Imogen White: Take Back the Night and Tackling Feminist Issues

Her Campus caught up with Imogen White, a committee member of UoN Feminists to discuss their event from last week called 'Take Back the Night.'

Course: American and Canadian History, Literature, and Culture

Hometown: Wells, Somerset

What is ‘Take Back the Night’ and why is it important?

‘Reclaim the Night’ is an international march that has existed for decades in order to increase awareness of gender and sexual violence and issues related to gender oppression. The main ideas behind ‘Reclaim the Night’ are to do with street harassment, the lack of safety many women and otherwise oppressed people feel when walking around at night - especially on their own, the prevalence of sexual harassment and assault, and the culture of victim blaming. No one should be told that it isn’t safe for them to go out at night alone, and so the idea is to reclaim the night to make it safer for vulnerable people.

This sort of event is important for a number of different reasons: it raises awareness of violence many of us face, it brings people together in solidarity - you can meet like minded people, and a protest or event like this also impacts other people and gets them thinking about something they might not usually think about.

What are the main issues that you are passionate about?

TOO MANY!! Obviously feminism is very important to me, and I think personally for me that isn’t just about gender in the slightest. For me, feminism is about liberation for all people, and so I’m passionate about the prevalence of racism, homophobia, transphobia, ableism, classism and many other issues. I’m on the committee for UoN Feminists, a campaign group that advocates for the liberation of all people and seeks to improve the climate on campus and the wider world through campaigns and participation. One campaign I’m working on at the moment is in conjunction with POW Nottingham (Prostitution Outreach Workers) who are seeking to improve the lives of sex workers and to combat whorephobia and the stigma that sex workers have to face.

How can other people get involved?

We have a weekly meeting on Wednesdays as well as socials and other events. And you can keep up with other things through our Facebook account!

What are your goals for the new collaboration with Trent feminists?

Mostly we want fems to make feminist friends and meet like minded people. The people at NTU Feminists are absolutely wonderful and we hope they think the same of us, so it would be amazing at first just to set up some better connections between us. We attended ‘Reclaim the Night’ together, NTU Feminists are also attending “Who Do You Think We Are?” and there should hopefully be more collaborations in the future! UoN Feminists reject the rivalry and elitism that exists between UoN and NTU and is recognising that these assumptions and stereotypes are getting in the way of what otherwise could be wonderful friendships. The two universities rarely have an opportunity to mix, so we just wanted to start building something that allowed that.

What’s your opinion on Hilary Clinton’s loss of the election?

It perhaps reveals that white women are still performing abysmally in supporting the liberation of others that are oppressed. Despite being a woman, I personally do not and did not see Clinton as a feminist candidate, and wouldn’t have celebrated her winning as a success for feminism. Different reports state that between 53 and 66% of white women voted for Trump. Clinton didn’t lose because of her gender, so I don’t see this impacting the feminist movement.

Edited by Susan Akyeampong

Sources:

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