Trainer & Educator

Posted in Uncategorized on January 11, 2011 by finnmackay


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TWITTER: I’m twittering on about politics and life @Finn_Mackay


Reclaim the Night London UK has a new ‘page’ on Facebook

London Feminist Network is also on Facebook


I was back in Hay on Wye this Summer, in May 2014 at the annual philosophy festival ‘How The Light Gets In’. I delivered a presentation on what feminism is, a talk on myths about feminism and also took part in a panel debate on prostitution law reform.

Recently I was back on BBC Radio 4 joining the team of debaters at the Moral Maze. We were talking about whether prostitution is a victimless crime – I was arguing that it is not, and for the decriminalisation of all those in the industry alongside the criminalisation of the purchase of another human being for sexual purposes – because my ideas of morality don’t stretch to people being for sale. You can listen to the programme here.

February 2014 I had a short article published in the journal Feminist Review, in their latest volume, a Special Issue on Revolutions. My article is on Revolutionary Feminism and is in the Open Space section. Unfortunately, it will only be accessible to those with access to an academic library. You can view Feminist Review here.

The film of my debate at the Hay philosophy festival last Summer, with Feminist psychologist Carol Gilligan and a Tory MP (!!) on the meaning of matriarchy, is now online to watch on IAI TV. You can watch the film here. To accompany the film is a short interview with the Institute of Arts & Ideas on the failure of patriarchy. You can read the interview here.

I am very proud to be delivering training for Women’s Aid, as part of their national training programme. This short course will cover the theory, history and context to work against violence against women, and with those affected. This important work has a proud history and legacy, take space to find out how this knowledge can enrich your work with people affected by domestic and sexual violence. More details on the Women’s Aid training website here.

I am very honoured to be one of the first Ambassadors for the Worker’s Educational Association, the WEA, provider of community training and education for empowerment since 1903. You can find out more about their work here.

I have a new blog on the Feminist & Women’s Studies Association (FWSA) blog site, on Feminist arguments against prostitution, beyond the abolitionist versus legalisation binary.

I have a short article in a new magazine – Gaze Review, out now. See their website here. You can purchase the magazine online for only £3.99!

Someone has made a blog and video review of Reclaim the Night London 2012, including filming the speakers at the rally, including my speech, which is last, right at the end of the video.

There is a review of the women’s rights panel at Tolpuddle, which I was part of, in the ‘Morning Star’ online.

On Thursday 17th May, Julie Bindel, Elly Levenson, Carrie Pemberton Ford and myself won the debate at the Oxford Union arguing that prostitution should not be viewed as a legitimate business. We won against Dennis Hof, owner of a legal brothel in Nevada and the rest of his proposition team, which included the ECP/Wages for Housework.

me at Ox U prost debate May 2012

I am very pleased to have an article published in ‘Interface’,  an International academic journal on social movements, addressing the role of young women in Feminist activism. Unlike most academic journals the journal is open and you can read the article and view the whole special issue here.

Upcoming Events 2014:

July 12th I will be popping away from Bristol Pride for a couple of hours to make it over to deliver the plenary speech for the Rape Crisis Conference in Taunton.

2014 EVENTS:

July I have two items in the latest issue of Women’s Studies International Forum, which will only be available to those with academic library access. One is a book review of a book on trafficking and the other is an article on the early roots of the Reclaim the Night marches in the UK.

June 6th I was at Exeter University delivering a talk for Fair Play South West to mark their Manifesto for Women with Trade Union colleagues from Unison. Details here.

June 4th I was back in Nottingham chairing and giving a speech at the Worker’s Educational Assocation conference on Women Overcoming Disadvantage. Details here.

May 9th I was in Yorkshire, in Barnsley speaking at the Northern College on gender politics and feminism as part of their TD, Teach Different programme on bringing diversity into teaching.

May 22nd – 1st June 2014 I was back in the lovely Hay on Wye for the annual philosophy festival How the Light Gets In. I delivered one solo presentation (bra) busting myths about feminism, one online course on what feminism is and also took part in a panel debate on prostitution law reform. All the details are on the festival website here. All will be available shortly on IAI TV to watch, including the online course.

March 19th I was on BBC Radio 4 on The Moral Maze, I was talking with the debaters about whether prostitution is a victimless crime. I was arguing for the decriminalisation of all those in the industry, alongside the criminalisation of the purchase of another human being for sexual purposes. I don’t think morality should stretch to people being for sale. You can listen to the programme here.

March 7th I was in Sheffield in a panel debate to mark International Women’s Day. The debate was chaired by Libby Purves from Radio4 show Midweek. I talked about what feminism is and what the movement might look like in the future, along with Bea Campbell and other fabulous speakers.

March 5th, Manchester. I spoke in Manchester with the Manchester Metropolitan University on a panel at a conference on 21st Century Feminism. More details here.

February 2014 I had a short article published in the journal Feminist Review, in their latest volume, a Special Issue on Revolutions. My article is on Revolutionary Feminism and is in the Open Space section. Unfortunately, it will only be accessible to those with access to an academic library. You can view Feminist Review here.

February 2014 I have a short article published in Feminist Times, about feminism and lesbianism. You can read it online here.

January 21st I took part in a panel debate at the LSE, hosted by the Gender Institute. It was a panel debate as part of a series of events to welcome the Women’s Library to its new home after the sad takeback of the dedicated building by London Met. The debate was audio recorded and is available to listen to or download here.

2013 EVENTS:

November 25th 2013. I spoke on a panel at the Watershed in Bristol on Monday 25th, to mark the United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women; alongside the fabulous Joan Smith and Nimko Ali.

October 26th I gave the closing plenary speech at the Feminism in London Conference. I was also proud to attend the tenth London Reclaim the Night march in the evening following the conference. My speech at the conference was filmed and is available to view here. A slightly edited version of my speech is now available as a transcript on the Open Democracy website here.

September 21st – Chaired and gave plenary and closing speeches at the Nottingham Women’s Conference. See details of their fantastic conference here. Feedback: “thank you for helping make it a day to remember for us and all who attended. You really held things together for us and we couldn’t have asked for a better, more inspiring and energizing start to the day than your introductory speech. We were inspired and motivated by you and will carry it with us in our daily lives and as we go on to organise more feminist action”. 

September 18th Took part in a tweet up, Twitter Q&A with AS level Sociology students at Reigate College who are studying feminism.

July 24th I spoke about UK feminism to a visiting group of students from Seattle University on their London residential course.

June 5th I was on Woman’s Hour, discussing Radical Feminism in an all too short debate. You can listen again to the programme here.

May 25th How The Light Gets In philosophy festival, Hay on Wye, panel – ‘A World Beyond Men’, 10.30 Saturday morning. Info  here. Debate was filmed for BBC4 and is currently available to watch on IAITV. You can watch the film here. There is also a short interview to accompany the film here.

April 13th – I gave a lecture and workshop at WEA Women into Politics residential course in Nottingham. More details are here.

me at WEA 2

4th March 2013 – I was on Radio 4 ‘Start the Week’ with other guests, there is a podcast of the programme available here.

8th March 2013 – I spoke at Wales Reclaim the Night in Cardiff.

February 11th – I delivered a lecture at the University of Bristol on UK feminist activism for students on the Masters degree in Policy Research.

2012 EVENTS:

10th December – I was honoured to both chair and give a plenary speech at the Welsh Women’s Aid conference in Cardiff City Hall. A copy of my speech is posted here on this site.

24th November – I was very pleased to march on and speak at the London Feminist Network’s 9th revived London Reclaim the Night march. Someone has written a blog and video review of the march, including filming the speakers at the rally, and my speech, which is last, right at the end of the video here.

26th October – presented a paper on contemporary radical feminism at academic conference in Leeds, ‘Forthcoming Feminisms: Gender Activism, Politics and Theories’.

Sunday 14th October – I took part in panel discussion at the North East Feminist Gathering in Newcastle; and attended their party too and open-mic night where many feminist talents were on display, including singing and clog dancing!

29th September – spoke at Regional Women’s Conference, Unison. Taunton.

28th September – Feminist & Women’s Studies Association conference in Nottingham, I ran a workshop on women, the cuts and education.

5th July – I was invited back to Hay for their Hay Fayre Summer talks; I spoke on the feminist resurgence and why feminism is still relevant. It was a lovely event and a great group of women – more power to Hay Feminists!

14th July – I joined Comrades to speak at the Tolpuddle festival on a panel on women’s rights. There is a review of the panel in the ‘Morning Star’.

15th May 2012 – I spoke on the panel at the ‘Future of Feminism’ debate at the Watershed in Bristol as part of the Festival of Ideas; to launch new book ‘The Lightbulb Moment’ edited by Sian Norris.

On the 12th January I was very pleased to be invited back to join the crew at Bristol LGBT radio ‘Shout Out’ to discuss Feminism, activism and camping…. For the interests of Bristolians Shout Out takes over community radio every Thursday evening and you can listen online, join in debates and get involved with the show.

7th February 2012 I took part in a GLAD Conversation and workshop on Feminist activism at Durham University.

29th February 2012 I delivered a workshop for the staff of West Mercia Women’s Aid on the Feminist resurgence, Feminist activism, the history of Feminist theory on male violence against women and why it is all as relevant as it ever was!

8th March – International Women’s Day 2012 – I delivered a keynote speech at the Equality South West regional event in Cornwall.

12th March – Cardiff Feminist Network day conference on ending violence against women. I delivered a keynote speech and took part in a panel debate.

23rd March – paper on young feminist activism at Birkbeck conference on Thinking Through Time & History in Feminism

16-17 April – presented a paper on young feminist activism at the PIDOP conference at the University of Surrey

2011 EVENTS:

I was very honoured to have been ‘woman of the week’ recently for the fabulous Platform 51, for reviving the Reclaim the Night marches, the article is online here. (Though they get my age wrong; I’m 35!)


27th October, Nottingham, I was part of the launch for a new programme promoting women’s leadership called ‘Women Leading for a Change‘.

28th October, I delivered a workshop at the Worker’s Educational Association (WEA) annual conference in Nottingham. There is a review of the session here.


NUS. 3rd November. I delivered  a workshop on Reclaim the Night in the UK at the NUS ‘Sister Activist’ training.

Cumberland Lodge Conference on Gender Equality in the 21st Century, I spoke on gender and violence on Thursday 17th November. A review of the conference is here.


Rights of Women, delivered training on Feminist theory, activism and the history of women’s action against male violence against women. Feedback: “Thankyou for inspiring and energising us at your workshop”; “enlightening and empowering”; “we are still all talking about it in the office”.

On the 24th September I spoke at the Labour Party national women’s conference in Liverpool on:  ‘A Women’s Movement for the 21st Century’.

I recently spoke on the role and importance of direct action in the Women’s Liberation Movement, as part of a panel at the UK Feminista Summer School in Birmingham on Saturday 13th August. All the plenary panels are available to view online.

I was interviewed for a feature in the new issue of the University of Bristol magazine ‘Nonesuch’, you can read the online version here.

me in Nonesuch page 1

I delivered a workshop on engaging with contemporary feminist activism and the current feminist ‘resurgence’ at the national Women’s Aid conference in Warwick on Friday 8th July.

I took part in two panel debates at the 2011 Philosophy and Music Festival at Hay, ‘How The Light Gets In‘. The first debate, ‘The Skin We’re In’ can be viewed here. The second debate ‘When Women Rule The World’ is here.

To mark 2011 International Women’s Day in March I spoke at the Bath Literature Festival on Saturday 5th March 2011, on the subject “Does Feminism Have To Start All Over Again?”. There is a review of the session here.

I gave one short ‘WOW Bite’ talk on the history, importance and inspiration of Reclaim the Night, and also spoke in a panel debate titled ‘The Campaign Trail’, along with Ruth Bond, Chair of the W.I, and human rights activist Bianca Jagger; all as part of the Women Of the World (WOW) Festival at the Southbank Centre, on Saturday 12th of March 2011.


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