Monday, April 16, 2012

Feel-Good News From The UK

About a week ago the UK Guardian wrote about a surge in feminist groups in that country:
"I just don't think I should have to look at that – it's degrading," said 17-year-old Isabella Woolford Diaz. "If people want to buy it, fine, but I don't think 11-year-old pupils should have to look at it."
Deciding to take the matter into her own hands, the student formed a feminist group at Camden school for girls, and before long a core group of 15 teenagers – boys and girls – were attending. "I was getting so frustrated at how women were portrayed and I wondered if I was just being pernickety," she said. "But I soon realised it wasn't just me."
The group is one of dozens of new feminist organisations springing up around the UK, according to the campaign group UK Feminista. Research carried out to mark the group's second birthday has revealed that the number of active grassroots feminist organisations has doubled in the past two years.
These are feminists who do not fit easily into stereotypical moulds: young and old, men and women, urbanites and country dwellers. A new breed of feminists is starting to rise up.
"It's a really exciting time. We are seeing a real resurgence in feminist activism that is moving from the margins to the mainstream," said Kat Banyard, founder of UK Feminista and author of The Equality Illusion. "People are willing to put up their hand and say they are a feminist without the fear of being ridiculed. Particularly in the past 12 months, we are seeing people standing up and willing to be counted." Like the Camden group's members, many of them are young, passionate and unafraid to take direct action.

I have no way of judging how real such an increase might be but it is certainly needed. Without a fairly loud voice the mainstream media mostly publicizes anti-feminist and anti-woman shit, as you may have noticed, and marginalizes feminists as those weird very rare creatures with braided armpit hair and ugly faces.

And yes, knowing that one is not alone is of crucial importance in any kind of activism.