TWT Preview: Feminism is for Every Body

EDITION: 5th Birthday.

Previewing our event at this year's TWT.

Sunday 25th September 2022, 19.30-21.00, Black-E Studio, Great George Street, Liverpool.

We are currently facing a resurgence of antifeminist revanchism on multiple fronts. If we’re going to fight it, we need to reclaim feminism for ourselves. From the increased policing of the bodily autonomy of women & marginalised genders (draconian abortion laws, institutionalised transphobia, the oppression of sex workers, etc.), to the prevalence of abuse and machismo within our movements—not to mention wider questions such as migration, the global organisation of labour, and ecological collapse—the left has never needed feminism more. And yet increasingly feminism is identified with ‘girlboss’ liberals, carcerally-minded centrists, and internet TERFs, and treated as something a little bit ‘cringe’. This is a very convenient way of ensuring that left feminist struggles are siloed off away from the ‘real work’!

Rejecting the notion that we have to choose between self-devouring fragmentation and a stodgy labourism that mistakes conformity for coalition, we argue instead (following Aimé Césaire) for a feminism “equal to the world”.

This feminism is abolitionist, because we know that state violence does not keep us safe. It is trans inclusive, because we know that without bodily autonomy and self-determination for all of us, none of us are free. It is informed by the plural traditions of communism and anarchism, because we know that our liberation depends on dismantling all exploitation, wherever we may find it. It recognises that class and race bear upon gendered experience, just as gender bears upon the experiences of class and race. And, crucially, it is not a set of top-down prescriptions or timid reforms, but a set of theories and practices that emerges when oppressed people come together to discover (as bell hooks wrote) “how and where they can join, learn and transform their lives.”

We’ll hear from a range of perspectives—including socialist feminist elders, Black feminists, transfeminists and sex worker activists—discuss feminism’s rich history as a liberatory, internationalist left tradition, and explore new feminist pathways that can help us fight for transformation right now.

In 1986, Hilary Wainwright wrote about the left’s “tendency to start afresh in each new situation without a collective historical memory of what lessons have been learnt in the past.” This session will help to re-establish the collective historical memory of grassroots left feminist organising in Britain, and point to new (or re-awakened?) possibilities for solidarity—so that we can devote ourselves to fighting for liberation, rather than reinventing the wheel and having the same three arguments.


josie sparrow
josie is co-editor of New Socialist, and also works as an artist and writer. Her recent work encompasses feminism, abolition, ecology, relational ethics, and sheep.

Lucy is an abolitionist organising with the Sex Workers’ Trade Union around workers’ rights, decriminalisation, and destigmatisation.

Shanice Octavia McBean
Shanice Octavia McBean is a Black writer and activist in Sisters Uncut. She grew up in Handsworth, Birmingham, before moving to Tottenham. Describing herself as a revolutionary and Afro-Marxist, she has also organised in anti-racist groups and trade unions.

Lynne Segal
Lynne Segal is a socialist feminist academic, activist and author of books including Radical Happiness (2017) and co-author of The Care Manifesto (2020).

Mijke van der Drift
Mijke van der Drift works on relational ethics, transfeminism, and movement(s). Mijke has a history and present in collective organising, and is currently a committee member of the RCA UCU.

Tickets for The World Transformed are still available.