A very UN-glossy look at popular culture... and whatever else takes my fancy.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Reclaim the Night - Wow!!

Just wanted to say what an amazing success the Ipswich RTN march was last week. We had hardly any experience in organising something of this scale before and manged to pull it off with less than three weeks over christmas to get it all sorted. We were completely over-whelmed by the support we had both from the public and the media, and it was amazing to see feminist issues as front page news in the local press! I know most females in the area were very shaken up and scared to go out at night, so I just hope this march gave some of them back their feelings of power and confidence.

We did have some criticism from the 'more feminist than thou' thanks to our decision to let men on the march - the fact is that I sometimes feel isolated in normal everyday society thanks to my views, yet when I turn towards others, my sisters, I'm pushed away from them and told that my version of feminism is not the 'right' one. I don't know about you, but whilst there are real injustices happening towards women the world over, all the in-fighting and petty disagreements don't really seem to contribute much towards helping anyone, do they?

To defend our choice to allow men on the march, here is a copy of what I posted to LFN:

" We truly understand the reasons as to why all-female RTN's are organised and we support this. However, as people who have lived and grown-up in Ipswich and have many family and friends here, we can see and feel the deep impact that these terrible events have had on our
small community and we do not feel that an all-female march would be appropriate at this sensitive time. We want our community to rally togther to say that we oppose violence towards women and want an end to it, but we do not wish to exclude people who have been touched very deeply by these awful events. For example, the murdered women have male family members and friends and we not do not think it would be appropriatefor us to tell them that they cannot march with us. I also believe claims that RTN has always been female-only are questionable, I know one woman who is helping organize the event attended a mixed RTN march
when she was a student in Birmingham in the early 80's.

I am quite saddened at some people's response to the march. Stargazer and Tumbleweed, who started organising the march, are not affilated to any group and I'm sorry some of you misinterpretd this due to the email address that was used. They are two young, concerned individuals who have taken it upon them to organise a potentially massive event in an area that has traditionally been pretty apathetic, and they should be praised for this. I myself am female, a feminist and have been involved in the women's movement when I was a student in London until recently . Although I appreciate everyone's comments and understand some people's concerns, I find it a little insensitive that some people are opposing this march when they are not from our community and thus cannot really sense the atmosphere surrounding the town at the moment and cannot appreciate why a female-only march would not be appropriate."

As to reports that a female only march will be held later this month... Well to be honest that just seems completely patronising, it's like telling us 'no we're proper feminists from london and we're going to come to your town and teach you all how to do things properly'. Sorry if it's not meant to be like that, but that's how it feels to members of our community. Please try to be a bit more sensitive.