Amelia Mertha and Kimberley Dibben


Week 9, Semester 2, 2021

Rad Sex and Consent Week

Rad Sex and Consent Week 2021 has cum and gone! A huge thank you is in order for the many people in our collective who pulled this together. And whether you attended a live event, listened to a podcast or watched a video, thank you for your support over the week. We hope you bring these conversations, skills, knowledge and a radical love for community into your own spaces. We can’t wait to do it all again next year.

But the gift keeps on giving! You can access all our online resources from the week from the drive linked on our Facebook page (University of Sydney Women’s Collective). We also have some hot new Rad Sex printed zines, new tote bags, and stickers to share when the SRC is open again.

Hands off Gender and Cultural Studies!

As two Gender Studies students, we feel it is imperative to retain the radical and autonomous nature of Gender and Cultural Studies (GCST) at USyd. Many of our members, and to some extent we ourselves, have been called to action in the very classes on the chopping block. These GCST units at risk are critical to leftist feminist organising, such as the work of WoCo. The existence of Gender and Cultural Studies at USyd is itself a product of feminist organising of the 1970s (to read more, see Maddie Clark’s article in Women’s Honi 2021).

We will continue this legacy in the upcoming fight against management to keep the truly crucial department from losing its radical autonomy.


Week 7, Semester 2, 2021

Two weeks until Radical Sex and Consent Week

Only two weeks to go until WoCo’s very exciting Radical Sex and Consent Week in week 8!! Follow this link to be taken to our Facebook event, click going, and share with your mates! Look forward to topics such as sex work, dating and race, relationships, queerness, and more to be discussed over many online events, podcasts, zines, and more! Full schedule out soon. Follow #radsexandconsentweek and the University of Sydney Women’s Collective page and instagram (@usydwoco) for updates!

National Student Safety Survey

Have you gotten the survey? Remember to check your junk mail and spam inboxes to see if you are one of the 10,000 USyd students chosen to complete the National Student Safety Survey. This survey will collate important new data on sexual violence and the behaviours and context which prelude it. We really encourage every person selected to participate to help us fight against sexual violence on campus. There will also be an concurrently-run anonymous online form that any current student or student who has been enrolled in an Australian university in the past five years can use to share more about their experiences. This can be completed at nsss.edu.au.

Support

This survey can be quite confronting and re-traumatising for many. A reminder that sexual assault and sexual harassment support is available via the Safer Communities Office. The Safer Communities Office is a team of specialist student liaison officers (SLOs) that provides trauma informed support and case management for survivors of sexual assault or sexual harassment. The Safer Communities Office also provides support for staff seeking advice on supporting students. Contact: 8627 6808 (Available 8.30am-5.30pm Mon- Fri), safer-communities.officer@sydney.edu.au. The SRC caseworkers are also available for practical support on 9660 5222 during regular office hours (9am – 5pm Mon – Fri).

Joining the fight against sexual violence can help so many survivors, including many WoCo members, in the process of healing from harm. WoCo is a place of collective healing as well as a staunch leader of anti-sexual violence activism. We encourage all (non-cis men) to join in our fight together. Survivors are stronger when we are together.


Week 5, Semester 2, 2021

National Student Safety Survey

From this week until early October, 10,000 randomly selected students from every uni nationwide will receive a link via email to participate in the Universities Australia National Safety Survey. This survey will collate important new data on sexual violence and the behaviours and context which prelude it. We really encourage every person selected to participate. There will also be an concurrently-run anonymous online form that any current student or student who has been enrolled in an Australian university in the past five years can use to share more about their experiences. This can be completed at nsss.edu.au.

The data received in this coming report will help activists like those in WoCo to fight against sexual violence on university campuses, pushing for greater support for survivors, accountability for perpetrators, and fighting the structural sexism which encourages gendered violence.

Rad Sex and Consent Week

WoCo is so thrilled with the way that the Rad Sex and Consent Week program is shaping up. Collective members will spend the next several weeks producing videos, podcasts, live panels and interactive written resources that will be available from Week 8. We are packing in as much as we can into the seven days: sex toys, kink and BDSM, dating with a disability, interracial dating, an “Ask a Mum” Q&A, transformative justice, smut reading, sexual health, healthy relationship green flags, red flags, sex worker rights, religion, being a non-binary drag artist. Also watch this space for the raffle prize list featuring lots of sexy goodies.

Student Liaison Officers

A reminder that sexual assault and sexual harassment support is available via the Safer Communities Office. The Safer Communities Office is a team of specialist student liaison officers (SLOs) that provides trauma informed support and case management for survivors of sexual assault or sexual harassment. The Safer Communities Office also provides support for staff seeking advice on supporting students. Contact: 8627 6808 (Available 8.30am-5.30pm Mon- Fri), safer-communities.officer@sydney.edu.au


Week 1, Semester 2, 2021

Over the winter break, the Women’s Collective has been busy reading, learning, writing, and planning for an online but still exciting semester! Throughout the holidays, we ran a reading group to discuss Women, Race, and Class by Angela Davis. This reading group allowed us to draw similarities and comparisons between the experience of First Nations women and Black American women through an intersectional class lens whilst also reflecting on the politics and activism of WoCo. (Look out for more events like this soon!)

Due to pandemic restrictions, we have had to quickly and creatively transform our original plans for Radical Sex and Consent Week into an online program — videos (live and recorded), podcasts and written resources. As we’ll need more time to make these changes, Radical Sex and Consent Week will now fall in Week 8 after the mid-semester break. To help us plan and run these events, come along to one of our weekly organising meetings! Together, we hope to run a successful week of radical, engaging, and holistic sex education that is everything you wish you had in high school.

We’ve also been working hard with our collective on the autonomous edition of Honi Soit! Women’s Honi will be out next week for the Week 2 edition – check it out! The issue covers prison abolition, artificial intelligence, sexism in the music industry, mutual aid, and so much more!

To organise left-wing feminist activism with us, join the Women’s Collective! Join the closed Facebook group USYD WoCo 2021, answer a few questions, and come along to our weekly meetings. We welcome people from all levels of political education and experience!


Week 12, Semester 1, 2021

Join the Women’s Collective and Grandmothers Against Removals (GMAR) at an important Sorry Day rally and march, 1pm Wednesday 26 May at Town Hall. As we always should, but especially on this particular date, we acknowledge the forced removals of First Nations children from their families and communities — a policy in so-called “Australia’’ that existed over many decades and generations. This date also commemorates the release of the Bringing Them Home Report in 1997. We acknowledge the grief and trauma of the Stolen Generations, and condemn the violent settler-colonial project that mandated this and continues to mandate this.

Decolonisation and land back mean nothing if we don’t also fight for the freedom, survival and autonomy of First Nations families. We are still seeing First Nations children taken from their communities. The racist foster care system and the racist prison system have only perpetuated the genocidal removal of Bla(c)k children. Instead, more First Nations children today are stolen from their families than before Rudd’s hollow apology. Instead, Bla(c)k kids are disproportionately criminalised and imprisoned in juvenile detention.

KIDS NEED FAMILY AND COMMUNITY NOT INTERVENTION. STOP THE STOLEN GENERATIONS. SORRY MEANS YOU DON’T DO IT AGAIN.

KIDS NEED FAMILY AND COMMUNITY NOT INTERVENTION. STOP THE STOLEN GENERATIONS. SORRY MEANS YOU DON’T DO IT AGAIN.

KIDS NEED FAMILY AND COMMUNITY NOT INTERVENTION. STOP THE STOLEN GENERATIONS. SORRY MEANS YOU DON’T DO IT AGAIN.

More event info here: facebook.com/events/229180735629625

Follow the critical work of GMAR here: facebook.com/GMAR.GrandmothersAgainstRemovals


Week 10, Semester 1, 2021


THE WEEK 10 COMMANDMENTS

1. Thou shalt honour and demand justice for Indigenous people. Stop the Stolen Generation. Stop deaths in custody.
2. Thou shalt get cops off campus.
3. Thou shalt dismantle the colleges because St Paul’s going co-ed will not solve the issue of rampant sexual violence at this university.
4. Thou shalt honour and demand justice for survivors.
5. Thou shalt honour thy right to body autonomy.
6. Thou shalt not take the name “pro-woman” in vain for your anti-abortion agenda. (To our dearest CathSoc: any attempt to pit disabled peoples and pro-choice advocates against each other (as if the two are mutually exclusive) has, and always will, fail.
7. Thou shalt protest the cuts to SLAM. Resist the attack on Arts. Abolish the neoliberal university – free, accessible education for all.
8. Thou shalt de-stigmatise sex work. Sex work is work.
9. Thou shalt protect trans kids.
10. Thou shalt keep each other safe.

Upcoming

– THURS 13 MAY 1pm @ Women’s Room | WoCo Week 10 meeting
– WED 26 MAY 1pm @ Town Hall | Sorry Day Rally co-organised with Grandmothers Against Removals
– FRI 4 JUNE 7:30PM @ TBA | WoCo End of Sem Party and Fundraiser

Join USyd Women’s Collective

New members are always welcome to our meetings and events. Find our autonomous Facebook group at facebook.com/groups/218882649839471 / ‘USYD WoCo 2021’ and just answer a few questions.


Week 8, Semester 1, 2021

This week we have shared our criticism on the Liberal government’s ridiculous attempt at consent education called the Good Society. The main videos under scrutiny were three which aimed to cover the topics of consent, STI prevention, and sexual violence. Notably, no explicit mention of these terms was to be heard. Instead, these videos were heavily censored, using confusing examples and silly euphemisms that failed to clearly explain the topics at hand and trivialised sexual violence. Trivialising and censoring these conversations only further stigmatises sexual violence and survivors

Once again, we see how crucial Radical Sex and Consent Week is when students do not get proper sex and consent education from experienced, informed and well-resourced teachers. Look out for us early next semester for actually nuanced and interesting conversations about sex, sexuality, consent, gender, and more!

In preparation for Radical Sex and Consent Week, the Women’s Collective will be working on a zine inspired by the sealed section ‘Dolly Doctor’ that we all used to read in secret from our mum. It will include information on lesbian sex, whether virginity is real, sex toy reviews, what to do if you need an abortion, and more.

Next month, we have a rally for ‘Sorry Day’ with Grandmothers Against Removals to fight for the end of the Stolen Generation, which continues through the racist foster care system and the criminalisation of First Nations children. Kids belong on Country with community!

To help write our sexy zine, organise Radical Sex and Consent Week, or to get involved in our other feminist activist projects: join the Women’s Collective! Just join the Facebook group USYD WOCO 2021 and answer the few questions.


Week 6, Semester 1, 2021

Stop Black Deaths in Custody – Stop Black Deaths in Custody – Stop Black Deaths in Custody – Stop Black Deaths in Custody – Stop Black Deaths in Custody – Stop Black Deaths in Custody – Stop Black Deaths in Custody – Stop Black Deaths in Custody – Stop Black Deaths in Custody – Stop Black Deaths in Custody – Stop Black Deaths in Custody – Stop Black Deaths in Custody – Stop Black Deaths in Custody – Stop Black Deaths in Custody – Stop Black Deaths in Custody – Stop Black Deaths in Custody – Stop Black Deaths in Custody – Stop Black Deaths in Custody – Stop Black Deaths in Custody – Stop Black Deaths in Custody – Stop Black Deaths in Custody – Stop Black Deaths in Custody – Stop Black Deaths in Custody – Stop Black Deaths in Custody – Stop Black Deaths in Custody – Stop Black Deaths in Custody – Stop Black Deaths in Custody – Stop Black Deaths in Custody – Stop Black Deaths in Custody – Stop Black Deaths in Custody – Stop Black Deaths in Custody – Stop Black Deaths in Custody – Stop Black Deaths in Custody – Stop Black Deaths in Custody – Stop Black Deaths in Custody – Stop Black Deaths in Custody – Stop Black Deaths in Custody – Stop Black Deaths in Custody – Stop Black Deaths in Custody – Stop Black Deaths in Custody – Stop Black Deaths in Custody – Stop Black Deaths in Custody – Stop Black Deaths in Custody – Stop Black Deaths in Custody – Stop Black Deaths in Custody – Stop Black Deaths in Custody – Stop Black Deaths in Custody – Stop Black Deaths in Custody –

JUSTICE FOR ALL FAMILIES AND COMMUNITIES AFFECTED

BURN THE FUCKING PRISONS DOWN


Week 4, Semester 1, 2021


Snap Rally

At our snap rally on 17th March, we continued the demand for justice for survivors and an end to rape culture, this time also calling on the USU to fund a re-instated Radical Sex and Consent Week. Chanel Contos’ petition and the sexual violence crisis we face makes it clear that holistic, engaging consent education is wanted and needed. This kind of education is ongoing, and we want it to be part of all students’ university experience. Rad Sex and Consent Week WILL be back, so look out for us soon!

Day of the Unborn Child

On Sunday the 21st we held a counter-protest to the ridiculous “Day of the Unborn Child”, fighting for abortion access, reproductive justice and bodily autonomy outside of St Mary’s Cathedral. Whilst we have fought hard to win legal abortion across Australia, it remains still inaccessible and stigmatised. What comes next in the pro-choice movement, is a turn towards holistic reproductive justice. Reproductive justice means encompassing safe access to all aspects of reproduction, particularly centering those often forgotten in the mainstream reproductive rights movement who are at the forefront of gendered colonial violence. It means the end of First Nations child removals and the racist foster care system, and the end of disparities in First Nations health care. It means disability justice and gender-affirming surgeries. Not the Church, not the State, we will decide our fate! Fuck pro-lifers!

Solidarity with Communities in Atlanta

WoCo sends solidarity and love for the families and communities grieving after the shootings at Asian massage parlours in Atlanta last week. This was a horrific act of white supremacist violence by a white man, targeting specifically Asian sex workers. We must resist the dehumanisation of sex workers. Asian sex workers are part of our community. The majority of sex workers in NSW are Asian. Sex work is still criminalised in many states in Australia and made dangerous by the carceral state that continues to expand its power by punishing body and sexual autonomy. We must decriminalise sex work, end the detention of refugees and, especially, stand in solidarity with First Nations justice. To echo May Jeong, we fight for us by fighting against oppression everywhere. Police, as agents of colonial power, cannot be the answer to keeping our or any community safe. Through community care and mutual aid, we keep each other safe.


Week 2, Semester 1, 2021

The Women’s Collective called our first rally of the year last week, kicking off our year-round campaign against sexual violence, which is most prominent during Welcome Week. 1 in 8 incidents of sexual violence occur during Welcome Week, for which the violent rape culture and hazing stemming from the residential colleges is to blame. The Broderick Review, the Red Zone, and numerous other investigations make it clear that there is no safe campus whilst the colleges stand. The colleges cannot be reformed. Students need safe, affordable housing, not old ivory towers of misogyny. Now more than ever we ask: how many testimonies must there be before survivors are actually heard?

WoCo demands:
END RAPE CULTURE – ON CAMPUS, IN SCHOOLS, AND AT WORK
JUSTICE FOR SURVIVORS
EARLIER, MORE HOLISTIC AND EFFECTIVE CONSENT EDUCATION
DISMANTLE THE COLLEGES, BUILD AFFORDABLE STUDENT HOUSING
REFORM REPORTING PROCEDURES
COPS OFF CAMPUS – COPS DON’T KEEP US SAFE, STRONG COMMUNITIES DO

While the safety and wellbeing of fellow USyd students is central to our demands, speakers and statements read at this rally emphasised the private school to college to workplace pipeline of rape culture, recently highlighted in events such as the online petition to demand better consent education in schools by Chanel Contos, and the emerging cases of sexual assault and sexual harassment by Liberal party staff-members. Students and workers alike deserve a campus and workplace free from sexual violence.

To all survivors of sexual violence: we believe you, your assault was not your fault, and WoCo will fight with you for the justice you deserve.

If you want to join the fight, look out for our events on our Facebook page (University of Sydney Women’s Collective) or become a member by joining our closed Facebook group (USYD WOCO 2021).


Welcome Week, Semester 1, 2021

Welcome back to The Red Zone.

Students are most at risk of sexual violence during Welcome Week than any other time of the year. Welcome Week is the most dangerous time of the university calendar.

Back to campus means back to ‘normal’ but what does ‘normal’ look like?

This looks like rampant sexual violence. This looks like sexist, racist, violent college hazing rituals.

This looks like predatory cis men taking advantage of first year 17-18 year old students.

This looks like Wesley College students being ‘awarded’ categories such as “Best Ass”, “Biggest Pornstar”, “Best Cleavage”, and “Kinkiest Collegian”.

This looks like predatory ‘Bone Room’ parties at St Paul’s that prey on first year students in a practice known as ‘fresher grooming’.

This looks like the annual St John’s revenge porn event called ‘the purge’.

This looks like men masturbating into shampoo bottles belonging to women, and defecating in their college rooms and hallways as part of hazing rituals.

This looks like St Paul’s pro-rape Facebook Group called ‘Define Statutory’, promoting itself as ‘pro-rape’ and ‘anti-consent’.

This looks like the burning of the LGBTQ+ pride flag at St Andrew’s.

This looks like white supremacist graffiti on a deceased student’s memorial at St Andrew’s and “they can’t say no with a cock in their mouth” and “any hole is a goal” graffiti at St Paul’s.

Each of these examples are from The Red Zone Report or recent findings from Honi Soit last year and show what we already know is true: that sexual violence, misogyny, elitism, and racism is rampant within all of the residential colleges.

FUCK BACK TO NORMAL. A SAFE CAMPUS IS A COLLEGE FREE CAMPUS

Read more about the ‘rich culture’ that the USYD residential colleges bring to our community: