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sisters are doing it for themselves

Recently, and quite by chance, I've been reading a spate of books both fictional and non-fictional that deal with the women's movement in Britain in the '70s and '80s, from Jill Tweedie's collection of Guardian Women's Page columns to the Spare Rib reader. And it's making me kind of jealous. All these smart, funny women going off to their women's groups and consciousness raising sessions every week! Obviously, the reality was probably a lot more boring and annoying (I can just imagine some of the meeting attendees), but still. There was something there that we don't have.

Of course, Ladyfest was a bit like that, but Ladyfest was a year ago (I know! It's so hard to believe). It's also making me feel a bit guilty that most of my own feminist writing and, recently, reading has been purely about cultural issues which, let's face it, aren't exactly burningly important to our actual lives. There's more genuinely significant content in the average episode of Woman's Hour, with its regular pieces on political, domestic and work issues - and fascinating women's history - than in the average issue of Bust or Bitch. Because much as I enjoy those magazines, articles on how American TV programmes treat abortion aren't exactly as important as the fact that I and my compatriots don't actually have any abortion rights ourselves, or that when we do have kids there is virtually no government support especially if you work outside the home. Or that we end up doing all of the housework. There's no equivalent to Spare Rib - the more socio-political feminist mags, such as they are, are incredibly dry. But it doesn't have to be. We all know feminism, and politics in general, doesn't have to be like that.

So I'm thinking of starting up a good old fashioned women's group. A weekly, monthly, bi-monthly, whatever meeting of women who'd like to get together and talk about gender issues in our own lives and feminism in general and support campaigns and actually DO something.

Just think how much Kevin Myers would hate it.

Comments

cangetmad
Nov. 29th, 2005 11:53 am (UTC)
I will commute to Dublin to join you! Or, actually, maybe I should do the same here and we can start an international movement.
alltheleaves
Nov. 29th, 2005 12:11 pm (UTC)
I'll start the London branch! And we can have international meetings.

Although I want to live in Dublin or Edinburgh now because it is most definitely where all the cool people live.
stellanova
Nov. 29th, 2005 12:14 pm (UTC)
You have to come and visit too! I just realised that since our spare room became, well, spare, every single guest has been an LJ lady - majea, cangetmad, angiv and biascut - so far.
biascut
Nov. 29th, 2005 01:01 pm (UTC)
Ahem! I can vouch for the fact that at least one other LJ lady has stayed in there.
stellanova
Nov. 29th, 2005 01:06 pm (UTC)
Hee, I seem to recall such an event! But I don't think of her as an LJ lady, I'm afraid.
alltheleaves
Nov. 29th, 2005 10:32 pm (UTC)
I would love to! And I will try I promise; if I ever manage to have a weekend free again...

In the mean time let me know if you're coming back to London, and was your sister that lives near me in the Selkirk Arms the other night, because I saw an Irish girl there that looked soooo like you.
snowballjane
Nov. 29th, 2005 01:37 pm (UTC)
I will join the London branch!
alltheleaves
Nov. 29th, 2005 10:24 pm (UTC)
We can be a skating London branch!
hfnuala
Nov. 29th, 2005 12:23 pm (UTC)
If you did an Edinburgh branch, you know I'd be there...

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