Reclaim the Night 2007
Posted by charliegrrl on November 26, 2007
I went to this years Reclaim the Night. Was worth the journey from up North.
The best part of the event was listening to the speakers. Jane from Bradford Rape Crisis gave a powerful speech about the reality of working in a rape crisis centre- that being begging for funding by filling out grant application forms. She told us how one time she had spent all day filling out a grant application form, having to compete with hundreds of other projects, just to get cash for the Rape Crisis she works in. A colleague working on the helplines then comes and asks her for help with a difficult call she had taken- it was a twelve year old girl, who had been raped and could barely speak, only breathing panically down the phone. This is the reality of rape crisis centre, Jane reiterated, that they have to spend so much energy begging for funding, rather than focusing on helping women and girls who have been raped. They shouldn’t have to beg for funding. She told us how there are now less than 40 Rape Crisis centres in England and Wales. Women in the audience started shouting ‘Shame! Shame!’. But whose shame is this… It’s our shame, for allowing Rape Crisis centres to close. As a feminist movement, we should be volunteering to support Rape Crisis centres, organising fundraising events to support our local Rape Crisis centres, lobbying government for support. But instead they continue to close due to a lack of funding and volunteers. I feel ashamed at this.
Another great point was remarked by Julie Bindel saying lets forget talk of ‘new’ feminism, ‘third wave’ feminism, and I’d add queer feminism, whatever…there’s nothing wrong with the radical feminism that the ‘new’ feminisms try to distance themselves from- and the radical feminist battles that we still have not won.
Here are some pics from the march…
Throughout the march, these lasses from East Midland Feminists took down the porn ads in the phone boxes!
When passing a sex shop, we chanted ‘Women are Not for Sale’, direceted angrily at the owner outside- he soon retreated inside! Women congregated outside Spearmint Rhino lapdancing club, booing, chanting and stickering the outside of the club. Here’s a sit-in of women outside the club. Funnily enough, the lapdancing club was closed, unlike on last year’s march!
Prior to the march, I was disappointed to hear that a feminist activist group were planning to protest at Reclaim the Night due to it’s women-only policy, in particular the women-born policy. In fact, LFN state that RTN isn’t women-born only (..!) but that anyone who identifies as a woman can go. Ah hem… However, having a women only protest, according to these queer feminists, is not trans-inclusive, and doesn’t include challenging patriarchal violence against gender queers and trans people. So they were planning on attending dressed in male drag. The point being what, I ask myself…? Endeavouring to dissolve the definition of a woman to create an all -inclusive gender queer party, will not make women disappear and will not stop men from raping women and girls. Get a grip!!! It pisses me off when trans-activists bang on about how ‘radical lesbian seperatist feminists’ oppress trans people, cos they won’t allow trans women into a women-only/lesbian spaces. Well, if a lesbian feminist seperatist is all you have to worry about, then you are lucky.