The word FEMINIST puts fear in many people’s hearts.
The stigma attached to identifying as a feminist (especially for men) has become increasingly frustrating, with militant angry man hater stereotypes creating dangerous social divides. Many people have lost sight of what feminism, or what identifying as a feminist actually means, creating hesitation and an increasing inclination to support from the shadows. However, with nationwide festivals celebrating women history becoming more prevalent and high profile ambassadors such as Emma Watson (who is currently taking a year off to focus on feminist activism), these issues are becoming more mainstream, making women’s issues more accessible for those who feel intimidated by the dreaded “F” word. The UN’s HeforShe initiative particularly brings the term feminism back to its origins – equality for all, and creating a positive balance between all genders.
— HeForShe (@HeforShe) January 21, 2016
Wonder Women is a vibrant 10-day festival in Manchester, signifying the 100 year anniversary since women’s right to vote. Although an emotional and symbolic celebration of how far we have come, it is also a necessary platform to discuss the future of feminism and how we can improve the gender imbalance in modern day society. Wonder Women is a diverse festival programme from historic walking tours (Herstory) to sexual pleasure workshops held at Castlefield Gallery. PhD candidate Fannie Sosa will be running a “twerkshop” aiming to exchange knowledge and strength through women, and genderfluid bodies of colour. People’s History Museum are holding a debate on the very important question of what we should be chaining ourselves to railing for now, and how can we improve the voices of a more diverse range of women.
Music, film, debate, celebration and activism – is it all present, surrounding International Women’s Day on March 8th. A core theme running through this programme is reinventing our perceptions of history which is fluid and bias, highlighting women who influenced the progress of social liberation and rewriting important female figures into the narrative.
Whilst attending a full day seminar on archiving women’s practise at HOME (organised by the lovely DWAN) I noticed that two very important points were made – one) we must see history as curation and take control of our own histories through personal engagement with local and national archives. two) we must not only document women’s struggle as woman, but struggle for all liberation. All sexes, all races, all classes. This stuck with me, as most female narratives has been written out of the history books by those who deemed it unimportant. These statements should be shouted out loud to those who are waiting for someone to write their histories for them. Let it seep into our own internal struggles as women to be heard, and documented in history – we are responsible to curate our own narratives.
— Edwina McEachran (@edwinamc) January 14, 2016
Full Wonder Women programme available at Creative Tourist 3-13 March.