Posts Tagged ‘sexism in the movement’
posted by Christa (Philly)
Robin Markle helped me immensely with this piece. It wouldn’t be possible without her. This paper was a companion piece to my internship with SDS that I completed January 2009. Most of this research is qualitative, although there is some quantitative data. I’m not speaking in absolutes, but researched behavior and trends.
Note: Parts of this article are framed it as male/female. I am not promoting the gender binary by any means. The most common binary term I used was “women-centered organizing”…I used this rather than feminist or trans/women/genderqueer-centered organizing because
1) A lot of the groups the articles studied about aren’t feminist. A lot of the groups are moderate/conservative/non-partisan women’s groups but have similar aspects of organizing.
2) In that same vein, I didn’t use trans/women/genderqueer-centered organizing because a lot of these groups ARE Cis-normative and binary. A lot of these groups aren’t radical, they have problematic aspects to them, but they also organize in some really effective ways, which means we should study and learn from the things they do right and grow away from the things they do wrong.
Polyamory in activist communities, issues with existing relationship models, and the lack of a middle ground
Posted January 8, 2010on:
by Robin, Philly
This is a topic I’ve been thinking about for a long time and have had a hard time drawing decisive conclusions about. At this point I’ve been noticing it consistently for about 2 and a half years, though, and I think it’s time to throw my thoughts out there to hear what other people think. (And when I say people, I mean, women, trans and gender variant people, and MAYBE some dudes if you’re gonna do something other than get defensive.)
What is up with men and books? So many activist men I know have read about a billion books. All about leftist history and anarchism/communism and racism and sexism, apparently. I’m not trying to say women don’t read books, but to be honest, most of my female friends read much fewer books than the males I know, and they are more likely to read fiction.
Posted by Carly, Providence SDS
For a year now, I’ve been struggling with the question of how to share my experiences, and my chapter’s experiences, of a member’s abusive behavior in a productive, conscionable way.
This list is based on my own experiences with men in SDS. If you’re a man that I know, and you’re reading this and wondering if any of it is about you… then it could be.
Please don’t send me a(nother) long e-mail about how you’re angry about the way I “called you out” (notice that there are no names) or how you think this list is “counter-productive” or “self-righteous.” Instead, I encourage you to take that anger or defensiveness or whatever emotion you have after reading this, and think about why these behaviors might be upsetting and how you could change these behaviors to make SDS a more welcoming place to women/queer/transfolk.
Fellow women/queer/transfolk: feel free to add your own lessons in the comments! (I’m sure I’ve left out a lot – after all, men have so much to teach us!)
Lessons That Men in SDS Have Taught Me:
- It is wrong to call women “bitches.” It is, however, perfectly acceptable to call them “aggressive,” “intimidating,” and “hostile.”
- It is “self-righteous” and counter-productive to call people out, to ask people to respect you, or to tell people why/that their words and actions are hurtful and oppressive.
- The appropriate way to deal with a conflict is to send out long e-mails about it, preferably to every listserv you’re on.
- When problems arise, long e-mails may also be combined or substituted with passive-aggressive statuses on Facebook and/or gchat.
- The most effective and liberatory way to share your knowledge with people is in monologue form.
- Questions on feminist politics should be taken to the token woman.
- The best way(s) to deal with your emotions are (a.) refuse to acknowledge that they exist, and/or (b.) dump them on your (least?) favorite female/queer/trans friend.
- Women are only worth your time if they’ll “hook up” with you. (Or if there’s a chance that they will sometime in the future.)
- “Feminism” and “sexual liberation” mean “fucking lots of women.”
- Men in SDS never commit sexual assault. Only “normal” men (such as liberal environmentalists) do that!
- It is wrong for women and queer/transfolks to use violence to defend themselves against rape and queer bashings.
- If you’ve read The Will to Change, it means that you’re no longer a patriarch. It also means that you can be self-righteous about how you’re in touch with your emotions, and how you’re no longer a part of patriarchy.
- Having a penis and being male are the only qualifications you need to do a job. Take charge — no one will mind!
- The fact that someone “has come a long way” means you should be totally understanding of, and patient with, their current fucked up behaviors.
- Abuse, patriarchy, and sexism are totally compatible with radical/anarchist and feminist politics.
<3 sarah b. (dc-sds)