Harrogate Feminists

A Celebration of Women – more details
February 28, 2011, 12:52 am
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Just updated the A Celebration of Women page on this site (click the link on the left-hand side of the screen) – there are now more details as to how the day will run, including timings etc.

Our next meeting will be on the Monday evening before the event, ie 7th March.



We met some of our exhibitors today for the first time!
February 18, 2011, 12:30 am
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So, we met again in the Crown Hotel bar to continue planning our event “A Celebration of Women”, to be held on 12th March to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of International Women’s Day. It’s all very exciting – not long now till the day itself!

We were joined by three of our exhibitors – it was great to meet them, and they also gave us some really valuable advice.

I’ve made some notes from our discussions – might update this later if it turns out I’ve forgotten anything:

So far we’ve had expressions of interest from at least 10 potential exhibitors.

1. Half day (afternoon only) vs whole day. Both options discussed. Exhibitors might prefer whole day?
We’ll contact Wesley Chapel to find out if we can have the room a little earlier for set-up (or even maybe have a whole day exhibition?)
2. Room hire – We agreed to ask exhibitors for a small, voluntary donation towards room hire.
3. Selling things – In return, it sounded reasonable to let exhibitors sell their work on the day, if they like.
4. Variety – We’re going to try to get in touch with a really broad range of exhibitors – not just conventional “arts/crafts” types – we want to celebrate all the different achievements of women, interpreting “creativity” in its very broadest sense. Ideally of course with a feminist perspective….
5. Further info for exhibitors – we’re going to send an email out very soon with lots of details:
Confirm set-up time / time open to public (will check with Wesley chapel, see above)
Size of boards
How they can attach artwork to boards – various options
Tables and chairs available
Loading and unloading – where to park
Exhibitors bring work at their own risk
Ask people to send in digital images of their work in advance for publicity
6. On the day – making a “celebratory” atmosphere
Drinks for exhibitors, balloons, music…. etc.

7. Publicity in advance
Harrogate Advertiser – put together montage(s) of some of the work that may be exhibited
Stray FM
Plush magazine
Facebook and twitter etc
Press release
The council – communications department
8. Publicity on the day
Local media as above; handing out material in street; attaching banner to railings outside
9. Publicity afterwards
Press release
10. Bank account for the group – to be set up.

Advice from a seasoned activist
February 7, 2011, 12:22 am
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Yesterday I attended a Global Feminist Activism Workshop.

It was organised by Women for Women International. There was some discussion of what all the various local groups were doing for International Women’s Day; I had to admit that “bridges” sadly do not at present feature in our planned event… However – I am sure we can get a bridge in somehow…?

Anyway, all in all it was a really inspiring afternoon. There was a particularly good guest speaker, Dr Jocelynne Scutt, who had loads of interesting things to say.

Two things she said stuck in my mind.

Firstly, women who try to change things are often told “You are being too aggressive, instead you must learn to be assertive.” She said, firmly, that at least in the context of feminist activism she felt this was “a nonsense”. The distinction between “aggressive” and “assertive” often seems to depend purely on whether the person listening to you agrees with the views being expressed. The idea of the “aggressive women” has, of course, a massive stigma attached, whereas for a man it is often viewed more as a compliment. Go figure.

Secondly, if you do speak out and try to change things, there will always be people who have an interest in maintaining the status quo, or who just don’t like change, and these people can say negative things about what you’re doing. This is why it’s really important to build a network of supportive friends, colleagues and like-minded people whom you can talk things over with when things get tough.

I’ve also added a few interesting “global”-related links to our ever-growing list of relevant groups and organisations (on the left of this page – scroll down, and down…)

Radio fame (sort of)
February 2, 2011, 1:01 am
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We’ve been contacted by a journalist at BBC Radio York asking to cover a story about our street harassment survey and even talking about “sending mics and stuff round” – Watch this space…!