Visible Women

Your 2018 Feminist Calendar: protests, panels and exhibitions celebrating the sisterhood

Posted by
Harriet Hall
Published

Get your diaries out, because this year the offering of feminist events is bigger and better than ever. Here, Stylist’s Head of Digital Features, Harriet Hall, compiles some of the best 2018 has to offer. 

There’s a buzz about 2018. Dubbed “the year of the woman”, this year marks the 100th anniversary of women’s enfranchisement in the UK. The 1918 Representation of the People Act was passed a century ago, granting some British women the right to vote for the first time in history. In January 2018, it was also a year since the first international Women’s Marches, where millions of women mobilised across the world to say no to sexism. 

Those galvanising displays of feminist solidarity were not momentary blips. In 2018, we’ve already seen global Time’s Up rallies, with women of all ages, races and backgrounds coming together to protest sexual harassment and assault. We are surfing feminism’s fourth wave, more than a century after we saw the first ripples of the movement, but there remains much work to be done. So how do we get started?

This year is packed with ways to celebrate the sisterhood, from protests to panels, exhibitions to book launches, embroidery classes to jewellery making courses. We’ve compiled a handy calendar of UK-wide feminist events and dates so you can celebrate, educate and get irate. Of course, 2018 is still green, so save this link to your bookmarks, because we’ll be updating it throughout the year.

Now is not the time to be complacent, so join your sisters and mark these dates in your diary. 

JANUARY

Wednesday 24 January

Becoming Shades at Vault Festival (until 8 March)

An all-female re-imagining of the story of Persephone, queen of the underworld, by a circus. What more could you possibly want? Expect live music, aerial acrobatics, fire, dance and mime and, of course, lashings of girl-power. We’ll see you there. 

London / £22 / More information here.

Thursday 25 January

Women’s London: a guide to great lives

If pressed, how many statues of women do you think you could you name? What about blue plaques? This conversation at the LSE Library between blue badge guide Rachel Kolsky and Dr Anne Summers of The Women’s Library, will chart the key London landmarks, plaques and statues that celebrate the trailblazing women who have fought for equality. Not in London? Follow the discussion on Twitter under #LSESuffrage18.

London / Free / More information here.

Monday 29 January

Rise up, Women! Celebrating 100 Years of the Vote

Comedian Samantha Baines hosts an all-female panel of historians, to look at the lives of women in 1918 and discuss how far we have come since. The panel will include author and tour guide Rachel Kolsky, historian and author Diane Atkinson, sociologist and author Kat Jungnickel and historian and senior archivist at the parliamentary archives, Mari Takayanagi. See Baines in action in the video below. 

London / From £4.48 / More information here.

Here's how to deal with sexism in your office...

New year, same battles. Let Samantha Baines show you how to tackle sexism in the workplace...

Posted by Stylist on Monday, January 8, 2018

Wednesday 31 January

Moody Bright Embroidery Workshop

We’ve become obsessed with @badasscrossstitch on Instagram recently, but now it’s time to make our own. This craft class teaches you traditional embroidery so you can stitch, bitch, and emblazon your favourite feminist mantra in thread, to hang in pride of place in your home. Whoever said sewing was for good girls? 

London / £16.50 / More information here.

FEBRUARY

Thursday 1 February

Gender and Modernity

As part of the British Academy’s season on Identities & Belonging, this free public lecture sees Professor of Political Science at the London School of Economics, Anne Phillips, explore why gender equality is taking so long to realise and discusses the idea that equality is considered a core of modern life.

London / Free but booking required / More information here.

BFI Girlfriends season (until March)

Never was there a better time to celebrate women in film than now, and no better place to do it than at the BFI’s Girlfriends season. Bonds, brawls and Bechdel tests, this season will celebrate all the joys and complexities of female friendship. 

Whether you want to punch the air while watching Muriel’s Wedding or expand your cinematic horizons with lesser-known films, this is the event for you. Our pick? The ‘Galentine’s Day’ special prom-themed screening of Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion on 13 February. 

London / £7.50 / More information here.

Friday 2 February

Votes for Women (until early 2019) 

To celebrate the centenary of women’s enfranchisement, the Museum of London will be hosting a display dedicated to the women who fought throughout the 50-year struggle for the vote. 

Displaying items from the museum’s extensive suffrage collection, including the medal given to Emmeline Pankhurst following her hunger strikes, the exhibition includes costume, memorabilia and lesser-known information about the movement. There will also be a documentary telling the stories of the lesser-known suffragettes. 

It’s free, but you’ll want to take some extra cash to spend in the gift shop, where you can buy blue plaque plates, suffragette coasters and other irresistible souvenirs. 

London / Free / More information here.

Saturday 3 and Sunday 4 February

Votes for Women Weekend 

To celebrate the launch of the Votes for Women exhibition, the Museum of London will be hosting an entire weekend of talks, workshops and performance – a feminist weekend of dreams, if you will. All events are drop-in but it’s worth checking out their schedule to see what they’ve got going on. 

London / Free / More information here.

Monday 5 February

Votes for Women: A Centenary Celebration

Gresham College offers free lunchtime lectures all year round and if you’re lucky enough to work anywhere near there, their schedule is well worth a peek. For those who aren’t, their evening schedule is pretty impressive, too. 

This evening lecture by women’s suffrage expert, Elizabeth Crawford, examines the campaign of the suffragettes and the suffragists – explaining the important differences between the two, and which movement made the most impact.

London / Free, seats on a first-come-first-served basis / More information here.

2018 marks the centenary of women’s suffrage, but there’s still a long way to go. 

Tuesday 6 February

Stylist’s Suffragette Issue

6 February is the 100th anniversary of the passing of the Representation of the People Act, which gave voting rights to married, property-owning women over the age of 30. So it’s a fitting day for our Suffragette issue to hit the streets. 

Part of Stylist’s year-long Visible Woman campaign to champion women’s equality, the Suffragette issue will be an entire edition celebrating the landmark centenary of women first winning the right to vote. Telling the moving stories of the heroic women from 100 years ago who dedicated their lives to gaining equality, it will also focus on present day activism for women’s rights. 

Helen Pankhurst, activist and great-granddaughter of Emmeline Pankhurst, has consulted with our editorial team on the content for this issue, as well as writing the cover feature. Be sure not to miss your copy – and keep your eyes peeled on Stylist.co.uk for some very special updates. 

Saturday 10 February

Virginia Woolf: An Exhibition Inspired by her Writings

If you’re holidaying in Cornwall – or are lucky enough to live there already – head to the Tate St Ives, which will be hosting an exhibition of the works of over 70 artists whose oeuvres were inspired by feminist literary heavyweight, Virginia Woolf.

St Ives / £10.50 / More information here.

Wednesday 14 February

One Billion Rising

Taking place on Valentine’s Day each year, this march is an annual call to arms to end gender-based violence that will affect one billion women and girls in their lifetime. The event includes peaceful protests, performance and rallies in cities across the UK.

Nationwide / Find your nearest event here.

Tuesday 20 February

Laura Bates - Misogynation: The True Scale of Sexism

Five years after the launch of her game-changing website and Twitter account, The Everyday Sexism Project’s Laura Bates is releasing a new collection of essays. Misogynation: The True Scale of Sexism explores just how widespread sexist attitudes and behaviours are across the globe. 

This talk, hosted by journalist Marisa Bate, sees Bates discuss her book and host a signing.

London / £8 / More information here.

Wednesday 28 February

Do We Still Need a Women’s Movement?

If your answer to the above question was ‘yes’, you might think this talk isn’t for you. On the contrary. This panel of academics in gender and education will discuss the position of women and feminism in the 21st century, exploring how far we’ve come and how far we still need to go to achieve gender equality. 

Speakers include Eva Tutchell, co-author The Stalled Revolution: Is Equality for Women an Impossible Dream? and Joanna Williams, author Women Vs Feminism: Why We All Need Liberating from the Gender Wars.

Leeds / £3 / More information here.

Stylist’s first book, out on 1 March 

MARCH

Thursday 1 March

Release of Stylist’s Life Lessons from Remarkable Women

When Stylist launched our Life Lessons event series back in 2014, it was with the aim of getting women together to share knowledge and key learnings, focussing on the question: “If you could share one lesson from your life with every woman, what would it be?” 

Now, Stylist is thrilled to be releasing our very own book on the topic, so you’ll be able to read the wisdom of 25 of the brightest and best women in one go. Can’t wait? Pre-order it below.

£9.99 / Pre-order here.

Saturday 3 and Sunday 4 March

Women in Media Conference

For the third consecutive year, the Women in Media Conference will see influential women in the industry come together to collaborate and celebrate women’s contribution to journalism, TV and radio, and discuss how to lead and innovate in this largely male industry. Speakers include BBC presenters and Guardian journalists. Go forth and network in a place where networking is anything but a dirty word.

Manchester / From £9.21 / More information here.

Sunday 4 March

#March4Women

CARE International’s #March4Women brings people of all genders together to tackle gender discrimination, and march for an equal word. Starting at Parliament Square and marching to Trafalgar Square, the rally promises singing, dancing and celebrating all that it means to be women. Come and join Stylist - we will be marching for our sisters. 

London / Free / More information here.

Wednesday 7 March

Women of the World Festival (until Sunday 11 March)

This brilliant-beyond-brilliant annual festival debates and celebrates women and girls, and addresses the topical issues they face, around the date of International Women’s Day. Events range from talks by prominent activists to workshops and performances, and the vibe is always friendly and celebratory. Not to be missed. 

London / From £30 / More information here.

Anna-Marie Duff and Carey Mulligan in Suffragette

Thursday 8 March

Suffragette: Charity Film Screening

You’ll have difficulty deciding what to do on International Women’s Day, as there are copious events nationwide celebrating women and feminism. Among them is a special screening of the 2015 film Suffragette at Manchester’s Whitworth Museum, to raise funds for the Pankhurst Centre. Popcorn at the ready.

Manchester / From £21.55 / More information here.

Nasty Women Exhibition

The group behind those irresistible Trump-baiting Nasty Women T-shirts are hosting a London exhibition celebrating international feminist artists. It’s on for one night only and all the money raised will go to the End Violence Against Women charity.

London / Free / More information here.

Sheroes: A social exhibition highlighting hidden herstories

This year is all about celebrating the stories of women that have previously been untold. The Sheroes exhibition celebrates female artists and aims to highlight the lack of female role models in society, as well as drawing our attention to the long-overlooked women who shaped our world. 

London / Free / More information here.

Highlighting the Gender Pay Gap by charging a Man Tax

Watch what happens when men are asked to pay 18% more for their pints in our hidden camera experiment highlighting #EqualPayDay

Posted by Stylist on Thursday, November 9, 2017

Sunday 11 March

What the Frock

Aimed at reclaiming the male-dominated comedy circuit, this all-female comedy night began as a one-off in 2012 and was so popular it became a regular event – and an award-winning one at that. There are events planned for May, June and July, too. Buy tickets to laugh in the face of the sexist trope that ‘women aren’t funny.’

London / £16.50 / More information here

Saturday 17 March

Tatty Devine jewellery class 

Tatty Devine’s acrylic jewellery is quintessential British kitsch. In this workshop you will create your own suffragette bunting necklace inspired by the Museum of London’s exhibition. Accessorise your activism. 

London / £45 / More information here

Saturday 24 March

The Suffragette Legacy

What do the suffragettes look like to us today? And how can we learn from their actions? This panel discussion explores the legacy of women’s suffrage through the eyes of a group of modern women writers. 

Hosted by curator Beverley Cook, the panel will include Elizabeth Crawford, author of Art and Suffrage: A Biographical Dictionary of Suffragists; Di Atkinson, author of Rise Up, Women! The Remarkable Lives of the Suffragettes;
 and Caitlin Davies, author of Bad Girls: A History of Rebels and Renegades. 

London / £10 / More information here

APRIL

The Divine Order is one of the films showing at the Barbican’s Nevertheless, She Persisted season

5 April

Deadline for companies to reveal their gender pay gap

As part of a much-needed move by the government to tackle the UK’s glaring gender pay gap, companies with over 250 employees must publish the average pay for men and women in their workforce today (public sector businesses with over 250 employees should have published their data by 31 March). Prepare for some bombshells…

Wednesday 18 April

Nevertheless, She Persisted: Suffrage, cinema and beyond (until 24 April) 

It’s the phrase that perfectly summed up women’s ongoing struggle for equality: the moment when US Senator Elizabeth Warren tried to speak, but was continually told to stop by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in 2017. She was warned, he said, but nevertheless, she persisted. 

This film season at the Barbican looks at women’s attempts to gain equality. Stories told will include those of Shirley Chisholm, the first black woman to run for US presidential candidate, and the fearless Malalai Joya, who ran in the first parliamentary elections in Afghanistan in nearly thirty years.

London / £13.50 / More information here

The theme for 2018?

MAY

Saturday 5 May

London on Wheels: a suffrage story 

If you’re the type of person who heads straight for a bus tour when you arrive in a new city, then you’re a lot like the writer of this article. And if you’re a feminist (which presumably you are, since you’re reading this), then look no further. 

This history tour of women’s suffrage in London takes place on a vintage Routemaster bus. Drive in the footsteps of the women who led the suffrage movement, stopping at key sites and ending at the Museum of London’s exhibition. 

London / £28 / More information here.

Thursday 24 May

Frida Kahlo: the style, loves and art of the ‘Frida Phenomenon’

Artist, survivor and proto-feminist, the sexually liberated live of Frida Kahlo never ceases to intrigue. In advance of the V&A’s exhibition, join this morning talk as art historian Marie-Anne Mancio explores the ‘Frida phenomenon’. Then take your friends to the exhibition and impress them with your extensive Frida knowledge. 

London / £25 / More information here.

Saturday 12 May

Pregnant Then Screwed Live

This “festival of motherhood and work” is aimed at women who have felt pushed out of their careers after having children, as well as those who are thinking about motherhood and want to be armed with some invaluable insights. 

Sessions cover topics from flexi-working to knowing your legal rights (in case your boss doesn’t). Expect to learn from the funniest and most successful mums around. 

Manchester / £12.50 / More information here.

Frida Kahlo’s The Two Fridas (1939)

JUNE

Saturday 16 June

Frida Kahlo: Making Herself Up (ongoing)

This never-seen-before collection of personal belongings owned by the influential Mexican artist will go on display for the first time in the UK at the Victoria and Albert Museum. 

Experience an entirely new perspective on this artistic icon and learn about her heritage through the rich patterns of her garments. The exhibition will continue throughout 2018.  

London / Price TBC / More information here.

FURTHER DATES

We will continue to add to this calendar throughout the year. If you have an event that you’d like to see included, please email Harriet.Hall@Stylist.co.uk

Throughout 2018, Stylist is raising the profiles of brilliant women past and present – and empowering future generations to follow their lead – with our Visible Women campaign. See more from Visible Women here.  

Images: iStock / Rex Features