Women’s Work gig happening this Friday!

From the Facebook event:

“Following the success of the first ‘Women’s Work’ gig, an all-female performance benefit for the Cambridge Rape Crisis Centre, we decided to do another one. Come along to the Fountain for outstanding performances from these talented women, for a night you will not forget in a hurry!

Performances from:

Fay Roberts
Catherine Adams
Eleanor Cramer
Leanne Moden
Netta Chachamu
Kate Smurthwaite

£7 on the door (£6 adv)

It’s happening at 8 o’clock, 1st November at The Fountain pub on Regent Street. You can get advance tickets from Eventbrite here – https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/event/5212075458

Facebook event – https://www.facebook.com/events/517711121650588


Women’s history: some links and a word of encouragement

I’ve noticed that at a few FAC events we’ve got talking about women’s history. At the Women’s Work fundraising event at least three of the performances drew on feminist history. I’d thought I’d share some relevant interesting things I’ve come across recently.

Firstly, the Bishopgate Institute has recently digitised the ephemera collection of the Feminist Library, which is made up of things like posters and leaflets from the Women’s Liberation Movement.

Secondly, the British Library has recently put online  lots and lots of interviews with second-wave feminists, along with other resources like biographies and an interactive timeline. Set aside lots of time to look through properly. (There are also links to various other oral history projects on activism around the UK and the world.)

I also really love this segment on Women’s Hour about birth control pioneers with Dr Clare Debenham and Rebecca Findlay. This is my particular area of interest, and I’m glad to see Dr Debenham’s research getting a wider audience.

And something local – Shape East has put together a “Walking with Women” tour to celebrate women’s history in Cambridge. It can be done as a self-guided tour, or booked as a guided tour from £10 per person.

There are also plenty of offline resources in Cambridge – the Cambridge Women’s Resources Centre has a collection of the zine Spare Rib, as well as various books on women’s history and feminist politics. The Cambridge Central Library is free to join and has some good books on women’s history, for example Alison Oram’s wonderful “Her husband was a woman!”, and the archives have various materials on women’s organisations.

I know history can sometimes seem like something you have to study in an academic context to understand, but that’s really not the case. History is for everyone.

More fundraising!

So Cambridge women are skilled and talented and generous and resourceful and generally wonderful. You hopefully already knew this, but as further evidence I present not one but two events coming up in the next few weeks showcasing their talents AND raising money for Cambridge Rape Crisis Centre (which is in itself a great organisation run by a pretty amazing group of women).

On Friday Women’s Work: a celebration of female performers is happening at 8 pm at The Fountain.

From the Facebook event – “A night of eclectic and bombastic music, dance, poetry and visual art from Cambridge’s finest female performers and creative types.

Held in The Fountain’s cosy and welcoming function room on the top floor 🙂 Doors open at 7.30pm and the entertainment starts at 8. There will also be a merchandise table with work from some of the performers, and the proceeds from this will be going to CRCC.
This extraordinary event boasts the talents of 8 incredible women doing the very simple thing of standing up and being heard – come along and show your support for a very worthwhile cause.

£4.50 on the door (student £3.50)”

And next week at the ADC Theatre, a production of The Vagina Monologues is being put on – “This episodic ensemble by Eve Ensler presents a series of testimonies, ‘Vagina Interviews’, conducted with women from all over the world back in the 90s. The women’s various perspectives provide a delicate blend of comedy and tragedy which will have you both rolling in your seats and moved by the stark reality of the violence women face every day.

This all-female empowering speak- out hopes to raise both money for Cambridge Rape Crisis Centre and awareness for V-Day, Stop Violence Against Women Day, founded by Eve Ensler herself.”

Both events are the culmination of lots of hard work, and I feel a possibly unjustified vicarious pride in the achievements of my Cambridge sisters.

Cambridge Reclaim the Night, 28th January

Reclaim the Night is happening on 28th January, organised by CUSU Women’s Campaign.

Info from the Facebook event –

Women have the right to live free from fear. Women have the right to walk free from fear. We want to claim this right. So join us on 28th January to demand an end to street harrassment and violence against women. We will be meeting at 8pm at the lamppost in the centre of Parker’s Piece and marching down Regent’s Street, through the market and ending up and King’s College Chapel where a candlelit vigil and a speaker event will happen.

The route is wheelchair accessible.The march from Parker’s piece is open to all self-defining women and children. 

There will be a solidarity demo outside Great St. Mary’s from 8pm for allies.If anyone wants to come just for the vigil in King’s Chapel that is completely fine! It is open to everyone and will begin around 8.45pm.Please join us to demand safer streets!

Contact womens@cusu.cam.ac.uk or g.foreman@angliastudent.com with any questions.

Vigil in solidarity with rape survivors, 27th November: CANCELLED

CUSU Women’s campaign have organised a candlelight vigil in solidarity with rape survivors this Tuesday from 6.30pm in Cambridge Market Square – facebook event here .

UPDATE: Unfortunately this event has been cancelled.

Fundraising at Asda

The wonderful Cambridge Rape Crisis Centre has been nominated as one of the chosen charities for the Asda at Cambridge Beehive Centre for the next few months. If you shop there you can support them by collecting charity tokens at the checkout and putting them in the CRCC box. The charity that gets the most tokens gets more money. It’s a really easy way to a support a great charity which provides an essential service for women in Cambridge.

Speaking out

Content warning: Discussion of rape and sexual violence.

There’s been a lot in the news recently about rape, and some truly horrific things have been said, and some truly horrific actions have been condoned. The prevalence of narratives which blame survivors for being raped and which limit rape to a vary narrow definition is a terrifying thing to behold. In this context, it is an incredibly brave thing to share one’s story of being raped or sexually assaulted. It is very hard to read or hear these accounts, but very important and very moving.

The new(ish) website Cambridge Speaks Out is a collection of people’s experiences of sexual violence. Having a space where survivor’s voices are prioritised, and where there are experiences are believed and taken seriously is so valuable. I think hearing about these issues from the survivor’s perspective is also really important in undermining a lot of the myths about rape.