“Feminism is the radical notion that women are human beings.”
It all started with three...
I put a shout-out on Mumsnet to see if anybody wanted to help organise a meeting under Woman’s Place UK (WPUK).
Two women responded and we started organising. We found a venue (which then cancelled - that’s for another story!) and our speakers. We announced the date on social media and tickets were selling well.
That’s when WPUK decided to rescind the invitation of one of our chosen speakers, Posie Parker. Posie is often considered controversial, that’s not news. She says it how she sees it, and because of that she’s proven herself to be a vital voice in women’s rights.
We argued our case. We wanted Posie to speak. Not just for us, or to save her feelings, but for everyone who had bought tickets to the Truro event. What’s more, it just didn’t feel right to retract an invitation for a woman to speak.
Long story short, WPUK cancelled Posie. And then the decision was made to cancel the event when a replacement speaker couldn’t be found. It was unfortunate for everyone. We believe WPUK have done (and still do) some wonderful work enabling women over the U.K. to organise events so they can hear speakers talking about the issues around self-ID. It’s a shame it didn’t work for us.
We were gutted. All of our hard work for nothing. Nationally significant policy debate and conversations seem to bypass Cornwall and it seemed this was no exception.
Then, like a strange urban fairytale, Hannah Clarke from ManFriday contacted me, and said very casually “If it would help, I’d be happy to speak for you.”
We were back on! We had gone rogue. No longer under the WPUK umbrella, we had a new name: LAWS. With Posie and Jean onboard too, and only ten days to pull the event back (everyone had been refunded), we had a lot of work to do.
From promotions, ticket sales, fundraising, and rounding up volunteers, we did the lot.
And the event was a big, fat success, with almost the same number of tickets sold as the original.
Women from all over the country pulled together to help make it happen, volunteering where they could, donating both their time and money. Everyone should be very proud.
So Let a Woman Speak was born. It wasn’t easy, but then women’s labour never is.