Responding to the issues brought to light by the recent death of Sarah Everard in March 2021, Listen to your Daughters, Educate your Sons is a collaborative protest e-zine by comic artists from the UK and beyond, fundraising for the charity Housing for Women.
Swapping placards for pages, the collection of stories poignantly and powerfully provide insight into either the artists’ individual experiences of, or commentary on, violence against women.
The idea was sparked by a need for creative expression through the medium they know best, as co-editor Alexandra Lewis says, “we wanted to create something that connects with readers and helps facilitate change, whether on an individual level or by initiating wider conversations.”
Co-editor Laura Elliott continues, “The benefit of using comics in this way is that they can provide an ideal structure for tackling complex topics, making them accessible to a wider audience.”
The collaborating artists met through the first UK women-led comics organisation, LDC, whose mission is to change the world through the medium of comics.
Co-edited by Laura Elliott, with a cover by CJ Reay, the zine features work by Stephanie Bazin, Angela Renier Downing, Ali Hodgson, Rachael House, Julie Innes, Tracey Leonard, Alexandra Lewis, Yelena Lewis, Abigail Lingford, Ray McKinlay, Nicole Mollett, Ellen Montelius, Gayle Rogers, Miki Shaw and Myfanwy Tristram.
All the stories are deeply personal, and it was important to many of the contributors that the e-zine directly facilitate fundraising for practical support for vulnerable women.
For this reason, the 35-page e-zine is available for download via Just Giving, where donations are sent to the charity Housing for Women to support their work in providing safe houses for women and gender-specific support services.
E-zine contributor Rae McKinlay explains: “I once had to flee an abusive relationship and appreciated the support that I received to get a new home where I felt safe. Now I want to give something back.”
Despite being a collection of individual contributions, the overall narrative ultimately culminates in resistance and optimism.
Contributing artist Gayle Rogers sums up, “coming together with others to share experiences and aspirations gives me hope that a better, more equitable world is possible. Together our voices are strengthened and amplified.”
The release of the e-zine coincides with the 174th anniversary of the birth of British suffragist Dame Millicent Fawcett on 11th June 2021, to highlight the continued need to promote women’s rights.
Self-published materials and zines have been used for feminist activism and political commentary throughout the last century. This includes Pamphlets from the National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies (NUWSS), led by Millicent Fawcett, the suffragist movement in the early 1900s, Spare Rib magazine evolving out of the Women’s Liberation Movement during the 1970s, and the Riot Grrrl Press zines of the 1990s.
• To download your copy of Listen to your Daughters, Educate your Sons, visit the Just Giving page and donate any amount towards the fundraising goal of £1000 for Housing for Women
VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN – THE FACTS
- For the past three years the total number of offences flagged as domestic abuse-related has increased compared with the corresponding month in the previous year (Jan 2018 – June 2020)
- An estimated 1.6 million women aged between 16 to 74 years experienced domestic abuse during the 12-month period to year ending March 2020, according to the Crime Survey for England and Wales
- Women were four times more likely as men to have experienced sexual assault, as noted in the latest Crime Survey for England and Wales (2018)