I’m no Citizen Smith: Cat Boyd on why she campaigns

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Cat Boyd believes campaigning gives you the power to over-come your fears and enables you to change things for the better

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16th February 2016 by TFN Guest 1 Comment

For the last few years, I’ve felt like I’m always in the middle of a campaign. From the battle to Save the Accord centre in 2011, to fighting a dispute over pensions at my work, to campaigning for a radical vision for an independent Scotland, I spend a lot of time fighting the good fight. 

But I’m no Citizen Smith. I’m actually pretty normal – I like a lie in at the weekends and to sprawl on the couch laughing at Frankie Boyle.

I think that’s important as a campaigner to live in the world. If you are not connected to your community, how do you keep your empathy? 

Cat Boyd

Cat Boyd

The only big changes that have ever been legislated for by governments were because a lot of ordinary people thought they were worth fighting for.

My point is, campaigning isn’t and shouldn’t be for a narrow band of people known as activists; a sub-culture separated off from those they are supposed to be fighting for. In a world of inequality and injustice, campaigning should be part of the fabric of all of our lives.

Campaigning matters in three different ways. Firstly, it changes you as a person. Let me give you an example. When I began to work for the Department for Work and Pensions in 2008 as a low-ranking civil servant, I hated it. I felt alienated and angry at how shit it all was. When I started getting active in the trade union movement, I found that my story was the same as Pam’s and Clare’s and Marion’s. I found a way to tell my story, and to use that to make people feel less alone. It was telling my story that then got others active in the union too. It made me understand what I value in myself and in others, to see the best in people and not take my frustrations at the world out on the wrong targets.

Secondly, campaigning gives you a sense of collective strength to stand up to things you previously thought sacry or intimidating. Unfortunately, we live in a world of divide and rule, and unless we believe in our collective strength the bad bosses, the exploitative landlords and the UK Governments of whatever stripe will pick us off one by one.

Thirdly, and most importantly, you can change things: the NHS wasn’t handed down by a benevolent government. It was fought for from below. Decent housing wasn't gifted to us out of good will. It was demanded by people who wouldn't put up with living in slums any longer. The only big changes that have ever been legislated for by governments were because a lot of ordinary people thought they were worth fighting for. 

The most recent thing I’ve been involved in is campaigning against pro-rape pick-up artist Roosh V. Roosh V is simply a symbol of rape culture. The online harassment that we feminists experience on the internet can be really isolating, but when we stood together in George Square, around 500 of us, knowing that over 60,000 had signed a petition to back our cause, we were strong and powerful.

The trick with campaigning is how to do it smart: how do we get our campaigning efforts into the media so that more people find out about it? How do we use the levers of politics to make sure the change we’ve made on the streets is reflected in the bills that are passed through parliament? 

Cat Boyd is a feminist, campaigner and Holyrood candidate for Rise, Scotland's new left alliance. She will join Daily Record editor Murray Foote, the Head of 38 Degrees in Scotland Stewart Kirkpatrick and Friends of the Earth Scotland's chief executive Richard Dixon on the panel for People, Power or politics at the Gathering on Wednesday 17 February

Comments

16th February 2016 by Michaela

Roosh spends 12-16 hours every day in front of his laptop, hiding in fear in Poznan, Poland because he knows his organized criminal group will not last foreverRoosh is a manipulative criminal, and everyone in the world knows that.Hundreds of followers of Roosh already lost their jobs, because of their names being associated with this serial rapist Roosh ValizadehMore girls that Roosh Valizadeh raped:“I got down her bra and panties, but she kept saying, “No ! No !” I was so turned on by her beauty and petite figure that I told myself she’s not walking out my door without getting fucked. At that moment I accepted the idea of getting locked up in a Polish prison to make it happen. I put her on her stomach and went deep, pounding her pussy like a pedophile.” Fourth girl that Roosh V describes raping: “It took four hours and at least thirty repetitions of “No, Roosh, No !” until my penis finally entered her vagina. The sex was painful to her”What serial rapist Roosh teaches his fanatics: “I haven’t measured how many average “NO”’s I received before banging, but sometimes it surpasses ten. I get three or four NO’s when it comes time to sex. If you aren’t getting NO’s at these stages, that means you are taking way too long to escalate (god knows how many bangs you’ve lost out on because of it). With one of my more recent seductions in Poland on a girl of accomplished beauty, I received over fifty “NO”’s from start to end. “There is an endless stream of self admitted rapes from RooshVThe following is just one of Roosh V (Daryush Valizadeh)’s sexual encounters written in his ‘Bang’ Books: “In the middle of the night I got another boner, and jammed it back in while she was asleep. I came.”His rape manuals are nothing more than the active advertising of rape, with passages describing sexual violence and the victimisation and rape of women.