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The second issue of our journal ‘Langdon Olgar’ is out now! For more information look here. To buy a copy go here. We accept submissions on an on-going basis, please send contributions for future issues to firstname.lastname@example.org
Last Monday, saw 300 women, and one very brave small child take to the cold, windy streets of Cambridge to participate in the city’s own version of the nation-wide anti-rape march Reclaim the Night. HollabackLDN’s Julia went up to give a talk at King’s Chapel where the women, joined by the men’s solidarity march wound up and reflected on the progress made, and the fight we still need to fight.
The UK incarnation of Reclaim the Night first came into existence when, during the sex attacks by the ‘Yorkshire Ripper’ Peter Sutcliffe in and around Leeds in 1977, the police response-issued only after the first non sex-worker victim was claimed-was to implement a curfew for women to ‘keep them safe’. Women took to the streets to fight for their right to walk their own streets and challenge the still accepted social construct which posits that women are responsible for not getting themselves raped, as oppose to men are responsible for not raping. Thirty-five years later, little has changed but we are still making our voices heard.
Read this great article on the event by Lauren Steele for the Cambridge Students paper here
We’ve been speaking with a documentary team at the BBC who are doing some research and would like to hear from you:
Hello, I am writing from the BBC Documentary Department in the UK. I’m doing some research into what it is like to be a young woman living in India today. I am looking to speak to young British Indian women who have views on the current situation in India – particularly in relation to the recent rape and sexual harassment cases. I would be really interested to hear from anyone who might be able to help me with my research – you might have personal stories to tell or you might just be passionate about the subject.
Please email email@example.com - all conversations will be confidential and there is no obligation to appear in the programme.
Sexual harassment of women is impervious to ethnicity, culture, class and religion, and is a global issue. For this project in particular we hope we have made clear in our post that, as well as hearing the opinions of young British Indian women, we are keen to hear from all women who are passionate about the problem of female sexual harassment.
After a little hiatus we are finally putting out the second issue of our journal ‘Langdon Olgar’ It’s looking really great and we are very excited about it. It features writing from among others, Tavi Gevinson, Judy Berman, and Jes Skolnik, and art work from Barbara Hammer !!!!
It’s being lovingly risograph printed as I type these very words at in a very glam orange and teal combo, and will be elastic band-bound. Pre-order your very own copy from us here.
Builders who racially and sexually harassed women on Stoke Newington High Street could be losing their jobs thanks to a commuter who contacted the Hackney Gazette.
We have had quite a busy month here at HollabackLDN. Along with the Government finally signing up to the European convention on domestic violence, came the most recent flurry of media interest in HollabackLDN, as increasing mentions of outlawing wolf-whistling drew more and more attention from the sensationalists.
While the media were overwhelmingly concerned with what they see as the more ‘petty’ symptoms of street harassment, namely wolf-whistling, coverage was wide, and that can be no bad thing. In the space of a few days we appeared in four national newspapers, The Guardian, The Sun, The Daily Mail and The Sunday Telegraph and on a number of radio stations including BBC Radio 5live, BBC Wales, BBC Birmingham, SPIN Southwest and SPIN Dublin in Ireland, and Talk Radio Europe in Spain. The theme that rose again and again was the perceived threat to (predominantly male) freedom of speech, and the right to wolf-whistle. What we talk about is that wolf-whistling is part of a spectrum of behaviours that create certain environments or dictate patterns of behaviour for women, that are not acceptable. Think about the times you may have changed what you wear in order to try and avoid male attention, for example. We are not pro-censorship, we believe strongly in freedom of speech, but we believe also in a woman’s right to be free from objectification, free from sexual threat, and free from public humiliation.
HollabackLDN’s co-director Julia was quoted in the Guardian as saying, “If you want to tackle it, you tackle all of it – you say no to all forms of unwanted sexual harassment, that includes wolf-whistling, comments, everything”. Should there be any need for clarification; we are talking about addressing these issues, talking about them, understanding the dynamics and situations in which these behaviours are used, and making those behaviours socially unacceptable. We do not believe in the criminalisation of wolf-whistling, nor do we believe that it is realistic that such behaviours can be prosecuted. It seems that our media has taken a rather giant leap from not talking about the issues of sexist behaviours to talking about criminalising them. It’s not productive to suddenly outlaw behaviours which have for so long been acceptable in our society. The point of our campaign is to generate debate and to push to make sexist behaviours socially unacceptable.
More recently, we appeared in a great Radio 4 Programme ‘My Name is Not Hey Baby’, that aired last Tuesday night (17th April) and was repeated on Sunday 22nd. It can still be found here on iplayer. Bryony was interviewed and discussions that took place at our Hollaback workshop at Queen Mary University was also featured.
It’s always great for us to get press attention of any kind; it means that these issues are being discussed in the national media, and in most cases that we are being given a voice. It was only two years ago that we were told we’d never reach The Sun. This recent media blitz really stands to show how all the hard work of all the men and women who have stood up to talk about street harassment is not falling on deaf ears. Our main objective when we started was to get people talking, and we’ve certainly done that.
We have said this before, and we’ll say it again, and again and again: We are not talking about one incident on one day perpetrated by one person received by one person. We are talking about the collective consciousness of the thousands of people who suffer this harassment every day all over the city and all over the world. We are talking about the fact that any one person can receive incidents of these behaviours, 3, 5, 12 times a day. The more we address that, the easier it will be to understand, the easier it will be to tackle it, the sooner we can eradicate it.
We are looking for submissions for the second issue of our zine ‘Langdon Olgar’. We need words and artwork on a number of themes affecting the anti-sexism cause including but not limited to:
Street harassment (Of course!).
Sexism in everyday life.
Women in media, women vs media.
These are just a few ideas but please feel free to send us some more at firstname.lastname@example.org PLEASE NOTE: we want submissions from contributors of all genders, this is not a female-only project, it is a keenly mixed-gender project!