Well last Saturday night was a lot of fun. I joined the Reclaim The Night march in central London. Something like 2,000 women marched to protest violence against women in all it's forms. I managed to meet up on the way round with Jess McCabe and Catherine Redfern from The F-Word and Cate Sevilla from Dollymix who had brought Sophie - her talking vagina (it's a puppet before you all write in asking for tour dates). And I met Julie Bindel, of whose journalism I (usually) approve. Many photos taken but still not seen them other than the one here of myself and Catherine Redfern.
One of the most interesting people I spoke to all night was [well I won't name her cos it's a bit politically sensitive but she works for an organisation which deals with women in the immigration system who are victims of trafficking or of domestic or sexual violence]. Of course the big issue is how few places they have available versus how many people are in need of their help. And the big issue with solving that is the difficulty of getting media attention to the good work their doing. She said most journalists aren't interested in these women's stories unless the women are virgins abducted from their loving family homes. Women in more complicated situations - such as those who've agreed to take a well paid lap-dancing job and then been forced into poorly paid prostitution, those who suffered abuse from their families or ran away from home, those who have children or those who haven't followed asylum-seeking protocol exactly correctly - are not considered media-friendly. So I was pleased to see this story in the Guardian about a woman seeking asylum in the UK and the horrific treatment meted out to her by a country that then sees fit to go marching into Afghanistan and Iraq claiming to be defending human rights.
Anyhow so hello to all the cool people I met and hung out with on the way round. Apparently it was the biggest ever EVER this year. London Feminist Network (who organise it) has a social on 12th Dec and the next demo is A Million Women Rise on 8th Mar, so feel free to add to your diaries if interested.