Author Topic: Content of the speeches at Reclaim the Night this year  (Read 12774 times)

Cyan

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Re: Content of the speeches at Reclaim the Night this year
« Reply #15 on: Nov 25, 2007, 02:37:28 PM »
The march happens to pass Spearmint Rhino, therefore of course that is going to be a focus of protest. The fact that it is less bad than the unlicensed brothel around the corner is neither here nor there.

I expect there are a limited number of women actively involved in RtN throughout the year and presumably they have focused on these issues and selected speakers accordingly. All aspects aren't going to fit with everyones views. Perhaps getting involved and proposing speakers for next year would be the way to go if you feel aspects were lacking? I didn't attend the rally this year because last years speeches didn't fit well with me - but I still attended the march this year.

An event like this is about awareness raising and being visible - not about getting every single person to understand the complexity of the situation and how there is no simple solution. Of course that needs to be done too, but it's a relatively new event and it takes time to build up a strong group of speakers and expand the message.

Can't please all the people all the time and all that..... ;)



I do agree with you, Cal. Getting involved on a level that may help highlight issues one feels strongly about would be more helpful, I should think. As far as raising awareness and being visible, I felt that this was accomplished. Huge turnout. A balance of presence and articulation could be an ongoing goal, but nothing stops us discussing it now or helping organise it for the next year.

Throughout most of my adult life I choose control and articulation to express points close to my heart, but not last night. I marched and screamed my heart out. I was loud. It felt damn good - just deafening screaming when silence is so often women's only weapon against rape and abuse. Perhaps it did not say much about actual percentages of trafficked women vs sex workers, but there's a time and a place for pie charts and lobbying, and a time and a place to march and express discontent.

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Re: Content of the speeches at Reclaim the Night this year
« Reply #16 on: Nov 25, 2007, 02:46:22 PM »
Im glad I wasn't there then ::)

<--- Is sick and tired of women in the SI being treated like instant victims.

Why not focus on trafficking instead.



because sometimes the two are connected?
While I can see that there are more pressing issues than the porn industry, it seems to me, and I was there, that that accounted for about 5% of one speech and was referenced in another...am I completely wrong?


One of my friends, an amazing woman and an ex-sex worker has started up an organisation in order to legalise prostitution and give them access to things like Unions.  Some of her biggest opposition has been from others women's groups who feel it is morally wrong to encourage women to remain in the sex industry.

That is the kind of attitude I am sick of.  A lot of women make a choice and they shouldn't be judged by other women.  It shouldn't have been a part of reclaim the night.
You may be wondering what a map of the trade winds of the North Atlantic is doing on page 134 of a book entitled Is Sex Necessary? In our opinion a map of the trade winds is equally useful in understanding women as a cross section of the female anatomy -James Thurber

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venus_orbiting

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Re: Content of the speeches at Reclaim the Night this year
« Reply #17 on: Nov 25, 2007, 03:40:26 PM »
Women who oppose other women get me down too but it's easy to become that way yourself by opposing those who oppose you, then they oppose you back again and before you know it rape is as old as tennis  :-//

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Re: Content of the speeches at Reclaim the Night this year
« Reply #18 on: Nov 25, 2007, 03:41:03 PM »
Im glad I wasn't there then ::)

<--- Is sick and tired of women in the SI being treated like instant victims.

Why not focus on trafficking instead.



because sometimes the two are connected?
While I can see that there are more pressing issues than the porn industry, it seems to me, and I was there, that that accounted for about 5% of one speech and was referenced in another...am I completely wrong?


One of my friends, an amazing woman and an ex-sex worker has started up an organisation in order to legalise prostitution and give them access to things like Unions.  Some of her biggest opposition has been from others women's groups who feel it is morally wrong to encourage women to remain in the sex industry.

That is the kind of attitude I am sick of.  A lot of women make a choice and they shouldn't be judged by other women.  It shouldn't have been a part of reclaim the night.
no, you must be right. women can't = objects to be used for sexual purposes. porn in no way pushes that kind of image and encourages this. nah, no link what so ever with us being able to walk the streets at night, on our own (or not in some cases) without fear of rape, violence, abuse due to blokes thinking they can buy, steal, beg sexual rights from women. no link what so ever, not one bit. 
well done you, for whooping it up that you support that it should be legal for men to purchase women's bodies.
sitting down outside that 'club' yesterday, the chant was 'women are, not for sale'.

it shouldn't be women up against women, it's all about stopping the blokes thinking that they can get away with disrespecting and abusing women of all ages. by making it woman against woman, you're helping the violators.
« Last Edit: Nov 25, 2007, 03:42:40 PM by Fox™ »
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Offline SomeComfort

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Re: Content of the speeches at Reclaim the Night this year
« Reply #19 on: Nov 25, 2007, 03:52:25 PM »
it shouldn't be women up against women, it's all about stopping the blokes thinking that they can get away with disrespecting and abusing women of all ages. by making it woman against woman, you're helping the violators.

this is a vile thing to say to another woman who disagrees with you

Offline Fox

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Re: Content of the speeches at Reclaim the Night this year
« Reply #20 on: Nov 25, 2007, 03:59:43 PM »
it shouldn't be women up against women, it's all about stopping the blokes thinking that they can get away with disrespecting and abusing women of all ages. by making it woman against woman, you're helping the violators.

this is a vile thing to say to another woman who disagrees with you
wake up!
.........a woman trapped in a woman's body..........
           Grrrrrrrr.

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pants

venus_orbiting

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Re: Content of the speeches at Reclaim the Night this year
« Reply #21 on: Nov 25, 2007, 04:17:28 PM »
Fox is vile

*opens another phial file*

Offline hoover

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Re: Content of the speeches at Reclaim the Night this year
« Reply #22 on: Nov 25, 2007, 04:48:41 PM »
i would have been disappointed too if they had focussed on pornography because i don't believe this focus would help their aims to end violence against women. 

countries which have the most liberal approaches to pornography are generally those that have the lowest rates of violence (sexual or otherwise) against women, and have the best histories of women's rights - some Scandinavian countries for example.  On the other hand those countries which are most extreme against pornography have the worst reputations for violence against women and poor women's rights - eg. Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq. 

"In 1969 Denmark lifted all restrictions on pornography, and sex crimes declined. For example, between 1965 and 1982 sex crimes against children went from 30 per 100,000 to about 5 per 100,000. Similar evidence was found for rape rates."  Before the obscenity laws were repealed pornography was in high demand, but when it became legalised, interest in porn actually decreased.

there is a belief that watching porn can incentivise men to commit sexual crimes against women, but many researchers argue this belief is misplaced, and the relationship is by no means this simple.  many believe that ponography instead can allow some men to have an outlet for fantasies in a safe environment and lessens the likelihood of them going committing crimes against women.

Offline sk8ter

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Re: Content of the speeches at Reclaim the Night this year
« Reply #23 on: Nov 25, 2007, 07:43:06 PM »
I am not pleased with the instant need to find fault instead of support for a tremendous effort on behalf of other women.

I dont think thats fair, SteadyCat. Perhaps my first comments about what a great event it was were overshadowed by the rest of my post. It was a fabulous event, well organised and well attended, with lots of spirit, and one which I personally thanked and congratulated the organisers for. The huge effort and (volunteer) energy that goes into organising RtN is warmly appreciated.

It should also be possible to discuss the politics of RtN. I know that at least myself and the 5 women I was there with had difficulty with the content of some of the speeches; for reasons Ive already stated, we found the anti-sex industry and anti-porn aspects to be simplistic, alienating and divisive. I know other women who didnt attend for those reasons.  Wouldnt it be a positive to engage even more women in RtN?
 
Ive been to other RtN marches, which discussed sexual assault and feminist politics in depth without needing to present an anti-porn/sex industry position.

I didnt feel like the focus of every speech was discussing porn and the sex industry btw. I did feel though that when the sex industry and porn was raised, it was a very narrow view that was taken and certainly without a sensitivity to sex worker rights. I know of at least one letter being written to Julie Bindel (sp?) by an RtN attendee about some of the more inflammatory statements she made. I like the idea raised earlier in the thread about having a speaker from the sex workers union. That certainly could be one way to present a more balanced perspective in future. I hope there is interest to do so. 

kate b

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Re: Content of the speeches at Reclaim the Night this year
« Reply #24 on: Nov 26, 2007, 12:43:33 AM »
Hm, well. I had a fantastic time on my first Reclaim the Night march since the early 90s. Many thanks to those who organised it and I will be joining you at the London Feminist Network. 

During the speeches it was clear straight away that the references to the sex industry and porn ( which, as Commander Claypool points out, constituted only a small proportion of  two speeches out of six), would cause controversy in so far as they focus one of the various issues that divide what Julie Bindel  (Guardian journallist and speaker) referred to as 'the old feminism' from what you might call 'the new'.

I can't imagine there is ever going to be consensus on this. Some women will always maintain that porn in and of itself is not inherently misogynist/ degrading to women and indeed that women can make an active, positive choice to be part of the industry, a choice which should be respected. For them, the issues are how to make this work as safe as possible for women and how to combat the stigmatisation of women who do this work.

Others will never be convinced by this and despite what hoover refers to as the lack of 'hard evidence' to prove a connection between porn, sex work and male sexual violence, will nevertheless believe it to be so.

Where to go with this? Well, as one poster has already suggested, you can always get involved with organising the next RtN march and argue your case, whatever that may be, or otherwise put your views to the organising committee during the planning stages.

What I would personally be keen to see incorporated into RtN is discussion of what it means to Reclaim the Night when the streets are less a source of danger to women and children in terms of male sexual violence than their own homes.

This is when it becomes difficult to discuss the issue of male sexual violence without connecting that with (what different people believe to be) its origins and the things that contribute to it.

Given how much things have changed over the last 30 years since the first RtN march - an era when few feminists would have seen porn as a positive, 'valid' choice for women, let alone anticipated the enthusiasm with which some women would come to view lesbian porn - I find it harder than ever to see a meeting point between these perspectives. It's like the feminist version of 'old Labour' versus 'New Labour' ; neither is ever likely to view the other with anything other than mistrust. Can't see any way around it, other than to settle for the few points of agreement and accept that we will never all agree on certain things.
« Last Edit: Nov 26, 2007, 01:01:07 AM by Kate B »

Cyan

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Re: Content of the speeches at Reclaim the Night this year
« Reply #25 on: Nov 26, 2007, 03:42:17 PM »
Good post, Kate B. :)

Reclaim the Homes is a whole different (and connected) battle.

dvo

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Re: Content of the speeches at Reclaim the Night this year
« Reply #26 on: Nov 26, 2007, 03:43:52 PM »
Good post, Kate B. :)



isn't it  :)

kate b

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Re: Content of the speeches at Reclaim the Night this year
« Reply #27 on: Nov 26, 2007, 03:45:39 PM »
Thank you. Taking deep breaths and practising the art of appearing(ed) being  'moderate'... ;)
« Last Edit: Nov 26, 2007, 05:01:34 PM by Kate B »

dvo

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Re: Content of the speeches at Reclaim the Night this year
« Reply #28 on: Nov 26, 2007, 03:48:57 PM »
Thank you. Taking deep breaths and practising the art of appearing 'moderate'... ;)
youre so much better at it than me!!
respect ;)