‘sexism in activism’ meeting held in liverpool

By Adam Ford

Earlier this month, a group of about a dozen activists met in the Liverpool Social Centre to talk about the problem of sexism in activism. The event was organised by Angry Women Of Liverpool (AWOL), following a recent discussion of the everyday difficulties women face in groups across the left. But over the past few weeks, the issue has been pushed very much to the forefront locally, due to a number of misogynistic incidents in and around the Liverpool activist ‘scene’. This session was therefore called to discuss exactly why sexism is endemic in groups avowedly committed to equality for all.

As the meeting began, we all introduced ourselves and the organisations we were a part of, before naming women who inspire us. We were then asked to think about the gender balance within our organisations, and we discussed some ideas about what factors might play into the large male to female ratio prevalent in almost all (the notable exceptions being AWOL itself and the News From Nowhere women’s cooperative). Continue reading “‘sexism in activism’ meeting held in liverpool”

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sexism: from one prison to another

Latife Faydali writes on how the she was scarred by the twin sexisms of repressive ‘family values’ and sexual violence

As a working class girl born and raised in North London with a Turkish Cypriot background, I was always very aware of gender and the implications that being a Turkish girl had upon my choices. This would affect what clothes I would wear, the people I mixed with, the age in which I would be allowed out with friends, the boyfriends I had (but was not allowed to have!) and of course my sexual autonomy and sexuality. Continue reading “sexism: from one prison to another”

gordon brown’s workhouses for single mothers

by Zoe Smith

“That’s better for them, better for their babies and better for all of us”
Gordon Brown on his proposal to house single mothers in state-run supervised homes

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September was an exceptionally rough month for many mothers. They took a further beating at the hands of the state with the Labour Party’s stultified attempts to kick into motion its lumbering electoral machine, in the mad rush to outdo the Conservative Party’s social conservatism. During his mid September speech to the TUC on spending cuts the Prime Minister revealed that New Labour had decided to drop its manifesto pledge to increase paid maternity leave for mothers to one year. In a qualification to this decision Gordon Brown added that this would be counter-balanced by granting fathers the right to take three months of paid paternity leave during the second six months of their child’s life. This was on the condition that the mother returned to work. Following this announcement Brown proceeded to make a pronounced and very hostile attack on teenage mothers during his keynote speech at the Labour Party conference. The scale and seriousness of this attack can be seen as a new departure in the state’s attempt to control female reproduction, and to penalise and control some of society’s most vulnerable women. Continue reading “gordon brown’s workhouses for single mothers”