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(The Grauniad, 29 September 1971)

Citing a “profound lack of political, social and economic equality for women”, feminists across Britain announced their intention of staging an indefinite humour strike from next month.

The strike, directors of the recently formed Society for Cutting Up Men (SCUM) said, will be halted when women are treated as equal to men in all areas of society.

“Until the day comes when we are treated with the same respect as men, we will refuse to find the humour in anything,” SCUM spokeswoman Rita Fairclough said. “This bold move will force British society to re-think its attitude to women, just as Gandhi’s hunger strike forced the post-imperial British government to re-think their colonial occupation of another land.”

Items that will not be accepted by the humour strikers are jokes which refer to women in the workplace, women in the home, women’s relationships with men, childbirth, child rearing, family life, and sex.

In addition, jokes about the feminists’ lack of humour itself will not be tolerated.

Albert Square, Manchester

(Source: Manchester Evening News)

Basques, stockings, and suspender belts were the dress code as Manchester hosted its first-ever ‘Slut Walk.’

Hundreds of protesters donned racy outfits as part of a global equality campaign.

Traffic ground to a halt as the column of scantily-clad demonstrators went along Deansgate.

Around 600 women, joined by a handful of men, braved the evening chill. Slut Walks are the response to comments by a Canadian police officer who advised schoolgirls to ‘avoid dressing like sluts’ in order to prevent sexual assaults.

In Manchester, stunned shoppers were halted in their tracks by protesters in barely-there clothing, who handed out sex-equality leaflets.

Organiser Carly Smith said she was amazed at the number of people who had agreed to take part after details of the event were posted on Facebook. She said: “We are controlled by patriarchy and the term slut is a term used to control and debase women.” Police closed a number of city centre roads while the group passed through the city centre with banners, tambourines, and drums. The crowd also chanted: ‘No Means No’ .

Clad in red, lacy underwear Helena Hyatt, 27, from Withington, said: “It’s totally ridiculous that women can’t be in control of what they wear without someone judging it.

“Rape is never justifiable and the idea that what a woman wears means that she is asking for it, or deserves it is ludicrous.”

Sam Priestley, who works as a volunteer at a domestic violence charity, said: “I’m nearly 40 and I’m astonished that this is still an issue. It’s horrendous that we are still fighting this abuse of power 50 years after the sexual revolution.”

Black Dogs Defined

This is the best of me; for the rest, I ate, and drank, and slept, loved and hated, like another: my life was as the vapour and is not; but this I saw and knew; this, if anything of mine, is worth your memory.

(John Ruskin, Sesame and Lilies)

Whatever people say I am, that’s what I’m not.

(Alan Sillitoe, Saturday Night and Sunday Morning)

This is my letter to the world, that never wrote to me.

(Emily Dickinson, This is my letter to the world)

Safe upon the solid rock the ugly houses stand:
Come and see my shining palace built upon the sand!

(Edna St. Vincent Millay, Second Fig)

R.A.D. Stainforth

I was born before The Beatles’ first LP and brought up in the reeking slums of Jericho. I am in love with a woman called Hazel and in love with her daughter, also called Hazel, both of whom I met at Alcoholics Anonymous.

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