Last week, Woman’s Place UK’s next webinar ‘Defending Women’s Spaces‘ was removed by Eventbrite from its ticketing site.
Woman’s Place UK has organised 31 public meetings, 11 webinars and a conference attended by over 1,000 people, via Eventbrite since 2017. These events have been hugely popular with over 15,000 tickets booked across the UK and globally.
We were therefore astonished to have our latest webinar removed by Eventbrite and have been unable to get a satisfactory rationale for this decision. The only explanation we have received is:
We have determined that your event is not permitted on the Eventbrite platform as it violates our Community Guidelines and Terms of Service, specifically our policy on Hateful, Dangerous and Violent Content and Events.
But this is just meaningless rhetoric.
We have been weathering such false accusations since our inception and no evidence has ever been provided which substantiate them. The same is true on this occasion.
In fact, our events are often subject to harassment and abuse in an effort to silence the voices of our speakers and audience.
While we would not claim to be making huge profits for the company, we are one of many small organisations who use the site and who have collectively contributed to its success. Our programme of events is certainly in line with the stated aim of Eventbrite to ‘bring together a diverse community’ and to celebrate ‘different cultures, countries and voices’.
In bringing different groups together, it is inevitable that not everybody will agree on everything. Eventbrite clearly accepts that disagreement does not equal hate as it states clearly:
content that you find offensive or controversial may not violate our Community Guidelines.
Like Eventbrite, we believe that it is desirable to facilitate events which enable people to come together safely, hear different voices and discuss different perspectives. Our events have hosted over 160 different speakers/facilitators and audience members always have the opportunity to debate and discuss as part of Q&A sessions.
Given the level of targeted hate and derision women have been subjected to in recent years for defending our sex-based rights, it is more than ironic that we have been labelled as the hateful party and banned from holding a peaceful event, open to all.
But it’s a consistent tactic used to silence women’s voices in this debate.
What is the webinar about?
This webinar will be the online launch of a book, Defending Women’s Spaces by Karen Ingala Smith and published by Polity. Karen has worked supporting women victim-survivors of sexual and domestic violence and abuse, including prostitution for more than three decades. She is CEO of nia and co-creator of the Femicide Census and creator of Counting Dead Women.
Both of them bring huge experience, insight and knowledge to this event.
That a money-making corporation in the 21st century thinks it can tell women what we are allowed to discuss is astonishing and betrays a patriarchal attitude that Eventbrite should be ashamed of.
But it has also helped to promote the aims and objectives of our campaign and for that we are grateful.
Every attack on our campaign brings a new wave of interest along with a growth in supporters and donors. It has been no different this time.
The event will go ahead.
We would like to thank everyone for your acts of solidarity.
We are also grateful for the very many messages of support, both public and private, that we have received.
We – like millions of women before us – will not be deterred from organising and speaking out.
Whatever Eventbrite says.
We will not be pursuing legal action against Eventbrite at this time.
We are a grassroots women’s group run by women with jobs and other responsibilities in our spare time. Any time, energy and money we have we want to spend on making a difference in women’s lives.
We are aware of another possible legal action against Eventbrite being taken by Sarah Phillimore and we wish that campaign well.
Our focus will continue to be on ensuring that women’s voices are heard and that our sex-based rights are upheld.
We will continue to organise meetings and other actions in line with these aims and our 5 resolutions:
- Women have the right to self-organise
- An end to violence against women
- Nothing about us without us
- The law must work for women
- Sex Matters
All five of these resolutions underpin the webinar cancelled by Eventbrite and we hope you will join us on the evening of Thursday 24th November 2022.
What else can I do?
If you would like to do something to demonstrate your support for women-only spaces, please consider taking one of the following actions:
- Write politely to Eventbrite to complain
- Make a donation to nia
- Send a copy of Defending Women’s Spaces by Karen Ingala Smith to your MP
- Buy a copy of the book for yourself
- Book a ticket for the webinar on 24th November 2022 #DefendingWomensSpaces
- Attend the film screening of Adult Human Female in Nottingham on 27 November 2022
- Organise a watch party of Adult Human Female in your home on Thursday 1st December.
- Subscribe to our newsletter to stay in touch about future events
You can read more about our campaign on our website.
Ticketing site wages campaign cancellation against gender critical events, Craig Simpson, Telegraph
Why is Eventbrite censoring gender critical women? Julie Bindel, The Spectator
We believe that it is important to share a range of viewpoints on women’s rights and advancement from different perspectives. WPUK does not necessarily agree or endorse all the views that we share.