Flowerbombing for Women of World War II – Cambridge Blue Belles WI React to Act of Vandalism with Peaceful Protest

When news emerged on Saturday night of the profane graffiti left on the memorial for the Women of World War Two at Whitehall, WI Member and Founding President of Cambridge Blue Belles WI, Joanne Croxford, was OUTRAGED. Within minutes, she rounded up support from member of Let’s Make Jam WI, Stoke-on-Trent, Rebecca Brown and together they hatched a plan. ‘flower bombing’ the defaced memorial in London.

Both were willing to travel miles to do so – and by this time, Cambridge Blue Belles President, Laura Petchey, was equally upset, joined ranks and was ready to fight with flowers!

To not deter from the planned VE Day parade past Whitehall, the group decided to cover local cenotaphs with flowers and leave cards marked #flowersforheroines to show their respect for the women who gave SO much for this country and the world during its time of need.

Little did they know that through the means of Twitter and Facebook, their gesture of respect to those women who were represented in the memorial, would go viral and photos would start being posted from ALL over the country. By this point, the campaign had even gone outside the reaches of the WI, with a branch of rural police in Lincolnshire laying flowers with the #flowersforheroines tag. The campaign continues and through the power of social media, is snowballing to well over 150 WIs in participation with the numbers growing by the minute.

What’s next? The group plan to yarn storm (slightly less aggressive sounding than a bomb!), the original war memorial at Whitehall on the morning of Thursday 4th June to coincide with the WI’s AGM in London on the same day. This way, more members can be represented and gather to show the respect and honour that each and every participant expresses through being a part of #flowersforheroines.

– Joanne Croxford

PLEASE NOTE: we are laying the wreaths and will NOT affix or adorn ANYTHING to the memorial so that our gesture can be easily removed should it need to be. This is an act of response to vandalism and to that end, we will NOT be leaving a permanent mark on the memorial.

LINKS TO ARTICLES

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-32688906

http://m.cambridge-news.co.uk/Cambridge-WI-s-flower-bomb-campaign-takes-London/story-26480141-detail/story.html

Cambridge Blue Belles LINKS

Website: http://cambluebelles.blogspot.co.uk/

Facebook: facebook.com/cambluebelleswi

Twitter: @CamBlueBellesWI

Menstruation Crusades & Feminism in Fashion – Women’s Day, Our Way!

The Blue Belles came together this month to celebrate International Women’s Day by putting our voices behind our very own menstration crusades and by welcoming model, Rebecca Pearson, to tell us all about being a feminist in an industry that relies so heavily on looks!

Wintercomfort are a charity based in Cambridge that support those in the community whom are homeless or about to face being homeless.

With everything from offering educational classes to gaining practical experience through their social enterprise, through a talk from our friend Sarah, who works at the charity we learned that 16% of those using Wintercomfort’s services are women. That got us Belles thinking. What must it be like for those 16% when it comes to be their time of the month? They can’t afford to simply purchase supplies and support themselves through what can be a tricky few days every calendar month.

Sarah from Wintercomfort explaining how difficult your monthly cycle can be to manage when you are homeless
After hearing all about the women that Sarah has personally encountered who have truly had a heartbreaking and humiliating challenge when having to deal with their periods whilst being homeless, we made a vow to the local homeless women of Cambridge. We would collect sanitary products at every month to donate to Wintercomfort and the Foodbank. We also made a commitment to homeless women of Britain. We would being our own Menstration Crusades helping those on little to no income to gain access to sanitary products on a monthly basis as needed. Watch this space for developments on our campaign and how YOU can get involved!
We ventured next onto the topic of something that is VERY close to many members hearts – Mooncups! Did you know that one single Mooncup can last you up to 60 years, versus using up to 22 disposable sanitary products each time you have your period!? There really are a list of reasons why Mooncups make more sense as a solution to handling your monthly! 
Check out the video below to learn more about the wonder that is, the Mooncup!

Last and certainly not least, we had model, blogger, activist and all in all force of nature, Rebecca Pearson, come to tell us all about what it is like being a feminist in an industry that tends to take more heed on your dress size than your views on the gender gap in Parliament.

Rebecca Pearson talking all about feminism in modeling – whilst Belles knit away in silent respect!

Rebecca’s talk was entirely honest, incredibly engaging and overall, very educational. From telling we Belles about her first experience with feminism and how going to University and meeting open minded people helped to shape her to the confident, happy and altogether more engaged individual that Rebecca is now. Rebecca’s talk was a no hold’s barred account of what being a feminist in the modeling industry is truly like with cold hard facts on encountering people with eating disorders through to the desire for so many photographers to airbrush their work. In fact, Rebecca herself has been so severely suffered the wand of Photoshop that she has come away with copies of magazines baring a face that she didn’t even recognise! Yikes!

Rebecca’s mind was opened to the WI thanks to the Belles – she’s looking to join her local branch!

But alas, Rebecca is determind to unify those who she works with to speak up about what they feel comfortable with and to act as a mentor for new models coming into the business. She’s started writing a fabulous blog, ModelTypeFace, that has been so successful it has already won her video related work as a part of a campaign to save honeybees!

By the end of the meeting, we Belles had even managed to convince Rebecca to join the WI – and guess what? She’s going to! Hooray the sisterhood triumphs with more inspiring women!