Harrogate Feminists

OBJECT and Turn Your Back on Page 3 submit evidence to the Leveson Inquiry
December 30, 2011, 10:38 pm
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The joint OBJECT / Turn Your Back on Page 3 submission provides a snapshot of „A Week In The Life Of’ The Sun, The Daily Star and The Sport. It highlights the „Page 3‟ phenomenon, the adverts for the porn and sex industries, and other innumerable ways in which women – and even crimes against women, such as rape and murder – are routinely trivialised and sexualised within the UK press. It calls on the Leveson Inquiry to address this relentless portrayal of women as sex objects as part of its remit to examine the culture and ethics of the press, and it provides recommendations to tackle the hyper-sexualisation and objectification of women in UK tabloids.

Visit OBJECT website to read more…



Because I Am A Girl

The charity Plan has a campaign called Because I Am A Girl – aiming to make sure girls in every country can access a quality education.

Their latest report is here – highly recommended.

Something that made us go “GRRRRRRR!”
July 27, 2011, 10:03 am
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One of our group members writes:

I know it’s about videogames and not many women are interested, but videogames are close to my heart and they are becoming more inclusive of women. So when I read this I was pretty pissed off!

Apparently, the solution to tension caused by “immature, misogynistic” men, even when they are acknowledged as such, is to simply exclude women from the event.

Hmmmmm. Where have we heard that one before, I wonder?

How many girls do A-level physics?

How many girls do A-level physics? This was the question I asked as we chose a secondary school for our daughters in the early eighties.  The best answer was “only three, but we’re working on it.”  Yes, that was the best answer!

I talked about this at the meeting on 21 March, and by coincidence the next morning it was a topic for discussion on Woman’s Hour.  The good news: everyone took it seriously.  The bad news: many of the problems that I encountered in the fifties, and then again in the eighties, were still there.

Maths seen as too difficult, teachers unsympathetic to problems, unfeminine image, very few role models or fellow-students.

As often happens in teaching, quite small changes can make a difference.  “Make sure the boys don’t hog the practical”, said one teacher.

Science education for girls and women?  Perhaps a future discussion topic?

– by Val Smith

Let’s hear it for a “nil” policy on SEV legislation!

Just wanting to draw people’s attention to Hackney Council, which is amongst a handful of councils proposing a “nil” policy on SEVs licensing.

They have even produced a leaflet explaining why they feel this policy would be appropriate to their particular borough. In particular they cite a vision to narrow inequalities within the borough – which, of course, should apply to all councils under the new Equalities Act 2010. They also mention their concerns about the pressures on its young people to engage in behaviour that might make them vulnerable to others – again, this is highly relevant to all boroughs, including Harrogate. They also produce several other good arguments for their policy.

We commend Hackney Council and the other Councils who are currently leading the way on this.

Men kill men; men kill women; women get killed

The Equalities and Human Rights Commission yesterday released its triennial review, entitled “How Fair is Britain?”

There’s a lot of interesting data in there, and over the next week or so, in this blog we’ll reproduce some bits of data relating to equality between women and men. But it’s also interesting to read the report as a whole. A picture emerges of a society made up of individuals who, on the whole, believe themselves to be tolerant, broad-minded and entirely fair at all times; but in which some groups of people nevertheless experience marked disadvantages in many aspects of life, simply due to the gender (or ethnicity) they happened to be born with.

The contrast between the view most people have of a pretty fair society, and the actual lived experiences of particular groups within it, is very marked. People who say that feminism is no longer relevant “because women and men are now equal” need to look at this report and think carefully whether this is really supported by the data we have.

As you’d expect, there is a lot of within-group variation, so of course there’s a big overlap between each of the different groups being compared; but taking the broad view, men and women are not yet equal, at least on the basis of many of the measures in the report.

The first theme tackled is entitled “Life”: what is an individual’s chance of dying from various causes?

A graph, reproduced here from the full report, shows that if you’re unlucky enough to get killed by another person, the person who’s most likely to have done it depends a lot on whether you are male or female. Men tend to get killed by strangers, friends or acquaintances; on the whole, that’s probably going to be other men. By contrast, women overwhelmingly tend to get killed by partners or ex-partners; on the whole, that’s probably going to be men, too. And in particular, those men with whom they once lived or had a relationship.

Behind the appearance of equal legal rights, tolerance and diversity within Britain today, there’s still a strong undercurrent of gender inequality that operates powerfully within the domestic sphere – behind closed doors.

“An Englishman’s home is his castle” may mean one thing to the Englishman, but another thing entirely to ‘er indoors.

What we’re about

We are a local human rights group taking action to promote equality between women and men.

We believe that equality between women and men benefits us all. In an equal society women and men are free to make choices without the pressure of gender stereotypes.

Through lap dancing, pornography and prostitution, women become objects for sale.

We are taking action to reassert the human rights of women.

For our blog: scroll down this page. For more information on how we’re set up, our SEV (sexual entertainments venue) campaign, results of our survey on feeling safe in public places, or on our meetings, click the links on the left-hand side of this page.