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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

socmot
Nov. 29th, 2005 12:38 pm (UTC)
Why not podcast it (ie, record it and release on the web in MP3)? Much much cheaper and it could be done very quickly! And you might get picked up for airtime on a radio station that way too...
jane_the_23rd
Nov. 29th, 2005 12:54 pm (UTC)
That's a really good idea!
stellanova
Nov. 29th, 2005 01:05 pm (UTC)
Hmm, that's a good idea on one level, I don't think it would be cheaper, because the costs of doing radio interviews are virtually nil if you have a radio-standard recording device, and I do. It's not like we'd be hiring radio time from Anna Livia or renting a transmitter or anything! Running a radion station online is obviously much cheaper than setting up a regular one, but I don't think there's any real difference when it comes to putting together different interviews and documentary slots. II did lots of radio journalism for my Master's, which involved putting together documentaries, and the real issue is time rather than cost. It's also much easier to put together discussion shows if you're doing it in a studio as opposed to your sitting room, which is not exactly going to scream professionalism if you want to talk to vaguely public figures.
socmot
Nov. 29th, 2005 01:30 pm (UTC)
Ah. Yes, I assumed the idea meant getting studio time with Anna Livia or NearFM or the like and didn't even think of internet radio.

I hope it works out!

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stellanova
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