Sexism

Report: ETF Women's Conference 2017

RMT's delegation to the European Transport workers' Federation Women's Conference comprised Mary Jane Herbison, Michelle Rodgers, Lorna Tooley and Janine Booth. The conference was, unfortunately, squeezed into a short time on a single day. It still managed to do its business and hear some interesting and relevant contributions.

Report on the ETF Women's Committee's work 2013-17

Disaffected Middle-aged Women

A new sociological category to scare the establishment ...

Somewhat like the angry youth
But rather longer in the tooth
We're gobby, feisty, loud, uncouth
We're Disaffected Middle-aged Women

Kicking our feet against the wall
Plotting in the shopping mall
Go tell them we're not playing ball
We're Disaffected Middle-aged Women

Measuring Up to be Microwaved

Yesterday was my radiotherapy booking-in appointment. So, off I went to the basement of Bart's hospital to be fitted and measured.

Some more forms to fill in and consents to be signed - this time, consenting to have permanent marks made on my body. Until now, I have avoided having tattoos: it just doesn't appeal to me, though I've sometimes thought I might take it up in later life. Never did I consider that the design would be three small dots. But there you go: I'll think of it as abstract art.

Strip to the waist again, and put on this gown. I share the waiting area with a hairless woman and her two kids, a young adult daughter and a teenage-ish son. She's having radiotherapy to her brain. I ponder on how lucky I am.

Then it's off to the radiotherapy room, past a door marked "Mould Room": I think I'll stay out of there.

My team of three radiotherapists - two women and a man - are all friendly and kind. When I mention I'm a poet, they ask for an ode, and the only one that comes to mind is Jeremy Hunt. Really, you can't go wrong  having a go at Jeremy Hunt to NHS staff. My joke about sending my tumour to the USA goes down well too. "We've got a comedian here", they advise colleagues.

George Lansbury, Minnie Lansbury and Their Relevance to Modern Feminism

Text of the George Lansbury Memorial Lecture, given on 16 November 2016 at Queen Mary University, London.

 

I’m working on the assumption that most of you know a fair bit about George Lansbury but rather less about his daughter-in-law Minnie. So I’m going to tell you who Minnie Lansbury was, and as we walk through her life, and its intersection with George’s, we will find relevance and lessons for modern-day feminism.

Rude Words

When Donald Trump said
"Grab them by the pussy"
The objectionable word
was not "pussy"
It was "grab"
His words were not "lewd"
They were violent

Railway Woman

I am a railway woman, love my job
I take you there and back, I take your fare
Sometimes behind the scenes, sometimes you’ll see me
I fix the track or operate the signal
I clean the station, guard or drive the train
And when you need me, here I am to help.

Is "cultural difference" an excuse for sexism? (in English and in French)

Originally published on Workers' Liberty's website.

There was a discussion at Workers' Liberty's 'Ideas for Freedom' discussion weekend in 2006 about 'The Left and Cultural Relativism'. The two speakers were Janine Booth and Peter Tatchell. These are the notes from Janine's contribution.

 

Report part 3: ETF Women's Committee meeting, October 2014 - Country and Sector reports

Country Reports

Spain

From 2007, the socialist government introduced equality legislation and a framework to demand action against sexism and harassment. But since then, the situation has been worsened by economic crisis, with equalities driven off the agenda, curbs on collective bargaining, crèches closed, and equality plans dropped.

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