The Feminist Club is proud to be part of the organisation of a protest that will take place on Friday the 20th of January. We are concerned with the growth of right winged parties, by the growing xenophobia, climate change. We see some of our rights crumbling and we want to halt this.
A few weeks ago Lactacyd, a brand of “female hygiene” products, published a new video which – supposedly- was meant as an advert. It was terrible, shitty on all accounts. The video basically was four guys sitting at a table, body shaming women. Talking harshly about how they would never go down on an unshaven or unwashed pussy.
News for heterosexual men: vulva’s and vagina’s are NOT made for your pleasure, how vulva-owners treat their body is entirely up to them. Moreover, Lactacyd is a completely redundant product that can do a lot of harm to the skin. There is no reason to wash with anything other than water. Telling people that they should wash their genitals with soap because they might otherwise not get laid, is a disgusting business strategy.
I am very happy to say that within our group a couple of members initiated a video response, which has been published yesterday. Check it out here!
For the 24th consecutive year the anti-abortion organisation Schreeuw om Leven (literally: Scream for Life) organized the so-called March for Life. In this annual march a growing group of people demands that abortion becomes illegal. The organisation consists of mostly conservative protestant Christians. From all over the country full buses drove to The Hague last Saturday to march against freedom of choice. The march started with a gathering where people sang christian songs and politicians of conservative christian political parties spoke, both Kees van der Staaij (SGP) and Chris-Jan Segers (CU) were present. After this the at least 5000 (!) participants had a silent march through the city (some people on twitter said there were 7000). The Dutch newspaper Gereformeerd Dagblad wrote about it (Dutch). It was virtually the only media outlet that reported the event.
This year, CHOICE for Youth organized a counter demonstration, and some of the members of the Feminist Club joined.
Preaching to the feminist choir
On the discussions on our Facebook page, there is certain topic that regularly resurfaces. Every once in a while people will critique online feminism, and I totally understand why. In our Facebook group, a lot of people post articles, pictures, videos, about feminist issues. The online discussions that follow are valuable. It is nice to see that people share these posts with others. Hopefully, some people are educated, grow and maybe also start calling themselves feminists. But a lot of the time, it can feel like preaching to the own choir. So shouldn’t our feminism be aimed more towards the outside? Shouldn’t we run to the streets and protest? Every so often someone will exclaim this in the Facebook group. Gathering likes within a feminist facebook group will hardly change the world right?
I think that sharing posts and reading up on feminist issues can be great. It’s very nice to find like-minded people. It gives a sense of belonging, knowing that you’re not the only one out there who thinks a certain way. Activism can take place online. We’ve seen that in the past when we collectively complained against sexist posters and more recently against an online campaign by health insurance company OHRA (in Dutch). And sharing articles is what got me personally involved with feminism. Without tumblr and twitter, I may have never been as active as I am now.
But going to streets does create change! For some examples, check out these articles on recent protests in Europe:
- The protests in Poland which resulted in the rejection of a new law proposal to ban all abortions.
- In the UK women’s rights groups blocked bridges, demanding a reversal of the budget cuts of specialist services for PoC survivors of domestic violence. (read more)
- In Iceland there is a recurrent protest were women leave their work early, to protest the wage gap.
These protests show that going to the street works. It also shows that one protest is not enough, however, they’ve gotten results.
So what can you do?