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UCL Women’s Liberation Spring Term 2021 – Bec Wonders

By UCL Women's Liberation, on 1 April 2021

‘Complicated Sisterhood: negotiating socialist feminism in the second wave periodicals Red Rag and Scarlet Women

Bec Wonders, doctoral researcher, Glasgow School of Art

The Women’s Liberation Movement of the 1970s and 1980s in the UK saw a surge in women’s publishing that generated a networked feminist communications circuit in the form of newsletters and magazines. These periodicals functioned as essential forums through which to develop and disagree on their political positions. The letters and editorials reveal that the internal debates and disagreements with which second wave feminists were grappling still remain contentious today.

One such site of contention was the attempt by socialist feminists to give both socialism and feminism equal concern, based on the broad conception that the oppression of women was situated within the struggle against capitalism, and therefore some argued that men could (and should) be included in the women’s movement. This was met with suspicion and hostility from radical and revolutionary feminists, who understood the specific nature of women’s oppression as being rooted in male domination and autonomous feminist organising as necessitating the exclusion of men.

However, not all women fell neatly into one camp or the other. Several periodicals created space for this tension to unravel, the most notable of which are Red Rag: A Magazine of Women’s Liberation (1972-1980) and Scarlet Women: Newsletter of the Socialist Feminist

Current (1976-1982). While significant differences exist between the two publications, both featured disagreements in the form of editorials and letters that demonstrate the existential workings-out of what each periodical should be and how it could act as a bridge between socialism, Marxism and feminism.

These examples may demonstrate to feminist scholars and activists today how print-based networks provided a necessary space for negotiating feminist conflicts about collective working, and how to bridge ideological positions and strategies. Moreover, these records facilitate the creation of intergenerational coalitions between women by placing our contemporary negotiations in a temporal continuum that follows on from the struggles of second wave feminists and resists the historiographical model of the repetitive jump-starting of feminist generations.

UCL Women’s Liberation are delighted to welcome Bec Wonders.

Bec Wonders is a feminist researcher in the field of feminist conflict, the Women’s Liberation Movement and feminist publishing networks at the Glasgow School of Art. She earned a Masters in Publishing at Simon Fraser University and co-founded the Vancouver Women’s Library. Currently, Bec runs Frauenkultur: an online archive of second wave feminist writing. Bec is also a freelance illustrator and printmaker. Her work can be found at www.becwonders.com.

When: Apr 28, 2021 14:00-15:00 London
Register in advance for this meeting:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

UCL Women’s Liberation SIG Spring Term 2021 – Callie H Burt

By UCL Women's Liberation, on 6 March 2021

‘Scrutinizing the US Equality Act: Context, Conflict, and Consequences’

Callie H Burt, Associate Professor, Georgia State University

The U.S. Equality Act, which amends civil rights statutes to explicitly prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, passed the House in February 2020 with unanimous Democratic support. In current form, the bill would institute sweeping changes that would prioritize in-the-moment gender self-ID over sex for ‘sex-based provisions’, no exceptions. I situate the act in its sociopolitical and historical context, discussing the current status of LGBT+ protections in the USA as well as the historical development of the Equality Act, first proposed in 1974 (albeit in much different form). I describe the specifics of bill passed in the House, including the prior rejection of Republican amendments to the bill to allow some sex-based provisions, and the conflict between sex-based and gender-identity-based rights. I conclude by discussing alternatives to the act that would provide federal non-discrimination protections to LGBT people without undermining sex-based rights and the protected nature of women’s provisions.

UCL Women’s Liberation are delighted to welcome Professor Callie H Burt.

Callie H. Burt is an associate professor in the Andrew Young School of Public Policy at Georgia State University, Atlanta, USA. Much of her research focuses on the developmental effects of social inequalities, especially the effects of social risk and protective factors in adolescence, from a biopsychosocial perspective. She has a longstanding research interest in sex differences and how these differences are shaped by gender as a social force, and the ways in which law and social policies reflect, reinscribe, or challenge these differences. She published a recent article on the US Equality Act in Feminist Criminology. More on Callie and her work can be found here: www.callieburt.org.

Date: 18 March 2021, 15.30-16.30 GMT

Register in advance for this meeting:

https://ucl.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJYsdO2hqjkjGdAM8ATxnZKFyyi5QYUMaaAY

A recording is now available via UCL Media Central ‘Scrutinizing the US Equality Act: Conflict, Context and Consequences’ – Callie H. Burt https://mediacentral.ucl.ac.uk/Play/60775

UCL Women’s Liberation SIG Spring Term 2021 – Selina Todd

By UCL Women's Liberation, on 6 January 2021

‘Women and Social Mobility in Postwar Britain’

Professor Selina Todd, Department of History, University of Oxford

Women were ignored in the first wave of research on social mobility –  in postwar Britain – and their experiences and mobility have been underplayed or misrepresented since then. This presentation examines reasons for this and illuminates some of their experiences and what these can tell us about British society, sex and class, since the early twentieth century.

UCL Women’s Liberation are delighted to welcome Professor Selina Todd.

Date: 27th January 2021, 2-3pm

Register in advance for this meeting:

https://ucl.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJArduCsqzgvHtLiHD49OGfkvrNdO183ygF0

A recording is now available via UCl Media Central ‘Women and Social Mobility in Postwar Britain’ – Professor Selina Todd https://mediacentral.ucl.ac.uk/Play/55499

UCL Women’s Liberation SIG Autumn Term 2020 – Sophie Scott

By UCL Women's Liberation, on 26 November 2020

UCL Women’s Liberation Special Interest Group Autumn Term Meeting

‘Let’s Talk about Brain Sex’ with Professor Sophie Scott

2 Dec 14.00-15.00 via Zoom

We welcome Sophie Scott, Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience and Director of the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience who will lead the seminar for the Autumn Term meeting of the UCL Women’s Liberation Special Interest Group.

“In this talk I will outline some of the theories and studies behind the brain sex theory of differences between male and female brains. The aim is to critically evaluate what differences there are between male/female brains and behaviour, and what any of this might mean in terms of arguments about women’s liberation.”

Please join us for this seminar which is open all UCL staff and students who share a concern for Women’s Liberation, all welcome!

Register in advance for this meeting:

A recording is now available via UCL Media Central ‘Let’s Talk About Brain Sex’ – Professor Sophie Scott https://mediacentral.ucl.ac.uk/Play/54419

UCL Women’s Liberation SIG – Spring Term 2020 meeting postponed

By UCL Women's Liberation, on 27 February 2020

POSTPONED

In light of the rapidly changing situation in relation to Covid-19 the convenors of the SIG have decided to postpone the SIG meeting tomorrow.

Apologies for such short notice, but given the decision on Friday to end all face-to-face teaching at UCL, and the Director of IOE’s decision to cancel all public events we felt it was necessary.

We hope to see you when the event is rescheduled.

Holly Smith, Judith Suissa and Alice Sullivan Co-Convenors of UCL Women’s Liberation Special Interest Group

https://blogs.ucl.ac.uk/feminism/

UCL Women’s Liberation Special Interest Group Spring Term Meeting

‘Let’s Talk about Brain Sex’

16 March 1-2pm Room 675, 20 Bedford Way, IOE

We welcome Sophie Scott, Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience and Director of the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience who will lead the seminar for the Spring Term meeting of the Women’s Liberation Special Interest Group.

“In this talk I will outline some of the theories and studies behind the brain sex theory of differences between male and female brains. The aim is to critically evaluate what differences there are between male/female brains and behaviour, and what any of this might mean in terms of arguments about women’s liberation.”

Please join us for this seminar which is open all UCL staff and students who share a concern for Women’s Liberation, all welcome!

UCL Women’s Liberation Convenors respond to defamation of WPUK

By UCL Women's Liberation, on 20 February 2020

We are shocked and dismayed to see the anonymous Labour Campaign for Trans Rights describe WPUK and LGB Alliance as “trans-exclusionist hate groups”. We worked closely with WPUK to co-organise the ‘Women’s Liberation 2020’ conference celebrating 50 years since the first Women’s Liberation conference in the UK. This was an inspirational event bringing together nearly a thousand women with diverse views to discuss every issue affecting the lives of women today.

We have nothing but respect for the tireless campaigning for women’s rights by the founders of WPUK. We note their commitment to uphold the rights of everyone in society https://womansplaceuk.org/wpuk-manifesto-2019/

“Woman’s Place UK is a group of people from a range of backgrounds including trade unions, women’s organisations, academia and the NHS. We are united by our belief that women’s hard-won rights must be defended.

We are against all forms of discrimination. We believe in the right of everyone to live their lives free from discrimination and harassment. Women face entrenched and endemic structural inequality. This is reflected, for example, in the high levels of sexual harassment and violence against women and girls; the ‘gender’ pay gap; discrimination at work. This is why sex is a protected characteristic in the Equality Act (2010) which we believe must be defended.”

WPUK operate with transparency; their website has a clear manifesto, a record of every meeting and their YouTube channel has video recordings of the speeches made at their meetings. We challenge the Labour Campaign for Trans Rights to identify any statements or actions by WPUK which justify describing them as a hate group or to withdraw their statements which we believe to be entirely false and defamatory.

UCL Women’s Liberation 2020 on Woman’s Hour

By UCL Women's Liberation, on 12 February 2020

Woman’s Hour came to our conference on 1st February, celebrating 50 years of Women’s Liberation in the UK. You can listen to the interview (from 0.25) with Professor Sophie Scott (UCL Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience) and Helen Joyce (UCL Alumna and Finance Editor at the Economist), discussing why the conference was important.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m000dymy

Women’s Liberation 2020 Conference

By UCL Women's Liberation, on 10 January 2020

UCL Women’s Liberation is organising a large one-day conference in February 2020, bringing together academics, policymakers, practitioners, journalists and activists for a day of feminist plenaries, panel discussions and practical campaigning workshops. We are delighted to be working with our third sector partners WPUK, Southall Black Sisters, FiLiA, The National Assembly of Women and the Centre for Women’s Justice.

2020 marks the 50 year anniversary of the first UK Women’s Liberation conference in the UK. We anticipate a national moment of reflection and evaluation of progress in the women’s movement. UCL was the first university in the UK to admit women on an equal basis to men, UCL is a fitting venue for this landmark event.

The conference will address themes of: the economic status of women, ending violence, harassment and abuse of women and girls, improved access to healthcare, education and training, justice for women in the legal system, representation and participation in democracy, culture, sports and all areas of public life.

Keynote speakers include Joanna Cherry QC MP, Pragna Patel, Joan McAlpine MSP, Julie Bindel and Maya Forstater. In addition to hearing leading feminist writers, researchers and activists, there will be a practical focus on empowerment of participants to return to their communities, workplaces and families with campaigning skills.

The Conference will take place on Saturday 1st February at University College London, Institute of Education 10.00-17.00.

Please purchase tickets via Eventbrite https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/womens-liberation-2020-tickets-86046570609.

There are a limited number of tickets reserved for UCL staff at the regular rate. In ‘Select promo code’ box enter ‘UCLWLSIG’ and click Apply. The message ‘New Tickets unlocked below’ will appear and the option to purchase at the Standard ticket price of £25. You will also need to provide a UCL staff email address in Eventbrite.

The gender wars, academic freedom and education

By UCL Women's Liberation, on 21 September 2019

Academics who do not adhere to a particular line on gender and transgender issues have suffered intimidation by trans activists. The people under attack are not mavericks or extremists. They are feminists who question the trans-orthodox view that biological sex is a social construct while gendered identities are fixed and innate. They also seek to defend women’s sex-based rights. In this article, with Judith Suissa, we explain what is happening and consider what steps the higher education community needs to take to ensure that academic freedom is not curtailed.