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A few steps forward … December 3, 2006

Posted by Winter in the adventures of mind the gap.

Well, we didn’t quite manage to have an AGM on Thursday, although we did have a productive discussion and made some decisions about the group.

The good news

15 people attended, including 3 new members — the most yet I think. The proposal for the ‘Stop Rape’ campaign, which we’ve been planning for a few months, was well received. I’ll blog more about that soon and will email the actual proposal around to group members as soon as I’ve made it presentable.

We asked what else people would like to do and the message came back that what they really want is to organise a women only Reclaim the Night march here in Cardiff. So we’re going to set up a sub group after the holidays and get working on that. I’m excited about this and think it’ll be a very good project for us. It’ll also follow on from the campaign about rape very nicely.

We have had a kind (dare I say brave) offer to help us create a proper website. This is something we’ve failed utterly to achieve over the last two and half years and it would be brilliant to get something up and running before our third anniversary.

Some members want to have an evening set aside to look more closely at the content of lads’ mags, so we’ll make time to do that early in the New Year as well.

Oh yes, and most of the Stop Rape leaflets got folded and taken away for distribution.

The not so good news

The draft constitution was rejected in its current form, hence the lack of an AGM. It’s possible that I may have worn a somewhat anguished expression at this point in the meeting, but the objections raised were valid. It clearly isn’t as ready as some of us had imagined. We hadn’t dealt with the issue of membership properly and there are things in there which really don’t need to be in there. Still, I think some of the difficulties are coming from a general discomfort with the very idea of having a traditional constitution, a document which sets up an implicit hierarchy with it’s “committee” and its rules and structure. Everyone would probably prefer it if we could function as a collective, but for that to work the group would have to become a lot more cohesive … Personally, (and feel free to disagree with me) I think we do need a new constitution in place as soon as possible, even if it’s very basic, just to open up possibilities for applying for funding, to be taken more seriously as a campaigning group and also for certain protections. But we probably need to stip it down to the bare minimum necessary. Back to the drawing board as they say.



1. Anonymous - December 4, 2006

Why does the march have to be women only?

2. Winter - December 5, 2006

I’ve been on a mixed sex Reclaim the Night march with an LGBT emphasis and it was fine, but when you’re holding a march against violence against women, making the point that all women should be safe to walk the streets any time of the day or night, I think it’s important that it be women only.

Having men march as well would undermine the point because in our society women are strongly encouraged to feel they cannot go out at night without male protection. In marching together as women, we’re symbolically asserting our right to walk at night without men to look after us.

Also, in my view, we need to challenge the feeling that men have some kind of right to be involved in everything to do with women, which is an aspect of male privilege.

So, we’ll respectfully ask men to stand by in support, but not to join the march.

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