Invitation to sign letter in support of Professor Selina Todd
ReSisters United have emailed a copy of this open letter to the event organisers. However we will still add names to the copy on the website. Please add your name at the bottom of this page if you would like it to appear on the website version of this open letter.
The letter and the signatures can be found at
Open letter to the organisers of the Women’s Liberation at Fifty event.
Dear Sue O'Sullivan, Tracy Walsh, Cathy Augustine and other organisers of the Women’s Liberation at Fifty conference.
We would like to thank you for putting on Women’s Liberation at Fifty, which must have involved a lot of (likely unremunerated) work, and which we recognise as having great value for the continuing women’s movement of today. We understand that you were put in the difficult position of having to make important decisions at a very late stage, following demands from some of the billed speakers that Professor Selina Todd be removed from the programme.
However, we believe your decision to comply with threats of non attendance, should Professor Todd not be redacted from the program, was the wrong decision and antithetical to the spirit and principles of women’s liberation.
Not only has Professor Todd made an immensely valuable contribution to working class women’s history over her several decades in academia, she was also instrumental in helping to organise the conference itself. It would seem a dereliction of feminist support and solidarity to fail to defend Professor Todd against baseless smears from those who oppose women’s fight to defend our legally enshrined sex based rights. Removing Professor Todd’s speaking slot from the event program lends credence to such attacks. Moreover, this incident has taken place within a context of continuing harassment, intimidation, bullying and male physical assaults on women who wish to maintain women's sex based rights including upholding the 2010 Equality Act exemptions, i.e: women’s right to single sex spaces, services and sports. It is significant to note that the Suffragettes faced a similarly hostile climate from men and the population at large, in their battle to win women the right to vote.
In the light of the reality of violence and threats of violence against politically active women we believe that Lola Olufemi's statement contributed directly to the misinformation and dehumanisation that inevitably results in intimidation and harassment of women across society.
It was notable that the Women’s Liberation at Fifty conference did not choose to focus on the current anti feminist backlash. It is unacceptable that it contributed to it. We wonder why Professor Selina Todd was told not to speak, yet her accuser was afforded that right even in her absence? We believe that in reading Lola's statement, you allowed your platform to be used to defame Professor Todd and another feminist organisation. No right of reply was given. In asking Professor Todd not to speak you further legitimised the defamatory claims that were made against her.
We kindly suggest that you consider issuing a statement of apology and offering those defamed a right of reply. We are keen to see the videos of the event, please let us know if you plan to publish them?
We hope you will receive this email in the spirit in which it is intended, that of invitation to thoughtful reflection on the points raised. We would love to see you run events in the future that uphold the rights of speakers to voice a range of feminist concerns and be taken in good faith to encourage respectful and fact based debate and analysis. If only certain women’s voices can be heard, i.e those sanctioned as safe and palatable to the current male supremacist- powers-that-be, we have no hope of progressing towards a true women’s liberation from the patriarchy.
Sincerely, in sisterhood
ReSisters United and those named below:
Send us your name we'll add it to the letter. Please note this will be public (e.g. listed on the ReSisters United website). Alternatively if you are signing on behalf of a group or other entity, please let us know the group name.
Optional: - Your occupation / role / affiliation etc
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The open letter will be available at
once it's been emailed to the event organisers..
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