Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Spreading the word about One Billion Rising

Been busy over the past week or so getting some publicity for my event on Isle of Bute that is part of the global event One Billion Rising. http://www.onebillionrising.org/

I have been tweeting like crazy and have linked up with lots of other events around the world, both on Twitter and via my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/OneBillionRisingBute

On Friday, I did an interview with the islands internet based radio station http://www.radiobute.com/  about the One Billion Rising global awareness campaign to end violence towards women.

There are 100 registered events in the UK as part of One Billion Rising and I am so proud that Bute is one of them.

We even got a mention in an article in The Guardian on Monday 28th Jan. http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2013/jan/28/one-billion-rising-feminist-campaign

We also get a brief mention on the One Billion Rising website http://www.onebillionrising.org/news

I am determined that come what may, on Feb 14th, we will dance in the town square and make a stand against violence towards women.

Please join us - where ever you are!

Monday, 14 January 2013

The "F" Word!!

The "F" word has been on my mind a lot just lately. You know the one I mean?
No, not that "F" word - the other one!

I've never thought of myself as a feminist, and to be totally honest, I never really knew what it meant to be one!

I remember during the 70's ( I was very young then!!!) watching TV programmes and news reports and feminists were often portrayed as men hating, dungaree wearing, bra-less, slightly hairy extremists!!

During the 80's, feminists seemed to morph into power dressed women with big hair do's and even bigger shoulder pads!

Then came Girl Power in the 90's courtesy of The Spice Girls! Were they the feminists of the day? Who knows, but they certainly seemed like a bunch of young ladies who knew what they wanted.

So we entered the 21st century and the "feminist movement" seemed to have vanished as the stereotypical gender roles became less clear.
So was there a need for feminism anymore? It didn't appear like it!

But if you dug below the shiny surface you'd find that things weren't as rosy as they appeared.
The belief is that our modern day society is now more equal that its ever been.
Despite all the legislation that should protect women from being paid lower wages than men, there is still a huge gender pay gap. It is still incredibly hard for a women to attain positions of power and authority in business. They are under-represented in the media and government and are still expected to be the one that brings up the kids, despite being forced to work aswell.

I now realise what feminism stands for - and I guess I was one all along! 
I have always believed that people should be treated the same regardless of their gender, sexuality, race or religion.
Feminists want an equal society. They believe that men and women are equal. It's really as simple as that!

The reason why feminism has been on my mind lately is "One Billion Rising" - the global event being organised by Eve Ensler's V-Day organisation.
One Billion Rising is a call for women around the world, and the men who love them, to rise up and demand an end to violence and rape.

Over recent weeks, I have read some shocking news reports and blogs about rapes, domestic violence, attacks on women and young girls.
I have also watched some video's of women who have come out and spoken of their ordeal; women who have used what happened to them in  order to help other women and young girls to make a stand.

I have been shocked to the very core of my being. To read and listen to what these women have gone through is shocking and it saddens me to think that in many parts of the world a woman's life is worth so little that she can be repeatedly raped and then left to die.

Even in our so called civilised part of the world, if a woman is raped she'll be blamed for wearing a shirt skirt, or being drunk, or being out late at night! No woman asks to be raped, ever!

I have become angry, very angry. That's why on 14th Feb I shall rise with 1 billion women around the world. I will rise up and dance and I will say enough is enough.
This has to stop. NOW!

So yes, I am proud to say that I am a feminist! 

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

The Hippy Hen is rising!!

A few weeks ago I became aware of a movement called "One Billion Rising" - its an event being held on Thursday Feb 14th 2013.

It is being organised by V-Day, the global activist movement to end violence against women and girls that was started 15 years ago by playwright and activist Eve Ensler, author of The Vagina Monologues.

V-Day's mission is simple. It demands that violence against women and girls must end. The concept of the campaign is simple. Statistics say that 1 out of 3 women will experience violence in her lifetime, that means that a staggering 1 billion women on this planet will be impacted by violence. On V-Day's 15th Anniversary, 14th February 2013, women, and the men who love them are being asked  to WALK OUT, RISE UP, DANCE  and DEMAND an end to this violence. V-Day wants the world to see the  collective strength of women, our numbers, our solidarity across borders.

Events are being organised around the world. To date, thousands of activists, over 13,000 organizations around the globe, and over 176 countries have committed to participate and hold events.

I decided that Bute, the island off the west coast of Scotland where I live, should also take part. So, on 14th Feb 2013, we shall gather in the town square and we shall dance. There will be music, colour, lots of  women, and hopefully some men! There will be laughter, probably some tears, but we will dance, we will take up space, we will rise up and we will say enough is enough. There must be no more violence against women.


Please check out the website and see if there is an event near you - and if there isn't then please consider organising one yourself. It doesn't have to be anything fancy - just a bunch of women coming together and dancing.
One Billion Rising is an act of solidarity, demonstrating to women the commonality of their struggles and their power in numbers.
One Billion Rising is a  refusal to accept violence against women and girls as a given.
One Billion Rising is a new time and a new way of being.

Please join us.