Protest is dangerous, but feminists have a long history of using humour, pranks and stunts to promote their message

Wed, 22 Mar 2023 22:17:30 +1100

Andrew Pam <xanni [at]>

Andrew Pam

"Protest was dangerous in feminism’s formative years.

The suffragettes in the United Kingdom initially began by trying to persuade
and educate to win women the right to vote.

When that didn’t work they became frustrated – and, by 1903, radical.

By the 1910s, they adopted militant tactics, with women on hunger strikes being
force-fed in prison.

It climaxed in 1913 when Emily Wilding Davidson, holding the suffragette flag,
stepped in front of the horse of King George V at the Epsom Derby.

Her funeral, reportedly watched by 50,000 people, gave a global profile to the
women’s right-to-vote campaign.

But while protest was very dangerous for first-wave feminists, subsequent
Western activists often adopted pranks.

There is an adage that feminists and women aren’t funny. However, the history
of activism reveals humour as a successful strategy for change.

Here are four great contemporary feminist pranks that demonstrate the power of
humour for advocacy."

       *** Xanni ***
--               Andrew Pam                 Chief Scientist, Xanadu            Partner, Glass Wings               Manager, Serious Cybernetics

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