The lights and decorations are shimmering everywhere ... it’s becoming tricky to escape the seasonal cheer. Ah well, if you can’t beat them, join’ them – on your own terms of course. So, here is to ‘feministmas’ and to spreading a little feminist joy and solidarity.
If you can, support local feminist and women’s rights organisations; buy feminist greeting cards and books or suffragette decorations from independent stores – anything to avoid the dreaded Amazon!
Amidst the doom and gloom that lurks behind the tinsel, the same old office party or tired panto, let’s see if we can find some feminist fun.
Oh yes we can!
And what better way than a good sing along with all women choir Lips!
Earlier this week, I spoke to Geraldine Smith* one of the co-founders who inspired me to get a ticket to this year’s show. She and her partner started looking into choirs in 2009 and realised that most of them were linked to churches and quite traditional. They were involved in women’s rights activism and had lots of experience facilitating women only spaces - so they created they own!
It was all very DIY at first - a small group of women came together without much of a plan, but it’s been growing ever since - from 11 singers at the first rehearsal to 100 today. At last year’s gig, they had 55 singers on stage. And the energy in the room is very palpable.
10 years on, you can still hear the enthusiasm in Geraldine’s voice: ‘There is something very primal and calming about group singing. A study even shows that choir singers not only harmonise their voices, they also synchronise their heartbeats! Lips also provides us with a sense of togetherness and community. What makes it quite unique is our feminist principles, a culture of equality and respect amongst members, where not everyone necessarily joins as a feminist – but stays because of the feminism.’
They have a long list of impressive successes to their name, including a gig with Alison Goldfrapp at the Royal Albert Hall, sell-out shows in London and performances on the main stages at Bestival and Wilderness Festival. And to round it all off, they use their platform to raise awareness about an issue close to their heart – the plight of people seeking asylum - and help raise fund for the charity Women for Refugee Women.
I can’t wait to see them! Join me, get your tickets here.
*Geraldine Smith is also Camp Coordinator for the charity Girls Rock London.
And there plenty more funky, quirky, queer shows in town. Why not check out:
Sh!t actually, the is a two woman remake of festive Britflick 'Love Actually'
Soho Cinders, the gay, satirical spin on Cinderella
Joan of Leeds, the story of a nun whose scandalous carnal visions set her off on a righteous sex-positive path
Super fun, queer collective Sink the Pink’s Escape from Planet Trash
Or check out Soho theatre for some real beauties.
Get your eco glitter - it’s show time! ✨🎉