A few days ago, Glastonbury Festival announced it would be launching its first women-only venue at this year’s event.
It’s a significant move from the world’s biggest festival and the news has caused ripples across across the globe, with opinions divided on social media.
The new exclusively-female area will be known as The Sisterhood and is described as a revolutionary ‘clubhouse’ for women. In an official statement, organisers argue that ‘women only spaces are necessary in a world that is still run by and designed to benefit mainly men.’
The Sisterhood promises to be provide an intersectional, queer, trans and disability inclusive space open to all people who identify as women.
women only spaces are necessary in a world that is still run by and designed to benefit mainly men
The Sisterhood’s hidden sanctuary can be found within the festival’s cultural and political (and famously-controversial) epicentre, Shangri-La – which is particularly apt when you consider this year’s the theme: Media Hell – Truth and Lies.
‘Publicity stunt’ are the cries from some on Twitter, while others complain that the conversation has moved too far away from the original argument – a space (or lack of) for women.
Either way, it looks like Shangri-La has succeeded once again in opening up minds to an important argument – which ever side of the fence you stand (no pun intended).
Within hours of the announcement, the internet had gone mad. 1000s of Tweets and Facebook posts were filling the internet with more than a few different opinions. There were the obvious trolling comments from some men, but many others were questioning the irony of standing up for ‘equality’ by secluding the other gender.
Women only venue at Glastonbury this year. Wait for the male BS to start. https://t.co/eMqjxLCSO7
— relevant lesbian (@VirginiaDentata) June 5, 2016
— Martin Daubney (@MartinDaubney) June 6, 2016
Womens only Glastonbury Festival section.. Really? This sounds like we're segregating people more. https://t.co/Iom6MXxln9
— Tarran Kent-Hume (@Tarran008) June 6, 2016
— Emma (@Battertron) June 4, 2016
— Natasha (@natashadaniels) June 3, 2016
The women-only zone will host lectures on diversity, DIY workshops and dance classes. There is even talk of a space for black women in the arts to connect, network and share experiences about working in predominantly white creative industries. The area will be run by female staff, security and promoters.
Gender pay gap in the workplace, cuts to domestic violence services and sex worker rights are just some of the reasons that organisers of The Sisterhood cite for the need for a new space like this.
“Sisterhood seeks to provide a secret space for women to connect, network, share their stories, have fun and learn the best way to support each other in our global struggle to end oppression against women and all marginalised people, whilst showcasing the best and boldest female talent in the UK and beyond.”
The organisers also stated: “The media often reduces women to passive, sexualised objects without any agency.”
So… With Glastonbury just over two weeks away, this must be another genius idea for publicity to shine a light on these subjects? It’s certainly got us talking…