Reclaim The Night: The Feminist Vengeance of Sparkle*Matrix, Bea and Charliegrrl
Posted by charliegrrl on November 28, 2006
Reclaim The Night 2006 was the first RTN I’d been to. As soon as I set off on my journey to London, I was beaming with Sisterhood.
I was feeling particularly daring, so on my way down to London, I gave porn peddlers a good slap in the face…
On the train, a young man was reading a lads mag- he was sitting next to a woman openly reading his porn, without a second thought of how those images may make her feel. So, I went over, stuck a sticker on his mag whilst he was reading it, saying ‘Porn Harms Women’…then walked off!
Various people saw me stickering and came up to me to ask me why I was doing this. I had nice chats with them about feminism and my anti-porn stance. I don’t usually stick around after I have stickered magazines, but whilst I was waiting for my train, I could see people spotting the stickers on the mags and walking up to get a closer look. I could see that a small act of direct action, such as putting a sticker on a magazine, can have an impact.
Then I met up with Bea and Sparkle- and the feminist vengeance began!
On the eve of Reclaim The Night, Bea stickered a sex shop and phone boxes full of sex adverts.
The man working in the sex shop hurried out in a fluster to take down the stickers…but he missed one…
We met up with loads of feminist bloggers and readers in the pub for pre-RTN drinks- you know who you are! And I thought you were all fantastic. I felt so inspired to meet everyone.
After the march through London, everyone assembled at the Student Union for speeches and music. Jo, from I Can’t Fly blog, performed her music, which was fantastic. She managed to include deriding remarks about lads mags and a few quotes too- nice one Jo!
During the evening, I spotted a few young men with a 5ft inflateable penis in the bar. I had spotted them previous to this near the march, and on their way in discussing amongst themselves if this was a ‘feminist party’. They had obviously come in to check out what was going on- thought it would be a laugh.
I went over to them to get a closer look at their penis. They asked me if I wanted to sign it- to which I declined and rallied Sparkle and Bea for reinforcements. When we told them about the occasion and how inappropriate it was for them to bring in a giant penis into a gathering against sexual violence, they couldn’t grasp this. Sparkle got so mad that she grabbed a pen and stabbed the penis until it was deflated. Nice one Sparkle! Then Bea came over and nicely threw drink in their faces. The security guards tried to tell her that what she did was inappropriate. She pointed out how they should not have been allowed in, in the first place, and how the male security guards could not understand the problem of a giant penis in a rally against rape, because of their male standpoint. The boys left the building, along with their deflated penis, covered in coke. This event was so symbolic: a giant penis being attacked by feminists in an anti-rape rally, and the men leaving with their penis impotent and their masculinity sorely bruised.
I spotted two men dancing with a broken ‘Women’s Rights are Human Rights’ placard. They had broken it and were dancing around taking the piss. So we went over to confront them ,which involved them almost being booted down the stairs! This time the student union workers kicked them out.
I decided to voyage into the men’s toilets to do some stickering…
And just to remind them when they are admiring their penises whilst taking a piss…
After much dancing to supposedly feminist music…like Girls Aloud and Britney Spears (grrr) we decided to head off home. I managed to salvage lots of placards that people had left behind. So, as we walked through the streets of London with our anti-rape placards, we had a few hostile encounters from men. Bea put them nicely in their place by reminding them that dead men don’t rape, nor do men who have had their dicks and their testicles cut off. As we got food from a takeout, we got asked if we were ‘bitter feminists’…We also got the classic counter-argument- what about all the men who are victims..? Yawn…
Sparkle kept reminding us that men feel threatened when they see a woman using her gob for something other than giving a blowjob.
Thanks to Bea and Sparkle for a fantastic feminist weekend! Also Stormy, Fran, Jo, Charisa, Lonergrrl, Witchy, Jen, Laura, Laurelin, Elizabeth the anarcha-feminist, Sasha and Charlotte for making Reclaim The Night 2006 so inspiring.