Make a Date with Feminists this Valentine’s Day!

Make a Date with Feminists this Valentine’s Day!

Are you dreading Valentine’s Day?  Whether it’s conspicuous consumption or cutesy couples that you’re desperate to shelter from, we all know how tempting it is to hole up indoors by yourself (or as a couple) with a chinese take-away and the Alien trilogy DVD.

However, staying in for Valentine’s would be a terrible waste this year because some very wonderful people have organised enriching alternatives to the over-priced meals and achingly clichéd heteronormative romantic ‘experiences’ on offer.

First off there’s the Gender, Race and Class conference taking place during the day of  Saturday the 14th. Organised by a wide range of groups (including Feminist Fightback, English Collective of Prostitutes, Black Women’s Rape Action Project and Feminist Activist Forum to name a few), this varied and captivating day will focus on discussing and organising the fight for women’s liberation.

Starting at 10.30am, the workshops and meetings are:

* Opening plenary: Capitalism in crisis, new struggles for women
* Reproductive Freedoms
* Challenging Domestic Violence
* Learning from Feminist History
* Penetrating sex: a queer discussion
* Lunch time meetings with Education Not for Sale Women (caucus of student women); Solidarity with the Palestinians; Berlin Anarcha-feminists
* Prison Abolition
* Community Organising
* A woman’s place is in her union?
* Sex workers’ rights
* Self-defence workshop
* Fighting benefit cuts
* Bangladeshi Garment Workers: from London to Dhaka
* Winning asylum and protection from rape and racist violence
* Closing Plenary: Open Space Action Planning

You can find loads more info about all the workshops at

The venue, the School of African and Oriental Studies (Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London) is fully accessible and a free crèche is available for those who book it before the 6th. Plus, with the finishing time for meetings and workshops estimated at 6:30pm, there’s still time to get your romance on in the evening – although chances are you’ll enjoy any post conference pub chats and planning sessions with newly made allies a whole lot more! You will need to register in advance for a place at this event by emailing

Of course, we can’t forget that Valentine’s day is V- Day, too! The ‘V’ in V-Day stands for Victory, Valentine and Vagina, and ‘V-Day’ is a global movement to stop violence against women and girls. There are plenty of events going on all over the world to celebrate V-Day, each one raising money for local women’s charities. To find an event near you take a look at the official V-Day site.

I’m looking forward to the many events being organised by my local, London based V-Day ladies. These commendable women (including producer and actress Annie Saunders and director Emma Jane Richards) are putting in an amazing effort to stretch one day out to last a whole week!

*From 10am on the 14th energetic types will be runing 10K in Battersea Park for the V-Day Love Run

*Then, from 7pm that same day, there will be a much more laid back event with cocktails and Congolese music at The Double Club in Islington.

*Following that, on the 17th and 18th February at 7.30pm, and the 21st February at 6pm, the V-Day ladies will be staging performances of A Memory, A Monologue, A Rant and A Prayer.

*And, of course, V-Day wouldn’t be V-Day without a performance of The Vagina Monologues and we are spoiled this year with, not one, but two on the 19th and 20th February from 7.30pm.

With the money raised from these V-Day events going to The Helen Bamber Foundation, Tender, Woman’s Trust, The Ubuntu Education Fund, Women and Children First and The V-Day/UNICEF Democratic Republic of Congo Campaign there’s really no excuse for London lasses not to attend at least one!

Well, those are my plans for a lovely, feminist Valentine’s Day… but please let Uplift readers know of any other Valentines/V-Day events people should cancel on their partners for in the comments section!

By: Sarah Barnes, 04.02.2009 | Comments (0)
Leave a comment