update – break

weird life. that’s what it feels like.

secrets and lies. saw the film the other day. Mike Leigh. a film that i would have seen as “real” some years ago. the characters behaving like the stereotypes we are. still with depth though. trapped in roles. the two men in the film were nice. which i wouldn’t see as very plausible. sexism isn’t usually shown. those power relations don’t really ever get portrayed in a real and open and honest way. instead the man in the film, was the one bringing all the female characters together. got them to stop the envy and the bickering.

anyways. the theme was that, it was secrets and lies keeping people from connecting. like not telling who’s the father of a child. not telling about a child that was given up for adoption. not telling about not being able to get children. and the suspicion and antipathy coming from all these things.

all the characters are sobbing in the end. finally all the secrets and lies come out, and they manage to connect with one another.

yes. i really think it could be this easy. that’s what i realized in this latest conflict. i’m sick of the way people can’t speak openly with one another. it brings so much tension. and suspicion. when things can be really easy and open and honest instead.

apart from that i’m still super insecure as a human being. it’s really difficult to feel safe somehow. to feel i’m accepted. feel safe in the moment. but i think i’ve managed to work with this in the latest conflict as well. i’ve really learnt so much. to just give up the teacher role, and step into the vulnerable human skin i’m in. not only my ideals, but really me – the human being – is worth defending. i just don’t understand how i could slip into such destructive patterns. neglecting and denying myself.

taking a break. i’ve learnt to do things in the very last moment. cause i don’t like preparing things that don’t happen, so that’s how i function nowadays. hitch-hiking to Oulu up north. there’s a conference From Violence to Caring. the funny thing is that there will be a person called Pasi Malmi there speaking. a man who feels very sorry for men, and keeps on talking about how much man hatred there is in feminism. she’s on the women’s studies mailing list. it’s sad, how common it is that men get into environments like this and just continue the patriarchal brainwash. for me it’s very strange that a person can be so close to the subject, and still not get it. anyways. the doing things in the last moment, means that i haven’t arranged any sleeping place. and it’s snowy. and minus degrees outside. but hopefully i’ll manage to find a place when i get there. or i’ll just have to pretend that i’m not sloppy and stupid. just very “romantic” and “free”. out in the cold…

Herstory 9 – Friends of the earth

killing with an axe is related to finnish (male) culture. some years ago a person was killed with an axe in the helsinki metro. it’s a manly thing to do. the silent finnish hero gets her vengeance with an axe.

and, the translations are not word by word, cause i’m not that fluent in finnish.

Subject: Nuuksio retki: palaute (seksismistä)
[Nuuksio trip: feedback (on sexism)]

Nuuksio was beautiful. But unfortunately we still live in a society
where overt (open) sexist behavior is socially acceptable.

Apart from coming with slippery sexual comments that he
himself set up, (H) also managed to retraumatize me,
a woman who have been exposed to rapes and other
male use and abuse.

Examples: He asks one woman how to say “first aid” in Russian
and after she says it, he says “aha, pikasuihinotto” [quick blow job] and
then he continues asking me, a Swedish woman, how you say “blow job”
in Swedish.

He was constantly using foul language and coarse
sexually harassing “humor”.

At one time the situation also turned dangerous and frightening
when he was supposed to go and meet a woman who arrived
later in the night. She had biked to a path that was about 500 metres
away from the cottage.

I felt like going for a night walk, experiencing the forest
in the dark. So I trusted him to lead the way.
I am not an outdoor person. I have no experience of
moving about and finding my way in the woods.
We didn’t have any light. Even if there were stars out, it was very dark.

I don’t know if the fact that he had been drinking has
anything to do with him getting lost after 200 metres.
He was constantly saying that it’s easy to walk around,
cause the “path is always darker or lighter than the surroundings,
or then you just ‘feel’ the path”.

He dropped his shoe, and spent five minutes looking for it
with a lighter. I suggested several times that we should turn back.
Or call someone. But he just continued walking.

He was saying over and over again that he was lost.
And that we had to find a certain route, that we should keep looking for it.
I had no choice but to follow him.
I trusted that he knew the area, since he had visited the cottage
before. So I couldn’t make out how bad the situation was.

We were walking in terrain that was clearly not “feeling like a path”.
At one point he started singing.
I was shocked by the lyrics.
I found the song on the internet. Apparently they sing
it at parties at the technical school.

HULLU KIRVESMIES THE MAD AXEMAN
sävel: Budapestin yössä

Illalla, kun mielipuoli kirveen saa, In the night when the madman gets an axe,
hän johdattaa mut aitan taa, she leads me behind the shed
siellä missä aivokoppa aukeaa where the skull bursts
ja verikin on punaisin. and the blood is red.
Nauraen lyö hullu niskan taa, Laughing the crazy man strikes the neck,
tunnen sen jo veri tirskahtaa. i can feel how the blood spurts
Vaikk’ on taju himmennytkin, even if my consciousness is dazed
hullu hakkaa vielä nytkin the crazy man strikes again
niskantynkää verta pursuvaa. Hahaa! blood is squirting from the neck. Hahaa!

Kaulavaltimosta veri purskahtaa Blood is squirting from the aorta
ja peittää maan kauttaaltaan. and covers the ground completely.
Mielipuoli nauttii koko sielullaan, The mad man is feeling soulfull enjoyment,
kun raajat kaikki irti saa. when she cuts of all the members.
Kylkiluuhun kirves kirskahtaa, The axe strikes the ribs,
kuola suussa hullu tirskahtaa: saliva is drooling from the mouth:
isken vielä yhden paukun, i strike one more time,
aukaisen mä vatsalaukun. i open up the stomach.
Suolenpätkät ulos kiemurtaa. Hahaa! The intestines wriggles out. Hahaa!

I told him that it was distasteful singing something like that.
That another woman might be scared by that kind
of song. Then he said that I would be running away from him
if I was scared.

At that moment my stomach turned. I told him I was frightened
by his behavior. That I wanted to use his cellular phone so I could
call someone from the cottage. I got the phone and talked with
someone who said that he would send someone to look for us.

I told (H) that there was someone looking for us.
But he continued walking. He had gotten into his head that
we should walk north. I couldn’t do anything but follow him.
I didn’t have any phone with me.

He walked into a swamp. I tried to tell him that it didn’t
make any sense walking north if he didn’t know where we were going.
That we would just get more lost.

I told him I wouldn’t continue walking. Standing in the swamp,
he asked me if my shoes were wet. His shoes were already wet,
so he thought that that made it ok to continue walking straight into
a swamp. I told him I wanted the phone again. That he had to come back.
That it wouldn’t be fair of him not to let me have the phone.

He came back and I talked again with people from the cottage,
who were giving me the advice not to move.

I told this to (H). And started shouting the name of
the person that was out looking for us. We were getting reply
and finally got back to the cottage.

There I asked for a meeting. We were 8 people.
And I think that all of us had suffered from the coarse insensitive
patriarchal behavior of this man during the weekend.

We sat inside the cottage and I told him what I had felt during the
weekend, and that his behavior in the forest had been completely
unacceptable.

He refused to take it in. Said that I was just oversensitive
and seeing sexism in places where there was none.
That he in fact was a feminist.

He didn’t understand that he had been behaving badly
until I asked for support from the others.
Each and everyone told him of how they had experienced his behavior
in a very negative way.

For him it was incomprehensible. He didn’t see himself in the same
way that all the others had seen him during these few days.

When we parted on the bus in Espoo. He was saying goodbye.
And saying that he hoped I hadn’t taken last night to hard.
I said that I would go through days of sadness and anger.
“But then you will forget”, he said. I said, “No, I will not forget”.

He never got himself to apologize properly.
But I seriously hope that me writing this palaute [feedback] will help
him make some necessary changes in his behavior.

Or at least warn other women (and sensitive men) of going to
nature trips with this man.


Milla Ahola
Feministi

THERE were some replies. Mostly positive. And also some really sexist responses, that another man was taking care of, giving a careful analysis of the patriarchal patterns these people (men) were exposing on the list. I was also responding to some of the mails. Both sexist. And also curious mails. Some women wrote to the list about their own experiences within environmental organizations. And one woman wrote for the first time to the list. Writing about her own reflections on gender (not feeling very affected by sexist humor in the work place, saying that it was commonly accepted, and that people were okay with it. and also feeling ok with high heels and make up and “girly” stuff. she also spoke about boundary violations and other experiences of being a woman.). She was asking why i didn’t take this discussion with (H) in person. And also asking if (H) knew her behavior was being discussed on the list. And she was also curious about finding out why i wrote about this event on the list. If it was because i wanted to start a conversation about sexism in general, or if i wanted to warn others about (H).

and this is what i wrote back >>

I don’t care to talk with (H) ever again. He’s done
enough damage. I wrote the palaute [feedback] partly to relieve
the sadness and anger that i felt. Mostly I wrote it to
tell other people what happened to me and how i
experienced this weekend with this man, because
i wouldn’t want anybody to go unprepared on a trip
with him. (not that it would be their own fault if they
would go on a trip with him and he would effect them
in a negative way. the blame would still be (H’s),
of course)

And i don’t see why it wouldn’t be ok to say: “this and this
happened. he said and did this and that. and i felt so and so.
and it shouldn’t happen again. because i see it as wrong.
wrong for me. and wrong for anybody else. let’s not expose
each other to this kind of behavior.”

I’m surprised that there have been this many comments
on the list. I didn’t expect anybody to say anything. And
I didn’t expect that there would be any understanding, but
I’ve been happily surprised.

He’s on the list, [and here i put the full name] so i think it’s safe
to assume that he knows about the discussion.

If you feel that he should have information sent to him directly,
go ahead, do it:
(H)@iki.fi

I told him in Nuuksio already how i felt about his behavior.
I used the word traumatized. I was being very frank about
my feelings. And so were others. But he still couldn’t
understand that there would be anything upsetting or
wrong with his behavior. So the answer to your question
would be: yes he knows. but i doubt that he understands.

You mention sexist jokes in your work place.
We have different opinions on the possibility of sexism
being nothing but non-harmful läppää. [talk] I disagree.
I always see sexism as harmful. But that we grow up
with it as a ruling culture, so we think it’s normal and ok.

Today we have the rapper 50 cent visiting Helsinki.
He will stand on stage in front of thousands of young
idolizing eyes, rapping that “there’s no business like
ho business” (the song is called P.I.M.P)

In MTV we have pornography gone mainstream.
Women dressed in nothing rapped around stripper
poles. Plastic surgery shows. And people getting
their ride “pimped”, ie a really nice makeover is being
done to their cars.

It’s out there everywhere. And i don’t accept it.
I don’t see it as a neutral thing. And i see it as
a big puzzle or net, where it’s all connected.

The sexist talk at work is a part of the same sexist
thinking that men have when they call women
whores or treat women in prostitution like “whores”.

I don’t accept any culture that promotes this way
of thinking about women.

And another problem with sexist talk. That even though
it might feel like everybody’s accepting it, that might not
be the case. In Nuuksio, (H) had a few moments when
he was awestruck by the fact that people don’t perceive him
the same way as he sees himself. He suggested that we
could have a “turvasana” [safe word] that people could use whenever
he said something sexist or inappropriate.

I pointed out that i would probably be able to say
something, but that most people are afraid of confrontation,
a lot of people are also afraid of confrontation leading to
violence. So most people don’t say anything. Most people
shut up. And that would have led him to think that if he
would have gone through a whole day without hearing the
turvasana [safe word] mentioned, that that would mean that he wouldn’t
have said anything upsetting that day.

Could I ask how you know that no one is getting hurt
by the sexist humour in your working community?
Have you been discussing it in a safe environment, in
safe settings where everybody has felt that they can utter
their opinion without ridicule?

yes, i do see high heeled shoes as crippling as
the corset or whatever other gadgets and contraptions
that have been invented and used throughout history
to “make women beautiful”.

The subject of sexsim is endless.
I sometimes compare it with racism.
Just like white skinned people are not
aware of the advantages we have.
Men are not aware of the advantages that they have,
in relation to women.

Colored people standing in the post office, bus stop,
being in the metro or in a store. They know what it
feels like when they get that look. They know what it means.
White people don’t. And some won’t even understand
how widely spread the problem is, because it’s something
that they don’t have to deal with on a daily basis,
like a person of color has to.

The same goes for women. We all know what it feels
like getting that look. We know what he means.
But men don’t have to deal with it. Ever. So they don’t
understand how serious it is. How widely spread it is.
And that we have to deal with it day after day afer day.

Sexism is just as serious an offence as racism.
Not a joke.

super model:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iYhCn0jf46U&eurl=
little girls:

a girl like me:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rjy9q8VekmE&NR
there’s also a film about kids trying to flatten their hair,
can’t find it. but you see the “european” hair on all the famous
black actresses, models, singers. the curly kinky hair just wont do.
“When I endured all that pain, literally burning my flesh with lye,
in order to cook my natural hair until it was limp, to have it look
like a white man’s hair. I had joined that multitude of Negro men
and women in America who are brainwashed into believing that
the black people are ‘inferior’ – and white people ‘superior’ that
they will even violate and mutilate their God-created bodies to
try to look ‘pretty’ by white standards.”
— Malcolm X

hopefully some of your questions got answered.

❤ milla

Herstory 8 – Kindergarten

so the chronological disorder continues. this film comes straight after herstory 7. and both should be before herstory 2.

To Fadeiah

Grown-ups and kids. Kids and grown-ups. What’s the difference?
Both kids and grown-ups see the world (our surroundings, situations and persons) through our emotions.
If we’re tired everything can feel difficult and we can feel like crying.
If we dislike somebody we might see this person as “ugly”.
And the ones we choose to love become the most beautiful in the world.
If we feel a lot of love, everything becomes beautiful.
We are all love. We all have love.
Love is seeing, listening and caring for.

So what’s the difference between kids and grown-ups?
The difference should be that we grown-ups should have learnt to understand our emotions. And understand why we feel in different ways.
There’s always a reason.
If we don’t get love it can feel difficult giving.
We grown-ups should function as guides and protectors of kids.

Unfortunately this isn’t the case.
All grown-ups haven’t understood what love is.
They haven’t understood how important it is to show it.
They can’t see that we’re all special little creatures of love.
They might even think that some deserve more love than others!
And even though you try to explain that this isn’t the case, they don’t want to understand.
They don’t want to listen. They don’t want to see.

That’s when it’s important that you believe in yourself.
That you understand that the love in you is important.
Your feelings are important and it’s important that you listen to them.

You have a right to be seen. You have a right to be heard.

As long as you’re on this planet, you are the most important person in your life.
You are the centre of this big big universe.
It’s important that you surround yourself with people who really see, listen and care for you.
Then the love in you will shine as bright as a star.
And it will be easy to show and give all the strong beautiful love that’s always and forever in you.

Herstory 7 – First love + Polyamory

so i’m skipping the chronological order. going back in time, to the first love. cause i realized that it’s an important part in my development. kind of where my jesus complex started…

this is written to a person i befriended for a while. starting with reflections on love and the twosomeness norm, and polyamory. and then the love letter i wrote.

Note: I would not use the word “fuck” today, since it is offensive and expresses patriarchal violence. I still slip up, when i get really upset though, but i think i will eventually stop using the word in a sex negative way. (in short not using it as in fuck=violence/power but as in fuck=making love)


SUBJECT: about love

and selfishness. the latest thing that has caught my interest in feminist theory is the big sham about the holy “twosomeness”. i.e you’re damned if you do and you’re damned if you don’t.. *

* this twosomeness standard hurts us ’cause:
a) if you’re ‘single’, you have a feeling (or others have a feeling) of you not being ‘complete’
b) if you’re together with someone, you’re not free

i think it’s called ‘parisuhdenormatiivi’ in Finnish. tvåsamhetsnormen in Swedish.

at first when i heard about it i was thinking stuff like: but a relationship with two is difficult enough! i can’t imagine what a relationship with three or four in it would be like!

but now i think i sort of understood what it’s all about. unselfishness. and that there are no relationships with jealousy and fidelity between people.

there’s just people. and the way they feel about each other.

sort of: sex – why deny the others of touching and sharing enjoyment and attraction etc and so forth and so on.

it’s just like sharing a conversation. (wow. these super jealous guys who forbid their girlfriends to even talk to other guys..)

and: why feel like you’re ‘less worth’ if somebody you like is attracted to/enjoy the company of more than just one person on this earth? and why feel bad ’cause you yourself are attracted to/enjoy the company of more than one person? (why not feel guilt over having a really nice conversation about frogs with a stranger on the bus??!)

[i guess this works easier live. but it’s something i’ve been wanting to talk about for a long time. and it’s the latest thing that happened to my mind. the freshest new thought. i had a protu meeting when this was discussed on a femakko [feminist] -get-together at siperia. i really felt i missed out on something. like having your birthday cake taken away from you or something..]

speaking of which. my birthday at mäki kupla in kallio. sitting in the men’s room. sobbing. seeing myself. there at this räkälä [crappy bar]. no friends. and the only thing i had achieved was a stupid love letter to a person who didn’t even bother to read it.

i met him on the street just before new-years. he refused to talk to me. said i should pay somebody to listen to what i had to say.. (fucking nasty bastard. and: WHAT IS this thing with people wanting me to do therapy??! what’s wrong with seeing listening caring for? no money involved?)

i still have a thing for him. cause i’ve never loved a person the way i loved this cocaine-dealing cocaine-snorting drunk sexist stuck-up shithead.

a year ago i was still listening to sappy love songs and crawling and bawling on the floor.

status now: i’m not good. but i’m better.

still a little crazy i guess. not understanding all the madness in the world.

(Xy) is clearly sexist. and his dad showed porn on (??). and his uncle used to live with this woman who he abused and raped and had a kid with. now he lives in estonia with another woman. and has another kid. i assume he’s treating her just as badly as the woman in finland – history repeating. (Xy)‘s grandfather could tear the tablecloth off the table at dinner time.. but i couldn’t see this in him. i couldn’t see the hatred he had for me and all the other women on this planet.

i don’t think i will be that blind again, though. it’s important for me to love myself. the way women love (unselfishly) is not healthy. i wish we could turn our worshipping gaze to each other instead of loving the holy man, who just sits there and takes it for granted.

fuck. (Xy) was so full of self pity. spreading hatred in the things he said and did, and still, he .. aaargh. it’s clear i could go on and on about this.. so i stop now.

anyways: the love i felt for him. broadened my understanding of myself and the whole human race..

THE LOVE LETTER

Hello…

I’m sorry if my way of speaking to you offends you.
I’m no mind reader and I ain’t perfect… Ok? Bear with me.
So.
First of all. I love you. (In the imperfect carnal and selfish way.
But what the hey…)
I’m sorry if I hurt you in any way.
Positively sorry that I in my ignorance was hurt by your ignorance.
Would you believe me if I said I know better now?
If I said that I got enlightened ten past six 22.8.2003 in Tapiola!?
That I have the key to happiness and would like to share it with you?
So.
How did all this begin?
For me.
Getting intoxicated by your sweet sweet love.
I’m a junkie for your love
I wanted it so much that it scared me. I just couldn’t handle it.
I had no self-control whatsoever. I wanted to run off somewhere and hide…
Blah blah. Whatever.
So.
When it came to my knowledge that you were, shall we say, “generously
sharing yourself” with others… I felt gutted. Woe was me…
Hanging the motto “Share your love freely.
But not your body!” over your bed was number one on my X-mas list.
Which is completely STOOPID! considering I don’t “have” you _at all_.
So.
The pain I felt was pure selfishness.
It came from what _I_ _wanted_.
_I wanted_ _your_ love.
So I had to think about how much I love you and came to the conclusion
that I love you a lot more than that.
I love you so much that I can be unselfish about it.
What _you_ want and _your_ happiness is what matters. Not mine.
And gone was my pain. And so was my petty self-pity…
And. Ta-daa! I was filled with love!
So finding happiness was a piece of cake… I laughed myself silly
over there at the Stockmann cafeteria in Tapiola…
Just as Buddha must have done under his tree… So simple.
Want for nothing. Give, give, give.
And you _shall_ get!

This love I have for you, I expanded to EVERYONE. That’s sort of the key…
The love you have for (w). (Q). Your mother. Extend that love to EVERYTHING.
My love for you is in the asphalt you’re walking (yeah, yeah – I _know_ it’s sappy…)
It’s in the grumpy girl in the supermarket.
In the drunkard passed out in the street outside…
In all this you have my love for you.
It surrounds you. It embraces you.
All living things around you are love.
We are all sensitive instruments. Play anything else than love on us
and there is no harmony. I.e we feel bad.
So.
Trying to put it to you gently. Let’s say you’re a little bit out of tune? Ok?
I’ve been there myself. The land of anguish and PAIN… 🙂
I too laughed at violence.
I remember going to the movies with my friend Åsa (top-grades in Swedish and a
perfect Beavis and Butt-Head imitator).
Wild at Heart. A guy gets his head shot off. She turns her head trying
to get away from the violence on the screen… while I welcome it. Laughing out loud…
It’s quite clear to me now that I was a sick pup and she was _not_ a softie.
She was actually perfectly NORMAL.
Hmm.
So much to say.
I wish there was a way I could make you trust me. A way I could return
the great gift you’ve given me.
A way out of the madness.
Maybe Edward M Podvoll could help you too? With
The Seduction of Madness.
I know many more but I’m sure you will find your own way once you start on the right track.
Basically it works like this: whatever gives you a “hangover” is bad for you.
And whatever makes you feel good is love. Do love. Speak love
and it will come back to you.
If it makes you feel bad. Stop beating your head against the wall.
Try something new!
You can also call it ‘changing’… And it ain’t as ‘bad’ as you might think…
It saddens me to have to tell you that you probably have a little more
work to do than I did.
You being on top of the food chain… White guy and all…
Your enemy is “otherness”. Thinking anything else than ‘white guy’ is ‘different’.
Books will cure this for you. Books by the “others”.
So.
How do I make you start this journey towards unconditional love?

‘Chicken?’

Man. It’s time to say good bye… I’m like a sulky kid. I don’t want to…

So once more. (I have to. I can’t get enough of it. I love saying it.
This is for all the times I didn’t.) (Xy), I LOVE YOU. Oh, how I do.
Thank you for driving me crazy… Over and out. Milla

Herstory 6 – Prometheus camp

So, this was once again, an all women experience. Only women in the team. And only one boy participating in the camp. This was my first time, working in a team. And it was really nice. At first i was wondering what kind of structure there was, and what we were supposed to do, cause i haven’t been to these camps before, so the younger women brought in their own experiences, and i also felt total freedom in doing the things i wanted to do. Like talk about feelings. And introducing awareness on oppressive patterns. Like methods of domination. It was really nice to see how the participants in the camp really caught on to this knowledge.

The prometheus camp, or protu as it’s called in finnish, really made it easy to get into organizing without leaders. I remember we were talking about responsibility and workload and the roles we were taking in this process. And even though i was the oldes one, i had to really work on convincing the others, in order to get my material on the program. I really appreciate that i wasn’t put in a leadership position.

Hmm. i had a look at the web pages. and the info is a bit stuffy. “young people at their threshold to adulthood” “coming-of-age camps”. i remember clearly taking a stand against this idea at the camp. i really used to believe in adulthood as a child, thinking that some day i would become an adult. but it’s kind of like believing in santa claus. cause that day never comes. life just goes on, and you develop and change and learn. adulthood is an illusion, yet another societal role we’re supposed to fit into.

One thing i really like about protu is that games are a part of the experience. And also that every evening there was a bedtime story told (i chose to tell the story of Rosa Parks) where everybody lies down on the ground, putting their head on somebody’s stomach. In Finland, where touching never happens, apart from the first time you meet someone, and you shake hands, it’s really important to get people to feel ok with physical contact.(In a non-sexualized way)

one wonderful young woman in the team was marking mails and sms with a heart sign. like this: ❤ and i liked it, so i started doing the same.

update – songs

i’m really going on intuition, don’t do too much planning. i’m badly organized. but i still like what i do. even though i feel really horrible a lot of the time, i still like my kind of activism. i develop a lot.

talked with a woman about what’s said about me on the inside. and i feel really affected by the sexism, cause i’ve been living a whole life with it, and it never stops. and for some reason i get scared. that people who pretend to represent consensus, and speak in “we”-form, will take over the reality of the ones who think it’s perfectly fine if i’m around. that people who refuse to deal with sexism. and continue saying that i’m banned because of how i function politically, practically, personally (without specifying what actions they are disturbed by, and why. or in what way i could “improve” in order to gain trust and be allowed to be a part of this community).

how come some people take “consensus” in their mouths and then continue speaking only their own lived reality as if it is the only thing existing? who gets to decide what where? who feels entitled, and that they have a right to decide? (who feels their opinions and feelings don’t matter? and why?)

i was in touch with a woman who knows non violent communication, and i will know monday if she will be able to help out with mediation.

got to speak with (d) yesterday. and i feel communication has improved. it’s a continuous process. and i’m happy she’s willing to go through it with me. i feel more trust in that she won’t just drop out all of a sudden.

otherwise i still don’t take care of myself. still like a hermit. in front of a computer screen. writing these things, mostly for myself i guess. i get to understand the process behind my own development, with sexism, personal relations, insanity, conflict resolution, communication, world peace. probably a lot of people feeling happy i’m not terrorizing lists… there was one guy on a feminist mailing list who was really stating that i should just stop. and that she didn’t want to hear about it. and that my mails had nothing to do with that specific list… (this argument is used very often. deciding what is political and not.) i had told her once before that she could just not read what i sent. or that she could block my mail. another man was also saying that i should take this man’s feelings into consideration. which didn’t feel right at all to me. since i’m speaking of my own oppression. i. the woman. told to think about the feelings of the men, and stop sending mails.

and.. mostly dealing with feeling like a lover with a person who doesn’t even like me. can’t deal with my politics. doesn’t respect me. now, with hindsight, it would have been so easy. to just speak openly about everything. and it makes me sad that i’ve lost a friendship. it makes me sad that her response for my many calls for help, was.. well one woman kind of pinpointed it when reading a response written by this person to a call for solidarity i made. that the response was really aggressive. and it was like sawing off a hand reached out. the call for solidarity is completely neutral and open. non-aggressive. and still it’s perceived as a threat. so much fear. i hear constantly from the inside that men feel like i don’t listen to them. reversed sexism.

i’ve been patient enough. i have a right to be angry. raging mad. the oppressive gender patterns are still clearly out there. fully visible. in the open.

still. this feeling of being lovers with someone. wondering if it could have been. i go out in the shop till you drop supermarket world and hear the songs there to soothe us. and they affect me. that’s how it works for me. i hear some line and i identify with it. get stuck. like Bowie. Heroes.

And you,
you can be mean

And I,
I’ll drink all the time

‘Cause we’re lovers,
and that is a fact

Yes we’re lovers,
and that is that

bringing me back to my own reality of what was going on in that relation for me. i remember after going traveling with her, and quickly going into gender patterns. i don’t know why. fear of loosing a friendship. maybe. and the need to protect myself as well, defenses up, not being able to be tender or show what i needed. the build up every time. mix of feelings. fear. love. tenderness. hope. anger. sexual energy. bottomless hopelessness bottomless despair. numbness. the outbursts of anger and frustration, sadness. the drinking that i started with again at the end of our travel.

one woman was telling me after I had gotten through the worst. that I had looked like I was dead for some time.

i don’t know what keeps me going. a strong belief in something different. being able to envision something different. within grasp. a social centre where everybody is cared for.

just don’t want to be stuck with this particular fantasy. daydream. stop wishing for a lover. i want to get real.

and i feel i was really dishonest in that relation. because of fear. i don’t really see any need for fear. not if there is communication.

i’ve learnt to give up on relations. to let go. this time it just makes me feel sad. again. mourning. the fact that i didn’t understand myself. and was so full of fear. couldn’t speak the truth.

Herstory 5 – The Unstructured Authoritarian Leftist Scene

Not so much to add to this video. Apart from that it’s about 10 minutes. So it can be worth letting it load for some time.

This conflict felt really horrible, and for a long time i was really taking in all the negativity from dominant person #1. Until some people started telling me, that she behaves this way with other people as well. And that this was a conflict between her and i, and not me and the whole scene. Apart from the ones who got into protective mode, and started giving me the silent treatment.

I don’t know why it felt comforting to know that i wasn’t the only one scared of this person, facing her aggression. Cause this should just set off big alarm bells, and lead to this person being confronted on her behavior. Not like it is now, that these people are humored instead.

So that’s what it’s like in the Unstructured Authoritarian Leftist Scene. Better adapt to the culture fast, so you know what you can and can’t say, cause if you say the wrong things, there’s a big chance that you’ll piss somebody off, and their ill temper will not lead to any mindblowing life-altering political discussions, but instead you might just find yourself getting the silent treatment. Bye bye discussion. Bye bye change.

And bye bye, to a whole bunch of people, who would be really good for the movement. You have to be extremely stubborn or sure of yourself, in order to go against the social pressure. I think i’ve continued because i haven’t been able to find my own little group to feel safe with. So I’ve gone megalomaniac, wanting to change the whole movement instead. I mean to me it’s clear that it’s broken, so i think it’s fair to try to fix it. [todays lyrics. olive-killing.]

I mean i want to be liked to. And live in peace. But i would like to know i’m doing it for the right reasons. Not a peace where i’m walking on egg-shells. But a peace where i can walk tall and proud. And sensitive and weak. And needy and petty and stupid. A peace where i’m accepted as fully human. Not the way it is now. Where you have to have “the right” ideas. Listen to “the right” music. Wear “the right” clothes. Want “the right” kind of radical change. Know “the right” people. No diversity. No freedom. No creativity. No love.

Even though it could be really easy.

Note: About dominant person #1. That she was really upset about the word woman. And i use that word about her in the film. Just wanting to point out to people, who are sensitive to this, and want to respect every persons right to define themselves, that i heard that now, some years later on, she recognizes that there are these two groups in society (men, women) and as far as i understand she considers herself belonging to the group defined as “women”. Maybe i’ve gotten this all wrong. Cause this is just something i heard, so i don’ t know for sure. but i think she wouldn’t be offended by me calling her “woman” in this film.

and some blah blah. i think i would have been attracted to her, if i wouldn’t have found her so scary and aggressive, and her constantly attacking me with some really patriarchal ideas. and i probably thought she’s more scary and aggressive than she is, because she’s a woman (the same type of behavior from a man would have been more according to the norm. just as i’m sure a lot of people find me really aggressive just for speaking my mind. not very womanlike…)

AND: i spent some time doing something else than feeling angst over the social centre conflict today. got some needed updates done on some myspace accounts with info on feminist self defense. and when doing that, i realized, that even though i felt that that project has been stepping back for about a year, it’s still been very much what i’ve been working on. quoting this text, that really would make sense to any group: “The effects of feminist self-defense are personal as well as societal. We deal with our own oppression and we also want to make all oppression more visible and fight against it.” i’m really happy i got this text together, and i’m looking forward to maybe some day finishing, the whole thing, making films with different moves, and also give some examples of what the first training sessions could look like. so that more women could get started with this. well. the short introductory text in english, finnish, and swedish. we are worth defending.