The Feminist Yes: Women Who’ve Made Up Our Minds

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Because women can eat cereal and talk about politics at the same time
And we do actually know the name of ‘that guy off the telly’
And we’re not all white, or wives, or mothers
And our passions and lives are gloriously messy and diverse
And after our ‘cuppas’ we get out to occupy the streets and claim our space
And our hopes for Scotland and the world are big and bold

And because we refuse to be stereotyped and patronised
We are women who’ve made up our minds

We’re voting Yes

Because the world of work is still gender segregated
And women workers earn 13% less than men full time, and 32% less part-time;
And working women are seen as a ‘pregnancy risk’, or the tea-lady or ‘fair game’
and we shouldn’t take it so personally;
And too often our talents and ambition are stifled;
And it is getting harder not easier to pursue a discrimination case;
And Westminster is responsible for employment and anti-discrimination laws, and laws regulating trade unions;

And because voting no risks rolling back even further the gains we’ve made
for gender justice at work

We’re voting Yes

Because 93% of lone parents on benefit are women;
And 62% of unpaid carers are women;
And women with disabilities are hounded, harmed and stigmatised
simply for claiming the right to state support;
And twice as many women rely on benefits and tax credits as men;
And the austerity regime has taken a staggering £5.8 billion out of £8 billion
tax and benefit cuts away from women.
And Westminster is responsible for social security, including welfare benefits;
And because voting No risks an ever more fearful burden on the backs of the poor

We’re voting Yes

Because the media is saturated with women being sexualised and scrutinised And the objectification of our bodies shapes how society sees and values us;
And women with a public profile are still subjected to judgement for how they look and what they wear rather than their ability to do the job;
And older women, and BME women and lesbian women and transgender women and disabled women
are nearly invisible in the mainstream media;
And the press rarely reports helpfully or accurately on gender issues
And it whips up backlash against progress towards meaningful equality;
And pink stinks
And Westminster is responsible for broadcasting policy and equality legislation, and the Advertising Standards Authority has no teeth;
And because voting No risks giving ever more power to toxic media misogyny

We’re voting yes.

Because Westminster has committed billions of pounds to Trident, and denies adequate funding to vital services tackling violence, abuse, prejudice and exclusion;
And because we love wool against weapons and subversive knitting
And we sing and dance and protest in harmony
Because an independent Scotland offers the only hope
of removing these instruments of death from our land;
And we want to create a place of welcome and peacemaking
in this troubled world
And because voting No risks leaving us trapped in fortress Britain

We’re voting yes.

Because only 15% of senior police, 15% High of Court judges, 10% of newspaper editors and 8% of Directors of FTSE 250 firms are women,
And only 35% of MSPs, 17% of MEPs, 23% of councillors, 10% of council leaders, and 26% of Trade Union leaders are women,
Because the over-representation of men is still scandalously normal in public life,
And male pale and stale won’t cut it
And we want a constitution which enshrines gender equality
And we’ll make sure we’re at the table and our voices are heard
And because we’ve been inspired and energised by a vibrant grassroots movement for change

We’re voting yes

Because women campaigned for 50:50 representation in the new Scottish Parliament – and it made a difference to politics
But we can never be complacent
And every 13 minutes a Scottish woman experiences violence;
And it’s time to bring an end to the fear and harm of violation that restricts our space for action
And Scotland has led the way in tackling violence against women;
And successive Scottish Governments have accepted the understanding of such violence as cause and consequence of gender inequality,
And because we must continue the long hard struggle – in this nation and around the world – for women’s empowerment

We’re voting yes

Not because we think independence will guarantee gender justice
But because our foresisters organised and argued, campaigned and cared,
risked and rebelled to make Scotland a better place for women;
And that heritage is our power
And inspires us with courage and hope to imagine a different Scotland –
a society where girls grow up safe, inspired and free to be all they can be
a community which celebrates the joys, challenges and risks of difference
a politics of engagement, participation and compassion
a land of open doors, warm welcomes and hospitable hearts

Because a better Scotland is possible, and we are committed to making it so
We are women who’ve made up our minds

We’re voting Yes.

Nel Whiting, Marsha Scott and Lesley Orr
The Feminist Yes
National Collective

Image from Jagz Mario

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About The Feminist Yes

The Feminist Yes is a small collective supporting a Yes vote in the referendum. Their members are Nel Whiting, Marsha Scott and Lesley Orr. Nel has worked in the violence against woman sector for the past ten years. She is also studying towards a PhD, looking at issues of national, familial and gender identity in late eighteenth-century Scottish paintings. Originally from Wales, Scotland has been her home for 15 years. Dr. Marsha Scott is a feminist activist, researcher and bureaucrat who has done everything from emptying the bins in her local refuge to presenting on women’s rights at the UN. Marsha joined Women for Independence in January and is constantly inspired by the energy that tired women bring to making our world a more equal, more just, more peaceful place to live. Lesley is a feminist historian and activist from Edinburgh. She has worked for many years in movements for gender and social justice. A member of the Iona Community, she has recently been invited to join the board of Common Weal.

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