women at the cutting edge… 30th october

A day of discussions hosted by Feminist Fightback. 11am – 5pm, Saturday 30 October at The Arbour, 100 Shandy Street, London E1 4ST (nearest tube Stepney Green)

On 20 October the ConDem government’s “Spending Review” will detail enormous cuts in public services. We are already feeling the impact of earlier cuts many effected by Labour; nurseries and libraries are closing, jobs are being lost. As the government “austerity drive” steps up, the reality is that cuts will hit the lives of all but the wealthiest. In many cases women will be hit the hardest with recent reports estimating  that women will suffer 72% of the tax and benefit cuts. Continue reading “women at the cutting edge… 30th october”

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big flame: doing things a different way

Big Flame was a revolutionary socialist feminist organisation active in Britain between 1970 and 1984. Sophie Walker and Joe Thorne examine the group’s legacy.

Why revisit the experience of Big Flame?

Earlier this year, we read Beyond the Fragments: a 1979 collection of essays by three women active in feminist and socialist groups in the 1970s. It is three decades since the authors argued for the left to reappraise how we organise in light of insights from the women’s movement. Whilst necessarily a product of their experiences in that particular historical moment, there is much in their critical consideration of political organisation which matters today. Continue reading “big flame: doing things a different way”

“i am not a man or a woman, i am a transexual”

Transcript of a speech given at Hackney Pride 2010. Transman and anarchist communist Jamrat Mason discusses gender, sexuality and sexism and the wider relevance of transgender issues in society. One paragraph that was omitted from the actual speech for reasons of length is included below in italics.


My name is Jamrat Mason and I have a vagina. I’m involved in East London Community Activism but today I’m here to speak “as a trans person” about transgender issues. The term “transgender” is a broad term that refers to to a massive spectrum of people who in some way veer away from the gender written on their birth certificate. So, I cannot, in any way whatsoever, be representative of transgendered people. I can only talk about the world as I see it, from where I’m standing, as a transexual. Continue reading ““i am not a man or a woman, i am a transexual””

women at the cutting edge…

An event hosted by Feminist Fightback. Saturday 30 October 11am – 5pm, QMW Mile End Road, London E1  (provisionally – please check feministfightback.org.uk for confirmation).

Open to people of all genders. Free creche available: please send an email to feminist.fightback@gmail.com to confirm a place.

On 20 October the ConDem government’s “Spending Review” will detail enormous cuts in public services. We are already feeling the impact of earlier cuts, many effected by Labour: nurseries and libraries are closing, jobs are being lost. As the government “austerity drive” steps up, the reality is that cuts will hit the lives of all but the wealthiest. In many cases women will be hit the hardest with recent reports estimating that women will suffer 72% of the tax and benefit cuts. Continue reading “women at the cutting edge…”

an olive branch to the taliban?

As UK troops pulled out from the Sangin area of Helmand in early July, commanders hailed the successes of their mission in Afghanistan.

Yet at the same time the US-backed president Hamid Karzai has sought reconciliation with the Taliban, demonstrating the sham of ‘democracy’ brought by imperialist troops. The  Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan reports.

"democratic" imperialism can even accept reconciliation with the Taliban

By inviting the Taliban, the leaders of the Islamic Party and other “Jihadi leaders” to be part of a “Consultative Peace Jirga,” Hamid Karzai is committing yet another crime against the Afghan people.

He has installed former Soviet puppets and Northern Alliance warlords in key posts of his government. He even went as far as assigning the two most notorious warlords, Karim Khalili and Qasim Fahim, as his vice presidents. Continue reading “an olive branch to the taliban?”

‘dreamers of a new day’

David Broder reviews Sheila Rowbotham’s new book about turn-of-the-century feminism

I first heard about this book when I saw a review of it in The Observer. The reviewer began her first paragraph by referring to the under-representation of women in David Cameron’s Cabinet.

Of course, establishment politics and politicians are sexist. But the ideas typical of the reviewer’s focus—not enough women ministers, not enough women in board-rooms—is greatly at odds with both the themes of the book, and the intentions of the many great working-class women whose activism Rowbotham describes. Their struggles were to liberate the whole of society, not just to pave the way for a handful of  women to ‘make it big’. Continue reading “‘dreamers of a new day’”

mujeres creando: rebellion, it’s your fault i’ll be happy

Translation of an article by Helen Álvarez Virreira about the Bolivian anarchist feminists, Mujeres Creando

To walk the streets of La Paz is also to walk through the story of Mujeres Creando (Women Creating) an anarchist and feminist movement which has used graffiti and creativity as its forms of struggle and has made the streets its canvas. “Women who get organised don’t have to iron shirts any more”,  “I don’t want to be the woman of your dreams, I want to be the woman of my dreams” and “Because Evo Morales doesn’t know how to be a father (he tried to disown his daughter), he doesn’t know what it means to be a mother” are among its graffiti.

They do not consider themselves artists but rather “agitators in the streets”. The group is a reference point for Bolivian society, a reference point of rebellion and challenging the patriarchal system and violence in all its forms for more than 15 years. Continue reading “mujeres creando: rebellion, it’s your fault i’ll be happy”