Tag Archives: activism

Racism and Anti-Racism: Why they matter to SlutWalks

6 Nov

image from Slutwalk Melbourne – http://www.michaelbainbridge.com

You may have been following the conversation around the international SlutWalk phenomena and its lack of effort to ensure anti-racism was an integral part of the ‘movement’, and, as Colorlines notes, what “critics of the nascent movement have described as a crippling lack of racial and cultural diversity, historical knowledge, and sensitivity to structural differences in power and privilege”. BlackWomen’s Blueprint, a Brooklyn-based human rights organization, authored a must read open letter to the SlutWalk movement in September, and even after that there was the hurtful racist signage displayed at the recent SlutWalk NYC. Continue reading


Reclaim the Night 2011 (Oct. 27th)

25 Oct

Reclaim the Night is an annual rally and march asserting women’s right to freedom from violence, rape or fear — however we dress, wherever we go.

If you are interested in women’s rights, come out and show your support!

State Library Rally – Gather at 6.30pm for a 7pm start (all welcome!)

With Guest Speakers/Performers:

Sally Goldner – from being a spokesperson for TransGender Victoria and the treasurer of the Victorian Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby, to hosting the 3CR radio program “Out of the Pan” (focused on pansexual issues), Sally is a leading activist within the Victorian LGBTI community who will speak on the issue of gender based violence as it relates to queer and trans people’s lives.

Sahar & Mim – both inspiring survivors and speakers (and singers!!) on family violence. They will speak on the impacts of violence against women and why we need a better community response.

Tricia – an incredible woman from Women with Disabilities Victoria who will speak on the types of violence that occurs against women with disabilities.

And, the wonderful Lynn will be providing Auslan!

March at 8pm – Women identifying and/or socialised (trans* inclusive) & children

Note: While the March is for people who identify and/or were socialised as wom*n (including those who identify as trans, genderqueer, sex &/or gender diverse), gender-policing is not acceptable. That means not making assumptions about people’s gender based on their self presentation, or any other factor. It is not up to anyone to decide and dictate to other people whether or not they can join in the March, it is up to individuals to decide whether to participate or self-exclude depending on how they identify.

While all violence should be opposed, this particular event is focused on those who experience gender-based violence, which includes both cis and trans wom*n, as well as other ISGD (Intersex, Sex &/or Gender Diverse) people.

Recognizing this and striving to make Reclaim the Night a safer space for everybody means avoiding gender-policing, transphobia, queerphobia, sexism, racism, whorephobia, ableism, classism, or any other type of oppression.


Contact and more info:
Facebook group

The “Hot Chicks” of Occupy Wall St

21 Oct

From Salon.com: Steven Greenstreet was almost certainly out for publicity with his video “Hot Chicks of OWS”. After the controversy around the film was mentioned on CNBC, Greenstreet’s response was a tweet to reporter John Carney: “Thanks for the mention on CNBC for “Hot Chicks”! But maybe correct the spelling of my last name?” Female critics, on the other hand, he’s asked out for coffee.

Continue reading

Women’s Mentoring Program Volunteers with VACRO

6 Oct

the VACRO logo (text and a circular loop shape)
VACRO is seeking women volunteers to support women who are either on community corrections orders or exiting prison. If you are community minded, have life experience and good communication skills, we need you!

VACRO is a non-government, non-denominational organisation whose mission is to provide support and information for individuals charged with a criminal offence, offenders, prisoners and their families; as well as a leadership, education, training and research on the Justice System for the community.

The VACRO Women’s Mentoring Program matches volunteer mentors with women exiting prison and women on community based orders. Mentors provide emotional support, model good communication skills and pro-social behaviour and may assist mentorees with practical tasks related to their reintegration into the community.

Continue reading

Wom*n’s Department News & Updates!

4 Oct

Hey everyone! A few things!…

i. Reclaim the Night – Meeting Tonight!
ii. Mooncup/Radpad giveaway + workshop
iii. Final Zine
iv. Other plans for the rest of the semester

i. Reclaim the Night (RTN) – meeting tonight!
RTN is creeping up soon and it would be great having more people to help collaborate to make the event amazing! Meetings are every Tuesday at 6pm in the RMIT Wom*n’s Room. More details here:

ii. Mooncup/Radpad giveaway + workshop
We are planning to have a rad pad/mooncup giveaway, as well as a DIY radpad workshop in a couple weeks (keep an eye out for more details soon)!
In the meantime, apart from awesome giveaways we hope this event will also be an opportunity to put out some info about menstruation products that are better for the environment and your health!…so if anyone wants to write a bit about this (e.g. why you love your mooncup/radpads, why non-reusable tampons & pads are bad for the environment etc.) please email your interest/ideas/submissions to womyns@union.unimelb.edu.au.

iii. Final Zine
We’d love to put together a final zine for the year but to make that happen we need YOU to contribute! One theme we thought of was “Why I am a Feminist” – it’d be great if we could get lots of different people sending in stuff (writing, art, poetry etc.) addressing that question.
Since it is the end of the year, another idea is for people to send in stuff reflecting (perhaps with fond nostalgia?!) on what the Wom*n’s Department has done throughout the year, what you’ve learned etc.
Really whatever you come up with – be creative!
As above, ideas/submissions can be emailed to womyns@union.unimelb.edu.au and also dropped into the Wom*n’s Department’s mailbox (in the OB space, 1st Floor Union House)

iv. Other plans for the rest of the semester
Apart from the above, our major final plans for the rest of the semester include holding self-defense classes and a big end of year bbq/picnic (hopefully tied in with a joint soccer game with the Queer Department!)

And then of course there’s our weekly events – Feminist Discussion Group (Every Mon at 12pm in the Wom*n’s Room, 1st Floor Union House across from the food co-op), Wom*n’s Action Collective (Every Mon at 1pm in the Wom*n’s Room – come along if you wanna help organize all this stuff we’ve got going on!), and Girlzone (Hangout for queer/questioning Wom*n, every Thurs at 1pm in the Wom*n’s Room)

Can’t believe the semester/year is almost over! Lets go out with a bang! xo

Strong Unions Need Women

28 Jul

(this content from the NUS website)

Strong Unions is a grassroots campaign designed to boost the levels of women’s representation in student organisations.

At Australian universities, women make up more than 50% of the enrolled population yet make up less than 50% of student organisation positions on average. This means that issues that affect a majority of people at university are not reflected fully on the organisations that represent them. Issues like safety, harassment, pay equity and sexual health are left lacking despite their pervasiveness.

 1 in 3 women will experience violence during their lifetime. 1 in 10 women will experience sexual violence whilst studying. Women earn 87 cents in the male dollar for work of comparable value. Women still only make up around 30% of seats in the federal parliament and far fewer places on ASX 200 boards and management teams.

In 2011, women still greatly lag behind their male counterparts. For this reason, it is important to boost levels of women’s representation on student organisations, reaffirm the relevance of women’s officers and collectives and resist attempts to create men’s officers and men’s spaces.

This campaign will see Women’s Collectives campaigning for better women’s representation by putting together short and sharp videos that outline the situation for women on their campus. These videos will be uploaded to the NUS website.

To download the petition, click here.

To download a fact sheet on women’s representation, click here.

To download a fact sheet on why women’s collectives are still relevant, click here.

To download the campaign kit, click here.

For more information on how to get involved, contact the NUS Women’s Officer by emailing womens@nus.asn.au or by heading along to Melbourne Uni’s Women’s Collective meeting. Alternatively, you can find us on Facebook here.

Slutwalk wrap-up

28 Jul

A close shot of some of the crowd at Slutwalk Melbourne.
A photo published along with an article in The Age, taken at Slutwalk Melbourne. Katie, Hannah, Holly, & Belinda: totes famous. Maddee: sorry, you’re behind the sign I think!

Many people from the wom*n’s group and other Melbourne Uni groups took part in the march, or came for the speeches preceding the march itself. Of course many people within these groups, and at the march in general, had many different opinions on the myriad issues associated with Slutwalk, but there was a great sense of solidarity in the crowd on the day, and it was great to see people getting active.

Here are some different takes and views from around the interwebs in the wake of Slutwalk (I advise a trigger warning for almost all these links due to discussions and descriptions of rape/sexual assault):

Tits and Sass: I Think I Just Figured Out SlutWalk

The F Word: We’re Sluts, Not Feminists. Wherein my relationship with Slutwalk gets rocky.

To The Curb: SlutWalk: A Stroll Through White Supremacy

New Matilda: Can Tiny Hotpants Say It All?

Also, many noted that one of the highlights of the day was one of the speeches given prior to the march itself. You can find a transcript of that speech at SlutWalk: A Testimony By A Transgender Man.

** For a fantastic and moving piece on the pervasive rape culture that Slutwalk protested against, please read Rape Culture 101. **

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