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Feminist Fightback conference - more details

Feminist Fightback | 06.09.2006 13:58 | Gender | Social Struggles | Workers' Movements | London

Feminist Fightback is a conference for feminist activists, which will be
held on Saturday 21 October at the School of Oriental and African Studies,
London. Please see below for our launch statement.

The conference will include a variety of speakers, discussion and activist training workshops on themes including sexual liberation, international solidarity and women's struggles as workers. Planned sessions include:

- Pornography, objectification and freedom of speech
- Equal pay, low pay and workers' struggle
- Prostitutes: workers or victims?
- The fight for abortion rights - planning actions for the next year
- Building campaigning women's groups
- Men's role in anti-sexist struggles
- Against war, against theocracy - Iranian women fight back

Feminist Fightback is free and open to all, whatever sort of feminist you are or whether you are just interested. We are particularly encouraging trade union and student activists to get involved. The agenda is a work in progress - please give us suggestions! For more information visit our website or email us.



Discrimination and exploitation at work, unequal pay, domestic violence, sexual objectification, denial of reproductive rights, rape, racism, war, poverty and religious fundamentalism... The fight for women’s liberation has not yet been won. Women’s rights are everywhere under attack, and yet all over the world women are at the forefront of some of the most inspiring struggles for freedom, equality and social justice - as women’s rights campaigners, as community activists and as workers.

Despite our continued desire for freedom and equality, too many women today feel that feminism doesn’t speak to them.

Too many people think that feminism is about being made to feel guilty for what we do with our bodies or how we express our sexuality; about a group of ‘experts’ telling other women how to live; or about a handful of rich and powerful women getting to ‘the top’. We think feminism is about ordinary women coming together to challenge sexism in their own lives, and to support women around the world demanding their rights.

We want a feminism that fights. A women’s movement that is about activism, not just talk; about grassroots campaigning, not just lobbying; about politics, not just about lifestyle choices; and about liberation for all, not just equality for a privileged few.

The Feminist Fightback conference aims to empower women of all ages to fight back against oppression and exploitation. It is a one day event where women can debate the issues which affect their lives, share their experiences, and, most importantly, develop practical ways in which they can turn feminism into activism.

Feminist Fightback is open to all. Whether you want to share your experiences and ideas as an activist, debate with us about how to end oppression, or just find out more about what feminism means - come and get angry, come and get active, come and help us change the world!

Supporting individuals include:

Debbie Hollingsworth - Ruskin College students' union women's officer
Rachael Ferguson - Sussex University women's officer
Petra Urwin - SOAS Women's Society president
Teodora Todorova - Nottingham University women's officer
Vicki Ward - University of Wales Lampeter women's officer (Swyddog Merched)
Sofie Buckland - National Union of Students national executive committee
Janine Booth - Hackney TUC president (pc)
Kate Ahrens - Leicester Health Unison (pc)
Camila Bassi - Sheffield Hallam University UCU
Beth Aze - Salford Unison
Faz Velmi - Battersea & Wandsworth Trades Council (pc)
Houzan Mahmoud - Organisation of Women's Freedom in Iraq (UK)
Surma Hamid - London Metropolitan University
Louise Gold - Sheffield University, NUS Women's Committee 2004-6
Laura Sterry - Nottingham University
Laura Schwartz - University of East London
Jo Read - NUS Women's Campaign steering committee
Mary Partington - Education Not For Sale Women
Maddy Evans - Essex University People & Planet
Anna Wolmuth - Oxford University People & Planet
Ruth Cashman - Newcastle University
Ann Marie O'Reilly - People and Planet Steering committee
Charlynne Pullen - Access and Academic Affairs Sabbatical Officer, Oxford
University Student Union 2005-6
Louise McMullen - Amicus
Prof. Barbara Taylor - University of East London
Dr. Amrit Wilson - London Metropolitian University
Pauline Bradley - Shop Steward, West Dunbartonshire Unison Scotland
Hannah Roe - Co-Chair of Women's Campaign, Oxford University
Prof. Susie Orbach - London School of Economics, author of 'Fat is a
Feminist Issue'
Marsha-Jane Thompson - London Unison Young Members' Convenor
Darcy Leigh - Edinburgh University
Sitara Amin Tilly - Alexandra Park Sixth Form, London

Supporting organisations:

Education Not for Sale Women -
LRC Socialist Youth Network -
Organisation of Women's Freedom in Iraq (UK)

Please add your or your group's name to the statement by emailing us.

Feminist Fightback
- e-mail:
- Homepage:


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are men welcome??

06.09.2006 14:35


sounds good. only question is are blokes welcome?


Go Sisters

06.09.2006 15:28

Can you recommend any good Anarchist-Feminist books? and as Jimi has asked can males come along? as some of the topics sound great.


yes, men can come

06.09.2006 16:06

Yes, men can definitely come. There'll be a women-only campaigns planning session at the end, alongside a session where men discuss challenging sexism. For more info on this and other questions about the conference see:

I'll pass on your question about anarchist-feminist books; should get a reply as most of the organisers are anarchists or socialists. The first person who springs to mind is Emma Goldman (don't think she called herself a feminist, but women's liberationist), but then I'm not an anarchism-expert...


Be good to address the question of imperialism and sexual liberation more

07.09.2006 01:04

I also feel that imperialism is somehow trying to hijack our liberation struggles in a new way.
For example the current imperial and neo-colonial domination of Afghanistan is often justified by reference to an alleged western agenda of liberating Afghani women! As if this was in the interests of a western capitalist war machine - which is in reality proping up a puppet regime of patriachal warlords!

We have to expose this outrageous spin. Basically western imperialism is saying it has the right to exploit, oppress and murder millions because it is somehow 'more advanced' from a 'feminist' standpoint! The achievements of women, lesbians and gays and working class solidarity in gaining this limited space of semi-liberation is now hijacked and appropriated by our old oppressors!

Similarly our struggles for both secularism and sexual liberation for women and queers are now being hijacked behind a racist and Islamophobic doemestic aganda. Some elements in Europe who proclaim their secular humanism and feminism are lining up with an increasingly viscious witchunt of Muslims. Genuine secularists, socialists and feminists must defend the right of those religious and ethno-religious minorities who become the scapegoats of the system.


Email your suggestion!

07.09.2006 07:44

Why not email the organisers your suggestion -


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Monica Lewinsky appearance at fightback conference

08.09.2006 09:36

Monica lewinsky will be appearing at this conference, with a seminar on how blowjobs can bring down a president. take notes ladies... cuban cigars will also be on sale...


iran session

08.09.2006 09:47

Having said that, Resista, I imagine the session on Iranian women, which is going to be led by an Iranian socialist woman opposed to both the Islamic Republic regime and to US imperial intervention, will deal with many of the issues you raise...


Anarcha feminist Books

09.09.2006 13:30

Off the top of my head I can think of just these books,

Quiet Rumours, AK Press. This is an anthology of anarcha feminist essays

Free women of Spain by Martha Ackelsburg. A good look at the the anarcha feminist organisation during the spanish civil war

Various stuff by Emma Goldman and Voltarine De Cleyre

this is just a few but there are actually remarkably few books on the subject. Bell hooks isn't explicitly anarcha feminist but is quite relevant.


mail e-mail:

some clarifications

09.09.2006 16:51


i regret i cannot make it to this conference, but i am curious about some things. i do not think this confusion is mine alone.
1) what is the difference between feminism and womens lib?
2) is feminism necessarilly anarchist/socialist/communist ?
3) my main info about feminism comes from books and not from activism. there seems to be great differences between different writers. i see three trends:
1)- liberal feminism - the declaration that women and men are intellectually the same. this seems to have been accepted by most people but it does not reflect in actual society, where obviously women are in a worse position than men.
2) social feminism - the demand that women and men achieve equality in terms of jobs and payment etc anarcha feminism, or socialist feminism see this possibility only thru radical social change. social feminists seem to be the only activists.
3) postmodern feminism - Judith Butler etc which wants to see an end to gender as such, believes that gender is socially constructed etc, and there can be a future without socially constructed genders. Touches on Gay liberation issues.

I would like to ask and how do the conference see themselves and what kind of things or actions they are planning, to lead to what. i ask this question in the sense that if we follow Judith Butler etc and want to see an end to gender, obviously this entails different kinds of action than a social feminist, who does not want to see an end to gender but wants equality etc. thanks.


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feminist shit

13.09.2006 02:08

yes, there are different types of feminism.

no, feminism is nothing to do with socialism

feminists attacch themselves to the left to be perceived as radical

feminists want to sell their books and make a name for themselves

they don't give a shit about working class women anymore than they give a shit about working class men

feminist freaks are the main reason socialism is a dead duck in britain.

the american yiddish scum utilise feminism as a tool to attack the working class movement and other powers they don't like eg. muslims

i don't like muslims either.

but the working class are fufcked with these middle class freaks bleating their liberal hearts out all the time

sophie is a particualrly obnoxious middle class wanker who has been commenting on feminists issues on IM for some time


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