Joining the Northern RadFem Network during lockdown meant that we could not meet face to face, everything was over social media or zoom meetings. Although we all have similar feminist outlooks and ideas, all of the women involved have arrived at feminist activism in different ways. As a student in the late 80’s and early 90’s I was involved in feminist groups but later fell away from activism, maintaining my feminist roots by championing women from the background in my employment in the retail industry and later on within the Sure Start Agenda of New Labour.
My journey back to activism arose from the attacks on social media of JK Rowling and verbal attacks upon myself on Facebook by TRA’s when I posed seemingly innocent questions in my attempt to understand why it was so difficult to say the word woman in relation to menstruation; I soon became to understand that although we are told to educate ourselves the mantra of “acceptance without exception” simply means women have no right to question the ideology. We just have to submit and accept that what we are being told is the only truth, even if we know it is incorrect, even if we know that the reality of our biological sex matters in life, policy and law. Without the means to talk about ourselves in a meaningful way stops women from being able to stand up for our rights and freedoms.
NRFN relocated North of the border again for a few days in September for a VERY important date. Poor Marion Millar was up in the Sheriffs Court for daring to tweet a photo of ribbons.
Anyway, up we went again to familiar ground now. Packing of course all our lady essentials for the trip!!!!! Hateful haberdashery, seditious stickers and garments with POCKETS!!!
We were staying very close to the court happily so after a short walk on Tuesday morning we arrived at the Sheriffs Court.
Women had already started arriving with banners, placards, lots of leaflets and creative garb!. The handmaidens of For Women Scotland had arrived of course, looking wonderful in their flowing red cloaks and demure white headdresses!
Several NRFN members and other women’s rights groups have been taking to the streets, parks and city centres in recent months with their hateful haberdashery and seditious stickering, to raise awareness of the battle for women’s rights that we currently face due to trans organisations lobbying the government and organisations to change the definition of what it is to be a woman, reducing us to just a feeling, giving male bodied people access to women’s safe spaces like toilets, changing rooms, showers, domestic violence refuges, hospital wards and women’s shortlists and awards designed to help balance the inequalities women face in business and society.
Some of our stickers tell us that ‘Lesbians don’t have penises’, a statement that is so obvious it should go without saying, however trans rights activists have been teaching our young lesbians that not all women have a vagina and it is bigotry to reject a ‘lesbian’ with a penis. It is so important to get the message out loudly to reassure our young females that their sexual choices are not bigoted. Other stickers have simply stated that women are adult human females – we’re not birthing bodies, menstruators or bodies with vaginas. We’re women and that is what we should be called.
I travelled up to Glasgow with 2 other sisters from West Yorkshire. We had arranged a hotel where several of us could stay together for the whole shopping trip!
We had an enjoyable, and noisy evening but made sure that we were all tucked up nice and early for the big day ahead.
The hotel was a blur of green, white and purple, hateful haberdashery flowing through the corridors!
We finally managed to arrange our giddy selves and set off for Glasgow Green.
By the time we arrived, things were almost ready for the off. The very capable sisters of ForWomenScot had set up stall and transformed the Arch at the entry to this lovely park.. Women were everywhere, beaming, shining, some sweating it must be said because it was VERY hot!
The Green was indeed a sea of flags, placards and banners; and recognisable faces peeking through them.