Feminist Friday – Rising Up and Shouting Back

Each week the Fawcett team will be scouring the media and blogosphere to bring you our top essential feminist posts from the past 7 days – the good, the bad and the ugly…

This Feminist Friday is all about women rising up and shouting back at sexism. Last week so-called ‘pick-up artist’ Julien Blanc was on our radar. We were pleased to hear that, after a whopping 158,257 of us signed the petition, he was denied entry to the UK to deliver his ‘training’ (which Caroline Charles, who started the petition, describes as “teaching men how to violate women through physical and emotional abuse”).  Dorian Lynskey raised concerns in the Guardian about the dangers of ‘silencing’ the likes of Blanc, on the grounds that picking and choosing who gets to exercise free speech could have very dangerous implications for the future. Sarah Ditum responded in the New Statesman: “There is no requirement to tolerate speech that unambiguously directs violence, and there is no free speech defence for Julian Blanc.” Read her article here.

Sticking with the theme of men making light of rape and sexual violence, Eminem is back at it. But Iggy Azalea is on his case: in an upcoming compilation album, Mathers referred to wanting to rape the 24 year old singer, to which she responded: “I’m bored of the old men threatening young women as entertainment trend and much more interested in the young women getting $ trend. Zzzz… it’s especially awkward because my 14 year old brother is the biggest Eminem fan and now the artist he admired says he wants to rape me. Nice!”

Sadly Snoop Dogg also got in on the act, making abusive posts about Iggy on Instagram, to which she replied: “Why would you post such a mean pic to insta when … every time I’ve ever spoken to you you’ve always been nice as hell. I’m disappointed you’d be such an ass for no reason.”

Snoop saw sense and apologised repeatedly. The Independent has the story.

And moving straight from hip hop beef online to parliamentary speeches in Holyrood, this week saw Nicola Sturgeon become Scotland’s first ever female First Minister. She used the opportunity of her first speech after the election to talk about gender equality. You can watch the speech and read about it here, but we thought we’d leave you with her words, as we can’t think of a better way to end the week:

“I hope my election does indeed open the gate to greater opportunity for all women. I hope that it sends a strong, positive message to girls and young women, indeed to all women across our land: there should be no limit to your ambition for what you can achieve…

“My niece, who is in the gallery today with her brother and her cousins, doesn’t yet know about the gender pay gap, or under-representation, or the barriers, such as high childcare costs that make it so hard for so many women to work and pursue careers. My fervent hope is that she never will, that by the time she is a young woman she will have no need to know about any of these issues because they will have been consigned to history.

“If during my tenure as First Minister I can play a part in making that so, for my niece and every other little girl in this country, I will be very, very happy indeed.”

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