I went along to this excellent annual event for the first time last year to hear Stephen Whittle.  Gender and Law at Durham (GLAD) have announced this week that the 2011/12 speaker will be the award-winning feminist activist Finn Mackay.

Finn is the Founder of the London Feminist Network and the revived Reclaim the Night London, Co-Founder of the Feminist Coalition against Prostitution, and Individual Winner of the 2010 Emma Humphreys Memorial Prize for Outstanding Work on Women and Violence.

The event will take place on Tuesday 7th February 2012, in the Joachim Room, St Hild & Bede College, Durham University, from 3.30 to 5.30pm. Places are free but limited. To book, please contact law.events@dur.ac.uk. The event will be followed by an informal drinks reception.

Finn has also agreed to hold an informal workshop for feminist activists from 2pm. The workshop is an opportunity to learn more from Finn about organising feminist groups, events and campaigns. If you’re interested in attending the workshop, please clearly state this when booking your place. If you have any questions about the event, contact Dr Erika Rackley at erika.rackley@dur.ac.uk. More information about GLAD and the 2012 GLAD Conversation can be found on their website.

I would encourage Sunderland Law and Sexuality students to attend the main 3.30pm talk if possible.  GLAD have also provided a link to a video of Finn which you can watch below:


I’ve previously seen Finn in action the other year in a BBC series on women and feminism.  She’s an inspirational figure in many ways, a passionate and tireless advocate but I’m confident I will become increasingly agitated during her speech.  Her feminism, it seems to me, owes much to Andrea Dworkin and Catherine MacKinnon and continues to be popularised by the journalist Julie Bindel.  For me, and many feminists her thinking although well-intentioned is out-dated.  Anyway, I hope to attend and maybe she’ll shift my thinking.  Whether she does or doesn’t, her brand of feminism is reaching out to growing numbers of women through events such as Reclaim the Night and in turn, defining feminism for a new generation.  She can’t be ignored.

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