Hey everyone, nice to meet you!
My name is Becky and I’ve been working with Scary Little Girls (SLG) since May this year – I can’t believe it’s only been three months, we have done so much!
I met Rebecca when she came to Winchester in December 2019 to do a talk for Wire Wool, an amazing organisation bringing speakers, authors and thinkers to Southampton and Winchester. It’s run by my brilliant friend Amy who has a knack of finding really interesting people – I can’t wait to be back at one of her events when they can happen again.
Rebecca spoke about her work on the Greenham Women Everywhere project with Rae, a woman who had been at Greenham – and as it turned out, a friend of a friend of mine. It was a lively, lovely session ending with a singsong – ‘Deck the halls with boughs of holly’ will forever be ‘Kick the balls of Patriarchy’ for me now!
I run a communications consultancy with a focus on helping organisations that do good get heard – primarily organisations supporting women, co-operatives, charities and some local independent businesses. I’ve previously run a social enterprise supporting women who were refugees. Since that closed (with the breaking of my heart) in 2015 it’s fair to say I’ve been in the wilderness a bit – it was a real knock to my confidence and I wasn’t sure what I could do, if anyone would trust me, how I could help. But help, I wanted to. 92 Minutes has been doing good work for great organisations and I am proud of it, but as I’ve recovered and regrouped, I’ve been aware it wasn’t scratching my activist itch. Then, when I met Rebecca, four years after Who Made Your Pants? closed, I felt the unmistakable sensation of a good old scratch coming on.
After Rebecca and Rae’s talk, I went and looked through all the archive materials they had brought – scrapbooks, news clippings, amazing stuff. It fired me up and made me remember how proud I am to be a woman, how amazing women are and what reserves we have – have needed to have in the face of centuries of oppression. Really, if you think about it, the Greenham Peace Camp is almost absurd in its simplicity, scale and ambition. On one side of a fence you have an American Air Force base, with American nuclear weapons – a formal, bureaucratic structure, an arm of the American government and state infrastructure. And on the other, women – normal regular women, self organising, up to 50,000 at a time, who protested there, some for up to for nineteen years – nineteen years! Sometimes, they broke in dressed as teddy bears, other times they tied photographs of their children to the fence. They hung their knickers up to dry on a knicker tree, dug holes to use as loos, they got evicted and had their camps broken up – at times daily – and so they rebuilt, constantly. They danced on weapons silos and they sang. They sang in the face of it all. What more contrast can you get than that?
You can probably tell how taken I was with this project and if you’ve heard Rebecca speak, you will know how powerful she, and this part of our history are. I chatted with Rebecca and in what I think will go down in history as the swiftest, most straightforward business negotiation*, we agreed to look into working together.
I’m now in the happy position of doing various bits and pieces with the amazing SLG team, the work ebbing and flowing as grants and budgets allow. I’ve been trying to work out which is the most exciting part – the new quasi VR project we’re working on with the incredible team at Animorph? The fortnightly Salon de la Vie events celebrating amazing women? Or boosting SLG social media so that more people hear about them?
I’ve come to the conclusion that the most exciting bit is all of it because it’s all part of the same thing – raising women up, remembering them realistically in their flawed, fabulous glory, celebrating who we are and what we can do, and having fun while we are doing it. Long live Team Scary!
* If only every business conversation was like this…
Me – What do you do about social media and digital marketing?
Rebecca – we could always do more but we’ve got no budget
Me – I can’t work for nothing but I can work for small
Rebecca – we could write you into bids if it works out
Me – I’ll be in touch