Tuesday's protest was a true inspiration, a MASSIVE success, feminists from London descended upon the Crystal Club in protest. Students from SOAS, Kings, Goldsmiths, UCL, LSE, Kingston, and activists from Object, Smash Miss, the Muffia, Womensong and the Space Hijackers stood together in solidarity, numbering over 100. Women and men outside with banners, chanting dancing and singing. Some chained themselves to the doors, preventing entry for an hour, and others disrupted the event infiltrating the club and the queue.
The pageant is a symptom of the systemic objectification of women in our culture today, where we are bombarded with sexualised images of women. We abhor this objectification, in wider society, and especially at university where we are meant to be on an equal platform from which to enter a world were we are still subject to the gender pay gap at work (17% and 20% for BME women), threats to reproductive rights, and where the home is still where we are most at risk, with 1/3 women experiencing assault, 1/20 of which reach conviction. Objectification dehumanises women, reducing us to a sum of body parts, legitimising this oppression.
Insitutional equal opportunity policies are not enough. They are rendered impotent unless we are active in creating a dialogue which factilitates a social attitude of mutual respect, and appreciation of diversity. We deserve an educational environment that does not merely promote equal opportunities, but which demands them.
Objectification aims to marginalise our voices, as we feel that this vacuous consumer image of femininity does not represent us. On Tuesday we proved that objectification in our university system will no longer go on in silence. We proved that we can unite, that we can fight, that we can Reclaim our students unions, our streets, and our voices. We Reclaimed feminism from a commerical cipher of sexual liberation to mean liberation for all.
Liberation is not through judging one another on a platform, it is through uniting in diversity. Empowerment cannot be bought over a beauty counter, it is won on the streets. We won on Tuesday in a dancing, singing, roar of liberation, and we will win again.
In solidarity sisters,
Rheem vs Miss England on the Richard Bacon Show on BBC 5 Live- fanbloodytastic!
Other coverage of the protests against the Miss University of London