A glorious weekend for women

Women have been on the campaign trail for weeks, seeking to ensure that councillors elected in the 5th May local elections know about and respect women’s rights, but this May weekend felt like a fantastic, celebratory finale.

Across the country, women womened ‘Respect my sex’ stalls, where the occasional jeers from the ‘women have p*****s’ brigade served to raise interest and support for our cause.

#RespectMySex in Hastings
#RespectMySex in Newport

Women also held picnics up and down the country over the weekend, to celebrate the campaign going mainstream.

#LadiesWhoLunch in Brighton
#LadiesWhoLunch in Newcastle
Women's rights network southwest picnic cake
If you want to see the joyous range of the nationwide story, go to Twitter and check out #LadiesWhoLunch and #RespectMySex

In some areas, upholding the Equality Act 2010 became a major feature of the local council campaign, with many women publishing the responses of candidates, in a drive to elect councillors who know and respect the Act. This one from Edinburgh was my favourite…

There is some debate still about who exactly it was that decided the way to further the interests of trans people was to instigate a war that the world would see as ‘women v trans people’. We do know though, that it was Stonewall that took the ideas into schools and universities. I am delighted to say it didn’t work in the UK, which is now known as ‘Terf island’ in the States.

No need for anyone to worry. Trans people already have protection from discrimination in our most admirable Equality Act 2010 and as a result of the battles of the last few years, we have a large and vocal women’s movement to defend the Act.

Of course, like just about everyone in our hard-pressed society, trans people need better care and support than they are getting, too – but given the will, it’s not really that difficult to find a way of living that works for everyone. We will do it, in spite of – maybe even because of – the #nodebate bully-campaign against feminists; but, because women are the victims of the vast majority of sexual and domestic violence, and because women bore the brunt of the austerity years and more recently, the COVID response shut-downs, our first job is to secure and buttress women’s rights, as set out in the 2019 Labour manifesto , along with defending all vulnerable minorities.

Labour Party manifesto, women and equalities page, committing to ensure that single-sex-based exemptions contained in the Equality Act 2010 are understood and fully enforced in service provision
The 2019 Labour Party manifesto, p66

If you are a women who hasn’t yet experienced the joys and the learning of an all-women, women-centred group, join the movement – it’s fun! Come to FiLiA in October, it’s the biggest annual gathering of women in the country, and it’s feminist, socialist and internationalist, so there will be something for everyone. – Or join a women’s group where you are. I bet there is one – they’re springing up everywhere – but if there isn’t, contact a few friends and start one.


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