||Dr Helen Mathers, Sheffield-based historian, speaks about Josephine Butler, a feminist Christian campaigner who challenged Victorian society to its core. She was one of the first women in this country to lead a campaign to change the law. She rescued prostitutes in Liverpool and heard from them about the Contagious Diseases Acts, which allowed the police to abuse women and lock them up if they had a sexually-transmitted disease. This talk will draw on Josephine’s own inspired writings on her campaigning journey, including a public meeting in Sheffield where she challenged Conservative MPs who suggested that prostitution was ‘a necessity’. Her chances of success in Victorian England, where women were excluded from the political world and prostitutes were regarded as ‘fallen women’, were small, yet she succeeded, and Helen’s book celebrates that achievement.
Sheffield Feminist Network has been set up to connect feminists across the city for activism and friendship. All feminists, pro-feminists and people interested in feminism are welcome to join Sheffield Feminist Network, no matter your gender identity. The Network is an umbrella group within which members are free to form their own groups for discussion, activism, mutual support and socialising, for people who you share the commitment to ending oppression and discrimination against all women, including women of different sexualities, ages, ethnicities and backgrounds, disabled women, trans women and those with and without caring responsibilities. If you have an idea for a feminist campaign, group or activity, sign up to the discussion group and start making connections.
These monthly meetings are for (self-defined) women only, as a women-only space has a vital role to play in the ongoing fight for equality and freedom. However, these meetings are just a starting point, and the group encourages men, those who do not define as female, and any interested women to use the discussion group to connect and form mixed, men-only, or other groups, set up meetings or organise events and activities. These will then be advertised on the website and in mail-outs, alongside the women’s meetings.
The talk will be followed by festive drinks, snacks and feminist party games. £2 suggested donation for the meeting, to enable the group to meet on a regular basis. If you are planning to attend it would be very helpful if you could sign up at the Eventbrite page so they can predict numbers
Sheffield Feminist Network