Below is a talk I delivered for an International Women’s Day event organised by the University of East Anglia’s Feminist Society
What I am going to do today is not so much a detailed philosophical enquiry (I only have 20 minutes) but instead I want to talk seriously about street harassment, and suggest a few ways that philosophy might help us to think about it. Cat-calling, wolf-whistling, groping and other forms of harassment that occur in public spaces are alarmingly widespread, and are generally not taken all that seriously. We are encouraged to simply ignore it, to ‘take it as a compliment’, or even worse, we are blamed for where we choose to walk or what we choose to wear, as though we have brought it upon ourselves. At best, we are told to treat street harassment as a minor and inevitable irritation, and at worst, to view it as…
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Whose Wave Is It Anyway?
WHEN: Early 20th Century (and everything before it, though there wasn’t much!)
WHAT: First wave feminism focused primarily on obtaining Women’s Suffrage (ie their right to vote). They didn’t yet describe themselves as feminists, but also fought for marriage, divorce and property rights for women. In 1918, the UK government enfranchised women over the age of 30 who were either a member or married to a member of the Local Government Register (8.4 million)… this having been achieved, feminist activity in the UK diminished for several years.
Mary Woolstonecraft: 1792, A Vindication of the Rights of Women, seen as the grandmother of British Feminism.
Emmeline Pankhurst: one of the leaders of the suffragette movement.
Virginia Woolf: wrote “A Room of One’s Own”, and supported the suffrage movement.Read More »