by Cunt Incognita (Pina)
In Budapest there are two infoshops – Gondolkodó Antikvárium and Morze. In the second there was an open event with a talk about the Greek riots. C.I Pina had been in a conflict with the two persons arranging the event – (v) and (m). She had supported and also given criticism on a mailing list of persons arranging a gathering that took place last year. Before this criticism came out, a lot of the problems had been externalized and blamed on a dying and frail “process” instead of reflecting openly on the concrete actions, non-actions and inter-actions of the real live human beings taking the initiative to make this encounter happen.
One person giving specific criticism was bumped from the list by admin-volunteer (m) who took an individual decision to do so without first giving a warning of what was about to happen, and there was no concrete reasons given for why this action would be justified. Pina was criticising the unfair non-consensual non-transparent decision making method.
Pina asked for a meeting with (m) which (m) declined. Pina was also told to stay away from the Greek info event taking place.
From Pina to (m) ,,, ..
> cause it’s really weird when a person gets kicked off a list like
> that, and no reasons given why. especially if this person has been
> critical of the process.
> i will most likely be in budapest in the beginning of february.
> we could meet then? … ,,
From (m) to Pina ,,, ..
as i said, no.
also, to make things more clear: we discussed briefly about your visit to Budapest in the house meeting of our flat (The Base) and decided that we don’t want you there. with the collective of Morze Infoshop, we didn’t discuss anything. however, we will have an event on February 4 about the Greek riots, which i am organising with (v). i ask you not to come there for several reasons. firstly, as i said i don’t want to meet you. secondly, i know that (v) would get crazy if you were there. thirdly, i have no option to skip the event because of you, since i already invited some specific people that only i know personally to attend and participate in the discussion. depending on the motivation of the other people in the collective, you may or may not have the opportunity to visit the infoshop at another time, if you are interested.
ps: it seems i gathered the strengths to share my experience of meeting you, which left a lasting mark on me but which you wrote you forgot. this could help you to understand our relationship more clearly, and maybe also get some cues about meeting other people. when we met, you introduced yourself and said that you came to the XYZ [gathering] to meet strong personalities. from your metacommunication i had the idea that i don’t look like a strong personality in your eyes. also, i was a little puzzled because i am not familiar with any discourse about strong personalities and i never thought of myself as a strong personality, let alone fancied to become one. and then, there i am, awestruck, in the middle of an anarchist camp, in my ghost outfit, contemplating whether i am a strong personality or not, and also the consequences which follow from that judgement: either you came to meet me, or i am just some ghost trash to trott over on the quest for the ubermensch unity. after all these mental and emotional processes through which i experienced and queried the unknown, i decided that even this idea of people walking around thinking about themselves as strong personalities sounded strange to me.
anyway, i translated this communicative moment for myself as somebody coming to me and saying “Hello. I am here to meet strong personalities like myself, and not people like you.” that hurt me surprisingly deeply somehow, maybe because i had a positive mindset those days and i imagined that i am in an idontknowwhat community where people care about each other, be they strong or weak, and even fight formal and informal hierarchies. also, it was really shocking that somebody who doesn’t really know me suddenly appear and say something like that. so that was really bad for me and i will remember it all my life — even now that i am writing about it my hands are shaking. ,,, ..
To give a little bit more background: Pina met with (v) and spent a week living together with (v) and another woman before the afore mentioned gathering. That week consisted in trying to figure out what was happening with the gathering, who was involved and why they got involved. It was also a week of long talks about sexism. (v) had clear difficulties in taking in and listening to the experiences of the two women without getting into general male privileged defensive and blaming patterns.
After the week, Pina was quite exhausted and told (v) openly that she would not like to have contact with (v) during the gathering.
At the gathering Pina met briefly with (m). There was never any deeper sharing taking place. In the morning of the first day, there was a circle of 20 – 30 people, and a short introduction round took place. Pina was in her usual spontaneous way just blurting out whatever came to mind, which was a wish to meet “strong personalities”. (m) never approached Pina with her thoughts and contemplations on these words, so Pina was quite unaware that her random bla-bla had had a negative impact on (m).
The first time she understood that (m) had experienced something negative in relation to her, was when she read a mail – sent to the mailing list with about 200 subscribers – that there had been something that (m) had avoided confronting Pina on, because of fear.
Pina wrote to admin-volunteer (m) after the exclusion of the critic, and asked for (m) to put this person back on the list, and if this was not possible, then Pina was asking to do list admin-volunteering herself. Pina also asked what criticism (m) had towards her, since it had been mentioned on the mailing list.
A part of a mail from (m) to Pina, where (m) first starts to express her irrational fear of outspoken women. The cursive text is from Pina to (m) ,,, ..
*about list admin rights*: since i want to uphold my decision and i think you would subscribe [the critic] i don’t give you admin rights. more broadly speaking, i only give admin rights to people i trust, and especially people i trust about their ability to maintain useful discussion on a mailing list (among other more boring things). since you are already banned from a lot of communities i don’t think you are such a person.
> so i feel insecure about getting heard. and also about being taken
> seriously, without preconceptions of who and how i am.
about preconceptions: of course i have preconceptions about who you are. i use my past experiences to understand the world, and you do the same — not all things can be explained ‘a priori’. there is a difference between a cop saying ‘come here’ and a comrade saying ‘come here’: i will generally run the opposite direction in the first case and come there in the second. your history is something that is hard to leave behind, all your past actions weight on your shoulders. (of course this is only one side of the story.)
> me, that you haven’t spoken out, just mentioned that you are feeling
> afraid for some reason, in a mail [directed to an individual on the mailing list with 200 subscribers].
i think it is totally unfair to intimidate me and use all this emotional domination and even expect me to speak about my sufferings to you. you are free to torture people until they stop you but it is unfair to ask them to describe their sufferings. i find it really perverse and disgusting. it makes me scared. it is not good for me. i don’t want it. i think people have the right to define their limits and this is beyond my limit.
there was a reason why i spoke about it to [the individual on the list] and not to you. if somebody is raped and traumatised she doesn’t start to talk to the raper but to somebody who can confort her. you will never be able to confort me because you have hurt me deeply even with your first sentences and i will never forget it all my life.
**you are not authorised to mention this part to anybody because i don’t want to live these experiences again, i don’t want to speak about them and i don’t want other people to know about them. i have the right to determine what happens to the information i disclose to you.**
(m) … ,,
Pina reading this male self-victimization in relation to a woman mentioning „strong personalities” and comparing these words to rape, and Pina to a rapist, is pretty hard to swallow. If you’re together with others – it’s possible to laugh at it. If you’re alone, exposure to this type of blaming and shaming logic can have pretty disturbing effects on a person severly oppressed.
This is the same kind of logic used when a woman is raped. Her clothes or behavior „made” the person abuse her, her simply just being there, is reason enough to „ask for” abuse… there’s clearly no responsibilty taken by (m) of her own feelings, the full responsibility for everybody’s safety and happiness is based on Pina shutting up and presenting herself with a big non-threatening apologetic smile. Or simply not show her face around at all.