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Mind the Gap News November 13, 2005

Posted by Winter in activism, the adventures of mind the gap.

Things are going pretty well in the group at the moment. Our women in the media and advertising discussion was excellent and everyone who came seemed to enjoy themselves… well.. that is, as much as it’s possible to enjoy yourself when looking at disturbing images! I suppose what they enjoyed was the chance to actually discuss the issue with other feminists. 8 people came. It was 7 last time, so we are slowly increasing. As soon as we get a chance, we will do a proper post about this event because the discussion was very interesting.

But, we were getting a little confused about what we are actually trying to achieve, so last week we got together and spent a very long evening thrashing out the issues and making plans for the next few months. We had to eat a lot of cake to keep ourselves alive for the duration. Now we finally have some answers for all those people asking “What are you doing?”

This November we’re going to concentrate on the 16 days of action to eliminate violence against women. We’re running a poster and leaflet campaign in Cardiff to raise awareness. Thank goodness one of our new active members has graphic design skills and doesn’t need any instructions to just get on with it and do her thing. I’ll upload the poster here as soon as I’ve got a decent jpeg. She’s also churning out stickers with our logo and we’re going to slap them all over Cardiff just for the hell of it. On the 25th itself we’re hoping to get a table in the town centre with information and perhaps a petition ( give the SWP chaps a run for their money). We wanted to have a petition to the government to do something about the fact that most rapists do not get convicted in this country. However, the woman at the Country Council office was not very happy about this suggestion. We have set Sally, our unofficial activism officer, on the job. I think we should try and persuade them around, but if anyone has any other suggestions for a petition related to violence against women please say something. Then, in the evening, we’ve booked some space to hold an event. We’re not sure what this is going to be yet, but so far suggestions include a discussion, a Clothesline project and a vigil. If you don’t already know, a clothesline project involves asking people to decorate T-shirts with their feelings about violence against women and then displaying the shirts. The following week we’re having a group trip to a local arts centre where they’re showing films to mark the 16 days of action.

In December, we’re just going to have our eco feminism discussion night, but we’re also planning to finally get the long delayed zine out there, look for sources of possible funding and get a public website up and running.

Then, in the Spring, we’re going to run a campaign to reclaim and promote feminism. The material will be aimed at the “I’m not a feminist, but…” brigade. We’re taking up an idea, suggested by commentators in a previous post, of creating a kind of quiz for people which encourages them to question their determined disavowal of feminism. We want it to be fun and humorous, as well as a bit “in your face.” It amuses me that young non and anti-feminist women would not want to live in any country where feminism had not made serious inroads.

That, we thought, will keep us going for the next few months, but of course once you think you’re done something else comes along. Someone now wants to organise a Ladyfest in Cardiff and if this happens we’re going to have to be involved. Fortunately, we don’t have anything penned in for for June/July 2006. At the moment, Naiades and I are thinking about organizing some kind of community women’s art project.

We still have a problem in that the group has expanded fast, but the number of very active core members remains too small. There are about 5 of us. We desperately need more people who are prepared to take on work for the group, but at least that’s a sign of success.



1. aisy - November 13, 2005

I went to a “take back the night” event where there was a clothsline project. It was VERY powerful, and I would recommend you do it. They also had a bell ringing every minute to represent a women being a victim of violence.

2. Naiades - November 14, 2005

I’m looking forwards to the clothes line project, and the community art idea. I hope we can do some cool stuff and get loads of people involved. There actually is nothing better for changing attitudes than interacting with people and showing them that feminists arn’t a bunch of beady eyed man-haters.

3. Siberian Fall - November 14, 2005

I didn’t realise so much had happened while I was away!

4. Winter - November 14, 2005

Well, if you will go away, and leave no one to stop R and I doing crazy things, what do you expect to happen?

I’m joking. But it has been a rather, ah, “productive” couple of weeks.

5. Naiades - November 15, 2005

You would never tell from our sloathish appearance (well my sloathish appearance, winter always looks busy and productive) that we were such busy bees.


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