Donate To The F-Word Redesign Fund!

I’m sure many of the readers here will be as enamoured as I am with the fantastic feminist website The F Word but, for the uninitiated, this site shows contemporary UK feminism in all its glory – and has been doing since way back in 2001. More than just an online source for feminist news; it’s a lively community that nurtures, engages and questions its writers and readers alike. Hell, it’s the site that just keeps giving… and now it needs you to give something back!

The F Word team are eager for a lick of virtual paint to revamp the site – and this requires money! With the site being non-profit and advert free, this means The F Word are now looking to the community it has established over all these years to make donations. So, why should you dig deep? Well, a revamped F Word will not only look good but it will also, most likely, become easier and more pleasing to navigate – making your whole feminist reading experience pretty darn satisfying!

Websites such as The F Word are so important for the modern feminist movement – As F Word Founder Catherine Redfern and feminist lecturer Kristin Aune observed in their book, Reclaiming The F Word, feminists today cite engaging with the Internet as the biggest influence on their development as a feminist than any other activity!

Donate here to The F Word Redesign fund, and ensure that this engagement is as enjoyable and fulfilling as feminists deserve it to be!

By: Sarah Barnes, 21.07.2010 | Comments (0)
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‘Reclaiming The F Word’ Book Released

Just a quick post to say HURRAY! for the release of new book Reclaiming The F Word. I went along to the release party last night and had an absolutely fantastic time celebrating the book and celebrating the (very vibrant and very much alive!) UK feminist movement with plenty of other feminists who were in attendance, filling up the rather swanky surroundings of The University Women’s Club.

Co-written by Kristen Aune (who co-founded the London Third Wave group) and Catherine Redfern (founder of the brilliant feminist site The F-Word), Reclaiming The F Word ‘reveals the seven vital issues at stake for today’s feminists, unveils the beginnings of a fresh and diverse wave of feminism, and calls a new generation back to action.’

The release of this book follows on from Natasha Walter’s Living Dolls and Kat Banyard’s The Equality Illusion, released earlier this year – showing that 2010 is a great year for British feminist publications!

I’ve already begun reading the book (I just couldn’t wait to get started!) and I have already found it inspiring (the first chapter on Liberated Bodies has already sparked plenty of ideas for blog posts!), illuminating and positive. Something I have really enjoyed so far is how the book doesn’t ever wallow in all the depressing effects the Patriarchy has on society (which would be pretty damn easy to do). Instead, Reclaiming  The F Word is structured around the raising of feminist concerns, explains them clearly, and then goes on to tell the reader what feminists are already doing to counter these things. It even has a handy little  ’Take Action’ box-out at the end of each chapter so that readers can get involved in activism, if they feel so inclined.

I also love how it is the voices of today’s self-defined feminists that create the back-bone of the book. For Reclaiming The F Word nearly 1,300 British feminists were surveyed, and it is their voices – so vital and so current – that are invoked to back up the points that are made within its pages.  Add to that a sprinkling of quotes from zines, blogs and even pop-songs and this book becomes more of an inclusive portrayal of a whole movement, rather than a stale and sterile observation made from the outside looking in. It’s very much saying to readers; ‘Come on in, the water’s lovely!’

Co-author, Catherine Redfern, has given a really insightful interview about the book to which you must read here… and here’s the place to head to straight after to snap up your copy!

By: Sarah Barnes, 04.06.2010 | Comments (0)
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Male, Pale and Stale

So, there’s a new government in at number 10 and we’ve all been frantically playing spot the women and minorities… to little avail. The F Word has, of course, had its keen eye on developments as cabinet members were announced – read their posts here and here – but, now that the dust has settled, things are looking pretty dismal with just 4 female representatives out of 23 posts (17%) and a minute 3% minority ethnic representation (somewhat at odds with the most recent national population estimates that puts the British population at 16% non White British).

In the spirit of striving towards a political landscape that more truly represents the British population, One World Action have targeted the UK’s main political parties with a letter that calls for women’s representation to be put back on the political agenda. The letter, which is part of their More Women More Power campaign and has been backed by nearly 200 supporters, states;

The presence of women in greater numbers in public life is not only fairer and more representative, but it also ensures different perspectives, solutions and approaches and must be at the heart of political renewal in the UK.

Read the full letter here. One World Action have called for parties to respond, and will be posting up any feedback on their blog. We’re all ears!

Image taken from the BBC news website here.

By: Sarah Barnes, 17.05.2010 | Comments (0)
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Feminists in good Company

When I’m in dire need of a magazine fix, I currently find myself consistently drawn to Company Magazine. In a world without Borders (No Bust! No Bitch! No Nylon!), Company is one of the few mainstream mags out there that gives me food for thought rather than just pictures of shoes. So, between picking up the latest issue and actually reading it, I was interested to read Holly Combe’s take on the magazine, and its blossoming interest in feminism, over on the F Word.

Okay, so the image of a burning bra doesn’t exactly add credibility to the feminism piece (can we get over this myth, please?!) but I was still absolutely ecstatic to read an article in a women’s glossy that was putting forward the point that feminism is still relevant to women’s lives today. It was great to see Catherine Redfern (F Word founder) interviewed, as well as Jess McCabe (F Word editor) and Anna van Heeswijk (of Object) being profiled as women to watch.

Not only that, but we also got mini interviews with Spare Rib co-founder Marsha Rowe and Pamflet co-creator Anna-Marie Fitzgerald. AND  there was a distinctly sisterly initiative from Company themselves; a campaign called Pay It Forward that encouraged women to compliment their friends in order to boost body confidence.

Speaking of body confidence, this month’s issue of Company just happens to be the annual Model-Free issue (which I have written about previously) where all photo-shoots feature Company readers rather than professional models. The women all looked fantastic, and the variety of women chosen was fabulously diverse (something I’d been keeping my fingers crossed for!).

All in all, I was really happy to see such positive promotion of feminist thoughts in Company this month. Of course, Feminism is never going to be perfectly portrayed in any media… but, surely, that’s because Feminism means all things to all people. We can only express our own truth as we see it. Despite the clumsy ‘they’re not all man-haters’ lines, this issue of Company provided an easy and accessible insight into the UK Feminist movement today… and I really hope some young women will be motivated to discover more about feminism because of it.

By: Sarah Barnes, 27.04.2010 | Comments (1)
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