Stop,Look,Listen…my weekly selection of favourite films, books and events to get you out of the house

Nowadays everybody celebrates International Women’s Day including the banks!!! Help, this is not what socialist feminists Clara Zetkin and Louise Zeitz would want. They created the day to highlight the importance of women’s struggles for equality at home, at work and in making a better society to live in.

In 2014 we need this vision and hope for the future, but few of the events on offer reflect the reality of many women’s lives, particularly those women affected by the massive cuts in benefits, wages and public services. Sadly many of the IWD events are mere “celebrations” with no political agenda. Here are a few events that I think are in keeping with the real spirit of IWD.

Liverpool …one of the few demonstrations where women will get out on the streets to highlight the issues facing women locally and internationally see

Manchester….there are many events organised under the Wonder Women banner but few reflect the experience of working class women, here are some of my choices.

Learn about the life of suffragette Hannah Mitchell at this performance. it was written by leftwing playwright Eileen Murphy and encapsulates the harsh choices faced by working class women who wanted to challenge inequality in society and pursue their own creative lives.See

Read her brilliant biography which was never published during her lifetime. “The Hard Way Up”. You can buy it from
And if you want to learn more about some of the poorest workers today that is care workers in east Manchester and how the lives of working class women have declined…see

Discuss.. How does the History of Feminism Inspire Current Thinking in Manchester? at the Suffragette Legacy Conference…….an interesting mix of speakers, artists, films and discussions…..you can go for free (price is £25/15) by applying for a bursary.

Palestinian women.. it is one of the most vibrant campaigns locally and there are several events across the northwest organised by the Palestinian Solidarity Campaign see

Watch…some films by our favourite local filmmaker John Crumpton. The Hat Block Maker I like wearing hats and I still buy them from a local hatmaker (see ) but this film records the history of hatmaking in the northwest and interviews some of the workers. John uses archive footage of Stockport market in 1910 to show why we had a hatmaking industry because in those days everyone wore one. In the film we meet Bert Gurden who was 14 when he became an apprentice hat block maker and was still working at 75! It is an incredible moving film, not just because of listening to Bert’s story and watching him create the hat blocks but the care and attention put into the making of the film, reminding us of the history of what was an important industry in this area.
And look at John’s documentary about painter Charlie Shiels…another northwest artist who should be better known..see

Join... an anti-fracking march…because it’s not just happening at Barton Moss.. on Sunday 9th March starting at 12 from Piccadilly to Cathedral gardens. The demo is called by Frack Free Greater Manchester. Further info see

Go to. Hidden written and performed by Laura Lindsay and Peter Carruthers, a comedy drama, it is the story of six people and their secrets. Past performances have got rave reviews and you can see it at the Kings Arms next week.

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About lipstick socialist

I am an activist and writer. My interests include women, class, culture and history. From an Irish in Britain background I am a republican and socialist. All my life I have been involved in community and trade union politics and I believe it is only through grass roots politics that we will get a better society. This is reflected in my writing, in my book Northern ReSisters Conversations with Radical Women and my involvement in the Mary Quaile Club. I am a member of the Manchester and Salford National Union of Journalists.If you want to contact me please use my gmail which is lipsticksocialist636
This entry was posted in anti-cuts, biography, book review, Communism, drama, education, feminism, films, human rights, International Women's Day, labour history, Manchester, Middle East, Palestine, political women, Salford, Socialist Feminism, Uncategorized, women, young people and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Stop,Look,Listen…my weekly selection of favourite films, books and events to get you out of the house

  1. Sue Richardson says:

    Excellent article on carers, what they have to cope with and what a mess the system is in – I’ve been lucky, in that mine were NHS and good, but would hate to be 90 and dependent on agencies. So sorry I can’t get to events advertised, but in another month or so, with luck!

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