This is my last post on the blog at National Women’s Officer (I’m actually technically not even that anymore) as I pass the job over to the wonderful Mikaela Wangmann for 2013.
It’s been a really fantastic experience to engage with so many of you, either through this blog, on facebook, through twitter, in person on your campus and/or over email. I’ve loved hearing your ideas, having your help in developing campaigns and watching you run them on your campus.
Engaging with these feminist spaces cannot always be easy, no one can say and do the right thing all of the time and we, as a movement, are particularly unforgiving of those for whom the ‘correct way’ does not come naturally.
Although I have seen the work of NUS and of campus women’s departments built up within feminist spaces, in person and online, I have also seen the work of good women torn down because it didn’t use the right language in exactly the right order at exactly the right time.
When feminist spaces seem unwelcoming and unforgiving we are weakened as a movement. It is not purely the fault of the media or society that ‘feminism’ is an unpopular term, it is all of our responsibility to ensure that the movement is moving forward and engaging a range of women, not merely those who we agree with. This is a responsibility that the movement I have engaged with the past four years has failed at every turn. If we continue we are destined to fail a new generation of women.
Argument for argument’s sake has had it’s time. We see it in the politics of our parliament, the discussions of our media and in our student organisations. As women there is more that unites us than the petty divisions of factionalism, political parties and personal ambition.
As movements build around the world we must take inspiration from their uniting ability and put aside our differences to work together. If the personal attacks and misleading information spread against women by those claiming to be members of this movement continues there is no hope for us in building a progressive women’s movement that will be able to fight against the conservative forces that hope to govern our country.
Anyway! Thanks for the memories. Good luck with 2013