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Reclaim the night on Friday

Player of Games | 24.10.2011 18:20 | Gender | Repression | Social Struggles | Oxford

The 2011 Oxfordshire Reclaim the Night march takes place this Friday evening, 28 October, meeting 6.30pm at Gloucester Green. We'll march around the city centre making a noise about violence against women, and tying decorative labels with messages about violence against women - and the phone number for Oxford Rape Crisis - onto railings and streetsigns. Bring your selves, your passion, your favourite chants, and placards and banners.

The march is women-only - for all who self-identify as women and experience gender violence as female-perceived.

Mixed rally at Ruskin College at 8pm - men who want to welcome the marchers with tea get there at 7.30.

See you Friday!

Player of Games


Hide the following 16 comments

Time to move on

25.10.2011 15:34

These are yesterday's fights. We won these battles, time to move on


Re: Woman

25.10.2011 16:55

Not sure what you count as winning. The why we march section for Oxford Reclaim the Night suggests that there's much to do, and be won, before moving on.


why can't i come along?

26.10.2011 13:14

i am a man, why can't i come on this march? i mean what you do to stop me?

jikfd kj

why so white?

26.10.2011 15:15

why are there only white faces on this flier?

woman of colour

and also

26.10.2011 15:18

how are you defining "woman"? why have you not made this clear on your flier?

i am a cis-woman of colour and also a lesbian. further, i am a survivor of rape. as is my partner - who happens to be a trans-woman. i see nothing for us here, nothing for us on this flier. i have no idea if this protest would be a safe space for us. yet we are survivors, and feminists, and would have loved to have join you in reclaiming the night.

what's this all about? white cis-women playing games, or real engaged feminist politics? i know which one it looks like from here, today. very depressing.

woman of colour

why so white and women

26.10.2011 17:13

The poster features white images of white women because the messages they are sending are meaningful. It was not a deliberate leaving out of women on colour. I know how frustrating it is that so many women's rights campaigns overlook ethnicity. I often feel pushed aside. The posters can't be changed now, but there is next year.

As for what is meant by women. I feel it covers all who identify as female.

Vina (also a woman of colour)

Why I can't come along

26.10.2011 17:40

I'm a man, and am very supportive of Reclaim the Night. Here's my understanding on why I am not welcome on the march.

Reclaim the Night started when women were told to stay indoors rather than risk being raped ( ). This placed the burden of guilt for rape onto women who were out at night. The blame clearly must lay with the rapist.

It should be the responsibility of the authorities and all of our communities to make sure women can walk wherever they want whenever they want without being raped, or in fear of being raped. Sadly this is responsibility is not being met. So women march to Reclaim the Night. If I were to accompany the women marching, this would reduce the power of the event, since it could easily send a message saying "it's safe for women, as long as there is a man around." This completely defeats the point of the march.

"i mean what you do to stop me? " - this sounds very aggressive. It should not be up to the marchers to stop you (much like it should not be up to a woman to stop someone raping her). It is up to you to show restraint and respect for the women marchers. If you cannot do this, I wonder why you are interested in the event at all?


why no men on the march?

26.10.2011 18:16


This should have been explained on the website, sorry we haven't - I'll update it as soon as I can tonight.

There are two other reasons for the march being women only (by which we mean 'self-identified women' as the website makes clear):

1) to ensure the march is a safe space and an empowering experience for any women who have experienced gender-based violence

2) because under patriarchy there is still a need for women-only spaces where women can find and express strength through unity, despite the oppression of the dominant society around them

Men have a vitally important role to play in ending violence against women because they are men - they can talk to other men in a way that women can't. And at Reclaim the Night they are asked to support by setting up the rally (which is for women and men together) and welcoming the marchers when they arrive cold and buzzing and thirsty. It would be great if you would come and take part on Friday. Get in touch at if you want to find out how you can help.


Clare RTN collective
- Homepage:

what do we mean by 'woman'? and re women of colour

26.10.2011 18:27


The website makes it clear that we mean 'self-identified women' - cis, or trans, genetically female or genderqueer. The URL is on the flyer so you can check it for yourself, even though there was no space to put it on the flyer itself.

It's true that this year's leaflet does not feature women of colour, and perhaps that's an oversight. However, it has only a very small number of pictures on it, and it would be hard to accurately represent a) the diversity of the RTN collective (more diverse than society at large); b) the diversity of the march (check out pictures from last year - definately more diverse than society at large!) or c) the diversity of society (cos then we'd have to people the poster with correct percentages and get into tokenism, etc). But we'll address this again next year - suggestions welcome, please!

I will say that last year's flyer and poster featured a woman (not a photo, a drawing) who could have been muslim - she seemed to be wearing a headscarf and a long garment over trousers. But she could have been just wearing a long coat. And maybe that was better - maybe we should bring her back as the emblem of Reclaim the Night? Let us know! Better still, get involved in organising for next year!

I really hope that all women will feel welcome on Friday, and I'm really looking forward to raising our voices together and making a noise to end violence against women.

Clare RTN collective
- Homepage:

Battle won

27.10.2011 06:45

What do I count as winning ?

1 Don't live your life as a victim, reclaim the night suggests we don't own it. We do

2 Women only ? Please what is this 1986 all over again, women are strong, we don't need to be protected from men by being in women only spaces

3. Self identified women ? God give me strength, the last thing we need is a bunch of weirdos in bad skirts and four o' clock shadows pretending they are women. The gender you have is the one you are born with, everything else is either fantasy or a surgical procedure. Cutting off a man'd dick doesn't make him a woman.


gender v sex

27.10.2011 12:23

you really need to get an education love. we are all born with sexual organs, but nobody is born with a gender. go educate yourself what the words "sex" and "gender" mean please. you are only making yourself look ignorant.

not a fool

In reply to battle won

27.10.2011 13:33

1. The rates of sexual violence committed by men against women would suggest not.

2. There's a spectrum from feelings of strength to vulnerability. I am glad that you feel strong, and wish all women did. But for a variety of reasons, many women feel vulnerable. I see no reason not to respect their feelings.

3. It's a diverse world that we live in (thank god). There's men and women. Males and females. And commonly a correlation. But not always, and these terms are not as binary or simplistic as I once thought they were. I discovered the limited nature of my thinking by meeting people and listening to what they said. These days you don't even have to do that - there's Wikipedia. For example ...


To name but a few.

I'm glad that Reclaim the Night are trying to see the world as the full rainbow of diverse people that it is, and not pigeon hole people into a rather dull black and white perspective.


strong yes but still potentially vulnerable

27.10.2011 20:48

Great that some believe that we, as women, are strong and some of us would be able to fight off an attack.
But, if a man physically grabs you, and is stronger than you then he can do what he likes without your sayso, if he is so minded. All men (and women) must be taught that they need to respect all women, all beings so that we can have a fair and equal world. We need to show society that we demand respect and I would rather do that in a women only space. I have been raped and I have ben assaulted, by men known and unknown to me through no fault of my own. We must keep speaking up for all women's rights here and in all countries. There are women being used by men all over the world, rape being used as a tool of war. This must stop. This is a call for all women to speak up for all women, and be grateful that some good men will be there, making tea at Ruskin for us after the march.

oxford woman

I wont be going

28.10.2011 16:56

I shall, lamentably, be boicoitting the after march event this year being that as a male I am excluded from being on the march. I think oxford rtn should change its policy on the female only march, its the case that other rtns allow both genders to partake. I hope the night is good nonetheless.



30.10.2011 00:30

it's not enough to tack on a "trans-women welcome" to your website but drop it from the flier. it's not enough to claim all women are welcome but only portray white women on your flier.

trans-women are statistically at higher risk than the average women for being attacked. women of colour are more likely to be attacked than white women. if you are not ACTIVELY going out of your way to make sure all women are included, then you are merely paying lip-service and nobody will take your commitment seriously.

claiming it's "hard" to be inclusive simply isn't good enough.

and as for the moaning men, well you can piss off too. what are you doing to fight patriarchy and end rape culture? no i didn't think so. don't worry, you won't be missed anyway. we will win, with or without you.

but not until the white middle-class organisers of events like this start taking feminism seriously enough to include all women in our demonstrations.


re: sad

30.10.2011 13:15

You undoubtedly make some very good points. This year's march and rally has been and gone, but perhaps you'd like to get involved in planning next year's event (which, admittedly, probably will not begin for many months).

You can contact Oxfordshire Reclaim the Night via the Oxford Feminist Network via Facebook, the mailing list, or the website. All the details & links are here:

I think you also make two bad points. First, I truly believe that men have to be involved in the fight to prevent male violence against women - after all, it is men that are committing the violence. It is (the violent) men that need to change - non-violent men have a very important role to play in this (e.g. telling their laddish mates that rape jokes are not OK, it is not OK to slap your girlfriend cos she dissed you in public, sex without consent every time you have sex is never OK). Rightly or wrongly, many men consider other men to be their peer group, and therefore listen to them more.

Secondly, "white middle-class organisers" is not true.