Feminist Fire Walking
The challenge was to walk on fire, the charity was the Fawcett Society and the insane volunteers from Rapidata were Robin Packman, Jodie Hinksman and me! Jodie and I arrived at the docklands watersports centre and as we approached we smelt burning. The fear of the challenge ahead became overwhelming when we turned the corner to face ferocious flames and a fireman filling up buckets of water. We later discovered these were needed to cool our feet in!
Survivorbility hosted the event and we kicked off the evening with a ‘Learn or Burn’ seminar. The helpful man told us we may end up with a ‘fire kiss’, more on this later! Then, sporting our ‘This is what a feminist looks like’ t-shirts a team of 37 including Ken Livingstone, Oona King and Sarah Waters headed for the flames. We gathered around the fire which, although had now become embers, was too hot to stand near, but it was too late to chicken out and we removed our shoes and formed an orderly queue! The temperature of the fire was 470oc but apparently it wouldn’t hurt *hmmm*.
At first it’s not hot then, as you can see from the photos, it dawns on you that it’s 470oc and it hurts!
Robin remained cool and calm throughout.
The evening was fantastic, fears were overcome and there were smiles all round. Although it turned out fire Kisses are just a nice way of saying agonising-blisters-from-burning-wood-that-will-take- a-few-days-to-heel-and-are-the-exact-opposite-of-a-kiss.
Women working in full-time employment are paid, on average, 17% less an hour than men for doing work of equivalent value. The Fawcett society is the UK leading campaign for equality between women and men. Where there’s an inequality gap between women and men they’re working on close it.
For more photos of the event please visit the Fawcett Flickr site.