Archive | October, 2010

“Feminism does not need rebranding, it needs re-claiming” Feminism In London 2010

29 Oct

Closing speech from Finn MacKay, founder of the London Feminist Network and the force behind Reclaim The Night. Further writes ups from Feminism In London 2010 to follow……

 

“ Today you have been part of one of the largest women’s liberation conferences held the UK for the last 10 years. Our movement is on the rise in this country again, in this capital city, in those of the Celtic nationals and beyond. As it grows it is no surprise that the debate grows about it’s role and form. Over this year I have heard much debate about wether feminism needs to be re-branded. As if a movement that has given us all the advances we take for granted today is something that we should be ashamed of.

That we can work in many different industries, that we have access to education, that domestic violence is considered a crime, that we can open our own bank accounts. As if a legacy of support services, rape crisis centres, refuges, nurseries, women’s centres, helplines and advocacy provision that continue to support women, children and men today is something that we should be embarrassed about.

Feminism does not need rebranding, it needs reclaiming.

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Bashing the patriarchy, one scrotum at a time?

21 Oct

Pro-Domme Ms Slide gives her unique insight into being a feminist Dominatrix.

“What do your clients make you do?” asks yet another curious woman, when told what I do for a living.

Of course, I have never been made to do anything. On the contrary. I get to do exactly what I choose, and I get to choose exactly who I do it with. Being a Pro-Domme is all about being in control. If it were any other way, the dynamic would be completely skewed. Yet when a woman embraces her own desires, whether sexually, socially or otherwise, it is assumed that she must only be doing it for the sole benefit of a man. Continue reading

Feminist Porn

19 Oct

“I’m feminist and porn director.” So says Erica Lust, who makes some of the most beautiful erotic films imaginable. However, when it comes to using the term ‘feminist’, it’s not a black and white issue to Lust. ” If we label something feminist and that has the consequence that we reduce it, that we define it in an absolute manner, something might be going wrong. A porn is a porn is a porn is a porn. A film, a piece of artwork, fiction. Feminist porn is referring to porn produced by feminists, or let’s say in a feminist way (people don’t necessarily have to label themselves). Feminist porn is not fiction. It’s not referring to the content, the plot, the image of the porn film.”

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Fancy a fondle?

18 Oct

Artfondle is a boots-and-bloomers peepshow; an erotic intellectual spectacular;an examination of sexuality and art, with prizes and mass debate.

Hosted by internationally reviled potty-mouthed pinup Ophelia Bitz, ArtFondle is a well-dressed excuse to watch vintage skin flicks, a space to debate art, sex and aesthetic, the crucible of a new generation of sexual sophisticates and political perverts. This month’s theme is Sex and Cruelty, with screenings from:

Venus In Furs (1969)- a perverse thriller set in Istanbul amongst the shady world of upper-class sex parties. An erotic-surreal-horror set in a film noir framing.

Jean Genet’s ‘Un Chant D’Amour’- Genet’s only film, a short silent set in prison, charged with desire, shame, voyeurism and beautiful homoerotic imagery. A classic jewel.

They will also be showing clips from nunspolitation silents from the early 1900s, 1940s spanking porn and we will have a guest speaker in the lovely form of Emily Dubberley- the founder of Scarlet magazine, editor of Erotic Knave and all-round well-respected sex-writer. Emily will be speaking on the ethics of pornography.

Tickets are available from Ticketweb Come on down and get your hands mucky!

Sick and twisted (and not in good ways)

15 Oct

Salon.com reports that a new video has gone viral, featuring Neanderthal boys from the DKE fraternity chanting “No means yes, yes means anal.” as part of a ‘hilarious’ pledge. Read all about it here.

Yale’s feminist magazine, Broad Recognition has called for sanctions, saying “Broad Recog­ni­tion urges you to write your res­i­den­tial col­lege deans and Dean Mary Miller, and demand that real admin­is­tra­tive action be taken against DKE and those who hold posi­tions of power in that orga­ni­za­tion.” We couldn’t agree more.

Not just a pretty pink ribbon

14 Oct

While the Pink Ribbon campaign is great for raising money for cancer charities, some critics have claimed it trivialises the cause. As far as we’re concerned, anyone helping raise money and awareness for cancer charities is good (and no, that doesn’t include people changing their Facebook status to something titillating which does no good at all) Hell, one of the Bad Feminist founders created Burlesque Against Breast Cancer and co-edited Ultimate Burlesque and Ultimate Decadence – erotica anthologies that raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support – so we’re in no position to suggest frivolous ways of raising money for cancer charities are a bad thing. However, if you like your campaigning with a bit more grit, The Scar Project shows a much more real side to breast cancer – mastectomy scars and all. The site explains, “The SCAR Project is an exercise in awareness, hope, reflection and healing. The mission is three-fold: Raise public consciousness of early-onset breast cancer, raise funds for breast cancer research/outreach programs and help young survivors see their scars, faces, figures and experiences through a new, honest and ultimately empowering lens.”

Donate to Macmillan here

Equity and Equality

13 Oct

Over a thousand people have now signed a petition, started by a group of Equity members, calling for urgent action by industry leaders to address the imbalance of work opportunities between actors and actresses. Join the campaign today! Visit www.gopetition.com/online/24658.html to add your name to Equity’s petition.

The petition reads: “Over half the viewing public is female, yet in TV drama for every female character, there are two male characters – (35.3% female roles to 63.5% male roles). Whilst leading parts are frequently played by male actors over 45, women in this age group start to disappear from our screens. The message this sends to viewers is distorted and distorting. We call on all the major UK television channels to take action to correct this imbalance.”

The petition follows research across 20 European countries by Equity and other entertainment unions which demonstrated that actresses have fewer work opportunities and get paid less than men and that this gets worse as actresses get older.

Arts Minister Barbara Follett MP has welcomed the research and commented: “Just imagine what we would have missed if some of our finest actresses had been overlooked in the way this research suggests is happening today. Just imagine artistic life without performers like Helen Mirren, Judi Dench, Maggie Smith and Vanessa Redgrave.”

Key research finding were:

• men have longer careers as performers than women;

• women are over-represented in the lowest income group and under-represented in the highest income group;

• women believe they fare less well than men in the number and variety of roles and pay and are type-cast more often;

• an overwhelming majority of women see ageing as a disadvantage to them getting work whereas men were evenly split with half seeing it as an advantage and half a disadvantage;

• men are overwhelmingly positive about the way their gender and age are represented in performing work whereas women are far more negative.

The research was conducted by Industrial Relations Research Unit at Warwick University and commissioned by the International Federation of Actors.

Visit the Equity website at www.equity.org.uk for more information.