January Meeting!

Our First Meeting of 2014 is Announced!

Tuesday 28th January 2014,
at Bethnal Green Working Men’s Club, Pollard Row,
East London yeah! :p

**If you’re interested in memberships please read more below…***

It’s that time of year when we’re bombarded with messages telling us to ‘lose weight’, ‘get fit’, ‘feel bad about your body so we can sell you our products’! The cash comes rolling in for the beauty and diet industries while we’re left stuck in the cycle of guilt, shame and body hatred.

This month we’ll be joined by Any-Body who will be telling us how to ditch those diets and get body confident! Any Body is part of the Endangered Bodies Campaign, which is an international initiative started by psychotherapist and author Susie Orbach. Any Body is a group of women and men from psychotherapy, media, fashion, law, art, research and academia. They are committed to encouraging a change in cultural attitudes towards bodies, food and eating so that women and children of the next generation can learn to be happy in and look after their bodies. Any Body challenge the distorted and tyrannical grip that the fashion and diet industry have on the health of our minds as well as our bodies.


There will also be the opportunity for members to let us know what the campaign priorities for the Shoreditch Sisters should be for the year. Get thinking about what you’re most passionate about. Would you like us to focus on the No More Page 3 campaign? Rights for refugee women? Visual media and body image?

Non-members: £4 on the door
Members: Free!

It’s renewal time! Please bring £34.70 cash/cheque to renew your membership for 2014.

If you’re new and want to join the WI you can join at this meeting or our February meeting. Membership is £34.70 for the year, please bring cash or cheque with you to the meeting. Find out more about benefits of being a WI member: http://www.thewi.org.uk/become-a-member/membership-options/become-a-wi-member


Upcoming Event!

*THIS EVENT IS OPEN TO MEMBERS AND NON-MEMBERS*We’re so excited to be welcoming Lucy Holmes and team to our next campaigns meeting to talk to us to their fantastic No More Page 3 campaign.The campaign has been gathering momentum over the past year, gaining the support of organisations such as UK Girl guiding, the National Union of Teachers, UNISON, Women’s Aid, just to mention a few. This is a serious campaign which has huge potential to succeed.

The campaign aims to convince the Sun newspaper that it is inappropriate to picture a topless young woman in their ‘family’ newspaper every day, and to ask them nicely to drop the feature.

The campaign is not asking for a ban, but is hoping to change attitudes. The Page 3 feature started in the seventies when women were much more unequal than they are now, and when sexist attitudes were the norm. Increasingly there is evidence to suggest the depiction of women regularly in the media as nothing more than sex objects is damaging to young women’s self-regard and aspirations. Very young children are introduced to soft porn through its inclusion in a non age-restricted publication, which can be seen on trains and buses and in public spaces such as cafes and even play areas.

For more information about the campaign please visit the NMP3 website:

VENUE: Crimson Heart, 87 Leonard St, Shoreditch, London EC2A 4QS

Facebook Event here.


The Casual Rapist or The Voice of Lad Mags, Can You Tell The Difference?

Filthy talk can be such a turn on for a girl . . . no one wants to be shagged by a mouse . . . A few compliments won’t do any harm either . . . ‘I bet you want it from behind you dirty whore’ ”
Welcome to the world of lad’s mags. I recently came across a study carried out by the University of Surrey with the University of Middlesex. According to their findings, people can’t differentiate between quotes from British “lad’s mags” and interviews with convicted rapists. In fact, men were more likely to agree with quotes from the latter.

Can you tell the difference between a rapist and the lads mags quotes about women and what they want from a real man, a relationship and how they want to be treated?
A relaxing Sunday morning breakfast turned into a heated discussion with my friends this weekend. Myself and my female friend were shocked at how inseparable the quotes between rapists and lad’s mags were; “There’s nothing quite like a woman standing in the dock accused of murder in a sex game gone wrong . . . The possibility of murder does bring a certain frisson to the bedroom” – yes, another supposedly light-hearted quote from a lad’s mag. You can find quotes from rapists and lad’s mags in the link below. But stick around, this get’s more interesting.
Another friend of mine, a male, is the epitome of gentleman. But in this discussion, sadly, he found himself defending the lad’s mags, for he said these lines was “taken out of context”.
Context; Perhaps it’s okay for lad’s mags to suggest you “go and smash her on a park bench” as long as the context is anything but a clear direction? 
The issue here is the language used. Think about this one;
“A girl may like anal sex because it makes her feel incredibly naughty and she likes feeling like a dirty slut. If this is the case, you can try all sorts of humiliating acts to help live out her filthy fantasy”.
Sure, some women (I hope not girls as the writer specifies) like anal sex. Sure, some will even want to feel “dirty”. But nobody, as far as I’m concerned, wants to feel humiliated. Women (and men for that matter), will all have a limit as to what is enjoyable and what is demeaning, but to be victim of humiliation, in itself, means that the receiver is un-wanting of the situation.
What is scary, according to my male friend, and indeed the media, is that this kind of language is considered ‘the norm’. Editors and publishers, the gatekeepers of what is and isn’t decent to print in the media, have set their limits low.
I can’t help but wonder if women’s magazines are also guilty of this. But I can’t imagine Cosmo, or any other mainstream women’s lit, suggesting we should smash a man on a park bench. Sounds ridiculous doesn’t it? My point exactly.
I’m all for freedom of speech. But what about the right for women to not feel objectified by mainstream media?