Forth Valley Feminists’ Statement

For two years, Forth Valley Feminists, the Forth Valley branch of the Scottish Feminist Network, have organised an incredible festival that celebrates feminist activism. However, this journey has not been without its challenges.

Our festival is a testament to the dedication, skills, and talents of our incredible team. It is a labour of love, a true communal effort that brings together individuals passionate about advancing sex equality and women’s rights in Scotland and beyond.

Unfortunately, our journey has been marred by a series of incidents that have tested our resolve:

Privacy Guidelines Breached

Feminist activism in Scotland is not “safe”. Women are at risk of losing their jobs and their friends, of violence, and of arrest.

Our commitment to respecting the privacy of our members is paramount. Despite repeated requests for assurance that members’ privacy would be upheld, chat discussions were taken out of our group, directly contravening our guidelines. This left many members feeling uneasy and violated, and it went against both Forth Valley Feminists (FVF) and Scottish Feminist Network (SFN) policies.

Social Media Policy Violations

This is a hostile world for women, and it’s a hostile world to fight for women’s rights. If we want to be successful in the fight for our rights, we must at least be able to trust that we have each other’s backs. Our community thrives on mutual respect and support. Regrettably, some members were subjected to inappropriate and bullying messages on social media platforms.

Not only did this go against both Forth Valley Feminists (FVF) and Scottish Feminist Network (SFN) policies, but the hostile tone disrupted the harmony we worked so hard to cultivate, leading some members to take a step back or leave the community altogether.

Our Response

In light of these challenges, we were left with no choice but to take action in line with our established policies and constitution. We had to strip the group back to its core, re-evaluating and re-vetting all our members, just as we do when they first join Forth Valley Feminists. Regrettably, this resulted in some members not being invited to continue with us.

Facing Impersonation

On September 9th, we discovered a Twitter account using our name, and we asked our followers to report the account. We had no idea who was behind the account. Later, when we were informed a group claiming to be Forth Valley Feminists said they were hosting the “third Forth Valley Feminist Festival”—an event we are currently organising—in March 2024, it became clear these were likely the former members who had been asked to leave for breaking the rules set out in our constitution.

Clarification

While we want to clarify that the March festival is not officially affiliated with Forth Valley Feminists—we don’t want to claim credit for the work of other women—we wish our former members every success in their endeavours.

We support their activism and genuinely hope that their festival will be a resounding success and a valuable addition to the Scottish feminist scene.

What matters most is the progress of the feminist movement and the well-being of all women.

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