New Anarchafeminist Magazine from Dublin

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Joseph Kay
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Oct 24 2006 19:16
revol68 wrote:
let's face it they are on the whole either jumped up reading groups, historical renactment societies or hardcore lifestyles that keep the male 18 -35 suicide statistics more respectable.

aye, libcom or death like tongue

but yeah, basically we're a bunch of bookish nerds embarrassed

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Oct 24 2006 20:15
Joseph K. wrote:
revol68 wrote:
let's face it they are on the whole either jumped up reading groups, historical renactment societies or hardcore lifestyles that keep the male 18 -35 suicide statistics more respectable.

aye, libcom or death like tongue

but yeah, basically we're a bunch of bookish nerds embarrassed

fuck! I've chosen the wrong political sect!

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Oct 24 2006 20:17

noooo JDMF you help stop us disappearing up our own arses, you're a vital part of the libcom homeostasis wink

petey
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Oct 24 2006 20:30
zobag wrote:
So why can't men be actively involved in challenging male violence?

are women actively involved in challenging women's violence? are we all actively involved in challenging all violence?

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Oct 24 2006 20:51
John. wrote:
As for this:

JDMF wrote:
So why isn't anarchist movement reacting to this?

Well i think a lot of this is just what can we do? I mean with big things like pension cuts or wars they affect large numbers of people at once. Something like rape is worker-on-worker, atomised and very sporadic. It'd be a bit like anarchists opposing mugging, although even harder cos muggings happen in streets by strangers whereas rape is mostly by blokes at parties or after dates or relationships or whatever (so organising street patrols would achieve fuck all). So it's the kind of thing like domestic violence which just takes a mass cultural change. Will say more later...

But this is what I'm trying to say (or maybe i just thought about saying it and didn't get round to it...). Just waiting for "mass cultural change" isn't good enough. It's nothing like anarchists opposing mugging, and to be honest I find that suggestion really quite crass. But you did say you were in a hurry... If someone tells you they've been mugged, there's no blurry line with people scratching their heads wondering "where they really mugged? Or did they just misinterpret that person's attraction to their handbag? Did they lead them on? Perhaps they were teasing the mugger..." Muggings don't tend to happen in your home (most rapes are in either the victim's home or the rapist's home) nor are they carried out by people you know, nor if the 'mugger" is reported, caught and brought to trial do they stand a very high chance of being let off with no punishment. I could go on...

And I'm pretty sure that rapes effect a lot of people at any one time. Like around one in four women, and their families and friends and partners...

And what I'm trying to say is that this is the wrong way of looking at it. There's no legislation that can change this, no harsher sentences. I've heard people on here have a remarkably defeatist attitude towards rape before (we can't over-ride the right to be innocent before proven guilty, so i guess we'll have to resign ourselves to knowing that while rape is like bad and stuff, it just happens) but this is totally the wrong angle. We CAN do stuff. We can take the gloves off and start talking about it amongst ourselves. We can realise that this is a big issue that affects an extortionate amount of people, if not directly then implicitly (i.e. it may not have happened to you or your girlfriend or your sister yet, but hey you never know when it might).

It could start with looking at ourselves, the assumptions we hold about rape. That might include such daunting prospects of actually getting people together to meet (yes, in a room without forums) and hashing stuff out and talking about it. Or thinking about ways we could tackle the problem next time someone we know is assaulted or raped. The example from RAG being a case in point. It could also involve taking some of the ideas and thoughts that have been raised on this thread and in RAG and making a fuss about it, challenging other people's ideas, making other people think about alternative ways of dealing with rape. There's so much we can do.

And no, it's not easy and no it doesn't hold "the workplace" as the holy ground of organising (although, it could, sexual harassment at work is a big issue, I know of one office - public sector, with a female boss, sorry - which had a persistent nasty pervert who got let off cos no one did anything) so yeah it involves thinking about things a little differently. But it definately is possible, there is stuff we can do, and really we ought to do it.

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Oct 24 2006 20:55
newyawka wrote:
zobag wrote:
So why can't men be actively involved in challenging male violence?

are women actively involved in challenging women's violence? are we all actively involved in challenging all violence?

I'm not sure. What are you trying to say here? I'm not pointing fingers. Do you think it's asking too much for men to give a shit about sexual violence enough to start thinking of ways to do something about it?

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Oct 24 2006 20:59
revol68 wrote:
a) blonde jokes aren't sexist they are anti aryan and hence represent a graver threat than sexism.

Do you have a point?

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b)It really does depend on the workplace, where I work I hear sexist comments but they are generally between two lads and they would never dare say it to anyone. I mean that kind of sexism you can't really deal with in a quick direct way, you just have to make your point without alienating everyone.

Well I'm pretty sure that constitutes a quick direct way of dealing with it. Or at least an attempt to. Which is pretty damn good.

Quote:
I think sexism in the workplace is much more systematic and even de-agentic.

I don't know what de-agnetic means. But that's probably another thread. We might even be able to have two threads about sexism ALL AT ONCE if we're lucky wink

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Oct 24 2006 21:05
John. wrote:
JDMF wrote:
Reclaim the night demos can be empowering and build solidarity and they also create discussion and awareness about the issue.

"Awareness" about what issue? a non-existent media scare one?

Perhaps the Reclaim The Night idea could instead be better used as a means to publically make noise about rape culture, sexual assault, the ridiculous futility of "catching" rapists and bringing them to trial to punish them and sugesting other ways of dealing with it? But like I said before, "Reclaim The Night" in london mostly means seperatist marches with a very dubious relationship with sex workers and a rather ambiguous and non-specific "point" to make.

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Oct 24 2006 21:14

Really good posts zobag.... espesh the first one. Yeah John - gotta say that was a really lame comparison!

And thats all i have to say tongue

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Oct 24 2006 21:22
revol68 wrote:
It was a joke, I mean i know it's a thread that might sit nicely under the label feminism but we could atleast not try to live up to type? I mean people make jokes about Iraq, Ireland, Terrorism and Militarism, or are jokes inherently sexist?

Oh sorry. Even so, it was a rubbish joke. I'd invite you to try harder but I won't.

Quote:
What I mean is, it's not the kind of issue you can organise around beyond just having a bit of wit and not curtsying to such shit cos they are "workers", I mean i do the same with sectarianism.

Yeah fair enough. Even so, it's better than just saying nothing or laughing along.

Quote:
I think sexism in the workplace is much more systematic and even de-agentic.

I don't know what de-agnetic means. But that's probably another thread. We might even be able to have two threads about sexism ALL AT ONCE if we're lucky wink

Quote:
I mean it's kind of structural and can't be pinned on individuals, as in a guy receptionist will be on the same pay as a female receptionist yet to understand the relative low pay of the job it needs an examination of historical "womens work", even if it's not so much anymore.

Ah ok. I agree then. Although, despite it not happening "so much" any more, it still happens a lot. For example yr more likely to have to work part-time hours in a job you're over qualified for on low wages if you're female than male. Obv with execptions a plenty.

Right, next post coming up wink

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Oct 24 2006 21:22
rkn wrote:
Really good posts zobag.... espesh the first one. John that was a really lame comparison!

Thanky.

Pepe
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Oct 24 2006 21:31

It's customary to wink when you make a joke on here.

Anyway, I'm really glad this topic exists and that this kind of thing is being discussed smile

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Oct 24 2006 21:40

Jess, what do you think could be done to tackle rape in our communities? Do you think it's something we need to talk about more "amongst ourselves" (i.e. within the anarchist "scene", perhaps women on their own) before any kind of action can be carried out?

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Oct 24 2006 21:43

Not sure if I actually have anything useful to add here, which is kind of why I'm posting. It often seems to me like there's fuck all useful I have to say about feminism or rape. It's just one of those issues where I can't see anything that can be done about it.

Still, it's definately a discussion worth having, since it's something which is so rarely adressed.

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Oct 24 2006 21:47
Quote:
It's just one of those issues where I can't see anything that can be done about it.

Within the anarchist scene - what do you think of of raising awareness of specific cases, if the victims want to? For example like button suggested earlier on. And then seeing how people react?

I see talking about it as the first step. Not an easy step, especially if people dont want to name names.

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Oct 24 2006 21:50
rkn wrote:
Quote:
It's just one of those issues where I can't see anything that can be done about it.

Within the anarchist scene - what do you think of of raising awareness of specific cases, if the victims want to? For example like button suggested earlier on. And then seeing how people react?

I see talking about it as the first step. Not an easy step, especially if people dont want to name names.

Definately something I'd support, but obviously something that requires a great deal of sensitivity and careful handling (as opposed to this "Let's just kick the shit out of him" thing that innevitably comes up).

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Oct 24 2006 21:54

I suppose the (very difficult) thing is, to discuss issues like this without the forum in which that discussion takes place being reduced to a therapeutic/consciousness raising "space" (as the jokers who do that kind of thing invariably refer to them).

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Oct 24 2006 22:11

That's a very good point, button.

Pepe
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Oct 24 2006 22:12

I think people in general need to talk about rape etc. more, I mean people do talk about it but like you have all been saying alot of people see it as something that dirty old men do down dark allys. Maybe there's some psychological reason for us distancing it from ourselves in this way and not wnating to face up to the fact that it could happen to anyone and there's not much we can personally do to prevent it happening to us, wheras if we believe what we're fed by the media we can amke ourselves feel safer by not going out alone at night? Its rare that real, personal experiences of abuse (everything form sexual harrasment to rape) will come up in my conversations with other women, let alone men. It feels uncomfortable to talk about it but I guess thats something we need to face up to.

Travelling back from the bookfair on my own on Saturday I realised that if I'd planned in advance what I was doing, I would have felt really wary about traveling around London and getting home on my own in the early hours of the morning, and probably wouldn't have done it. But it was absolutely fine! Its really cool, I've realised I've got nothing to be scared of now. Until the next time I get wolf-whistled at or some shit, anyway.

If we can't have a sensible discussion about the two main issues on this thread ( 1) tackling sexual abuse 2) how women feel sidelined withing the anarchist movement)with other anarchists/libertarian communists then we just haven't got a hope at building the society we envisgae. But it seems that we can discuss this sensibly, even on libcom! It makes me happy.

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Oct 24 2006 22:15
zobag wrote:
That's a very good point, button.

Ta. cool

I'm not saying that there's no space (fuck I hate that word) for reflecting on experiences, with the aim of doing something with them in terms of creating a politics, creating new alliances & that. This is the truth of the slogan "the personal is the political."

However, the bullshit of the slogan "the personal is the political" is when people talk about themselves and call it politics.

(Ah, the 80s. roll eyes)

merryragster
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Oct 24 2006 22:25
madashell wrote:
Not sure if I actually have anything useful to add here, which is kind of why I'm posting. It often seems to me like there's fuck all useful I have to say about feminism or rape. It's just one of those issues where I can't see anything that can be done about it.

Still, it's definately a discussion worth having, since it's something which is so rarely adressed.

I'm finding it a bit hard to keep up with this thread, it's moving fast and jumping between the issues of sexual violence and sexism in our movements.

Anyway, I found this post above a bit odd. I mean, the reason its difficult to think of solutions is because they haven't been explored. It's not like there's some easy solution to the destruction of capitalism and the class system. Years of thought and learning from practice goes into this shit. Feminism needs to be part of anarchism, not something to be nodded at occasionally.

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Oct 24 2006 22:30
merryragster wrote:
I mean, the reason its difficult to think of solutions is because they haven't been explored. It's not like there's some easy solution to the destruction of capitalism and the class system. Years of thought and learning from practice goes into this shit.

Exactly. There is a need for people (of whom I am one, sometimes at least) who are comfortable & secure in their "good politics" to approach an area about which they know little or nothing. And that's a bit scary. Especially given the way we can go for each other sometimes over the tiniest little thing.

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Oct 24 2006 22:31
Jess wrote:
I think people in general need to talk about rape etc. more, I mean people do talk about it but like you have all been saying alot of people see it as something that dirty old men do down dark allys. Maybe there's some psychological reason for us distancing it from ourselves in this way and not wnating to face up to the fact that it could happen to anyone and there's not much we can personally do to prevent it happening to us, wheras if we believe what we're fed by the media we can amke ourselves feel safer by not going out alone at night? Its rare that real, personal experiences of abuse (everything form sexual harrasment to rape) will come up in my conversations with other women, let alone men. It feels uncomfortable to talk about it but I guess thats something we need to face up to.

I think a lot of that is going to have to rely on people who have had these experiences starting to talk about it openly. Which is fucking hard, and painful, and can take years to happen. But until it can be discussed openly I don't think we'll get far.

As for not being able to do anything to prevent it directly... well yes and no. I think a general focus on working away a lot of the "politeness" a lot of women feel obliged to hold, the "not wanting to cause a fuss/make a scene" mentality could be quite productively done away with, as that's something I've all too often heard, and something I've done myself.

Quote:
Travelling back from the bookfair on my own on Saturday I realised that if I'd planned in advance what I was doing, I would have felt really wary about traveling around London and getting home on my own in the early hours of the morning, and probably wouldn't have done it. But it was absolutely fine! Its really cool, I've realised I've got nothing to be scared of now. Until the next time I get wolf-whistled at or some shit, anyway.

It comes in waves for me. Balance between accepting that there is a risk, and not being scared about it. I mean it's not just a gender specific thing, I was out with gav a few weeks ago and we got followed half a mile by a very angry man, the only fight I've ever been in was when I was out with a group of male friends.

Quote:
If we can't have a sensible discussion about the two main issues on this thread ( 1) tackling sexual abuse 2) how women feel sidelined withing the anarchist movement)with other anarchists/libertarian communists then we just haven't got a hope at building the society we envisgae. But it seems that we can discuss this sensibly, even on libcom! It makes me happy.

Good innit smile

the button wrote:
I'm not saying that there's no space (fuck I hate that word) for reflecting on experiences, with the aim of doing something with them in terms of creating a politics, creating new alliances & that. This is the truth of the slogan "the personal is the political."

However, the bullshit of the slogan "the personal is the political" is when people talk about themselves and call it politics.

It's certainly difficult to work out the line between learning from your own experiences, and just talking about yourself.

In fact, this whole post has made me think about the tightropes between talking openly about abuse and maintaining sensitivity; trying to protect yourself and not blaming yourself for not doing more to stop assaults; being confident enough to go out alone and being complacent about the risks around you; talking about personal experiences and well talking about personal experiences. Tightrope-a-rama.

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Oct 24 2006 22:35
the button wrote:
merryragster wrote:
I mean, the reason its difficult to think of solutions is because they haven't been explored. It's not like there's some easy solution to the destruction of capitalism and the class system. Years of thought and learning from practice goes into this shit.

Exactly. There is a need for people (of whom I am one, sometimes at least) who are comfortable & secure in their "good politics" to approach an area about which they know little or nothing. And that's a bit scary. Especially given the way we can go for each other sometimes over the tiniest little thing.

I agree with both of you. that's why it baffels me after a few pages of people talking about what might be done, people are still saying "I don't know if there's anything we can do". I mean yes we need to accept that the tried and tested organise your fellow workers, go on strike etc routine is not gonna work, but we need to THEN think beyond that, rather than resign ourselves.

That said, I don't think there's been a single poster who wouldn't want to be able to do something about it.

merryragster
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Oct 24 2006 22:43

True zobag.
Actually, I take back what I said about the ideas not being explored. Feminists have been doing it for years. Some Anarcha-feminist writing I find a bit... poetic? or something.. I dunno. Not practical enough. But there is some really good stuff out there, non-anarchist (gasp) like Sheila Rowbotham's writing about revolution.
So yes, more discussion, but more reading and allowing feminism to influnce anarchism. It has a lot to teach.

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Oct 24 2006 22:47
merryragster wrote:
Anyway, I found this post above a bit odd. I mean, the reason its difficult to think of solutions is because they haven't been explored. It's not like there's some easy solution to the destruction of capitalism and the class system. Years of thought and learning from practice goes into this shit. Feminism needs to be part of anarchism, not something to be nodded at occasionally.

What I meant is that I think the lack of action and discussion around this comes from the fact that it's so difficult to know where to even begin.

Some interesting ideas and points raised on this thread though.

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Oct 24 2006 22:52

just to say i'm following this thread with interest, though the only thing i feel able to contribute atm is not to wade in where i'm completley ignorant

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Oct 24 2006 23:01

I say wade in!

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Oct 24 2006 23:06

maybe when i have something coherent to offer tongue

rich
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Oct 24 2006 23:26

My problem with feminism is that I've had two feminist girlfriends, and whenever we've discussed issues to do with it, I get told that I'm not a woman and can't possibly understand.

I wrote an essay for my degree (a unit in Gender and Development) about the role of men in the efforts against VAW (violence against women) and generally concluded that men can at best be allies working in solidarity with women, taking their direction from women, as no other role (for men) empowers women to fight for their own liberation. I got a first for that essay!

I just reread it: about half way through it becomes an anarcho rant. I would post it, but it's 2000+ words!

I'll get hold of some RAG from Now or Never. I was in a bit of a daze at the bookfair - I remember seeing the sign that said "anarchafeminism isn't just for women" but didn't pick any up for the stall - what a nebish!