability rights campaigns, as a non-native speaker of English I'm rather taken aback by that. It's been a slogan across Europe, first in Latin, then in various European languages for hundreds of years and if anything it was appropriated by English speaking people.

But such slogans outside of any commercial context do not properly belong to single people or groups, we share them with each other. If any group, like WPUK, finds it useful, it has the same right to use it as James Charlton had when he brought this to the disability rights campaign.

And this is an effective slogan. Which is why it was used almost concurrently with the disability rights campaign also by those advocating for rights for those affected by HIV and for at least a decade or so (that's what I found with a cursory Google search just now) by groups campaigning for rights for sex workers and by groups raising awareness about male violence against women and girls (in the English-speaking world, like I said it's been prevalent across Europe for much longer than that).

stumbledin Tue 15-Jan-19 23:50:39

I think maybe I didn't express my point of view very clearly.

Obviously any group of women can get together and come up with a set of demands and objectives. And find out if others support them.

But if you are intending to have a democratically accountable campaign / political organisation you dont do it in this top down way.

And you certainly dont hold a platform style meeting which implies some women have a view point but the rest of us our just political drones to turn up and clap.

Let alone the anarchonism of having people read out speeches which could so easily be shared in advance so that the meeting can begin with everyone equally having the opportunity to contribute.

And it isn't a launch if you just advertise on twitter / facebook. This is just echo politics, speaking to friends. ie most people / women do not get their information via either of these platforms. It is a myth spread in fact by mainstream media that it does. it only does when the mainstream media amplifies anything said. It may look good that it sold out within a day or so, but not if it just means the same women are turning up telling the speakers how inspiring they are. eg did each WPUK meeting around the country put time aside to make sure a local group started in the area?

I haven't quite got to grips with why the hive mind of mumsnet has such a vacuum about how grass roots politics is implemented and how that is fundamental to radical feminism. If going to meetings has the same level of impact as an evening out, not as a link to political activism, it just turns feminism into an event to be consumed.

To give WPUK their due their experience from socialist / tu organising has proved they can be effective.

But as I know from their facebook postings they have talked about relaunching the Women's Liberation Movement, I am just saying this is not liberation politics.

(I think women's lives matter - also quite stronly based in left / tu activism - has made more of an effort to create a local group based movement.)

Badgerthebodger Wed 16-Jan-19 00:32:06

I think if you think the “hive mind” of Mumsnet doesn’t know anything about forming local groups and grassroots politics then you are wrong. There is room in feminism for us all. Picking apart another groups organisation and aims is not productive or supportive - after all, we’re all fighting the same fight aren’t we? I’m suggesting we mindlessly follow and never question, but WPUK did absolute sterling work last year holding meetings around the country and generally getting the word out. Their campaigning has evolved. So what? If you don’t like it, do something different smile

Badgerthebodger Wed 16-Jan-19 00:32:56

* I’m NOT suggesting we mindlessly follow


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