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Southampton Women to Raise The Skirt in Pollution Protest

Raising The Skirt 2024It is a traditional gesture, aimed at bringing those in power to their senses, and women of Southampton now feel compelled to ‘Raise The Skirts’ at Southern Water due to the pollution in the River Itchen.

At noon, on Saturday 15th June, just before the All Aboard Water Festival at Southampton’s Riverside Park, there will be a peaceful women's protest against Southern Waters' pollution of the River Itchen with raw sewage.

The protesters say they: “will be fully present. And fully clothed.  With fabric or paper representations of vulvas or merkins under our skirts.”

To prepare for the protest they will be a vulva making workshop at 11:00 AM in the same place. 

Men are also invite to contribute by bringing drums or other instruments to amplify the gesture.  

The Tradition of Raising The Skirt  

According to the protesters…

“In 1958. 7,000 women in West Cameroon, Africa raised their skirts to protest against the government's regulations controlling the way women farm their land.  The women won.  

Raising the skirt or Anasyrma, is a universal gesture of female protest that has been used for millennia.  There are many meanings behind it. One is to shock opponents to bring them to their senses.  

Women can say with one vulva voice. “Stop. Think again. Your actions are outrageous and wrong.””

The protesters say they are inspired by Dr. Katherine Blackledge, author of 'Raising the Skirt. The Unsung Power of the Vagina'. 

More details about All Aboard

Read more about Itchen River pollution protests

Itchen River Pollution Protest - Toes in the Water