HFC’s stance on Reclaim the Night Portsmouth

Hampshire Feminist Collective will not be attending or promoting Reclaim the Night Portsmouth and here is why:

We are an intersectional feminist group that was set up to specifically provide trans* positive feminism in Hampshire. A few of our trans* members used to be involved in Solent Feminist Network, but were frequently made to feel unsafe by transphobic comments and feminism displayed by a few members. Whilst we acknowledge that these members do not represent the whole group, we openly challenged SFN regarding their stance on transphobia and were disappointed with their response. They denied that there was any problem within the group, claimed that transphobic comments were not making the space unsafe, deleted our public debate, banned the person who had raised the issue and refused to take a clear stance on transphobia. I feel we need to reiterate the last point: They do not feel that transphobia and cissexism are so vile that they need to declare themselves as, at least, trans* allies. Solent Feminist Network are one of this year’s organisers of Reclaim the Night Portsmouth and until they make it clear that they are a trans* positive group we will not be taking part or recommending that our members attend. It is not enough for them to say trans* members are welcome to fight for women’s liberation, we are still waiting for them to publicly state that they are against transphobia and cissexism.

Disclaimer:

We are aware that an organisation is comprised of individuals and that the event in question happened a year ago. As we do not interact with Solent Feminist Network we do not know if their stance on trans* people has changed and we are aware that not every member will have the same view. It may be the case that a change of members has taken place and they have consequently taken a more intersectional stance. We agree with the principles of Reclaim the Night Portsmouth and are sad that SFN’s involvement means that we cannot endorse the march.

Trans* feminist symbol

Trans* feminist symbol

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One thought on “HFC’s stance on Reclaim the Night Portsmouth

  1. The organising committee for Portsmouth’s Reclaim the Night March is disappointed that Hampshire Feminist Collective has decided not to take part in the March this year.

    The March is organised by a committed group of local women to raise awareness about all forms of violence against women and to – quite literally – reclaim our streets for one night without fear of violence or abuse. We have always been proud of the feeling of safety and solidarity the community achieves on the night of Portsmouth RTN.

    In our five year history of organising the Reclaim the Night Portsmouth March, the organising committee has been attended by members of SFN and SFN volunteers and members have always been very supportive of the event. The original plan for 2013 was to host the March in partnership with SFN but they have not had the capacity to contribute to the organisation of the event this year. We would love – and have consistently welcomed – more members of the local community to join us in the voluntary organisation of the event, however, it has come down to Aurora New Dawn to ensure this event goes ahead.

    We were pleased that last year HFC expressed appreciation of Trans* violence being included by one of the speakers on the night. It is an event that we strive to make as inclusive as possible. We are proud that it is supported by women, men, Trans* people and children. Reclaim the Night Portsmouth attracts support from individuals from a variety of ethnic and religious backgrounds and from the local Lesbian, Gay & Bisexual community. We endeavour to make the march accessible to those who are mobility impaired and provide some seating in the Guildhall square and an optional shorter route.

    As a voluntary group that comes together to organise awareness-raising events, we are not in a position to resolve disputes between other voluntary groups. Our purpose in organising Reclaim the Night is to bring together the whole community to stand firm in opposition to all forms of violence against women. We welcome anybody who joins us in that spirit.

    Equally, we of course support the right of any individual not to attend the March, but sincerely hope that the pandemic levels of all forms of violence against women and here in the UK will lead you to reconsider your decision not to attend. We hope that HFC will join us and the local community in saying the violence must stop.

    Aurora New Dawn – Organisational Chairs of Portsmouth White Ribbon.

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