Posted by Milla
I forget to put all the things happening around the social centre conflict on the blog. It’s a part of my everyday reality. It’s normal that the same guy who makes erotic calendars in order to raise money for the project – and also has been a face in the media representing the movement – is extremely self-conscious and anxious about me taking space in the bloggosphere, venting my frustration of constantly getting my basic right to speech postponed (the man was there herself in dec 2008, voting for not having the issue of sexism discussed for at least another 2 years). She made a comment about this blog, that it wasn’t nice that I speak openly about there being problems with sexism. That she didn’t want to be called sexist.
Some people asked me what I thought of this calendar, and I must say that my first impression, looking at the picture making it to the Finnish tabloid papers, was that it “wasn’t that bad”. Fortunately I was with sane company, that felt disturbed by the bondage connotation in the image. The way the body is exposed, as an offering, head covered. I’ve watched women being violated in so many ways in the porn you easily get access to on the internet, so I must say that I’m a bit damaged. The slavery and abuse and violence. I’m used to it. I’ve developed tough skin. Been desensitized. The objectification is like a part of the ‘everyday regular’. Comes with the everyday “Evening Girl” served as eye-candy on the last pages of the same paper where the Beauty of Black Block 2008 was promoted. Alternative my ass…
The title of the tabloid article is “An anarchist calendar from the squatters“. It states that the calendar is the refined outcome of all the discussions on sexism and beauty ideals held within the activist scene.
In a promotional letter it’s also stated to touch the issues of for instance: civic responsibility, anarchism, consumerism, mental illness. At the same time as it “deals with sexuality in an artistic fashion, without the cheap feel of commercial erotics”.
The statement I finally made to the people who wanted to know my opinion was this “… a calendar selling political concepts by objectifying the people taking part in the movement, I don’t see as a a step forward in the struggle for everybody’s right to be able to set boundaries and not to be seen as sexualized / erotified anonymous body parts.
It’s the same as selling cars with a naked bikini-broad. And that it’s marketed as “anti-pornographic” on a web-blog, doesn’t get a whole lot of credibility.”
Especially taken into consideration that the working name for this calendar – circulating on the same mailing list where I tried to get a discussion going on sexism, but instead faced severe ridicule, harassment, and eventually got silenced from – was: Riot Porn. [“projekti mellakkaporno” in finnish. One of the emails had the head line: Black Block calendar: Resistance is sexy !! This coming from a person who on several occasions has shown, that she has difficulties in taking in and respecting other persons’ boundaries.]