Yes I said it and I stand by it. Ever since I read Full Frontal Feminism by the spectacular Jessica Valenti (of feministing awesomeness) I’ve loved the way that you can bring feminists concepts like enthusiastic consent, relationship equality and sexual and reproductive health and rights to make unforgetable bedroom antics. And the best bit? There’s definitely no exclusivity here, male, female, queer, straight, all ethnic groups, anyone can have better sex if they’re a feminist. Why? because the basic tenant of feminism, that women shouldn’t be treated like doormats, equals better negotiation, better collaboration and better conversation, all desired ingredients for good orgasms.
So why the event? and WHY oh why Speed Dating? Well, every year this little organisation that I’m a part of, YWCA Victoria, celebrates Week Without Violence, actually every YWCA around the world in 125 countries and 22,000 communities does, by envisioning a world without violence. Particularly a world without gender based violence. And this year my local association, wanted to do something special, something a little different and something that went to the core of violence against women.
Sadly, a lot of big anti-violence campaigns miss the mark. They either focus on “public” violence, or stranger violence, which for women only makes up about 19% of the violence they experience. Or they focus on traditional concepts of domestic violence, now more accurately referred to as Intimate Partner Violence (IPV), where the victim is generally middle-aged, married with children. BUT, we know through research that the highest risk group for IPV is young women, aged 15-25 and that IPV is not confined to heterosexual relationships.
So how do you organise an event which recognises these facts, but is still fun, interesting and might attract a different group of people to the usual attendees of anti-violence campaigns? Well according to feminaust’s very own isbambi, you organise feminist speed-dating of course! So that’s what we’ve done.
Feminists are Better in Bed is an attempt to bring some humour and celebration to the anti-violence message, without belittling or reducing it. We will be conducting traditional speed-dating with a particular focus on discussing what a respectful relationship means, recognising that most violence that women experience is perpetrated by a partner or ex-partner. For this reason you don’t have to be single or heterosexual to join in, conversations about good relationships can happen between anyone anywhere and there’s never anything wasteful about having a good conversation over a good drink at a good bar… now is there? We won’t be handing out score cards for you to rank your “dates” but there will still be opportunities for the singles coming to make new contacts. Don’t worry if you don’t know anything about gender based violence or intimate partner violence, our fabulous MCs will lead you through the process painlessly and effortlessly.
SO, what next? Well, go buy your ticket silly! There will be some tickets on the door but as the venue, Tony Starr’s Kitten Club, is quite small, tickets are limited and are already selling out fast. Got any questions? Call YWCA Victoria on 8341 8777 or check out the website, where you can also buy your tickets.
I’m looking forward to seeing plenty of feminausts there to prove once and for all that Feminists are Better in Bed!