A message to "anarchist" men, and then some

Polemic about sexism amongst anarchist men.

So they say a women's work is never done, and here I am writing an article that a man should be writing, and I'm starting to believe it.

Women have been looked over, talked over, pushed back, laughed at, been shut up, used, abused, and raped all by our "brothers" self titled anarchist men and proclaimed revolutionaries. All the anti-sexist men quick to jump on someone else's sexist remark when around an anarchist crowd, but will let it slide when around his not so "P.C." friends. The men who vocalize their aggression against rapists, but when THEIR lovers say no, coercion is simple, and its not rape, because he's ANTI-SEXIST. There are men who use anti-sexist talk to pick up women. The men who challenge others to call them on their shit and when someone does, on goes the defense mode and he's appalled that someone could say HE was fucking up, instead of actually thinking about the situation and to start working on it.

We already know all men are sexist, just as all white people are racist because of our society, white people still having privilege over people of colour and men still have privilege over women, and once born into this process its incredibly hard to break it, especially when you forget to look at yourself. Once men slap "REVOLUTIONARY" on themselves, they think once they know a problem exists, that they are no longer a part of that problem, which they are.

As always before and now, sexism is a second hand term. It seems everything is being laid out in order of importance, made by who? Its like "first we'll fight racism, cos' we already know how to beat up nazis, then maybe we'll think about sexism, capitalism, or homophobia, whichever least affects our privilege. After that if there's time, and no more beer, we can read about speciesism, ageism, or ableism. if we're really cool we'll learn a little about it all to improve our social skills for the next gathering."

Whatever happened to fucking equality? How did some isms become more important than others you ask? Its called "How to be cool in the political scene, and keep as much privilege as possible" (look for it at your local corporate bookstore).

It's sad when it comes to the point where we don't want to think of anyone but ourselves or the P.C. status quo. Which brings me back to the conclusion of all these "feminist" men, who care so dearly about women (or at least fucking them), until it affects their privilege, they care. Which I challenge SELF-PROCLAIMED anti-sexist men to really think about, how far the words they speak so well, go maybe try asking your best friend or lover just how anti-sexist you are.

Has this article offended you yet? Do you use your knowledge of others oppression to make a change or to just make a good impression. Do you feel challenged when a women speaks? Ever assumed its ok to touch someone? Ever feel bothered when a women asks you to confront sexist bullshit? well fuck you, you choose the term revolutionary not me.

Unless we can start seeing ourselves as the problem, and until we can actually start talking and listening to each other about our problems and work on them, revolutionary change will always remain a distant dream.

So the last question being, how many articles does it take until men start working on their shit? Aren't you tired of hearing and reading about it (if they even took the time)?

Maybe Smith and Wesson do a better job??

At least stop considering yourselves revolutionaries, YOU'RE NOT MY COMRADE.

Molly Tov

Comments

Steven.
Jan 11 2013 19:15
Quote:
We already know all men are sexist, just as all white people are racist

hmm…

Ambrose
Jan 12 2013 23:20

I like the tone of this. Women need to take more direct action if they are to be taken seriously. You can be loud, but if your loud and have force to back it up then you'll be taken much more seriously. Especially if your dealing with the average Joe; being bigger than the other guy seems to help out a lot when persuading someone. I can throw as much logic and emotional appeals as I want at some people but if they are bigger than me, then the might = right idea kicks in and that's all there is to it.

And no, a woman that lifts weights will not look mannish. I absolutely hate that myth. If she doesn't do steroids then she'll probably be half the size of a man and be just as strong.

bastarx
Jan 13 2013 03:56
Quote:
Whatever happened to fucking equality? How did some isms become more important than others you ask? Its called "How to be cool in the political scene, and keep as much privilege as possible" (look for it at your local corporate bookstore).

hmmm...

Noah Fence
Jan 13 2013 08:15

Now, I'm a bit prone to sweeping generalisations myself but...

commieprincess
Jan 13 2013 09:47

Ambrose thanks for all the helpful advice on how women should behave when tackling sexism. Thank god I know now! Because it's completely the fault of women and their behaviour which means they're not taken seriously. Also thanks for the permission to build muscle. Also wtf women should be physically strong in order to be listened to? What are you talking about?

I like this one paragraph -

Quote:
Women have been looked over, talked over, pushed back, laughed at, been shut up, used, abused, and raped all by our "brothers" self titled anarchist men and proclaimed revolutionaries. All the anti-sexist men quick to jump on someone else's sexist remark when around an anarchist crowd, but will let it slide when around his not so "P.C." friends. The men who vocalize their aggression against rapists, but when THEIR lovers say no, coercion is simple, and its not rape, because he's ANTI-SEXIST. There are men who use anti-sexist talk to pick up women. The men who challenge others to call them on their shit and when someone does, on goes the defense mode and he's appalled that someone could say HE was fucking up, instead of actually thinking about the situation and to start working on it.

but I find the rest a bit disappointing. Especially that "speciesism" comment.

Noah Fence
Jan 13 2013 10:27
Quote:
Ambrose thanks for all the helpful advice on how women should behave when tackling sexism. Thank god I know now! Because it's completely the fault of women and their behaviour which means they're not taken seriously. Also thanks for the permission to build muscle. Also wtf women should be physically strong in order to be listened to? What are you talking about?

With you on all that Commieprincess. There is likely some truth in this article relating to some people but purlease! It reads like a collection of Sun headlines from an alternative dimension!!! I've never been less convinced.

Steven.
Jan 13 2013 13:32

Commie Princess, good post.

Ambrose, terrible post, seriously, what are you even talking about? (N.b. this is not a question to which I really want an answer…)

wojtek
Jan 13 2013 16:44

commieprincess, may I ask why you still persevere with and continue to post on libcom despite the numerous sexist threads and its overall reputation? Genuine question.

commieprincess
Jan 13 2013 17:35

I think the main thing is that, as depressing as it is having people who are supposedly 'on your side' make fucking idiotic and offensive remarks, and act like numpties, sadly it's no different anywhere else. And we can't retreat from all situations where people might be sexist as we would just have to stay at home and not talk to anyone, listen to music or watch TV. Which would be shit because I've just started watching Breaking Bad!

On the bright side, on libcom, the douchebag comments are rarer these days and more people seem to be willing to genuinely reflect on their douchebaggery when called out on it. I think there are a lot of regular posters who have made real attempts to try to make the forums less hostile for women. Plus there are at least 3 or 4 other regular female posters on the site (which is obviously still ridiculously low, but much better than being out on one's lonesome) who have spot on politics and that definitely makes it easier.

At times it can feel like there's a choice between feminism and The Anarchy - which is obviously completely nonsenical - because of all the fucking terrible feminism out there and also the terrible patriarchal anarchism. Crap feminism (which equates female liberation with the liberation of chickens, or that has essentialist ideas on gender and race, for example) is as horrible as sexist anarchism. And I feel like there's this tiny niche in which a class struggle anarchist feminist who eats delicious meat fits.

I'm not sure if that totally answers the question, but there's some brain-thoughts.

rojario
Mar 2 2014 03:04

"We already know all men are sexist, just as all white people are racist"

This is BS. The examples the writer gives when claiming all men are sexist, are things that lots of males don't do. E.g. I've never forced myself on my girlfriend and I'm not friends with people that make sexist comments. And I know lots of men that are the same.

And as a side-note, as a mixed race person, I know my white mother isn't a racist. And I know lots of other non-racist white people.

And then at the end of the article she starts talking about guns? I think its the author that is the sexist.

jef costello
Mar 2 2014 09:52

To be honest I think the author is using the same technique she complains about. By being so agressive most people are either forced into agreeing or withdrawing.
Obviously we can actually look at the situation and respond logically as CP has done.
Sexism is a problem, and it is really hard to look at ourselves and evaluate what we do. Most of us operate under the illusion that we are logical and it's hard to accept that we are not.
The problem with something like this is that it says that the problem is unsolvable. Now while we could easily live in a world where all tha capitalists were gone and probably one where all the white people were too as things stand a world without men is impractical for the moment.
Rojario: being mixed race doesn't make you non-racist, neither does having a mixed-race child. I don't know if you are racist or sexist or anything else, but don't assume that you are just because you want to be or because those prejudices don't make sense. For example the worst victim shaming I usually hear is from women and I try to argue against it, often without too much success.

Quote:
There is nothing more painful to me at this stage in my life than to walk down the street and hear footsteps and start thinking about robbery. Then look around and see somebody white and feel relieved.... After all we have been through. Just to think we can't walk down our own streets, how humiliating.

This quotation from Jesse Jackson is often used (with the last part omitted) is often used to show all sorts of things. But it also shows that unconscious reaction, that sometimes we are not aware of and often try to justify. A good person can have prejudices. I think one of our problems is that by demonising rapists or sexists we make it very hard to admit our own racist or sexist prejudices, no matter how minor they are.
I'm not saying that some sexism or racism is excusable. What I am saying is that most of us will have some present and we have to deal with it and we also have to recognise that the existence of these prejudices doesn't necessarily mean someone is unreachable and an enemy.
If I was speaking to a colleague about an upcoming strike and they said that the unions had never done anything for them so they weren't losing a day's pay I wouldn't decide they were a capitalist lackey and beyond saving. If however they were breaking strikes by force and attacking pickets then I might think differently.
In the same way as when facilitating meetings I have noticed that people (women included) are much more likely to interrupt female speakers. I never thought that I would do such a thing, but I did start thinking about whether I did and although it is hard to tell I think I probably did, so I made an effort to interrupt less, but I probably still do it. It doesn't mean that I am sexist and it is a minor point and hopefully I am still a good comrade, but I can't deny that for a woman in a meeting with several people doing this it must be harder to speak and that is not a minor problem. (I did also wonder if it was because women were more open and acceptoing of comment, but although I would prefer this positive view of it I don't really think it was true).

Auld-bod
Mar 2 2014 10:25

Jef Costello a great post.
‘A good person can have prejudices.’

I would go even further that everyone has prejudices – preconceived opinions. It would be impossible to go through life continually rethinking ALL of our opinions - do I really like beer, etc. What is important, as j.c. writes, is to critically examine our behaviours and if necessary change them

rojario
Mar 3 2014 18:35

Jef, You make some good points.
I might be a sexist - unintentionally. However, by your (perfectly acceptable) conception of sexism, almost everyone, (including women) that has grown up in the West is probably a sexist. The female feminist author of this article is most likely sexist as well. But she singles out men as being sexist. So I think again, this shows that the article is sexist.

Also, the examples of sexism she pointed to, implied a different kind of sexism - a more intentional kind. With regards to this type of intentional sexism she points to , I still think she is wrong.

Khawaga
Mar 3 2014 19:50
Quote:
However, by your (perfectly acceptable) conception of sexism, almost everyone, (including women) that has grown up in the West is probably a sexist.

More or less. But I would articulate it as all of us will at some point or another behave in sexist ways, so not necessarily that you are sexist. There's a subtle difference IMO.

Steven.
Mar 3 2014 22:12
Khawaga wrote:
Quote:
However, by your (perfectly acceptable) conception of sexism, almost everyone, (including women) that has grown up in the West is probably a sexist.

More or less. But I would articulate it as all of us will at some point or another behave in sexist ways, so not necessarily that you are sexist. There's a subtle difference IMO.

yeah, I would agree with your general point but I think it would be more accurate to say that we all (men and women) have been conditioned to hold some sexist views, which will sometimes be manifested in sexist behaviour.

(But I share some of your issues with the above article, which I think makes some good points but also makes some points which are completely wrong)

Khawaga
Mar 4 2014 00:53
Quote:
I think it would be more accurate to say that we all (men and women) have been conditioned to hold some sexist views, which will sometimes be manifested in sexist behaviour.

Yeah, that was better put than I could manage, but it was precisely what I meant.