Event, General, Politics, Source, Women's History

First Ever LGBT History Festival – Women & the United Kingdom: Part 1

In 1979 when the radio announced the First Strike, American Cruise Nuclear missiles were to be based at Greenham Common USAF Airbase, Sheila Standard ‘was gripped with fear and a sense of inevitable disaster, and felt powerless to do anything. The worst bit was her mum lived near Greenham, and would “get it first!” However … [quickly], all over the country, people started to organise into anti-missile groups, and she joined Withington Against the Missiles, a local group in Manchester, and accidentally got involved in an NVDA (Non-Violent Direct Action) protest becoming one of the “Bunker 4”.Then something truly epic happened … Greenham … thousands of women discovering the power of working together, singing, being silly, the wit and repartee, fear and bravery, that goes with bringing fences crashing down, to the mockery of militarism …

Biography, Event, Politics, Women's History

A CONVENT SCHOOLING – SCHOOL DAYS, ADULT WAYS … Pt II

If we look at the justification offered for the all-male priesthood, we find an example of this circular reasoning. The Catholic Faith Handbook for Youth, which, published in 2007, has the Church’s imprimatur, i.e. official declaration that the document is ‘free from moral or doctrinal error, says this:

The Catholic church ordains only baptised men because Jesus chose men, not women, to be his Apostles…for this reason the church is bound by Jesus’s choice to ordain only men. [3]

By this analogy it might be argued that since Jesus only chose Jews to be his apostles, only Jews can be Catholic priests. But Catholics don’t exclude non-Jews from their priesthood, so why should they exclude non-men?

Biography, Event, Politics, Women's History

A CONVENT SCHOOLING – SCHOOL DAYS, ADULT WAYS … Pt I

Some people (it was argued) are obviously not terrorists: newborn babies for example. And nuns. Nuns are mild, gentle people who wouldn’t say boo to a goose, let alone blow up a plane. They can be safely waved through after only the most cursory of searches. That was the view of one of the speakers.

But somebody else thought nuns should be regarded as prime suspects, because what could be more fundamentalist than a nun? Nuns believe so strongly in the truth of their religion that they dedicate their whole lives to it. They live in like-minded communities, and spend many hours in rituals of religious devotion, serving a god who, they believe, has a special mission for them – their vocation. A god who, if they follow their vocation obediently will reward them with eternal bliss, but who, if they don’t, may send them to hell.

Event, Politics, Source, Women's History

Left on Pearl – 1970s Women’s Liberation Remembered

1970s Women’s Liberation Movement activism not only brought together women of diverse backgrounds. It ensured women’s voices were heard in political struggles of the time which women saw as intimately connected with women’s drive for a new world where egalitarian ideals would be met and women’s independence, bodily integrity and empowerment would be central. The 888 action was determined that women’s space should be free for women to consciousness raise and engage with the antiwar movement, civil rights, black power, lesbian and gay rights movements on women’s terms. Consistent with past wmen’s movement struggles, affordable housing was one of the issues taken up – reminiscent of Jane Addams and the Chicago movement of times past, where women trade unionists and suffragists like Alice Henry and Miles Franklin took up the banner.