Cis women are in a markedly different relationship to gender than trans women. “Cisgender” names this difference.
Yes, the word’s sometimes defined in a way that says, “gender is an essence and I feel it”. But this isn’t its only definition. As a radical transfeminist, I define cisgender women as…
"Hey, you know on question one, can you explain…"
Fuck off. Keep on fucking off until I can’t hear you any more.
1. Don’t cross the picket line.
2. Don’t cross the picket line.
3. We don’t really care that much why you’re crossing the picket line. If we ask you why, it’s only to argue with you better that you shouldn’t cross.
4. I personally wouldn’t care if your last relative is fighting for…
Students and staff from the University of Liverpool are now ocupying the Irish Studies Department in support of today’s staff strike action and as a peaceful protest against fees and the privatisation of higher education. This is part of a wave of unified direct action and is in line with recent occupations at various universities across the country, including at the University of Birmingham, Goldsmiths University, University of Sheffield, SOAS, Edinburgh University, University of Exeter, University of Sussex, University of Warwick and University of Ulster.
The current dispute between the three major unions and the university administration is part of a wider attack on the provision of free education which has included the introduction of tuition fees, the privatisation and outsourcing of university staff via illegitimate contractual changes (e.g. zero hour contracts) and the ongoing reduction of staff pay and working conditions (a relative 13% average pay cut since 2008). The casualisation of the university workforce can only have detrimental effects on the quality of educational provision and employment conditions of support staff. These attacks come from a management whose pay is astronomical with Vice Chancellor of UoL, Howard Newby, receiving a salary of more than £300k per year along with another 37 managers receiving no less than £140k per year, ranking the University of Liverpool 17th in the country for unfair pay.
Simultaneously millions of young people are being stripped of their access to higher education. The abolition of the Educational Maintenance Allowance, a threefold rise in tuition fees, replacement of bursaries with fee waivers and the recent privatisation of some student loans are just four factors contributing to the widespread commodification of the education system. The intended result is to alienate students from their education to the point of transforming it from a universal right to a consumer product, thus a sub-prime investment in “human capital”. We reject such a transformation and consider this occupation an important reassertion of solidarity between students and staff who believe in a free, equal and accessible education system.
We support the aims of the strikers to close the entire university while strike action is taking place.
The university recently sent out an email demonising workers for taking strike action, and accusing the unions of lying without giving any evidence. We demand that the university retract this statement, and send out a new email clarifying the situation rather than providing incorrect and deliberately inflammatory information to students. We wish the email would include the input of the occupiers.
We call on university management to agree to no reprimands for UCU workers and students refusing to cross Unison/Unite picket lines tomorrow out of respect for the democratic rights of workers acting in solidarity with their colleagues.
We demand that the university management does not victimise or penalise any student or member of staff for participating in the occupation or for any other peaceful anti-cuts activism.
This occupation will continue until our demands are met. We would like to stress that this is a peaceful non-violent action with the intention of sending a message to the university administration. It is not our intention to disrupt the educational process, but to reform it.
Education is a right, not a privilege.
Leaflet I threw together calling on students to respect picket lines this Tuesday
On Tuesday 3rd December, university staff will be striking over pay and conditions. This leaflet aims to persuade students to support the strike and give advice on how to support it.
Why you should support the strike
• University staff came out in support of students’ fight against tuition fee hikes in 2010. While we lost this fight, we should show the staff the same support that they gave us.
• Many students hope to work in academia after we graduate. The pay and conditions of university staff today could be our pay and conditions in the future.
• Academic and support staff make our education possible through their work. Giving up one day of work in order to support them is hardly a big ask.
Staff will be picketing university buildings that are still open. They do this in order to persuade both other staff and students to support the strike by not going into those buildings. If you wish to support university staff, do not cross picket lines – by entering a building being picketed you undermine the strike’s effectiveness. This will include libraries and administrative buildings.
In order to support staff on pickets:
• Take the time to get any books or resources you need to check out the day before.
• If you need to work on the day of a strike, prepare to work from home or a public library (Liverpool Central Library on William Brown Street has plenty of computers and printers that you can use).
• If you have deadlines on or near the day of the strike, talk to your lecturers and course reps about an extension.
Join the pickets! Approach staff and ask them if they would like your help, spend some time on the picket line and try to persuade other students not to cross.
Trigger warning- rape and sexual harassment.*
It has come to our attention that Martin Smith – who resigned from the Socialist Workers Party following rape and sexual harassment allegations – is now based in the Social Work department at Liverpool Hope University.
The accusations against Smith were covered up by an internal investigation from the party’s disputes committee. This was set up by the central committee - a body largely consisting of Smith’s friends – who at this point were referring to him as “Comrade Delta“. The specifics of the case and the handling of the case can be read here, here and here.
However, to summarise, not only were the survivors disbelieved and their cases not heard, but party leader and academic Alex Callinicos claimed that the party – and the wider movements of the working class generally - were being damaged by what he termed “creeping feminism“.
A faction was formed in opposition to the central committee, which led to the expulsion and resignation of dissenting members.
Martin Smith resigned from the party in July, after spending several weeks in Greece ‘researching’ for the party’s front campaign Unite Against Fascism.
Over the summer, there were rumours online that the children of party founder Tony Cliff were asking SWP members to donate to a fund for Martin Smith to study an MA.
It now transpires that rather than fund an educational ‘break’ directly, the preferred tactic was to get a party member with a position in a university to abuse their academic authority, and sort him with a funded PhD.
Whilst Callinicos might have been too obvious, the lesser known SWP academic and Preston councillor Michael Lavalette does not have the same profile. Lavalette is head of the Social Work, Youth and Justice Department at Hope University, and clearly thought he could help this ‘poor victim of creeping feminism’ out with little to no consequence.
Though the levels of student activism at Hope are depressingly low, the same is not true for feminist activism in the wider city. We have also been made aware of a poster campaign which took place at Hope last night, with the aim of informing female students of the danger on campus.
This is a danger which Professor Lavalette took the decision to bring to Hope, in a department which is supposed to have welfare as its primary concern.
The University have chosen to take on Martin Smith, despite the coverage of the case in the national press. This is arguably a significant breach of their duty of care, and will massively harm the University’s image. We call up on feminist activists nationwide to ensure that this man is unable to remain either at Hope or in in activist circles.
If anyone would like to get involved in building a campaign, please contact Delta.Removals2013@gmail.com
Fine. Then I’m speciest. I 100% believe that human beings are more important than animals. I 100% believe that. I LOVE animals, I truly truly do.
But for the love of all fuck, women are more important than cattle. Queer people are more important that cattle. Non-white people are more important than cattle. And fuck you if you disagree with that.
No but seriously stop
It is debatable who was more damaged by the notorious Section 28 â young gays, or the Conservative Party. It is claimed that while it was in force it did lasting damage to adolescents trying to come to terms with their sexuality, because responsible adults were inhibited from telling them that homosexuality is a natural occurrence. That damage was invisible at the time and would be difficult to compute now. The self-inflicted damage to the Conservative Party was easy to see.
I am a lesbian living in the UK, and section 28 was in force from when I was 9 till when I was 23 (yes i’m that old). I just want to say a big fuck you to this article.
At school I was lesbophobically bullied, and when a teacher found out and I tried to explain what was going on I was told that there was nothing they could do. There were really no books with lgb content in the public library I used, certainly none in the young adults section. In sex education, when they were talking about aids I asked if women could give each other hiv and was sent out of the class. When a Christian group came to talk to our class they actually came out as saying that homosexuality was morally wrong and unnatural (they also told us that condoms wouldn’t protect you from the hiv virus because they contain tiny holes or some pseudoscientific crap and we should all practice abstinence, so I don’t think anyone paid much attention to them) I know of girlfriends who were put into different classes from each other because parents were trying to separate them. I know of young gay men and lesbian women who found it extremely hard - or impossible - to get any support when their parents chucked them out of the house when they found out they were gay or lesbians.
Of course, we live in a homophobic world, and maybe all of those things would have happened without section 28, but what section 28 did is scared off any weak allies - teachers, youth workers, social workers, and librarians that might have made the odd supportive gesture, or who could have been open to conversation - and they would have censored themselves if they weren’t brave enough to put their head above the parapet, and the hierarchies of schools and local councils would have taken action against any worker who did speak out. So yeah while i can’t unequivocally prove that I was harmed by the act, I think I can say that it did not create a healthy, safe, or comfortable environment for lgb teenagers and that it definitely harmed young lgb people.
I really don’t care whether the tories lost support or not.