Questions for Labour leadership candidates from grassroots women’s and LGB organisations in Wales

Together with our friends in WRN Wales, LGB Alliance Cymru, WomenZone and the Gay Men’s Network, we wrote the following letter to Vaughan Gething and Jeremy Miles.

As groups that have been excluded from the development of policies and action plans that affect us, we wanted to know if a new Welsh Labour leader and First Minister would signal a change in approach.

We believe that these questions are critical to understanding the willingness of both candidates to listen to viewpoints from beyond the usual organisations that are called on to contribute to policy. For our supporters who are Welsh Labour Party members, this could be a deciding factor in who they choose to vote for. Continue reading “Questions for Labour leadership candidates from grassroots women’s and LGB organisations in Wales”

#WalesLosingWomen

#LabourLosingWomen is a hashtag has been floating around the internet for years, used by Socialist and left-wing feminists who are dissatisfied with Labour’s wholesale embrace of gender ideology. This embrace has involved the harassment of women in the party who are prepared to stand up for women’s spaces, women’s sports and women’s rights, such as Rosie Duffield and Tonia Antoniazzi. Labour Women’s Declaration (LWD) was founded in 2019 by stalwart feminist women, and has continued to press Labour to address the issue of gender. Although Merched Cymru has no political alignment, many of our members are, or have been, Labour voters and members, in line with the Welsh electorate as a whole. Continue reading “#WalesLosingWomen”

Politically homeless? Not (quite) yet

A good few years ago, I heard that ‘the left have a problem with women’. Can’t say I had noticed – beyond everyday sexism and, you know, the patriarchy. I was too busy working full time, along with various bits of volunteering in the community and being a single mum. I re-joined Labour several years ago, and gradually immersed myself more in activism. In terms of sexism there was nothing to report here comrades, just some men in meetings talking to too much, grandstanding, and creating an atmosphere that could put women off. Pretty commonplace really, far too easily tolerated, but sadly it wouldn’t be out of place in any political party, workplace or family. Continue reading “Politically homeless? Not (quite) yet”

Feminism, class analysis and the aunties

I first read Sheila Rowbotham’s Woman’s Consciousness, Man’s World as a young teenager. It made perfect sense. Women were oppressed and exploited, thanks to their role in reproducing humans. Capitalism had two greedy needs of women: give birth to and rear future workers; take care of existing workers, be they husbands, fathers, brothers, lodgers or complete strangers.

My limited understanding stemmed partly from my two aunts, both named Mary. Bad ‘Bopa Mary’ had me doing housework, while my boy cousin climbed trees. She was ‘training’ me, she claimed – presumably for a life of gender-stereotyped drudgery. She said: “The man is the breadwinner.” Good ‘Auntie Mary Walsh’ was single, child-free, employed, and told me: “A woman’s place is in her union.” Continue reading “Feminism, class analysis and the aunties”