FiLia Position Statement

FiLia is a charitable organisation committed to the promotion of equality and diversity, the promotion of women's human rights, and the arts. We showcase a diverse array of feminist thought capable of engaging everyone with an interest in feminism.

SEX & GENDER

Feminism in London is an inclusive mixed conference. The organising committee are women only in line with our constitution. Some workshops may be women only. Some may be men only. By this we mean self-identified women or men. The mixed workshops are welcoming of all: women, men, and those outside the gender binary.

Whether a workshop is open only to women, only to men, or mixed is at the discretion of the workshop providers who are best placed to know their target audience.

We are committed to women only organising. We ask that male allies respect this and do not harass us to let them take lead positions in organising the conference. Men are welcome at the conference and offers of non-organisational assistance will be gratefully received.

SEX INDUSTRY

We will never work against the women involved in the sex industry. We use the term “women” here to include the smaller number of men who are involved other than as “managers.”

We will work to support women who are or have been involved in the sex industry. We condemn police brutality, state violence and criminal prosecution of women in the sex industry. We are supportive of decriminalisation of the sale of sex and criminalisation of the purchase of it, and of supported exit plans (the “Nordic model”).

We are critical of the sex industry. By this we do not mean that we disapprove of the women involved in it. We are critical of the hypercapitalist and patriarchal industry itself, and the unequal position of worker and purchaser. In particular:

  • We will prioritise the voices of trafficked women. We reject the state position that women “claim” to be trafficked as this is based on structural racism (the assumption that undocumented migrants will say anything to gain the right to remain) and structural sexism (the belief that women “cry rape” at the drop of a hat.)
  • We will prioritise the voices of women who work or have worked in street prostitution.
  • We will prioritise the voices of women who are or have been in poverty, women who are or have been drug and alcohol dependant, women who are or have been in prison and women who have been in care.
  • We do not believe that the purchase of sexual services is a human right.     
  • We believe that the purchase of consent is problematic and contributes to a culture in which men believe that financial expenditure, such as buying dinner, entitles them to sex (rape culture). We do not hold women in the sex industry responsible for this but the industry attitudes.

We recognise that not every attendee (or every speaker, or even every committee member) will agree on everything and we celebrate the diversity of feminist thought. We believe it is a fundamentally feminist thing to acknowledge that we often disagree and that when this is done respectfully and thoughtfully it can strengthen, rather than divide, our movement. We look forward to a thought provoking and unifying conference.