Harrogate Feminists


Top 5 Things That Piss You Off About The Patriarchy – please!
April 25, 2011, 10:59 pm
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We’ve had a fair few responses to our last email.

The most common question was “But where is Community House?” This is fair enough – I didn’t know myself until I went to that Social Media surgery.

So it’s here, 46/50 East Parade in Harrogate. There is disc parking on the street outside until 6pm – i.e. anyone can park on the road after 6pm, as long as there’s a space. The main entrance on the corner is usually closed after 5pm – so to get to the meeting rooms, you go down East Parade (on the right and past where the cars are parked on that picture I just linked to), down the little passageway at the side of the building and then it’s the door on your left.

They are going to charge us a small fee for use of the room, but it’s very reasonable given how nice the room is.

Regarding what next for the group: one comment we had was “we probably have the same burning issues.” But do we? I think we need to discuss this! What we need from everyone involved in the group, is your Top 5* Things That Piss You Off (from a feminist perspective).

Whether it’s seemingly trivial, or a frequently-discussed topic on the “Today” programme, isn’t important – what matters is that it matters to you, a group member. Drop us an email and let us know!

*or 3, or 10, or 1…

Addendum: Wikipedia, feminist websites and anthropologists all have their own idea of what patriarchy is; I’m using it here to emphasise that I’m talking about our society generally rather than any particular person, organisation or policy.



Embracing our inner surgeons
April 21, 2011, 8:39 pm
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On Monday Laura and I went to a Harrogate Social Media Surgery.

I was slighly taken aback by being asked on my arrival Are you a surgeon or a patient?

Gosh, I thought, I know the NHS is supposed to be moving to provide cheaper care closer to patients’ homes but is it really necessary now to set up operating theatres in Community House?

If I’d done my prep, of course, I’d have known that a surgeon is simply somebody who knows more about social media than you.

Well, that makes almost everybody in Harrogate a surgeon, I thought, as I don’t know the first thing about social media.

Having realised with some relief that I wasn’t about to be booked in for a quick appendicectomy, I settled down with a cup of tea and some chocolate cake in front of a laptop, all ready to discover the mysteries of Facebook and Twitter.

I have to confess to still being none the wiser about Facebook or Twitter, however, as it quickly became clear that the limiting factor in our engagement with modern technology was not so much an innate inability to navigate social media, as a rather lax attitude on our part to approving comments, tweeting, and all that 24/7 always-on stuff.

So – We’ve decided to embrace our inner surgeons.  As women we’ve been socialised into taking a passive role in all sorts of situations, but the whole point of this group is that we want to do something, however tiny, to change things. And the conviction that we can do something is the first step along that path.

Watch this space.