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Take Back the Night

WMST-L has had several discussions about the origins and practices
involved in Take Back the Night events.  The following three-part file
presents four of those discussions; Part 1 dates from 1995, while
Part 2 includes messages from 1997 and 2001, and Part 3 from 2008  Parts 1 & 2
devote considerable attention to the issue of male participation in Take Back
the Night; Parts 2 & 3 also offer some information about TBTN's
history.  For additional WMST-L files now available on the Web, see
the WMST-L File Collection.

Date: Wed, 15 Feb 1995 11:59:16 -0500
Subject: history of Take Back the Night
Greetings all,
I've just returned from an extremely informative and enjoyable Take
Back the Night conference at Columbia and Barnard, at which
approximately 100 students from a number of universities around the
Northeast shared their experiences with holding TBTN events on their
campuses. However, we had conflicting information about how Take Back
the Night first originated and when, etc. Can anyone provide a source
of a definitive history/chronology of TBTN?
     Thanks for your help! (Please reply privately, and I will post a
comprehensive bibliography to the list if there is interest.)
Susan Waterman
Georgetown Women's Center
watermas  AT
Date: Wed, 15 Feb 1995 12:26:44 -0600
From: "D. Atkins" <datkins AT BLUE.WEEG.UIOWA.EDU>
Subject: Re: history of Take Back the Night
The origin of Take Back The Night is discussed in a book called
_Take Back the Night: WOmen on Pornography_ Edited by Laura Lederer
(William Morrrow & Co., New York, 1980).
Page 15:
--San Francisco, 1979: Women Against Violence in Pornography and Media, a
membership organization of 1,000 women, organizes a national conference
entitled "Feminist Perspectives on Pornography" (November 17-19, 1978).
For the first time in history, women from across the country gather to
discuss the destructive consequences of pornography, to exchange
information and analysis, and to paln strategies foe eliminating
pornography.  In conjunction with the conference, a Take Back the Night
March is staged through San Francisco's pornography district. Over 5,000
women from thirty states participate and return to their own communities
to continue the work.
Page 19
...The slogan Take Back the Night was first used in the United States as
a theme for a national protest march down San Francisco's pornography
strip.  The march took place at night and was in the spirit of many
similar events taking place all over the world.
Hope this helps.
Dawn Atkins
datkins  AT
Date: Thu, 16 Feb 1995 14:42:19 MST
Subject: Re: history of Take Back the Night
I don't think the anti-porn movement can justly claim to have
originated "Take Back the Night" marches.  In 1970 or 1971, I helped,
along with other members of the Women's Center (now, I believe, the
Lesbian Center) at the University of South Florida, organize a night
march protesting violence against women.  Our concerns did not
include pornography, but centered more on rape, assault, and street
harassment.  I can't remember for certain whether we called it "Take
Back the Night," but I *think* we did.
I also help organize a "Take Back the Night" march and speak-in in
Denver in 1977 or 1978 (as I recall).  Again, pornography was not
among the concerns which sparked the organizing, nor was pornography
mentioned on the leaflets or other publicity.  Rape and crime--
the things we saw as keeping women off the streets at night--were our
central focuses.
Eileen Bresnahan
University of Utah
Date: Wed, 2 Aug 1995 10:05:04 -0400
From: Alexandra Pasian <APASIAN%TOPAZ AT CONU2.BITNET>
Subject: Re: Take Back the Night March - Women Only
> Our campus will hold its second annual Take Back the Night March on
> September 26th.  Anticipating the all too common "why can't men
> participate?" reaction, I'm already looking for more creative and
> articulate ways of responding.  Ideas?
Kelli, when faced with this question, I always talk about the symbolic aspect
of Take Back the Night... how women need to come together and feel safe
together, and indeed feel safe in our communities.  You might also pose the
question, that if men do join the march, is there a difference between
that and any other night?
Ironically, in my experience, when the Take Back the Night March is over, there
are usually several men waiting around to escort their partners home.
apasian  AT
Date: Wed, 2 Aug 1995 11:14:45 -0400
From: Jennifer Alabiso <jalabiso AT CCAT.SAS.UPENN.EDU>
Subject: Re: Take Back the Night March - Women Only
I am going to play devil's advocate here, just to spice this up, and
because I'm really curious.
I'm a huge advocate of encouraging men to take "women's studies" and
"gender studies" courses, becauase I think it's often their first
opportunity to examine THEIR role in these issues.  At my alma mater, men
were allowed to participate in "take back the night" marches, under the
assumption that men who are willing to affiliate with "those radicals"
were most often sympathetic and willing to learn.  Usually we were
right.  Also, it was amazing to me how many of these men had themselves
experienced the sexual assault, rape, or fear of a loved one, and who had
honestly been moved by the experience.  So my question it really
so bad to let some of these guys be a part of this experience.  Certainly
gay men would have reason to need and want to take back the night.  Same
would be true for men who have mothers and daughters and sisters and
friends and lovers who have been through some of these damaging
experiences.  Does including men necessarily make the space unsafe?  Are
there other issues here?
Please don't take this to mean that I don't support women-only space.  On
the contraray, I think it's crucial to our survival.  I just am seeing
this particular issue from a different perspective.  Thoughts?  Comments?
jalabiso  AT
Jennifer Alabiso
University of Pennsylvania
Date: Wed, 2 Aug 1995 14:41:29 -0400
From: "Dr. Carolyn V. Bell" <bell AT KUTZTOWN.EDU>
Subject: Re: Take Back the Night March - Women Only
Everyone is affected by the actions of a few...I happen to agree with the
position that there is a place for men in the "Take back the night"
activities.  Can recruiting sympathetic men to the cause finally have
some "trickle down" (sorry!) effect on the perpetrators of rape and
violence?  Perhaps not as much as we would like but the more people I
have on my side of the line the better I feel.  Push the men totally away
and we say they can not ever empathize, understand or whatever our
position.  Let's open up where it benefits us all.
Date: Wed, 2 Aug 1995 16:10:24 -0400
From: BL Lewis <bllewis AT EOS.NCSU.EDU>
Subject: Re: Take Back the Night March - Women Only
Be honest! Just remember, however, that there will be those of us who do not
agree. I am a victim of sexual violence. I am male. If that's what you choose
to do, fine. Just don't expect me as a male survivor to support you. I thin`k
its wrong for anyone to be a victim of violence, and I thought Take Back The
Night was to empower PEOPLE, not Women only. Like I said, don't try and pull a
lot of nonsence into why you don't want men participating. Be honest. I may not
agree but I will support a decision when I am given the honest reason, before I
will suport a lie.
BL Lewis
bllewis  AT
Communications Major
REAL Men/ HEAR Women/ Triangle SOAR
Activist: Rape Education, Sexuality Awareness, Cultural Awareness
Date: Wed, 2 Aug 1995 13:31:59 PST
From: Marilyn Guille <guillem AT MALA.BC.CA>
Subject: Re: Take Back the Night March - Women Only
     Hi, Jennifer. I totally agree that some men have some issues around
safety on the street, too - so they should organize their own march, for
their own issues, some other time. And the men who truly want to support
women's right to take back the night understand why it's so important that
they not come along on this one particular night. Since we have no way of
knowing which men REALLY support our goals, how can we distinguish on
that night who should participate and who not? Men can support the Take
Back the Night event in MANY ways other than coming along on the actual
Date: Wed, 2 Aug 1995 16:33:39 EDT
From: Jo Ellen Green Kaiser <JGKAIS00 AT UKCC.UKY.EDU>
Subject: Re: Take Back the Night March - Women Only
It occurs to me that one might be able to finesse the issue of men
marching at take back the night.  The march could start all women, then,
at some important location, the women marchers could be joined by
sympathetic men, all continuing to the end of the march where the
traditional speeches, etc. are given...  The confluence of the two
groups might be an empowering occasion for both.
Date: Wed, 2 Aug 1995 18:42:12 -0400
From: Anne Henderson <bd27594 AT BINGSUNS.CC.BINGHAMTON.EDU>
Subject: Re: Take Back the Night March - Women Only
Just my two cents here.... If men come along then women aren't really
taking back the night for themselves are they?  Because women are
disproportionately raped, beaten, mutilated, harrassed, and followed,
I believe it is important for WOMEN to take back the night.  My
partner is what I would consider to be a feminist/feminist sympathizer,
but despite his care and concern for my safety, I would prefer at least
one evening when I feel empowered and safe without him nearby...
If I can feel safe in the darkest and creepiest of places while
surrounded by women only, I have a feeling I can keep with me and turn to
in times of fear.
Lori Anne Parker
(The name on the header (Anne Henderson) is not mine)
Date: Wed, 2 Aug 1995 23:19:46 -0400
Subject: Re: Take Back the Night March - Women Only
are you saying here that at all/any other given times, you DO feel empowered
and safe with him nearby?
My humble opinion:  If you exclude men from learning and experiencing this
event that is so near and dear to your heart and very very
important....Then they will never be aware of the magnitude or depth of
your feelings.  I would assume that you would want men along just to
this occasion.  You would like them to learn - through this or any other
experience - that it is not just another personal whim of yours; but
something that is taken very seriously by (just pulling a number out
here) thousands of women.
Would we not be doing the same thing that they (men) have done/are
doing.  We would be saying the old thing  "You don't understand, you're
not a woman".  Sounds familiar? Why are we assuming that they can't
understand, yet when these popular words are issued by a male we become
defensive.  We know that the ability to understand and translate
information (eg. changing the washer in a faucet) has nothing to do with
one's sex.  It's just what YOU have been taught.
If men are willing and sympathetic to our issues, why give them the brushoff.
P.S.  I am not a male...I was not brought up to revere them....I'm just
being me.
That's it....I'm done.  Bye
Date: Wed, 2 Aug 1995 21:45:14 -0700
From: Trudy Mercer <true AT U.WASHINGTON.EDU>
Subject: Re: Take Back the Night March - Women Only
I realize that the issue of "take back the night" is the concept of women
walking safely at night: a group symobolizing individuals walking alone;
however symbolical this is, to deny male supporters any sort of
representative place or voice is to deny those who can *help* make the
night safe, not by walking with you/us on any given night, but by their
*political* voice in making the same demands of the community & law
enforcement that this march demands.
I think that the suggestion of having a male contingent gather at a
designated point & joining the march is an excellant idea.
Trudy Mercer
Seattle, Washington, USA 
true  AT
Date: Wed, 2 Aug 1995 22:09:05 -0700
From: Katheen Drew <psu02880 AT ODIN.CC.PDX.EDU>
Subject: Re: Take Back the Night March - Women Only
Stopping Violence Against Women in Portland with women from several other
agencies organized a Take Back the Night in a public park that included
speakers, singers, a clothesline project, a march, a self defense
demonstration by one with heart, and a speak out.  When women gather
together to address issues of intimate violence or service providers come
together in public places to discuss funding for programs affecting
women, we have to deal with the Dad's Pack.  The role the supportive men
played at the TBTN was to run interference for women who did not want to
deal with abusive and non supportive men.  Women were also trained to
perform security roles.  While the women marched, there were planned
activities for the men.  We had the men wear arm bands that identified
them as part of the TBTN support team.  Worked out very well.  We also
had some police support- so the Dad's pack picketers stayed on the
Kathy Drew
Date: Thu, 3 Aug 1995 13:48:49 +0100
Subject: Re: Take Back the Night March - Women Only
Thank you for opening this discussion.
The TBTK night march is, in my opinion, most effective and
empowering to women when it is women only because we take refuge in
ourselves and our own strength.  In Victoria, BC, Canada where I
lived as an undergrad we even considered the police escort an
intrusion to our statement and insisted on police women--not always
The point of the march, as I understand it, is this:  we can do this
for ourselves, we are safe together, and we are strong--to make this
known to women; secondarily, the purpose is to publicise both our
strength and the reality of *male violence against women*.  Most
importantly, we are speaking to women who need to know we can take
back the night for ourselves--that is what it is about.
In my experience many men and women join in as the march progresses.
I have seen very angry scenes ensue to get the men away.  It made me
feel very uncomfortable, but I believe the angry women had good
reason:  I know I do when I am angry.  If there is one woman in the
march who needs it to be woman only then that is what it must be.
Men would be most supportive by doing the childminding, drop off and
pick up of their partners before and after if that is felt to be
necessary, OR by organising their own march to publicise violence
against women, to which we could be invited.  I would certainly go.
I am very sympathetic to anyone who has suffered violence, but my
purpose as a feminist is to prioritize the needs of women.  There
are very few days of the year when even ourselves, as a movement, do
that.  Let this be one.
Donna Wessel, dwessel  AT
Date: Thu, 3 Aug 1995 11:02:00 EDT
From: "Pattatucci, Angella" <pattatua AT DC37A.NCI.NIH.GOV>
Subject: Excluding/including people (cf. TBTN march)
I have read the comments/suggestions focusing on explaining to men why a
Take Back the Night March should be a women-only event, and rebuttals
regarding why it should not be a women-only event, with great interest.
 Although the issue is not precisely analogous, it reminds me of several
heated discussions in which I have participated regarding whether or not to
"allow" straight supporters to march in Gay Pride Parades and, if so, where
they would be positioned in the Parade.  Collateral heated debates have
centered on whether straight supporters should be invited to speak at Gay
Pride Celebrations and/or other events.  One discussion that I clearly
remember  focused on whether straight-supporters should be allowed to
identify themselves as straight (banners, etc.) in the Parade.  The "logic"
(this was 1979) was that straight-supporters calling attention to themselves
as straight, would detract from the celebration of Gay Pride and the
constant struggle for Gay rights.  The proposal, which at one point had
majority support, was remarkably similar to the Clinton "don't ask, don't
tell" policy currently in force for the military.  Straight-supporters were
welcome to march as long as they didn't identify themselves as straight.  In
the end more rational minds prevailed.  We correctly noted that a vast
majority of straight individuals choosing to march in a Gay Pride Parade
would be doing so because they supported Gay Pride and Gay Rights.  The tiny
minority who might potentially march  with some other agenda, should not be
used as a justification for excluding an entire group from participating.
 Furthermore, because Gay Pride day is "Our Day", those marching with the
goal of being disruptive in some way, would more than likely be dismissed as
"pathological" by onlookers.   Gay Pride, it was finally decided,
could/should be celebrated by anyone who wanted to celebrate and contribute
to Gay Pride and that it was not the function of the organizing board to
prescribe how pride and support should be expressed.
The decision of the organizers of the St. Patrick's Day Parade in Boston to
exclude Gay/Lesbian/Bisexual/Transgendered individuals of Irish descent from
marching while identifying themselves as gay, is a reverse example where a
narrow-minded rationale prevailed and was even upheld by the courts.  The
discussion that has ensued here regarding Take Back the Night reminds me of
the above examples.  I recognize the need for, and supportive environment
provided by, women-only space.  However, I personally feel that this is an
issue and an event, where all potential sources of support (financial,
political, group, and personal) should be utilized to their fullest.  For
me, at least, Take Back the Night makes a powerful statement.  We are Taking
Back the Night *from* a group of individuals who have stolen it from us.  In
marching, we are stating that the status quo is unacceptable; we won't stand
for it any longer.  Presumably, we are serving notice that not only are we
Taking Back the Night on the particular date that the march is held, but
also on every other night as well.  Considering this, I can think of no
valid reason why supportive men, who share a common desire to take back the
night, whether for themselves, or for relatives and friends should be
excluded from doing so.   The Women's Movement for years has been correctly
voicing that violence against women is a man's problem.   What rational
basis do we have for excluding those who get the message and want to take
Angela (Iana) Pattatucci
"pattatua  AT"
Date: Thu, 3 Aug 1995 14:55:54 -0300
Subject: Re: Excluding/including people (cf. TBTN march)
In response to Iana's comments (andher analogies using
the Gay Pride day and the Irish Parade)
to the decision of including or not including men at take back the
night marches, I would like to offer the following:
1.  Women are a visible minority, only some of us can "pass" as
men whereas most of us are assumed to be straight (whether or
not it is true (see previous list discussion on "passing" for more
2.  The status of "opressed group" does not apply to the
Irish Group like it applies to women or lesbians and gays.
3.  I think we have "heard" that there are some fairly good
arguments to include and to exclude men from Take back the night
marches and maybe it's OK to let organizers decide what emphasis they
want for their marches (!!!).
4.  To bring the topic back to teaching, in my
community, men are excluded from the march for reasons already
mentionned on this list, but can take part in the
rally, the after-the-march
-gathering, and the in-support activities.  When students ask me
why men are excluded, I give them these reasons and let them
discuss whether or not they agree.  The take back the night
events are events in which students can participate
to accumulate participation points.  Following the march,
Women are asked to write a one page commentary
about their experience at the march (unless they could not
attend for some specific reason and wished they could have attended
(in which case we make special
individualized arrangements).  Men are asked to write a slighly
longer (about 2 pages) commentary (unless they choose to take part
in the in-support activities), which include a reflection on being
excluded from a part of the activities.  Students, both males and
females, really like this event as one of the options to gather
points (they have many options to gather
participation points so they do not have to take part in any specific
one).  Some of the women bring their friends, their mothers, their
sisters, etc., they involve their boyfriends in the "in-support"
activities, etc.  They seem to learn from it and have great discussions.
5. I'm sorry I have taken so much space but I would like to suggest that
we might have gone around this one long enough (oh sure! after she just
used up 3 screens... I know I know...).  It's a suggestion.
Carmen Poulin
Carmen  AT
Date: Thu, 3 Aug 1995 09:50:28 -0600
From: "AY Crawford (Audrey)" <AC185476 AT SHELL.COM>
Subject: Re: Take Back the Night March - Women Only -Reply
It has always seemed to me that part of the Take Back the Night March
was the sense of empowerment women get by doing something on their
own.   I expect (I admit that this is often my response) that a lot of
women will feel "safer" on the march if there are men present -- so the
presence of the men sets the tone -- rather than the presence of the
women.  It's very difficult for women to assume leadership with men
present, whether the men intend to usurp or not.  I'd be willing to bet that
the media will focus on the few men present in the march, as well.  I
agree with Marilyn that there are other ways for men to support women
in this endeavor.  I see the purpose of the March as not an issue of
solidarity  but an issue of generating a new sense of power for women.
In general, walking alone down the street in the dark has a totally
different meaning for women than it has for men.
Audrey Crawford
crawford  AT
Date: Thu, 3 Aug 1995 22:41:58 -0400
From: Judith Roes Hammerle <jhammerle AT ADRIAN.ADRIAN.EDU>
Subject: Re: Excluding/including people (cf. TBTN march)
Carmen Poulin talked about "in-support" activities for men around Take Back
the Night march.  What kinds of thngs have people done for such activities?
Judith Roes Hammerle
Adrian College
jhammerle  AT
Date: Fri, 4 Aug 1995 07:49:25 -0300
Subject: Re: Excluding/including people (cf. TBTN march)
My appologies for the message sent regarding the analogies Iana
used.  It was not comprehensible.  Let me try to re-explain what
I was trying to say:
1.  To compare men taking part in a take back the march to straights
taking part in a Gay pride march overlooks the "visibility" of
men in a take back the night march to the invisibility of straights
in a Gay pride march.
2.  To compare gays wanting to join an Irish Group Parade with
Men wanting to join a take back the night march overlooks the relative
power difference between gays (in relationship to the dominent
Irish Group) and men (in relationship to the "opressed" women group).
In other word, the power difference between these two pairs are reversed
Carmen Poulin
Carmen  AT
Date: Fri, 4 Aug 1995 14:01:00 EST
From: Mary Schweitzer Villanova University <SCHWEITZ AT UCIS.VILL.EDU>
Subject: Re: take back the night -- women only?
     I think it is good for sympathetic men to be able to join some
portion of a take back the night march or rally, because I believe that
one important component to these issues is getting men to identify with
the victims as individuals, rather than the victimizers as men.  If a man
were to steal your watch when you were alone on campus, I don't think
too many other men would sympathize with the thief and blame you for
wearing and expensive watch in the first place, would they?  One of the
biggest hurdles in getting society to deal with violence toward women is
the propensity of so many men to sympathize with the accused abuser, as
if they themselves had been abused.  They have a role to play here, too:
they have to come to the realization that jokes, snickering, good-old-boy
encouragement of ANY act of violence toward ANY individual is wrong --
again, how many of them would think it hilarious for a senior to rob
a freshman blind (yes, some would -- they're hopeless.)
     But it shouldn't be the women's responsibility to have to distinguish
between sympathetic and angrily critical men -- that is a job for the
men's support group.  And it is part of the role they MUST play -- to
show their support of the goal to end violence and abuse to ANY
individual -- to show that it is the abusers who should be the outcastes.
     The anger showed by the young man who had been abused is, however,
one of the problems that has to be dealt with.  No one should be bringing
anger TOWARD the group, INTO the group.  We have all been the recipients
of too much anger, too much disbelief, too much unwillingness to focus
on the problem as we have defined it.  If I were him, I believe I would
discuss this issue with the women's group leaders in a private setting,
to figure out how to draw attention to that problem without taking
attention away from the agreed-upon focus of the march.  The march is
not the time to debate administrative decisions.
     We had a Take Back the Night march on our campus (Villanova) a
year ago; it was attended by men as well as women.  A group of fraternity
men looked ready to disrupt it, but some of us were able to defuse that.
There were still some catcalls -- though not nearly the number I would
have expected -- and this, I think, can be a learning experience for
sympathetic men.  But we were disappointed that NO male faculty showed
up at all.  It is interesting (I think) that the female faculty find
some time in our classes to discuss these issues with the students -- but
the men never do.  Why not?  Where are their voices?  I would have liked
to have seen male faculty there supporting us -- particularly the male
faculty who teach in the women's studies program.
     The best solution appears to me the one that several campuses have
used -- a separate gathering point for men who wish to show support, then
at some point the two groups coming together for a rally.  But the men
are going to have to understand that this is NOT the occasion to criticize
the women's actions, or cast doubt on their stories.  It is not a trial,
but a celebration of overcoming vulnerability and victimhood.
     May I also suggest that before the group disburses, the organizers
use the opportunity to sign students up to be actively involved in
organizations or committees designed to achieve one or another goal
in "taking back the night"?  As a veteran of many a march, too often
I recall participating, feeling good about it, and then being left with
a "now what?" feeling, isolated again.  There is plenty to do in the
daylight, when the march is over.
     -- Mary Schweitzer, ASsoc. Prof., Dept. of History and Women's
Studies, Villanova University
     schweitz  AT
Date: Fri, 4 Aug 1995 23:31:58 -0500
Subject: Re: take back the night -- women only?
As part of a longer post, Mary Schweitzer wonders about male faculty.
>  But we were disappointed that NO male faculty showed
>up at all.  It is interesting (I think) that the female faculty find
>some time in our classes to discuss these issues with the students -- but
>the men never do.  Why not?  Where are their voices?  I would have liked
>to have seen male faculty there supporting us -- particularly the male
>faculty who teach in the women's studies program.
As a male faculty member I do not take part in TBTN marches unless
specifically asked.  As discussed by others on this list, sometimes
men are welcomed and sometimes not.  If I ask the student organizers
if I should attend, I place them in the awkward position of having to
tell me, a faculty member, "no," if they want it to be a women-only
experience.  If TBTN folks want men to join them they should make it
clear that men are wanted.  It's sometimes difficult for male faculty
to know how to behave so as to be most supportive.
Arnie Kahn   kahnas  AT
Date: Mon, 7 Aug 1995 12:02:24 +0100
From: "J. Van Every" <soa00 AT CC.KEELE.AC.UK>
Subject: take back the night
The discussion seems to be confusing some issues around the issue of WHY men
might be invited/allowed to join the march. Clarifying these might make it
possible to organize actions around sexual violence which did not
exclude/alienate male survivors of sexual violence NOR compromise the
politics of (some) women organizers.
1) to the extent that it is a demonstration about sexual violence, the
purpose is to raise awareness and, therefore, all sympathisers should be
welcome. Also, survivors of sexual violence, whether men or women, should be
able to participate.
BUT (2) the name "take back the night" indicates that it is NOT solely a
demonstration like those for abortion rights or against the war. It is about
women's ability to walk the streets unaccompanied by men. Women generally
have this ability in daylight but after dark are often 'punished' for doing
so. In this sense it is COUNTERPRODUCTIVE to have men on the march because
then women are accompanied by men. This distinguishes between male and
female survivors in that while men are raped/sexually assaulted/etc. there
is not general cultural/social expectation that they should be accompanied
when in public at certain times of day.
If we separate these two issues we are able to then decide whether IN A
PARTICULAR CASE men should be invited/allowed. If the march is meant to be a
demonstration about sexual violence and women's fear to walk the streets (in
the genre of pro-choice or anti-war demonstrations) then men would probably
be welcome participants (both as survivors themselves or as supporters of
the cause). However, if the purpose is to make a more general point about
the cultural expectation that women ought to be accompanied in public places
(particularly after dark) and that they are perceived to be 'available' or
'asking for it' if they are not, then there are very good reasons for the
march to be women only (and men can indeed give support in other ways which
may be more appropriate).
It seems to me that "take back the night" is a more suitable title for the
second type of action. Perhaps women wanting to organize marches of the
first type might want to think of more suitable titles which indicated the
purpose more clearly (particularly if you are not limiting the focus of your
action to rape/sexual violence in public places and want to raise awareness
about sexual violence in all its multiple forms).
Just to avoid misunderstandings: I don't not want to imply that one or the
other of the purposes outlined is a better way of fighting sexual violence.
Both have their uses. The events we organize will, presumably, be more
effective if we are clear about what they are designed to acheive.
Jo VanEvery
Keele University
soa00  AT
from Sept. 1: Dept. of Cultural Studies, University of Birmingham (no e-mail

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WMST-L File Collection

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