TOLPUDDLE: Feminism on the rise in response to cuts

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By John Millington (writing in the Morning Star – http://morningstaronline.co.uk/news/content/view/full/121466)

At Tolpuddle

CUTS affecting women are leading to a resurgence of the feminist movement within Britain, women trade unionists declared at the weekend.

Activists agreed that women had been disproportionately hit by cuts but rather than being beaten in to submission, women were fighting back.

London Feminist Network spokeswoman Finn Mackay told people gathered at Tolpuddle that the resurgence from mainly young women had been around issues of cuts in women’s services, misrepresentation in the media and the growth of the sex industry.

“None of this is natural – it is called sexism and that is why our liberation movement has not gone away,” Ms Mackay said receiving a standing ovation at the end.

“The misrepresentation of women in the media do not reflect the activists I know.”

Ms Mackay went on to contrast societal attitudes to women noting that there were more lap dancing clubs in Britain than rape crisis centres.

And she attacked some on the left who she claimed viewed feminism as “a bourgeois indulgence.”

“Feminism has always been a revolutionary movement at heart,” she said.

“For me it is an intrinsically socialist movement, anti imperialist and reflective.”

“The left should be a natural ally for feminists.”

Women’s TUC equality officer Scarlet Harris praised the Women’s TUC committees for their work but warned the cuts so far were just the “tip of the iceberg.”

“The old saying a woman’s place in her union is more true to today then ever,” she said.

“The Chancellor has already said that he is going to cut £10 billion more from welfare budget.”

“So rebuilding our collective strength is our task.”

“There is no substitute for trade union organising.”

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