What is FAF?
The Feminist Activist Forum was set up in April 2007 by a bunch of people tired of being caught within a web of misrepresentation about what feminism is, and what feminism does. We want to challenge the claims of academia and the mass media that contemporary feminist activism does not exist, or that post-feminist stereotypes capture the collective imagination. We want a vibrant UK wide intergenerational feminist network to move forward with feminist activism today.
FAF reclaims the hard work and mischief of the Women’s Liberation Movement (and beyond!). We are not interested in reinventing the wheel.
FAF is open to all genders (including transgender and intersex people)- as decided by consensus at national meetings. FAF also recognises the need for feminists of different backgrounds, identities and politics to organise autonomously. We welcome autonomous events/sessions held under the FAF ‘safer spaces’ policy. Such spaces include feminists of colour, working class identified feminists, women-born-women, trans, and so on, only spaces.
There have been eight national forums so far; in Leeds (April 07), London (May 07), Brighton (June 07), Bradford (September 07), Cardiff (Oct 07), Manchester (Dec 07), London (Jan 08), London (June 08).
Both the mission statement & the statement of unity were agreed upon by consensus at meetings & will be revisited at future meetings.
What is our mission?
- To produce accurate representations of diverse feminist ideas & action, past and present.
- To reclaim the histories of feminism and relate them to current experiences and struggles.
To be an inclusive feminist movement of people who support each other through skill sharing, education, teaching and network-building.
To work with institutions, groups, and communities. To train, educate and resource share together with other activist groups.
To have discussions about accessible feminist theory and ethics that will inform and direct the actions of the group.
To make feminism a relevant, active, political movement which will transform institutions and affect social change.
FAF actions are underpinned by the following values:
- We will create a dialogue between different feminists.
- We recognise that all forms of oppression intersect.
- We will actively challenge and enable people to challenge ableism, ageism, classism, homophobia, racism, sexism, sizeism, speciesism, transphobia, and all forms of discrimination and oppression.
- We recognise that capitalism contributes to, perpetuates, and benefits from the above forms of oppression. FAF is anti-capitalist.
- We support a pro-choice position and access to free, safe abortion on demand.
- We will work in ways that are consensus based, non-hierarchical and accessible.
- We will have an ethos of collective responsibility for all our activities.
- FAF is non-exclusive and open to anyone who shares these values
What does FAF do?
Dialogue facilitation – creating spaces where people, groups and organisations can meet in a mutually respectful space to break down the boundaries between generations/ideologies and build a strong feminist movement.
Training days– based on our beliefs we run a series of training days/workshops that enable us to build resources on subjects and enable a feminist praxis that looks at the interconnections between different types of oppression. So far we have had training days around Immigration and Feminism (Dec 07, Manchester) & History and Activism (Jan 08, London).
We use non-hierarchical, consensus-based methods of organising and function through:
- National Meetings: discussions, planning, conferences, training days
- Working Groups: Feminist Against Borders, Media group, Feminist History, etc
- Local Groups: regional groups for projects e.g. FMAN in Cardiff, fundraising, local actions
We are keen to work through the processes of how we do things, to be transparent in decision-making and for people to feel free to intervene, ask questions, take ownership of projects, and shape FAF collectively.
Creating physical and virtual spaces that enable the productive exchange of ideas, information, skills and practices between individuals and groups.
Commitment to create and support education and action (demonstrations, petitions, legislation) that works to eradicate discrimination and oppression both in our societies and within our group.
Decisions are made collectively by members of the group. The aim of consensus is to reach agreement on group decisions through dialogue. While all group members do not need to agree completely with a decision, it should be agreed upon enough that everyone can ‘consent’ to support it. This decision making model aims to give everyone a voice, support cooperation and address participants’ concerns.
Working to organize and dialogue in ways that are free of domination while dispersing responsibility, power and energy between all participants.
Removing physical, cultural, environmental and financial barriers that may prohibit or inhibit people being able to participate.
Everyone in the group is an active participant and the responsibilities of running the group are shared. Decision-making, organising, financing and event planning are the responsibilities of all group members. Specific actions may be delegated to an individual or group of individuals on the understanding that delegates are acting on behalf of the group and are responsible to all members of the group. Both positive and negative outcomes of all decisions and activities are to be addressed by all members of the groups and are not the sole responsibility of any individual.