Sexism hurts

by Milla

Helisinki social centre project: Sompasaari

Sompasaari: Helsinki social centre project

It’s like walking around in a family house, where everybody has their role carved out for them. Patterns that have existed for so long, that any attempts towards something new, is easily pushed down with a “that’s not the true you”.

Walking around in a world that is sexist, saying that it exists, saying that it hurts, and not being listened to, not having any power to be taken seriously, and still be treated as a great threat – cause talking about it would cause the family to break apart, the mold would shatter into a million pieces, and things would never be the same again. Could never be the same again.

So let’s just not talk about the things that hurt. Let’s stop the talking. Keep the mold together, and everyone safe in their role. Freaking out is mad, and obscene, and a complete fantasy. Not the true you.

Maintaining power by violence is not as disturbing as having a radical feminist letting herself be heard on a blog, read by the random few.

A two year ban – taken through a decision where two persons were absolutely against it – taken through a decision where one persons writings read out loud at the meeting, pointing out that some persons have more of a say than others, and saying that there’s as much hope influencing what goes on within the social centre project as there is to affect anything through the general finnish elections. A person hoping that something would really be done about sexism, and that the decision making processes would become more democratic. Micke’s comment on this was: “Well this person hasn’t been at any meetings since May anyways.” And with this the serious criticism was over and done with: Not a family member. We don’t need to listen to people who don’t know anything about what is going on at our house. We take care of our business in our own way.

This was the same comment that Tuuli came with. When I said that I still would like to confront Micke, Yakup, and Taru on sexist behavior, I was told that “We take care of it in our own way.” Apparently the things I had been exposed to was none of my business. The fact that there is no safe supportive structure created for persons affected by sexism within the project. There is no safe supportive way for persons like myself to talk about the harms done. The fact that talking about these things leads to exclusion for two years, in addition to the one year I tried to get into some sort of dialogue. The fact that inspite of protests and differing views, and pleads to take the issue of sexism seriously, nothing whatsoever is being done. The fact that this is a house of horror, where critics are pushed out and a blind eye and supportive backpats are there for the ones not willing to take in any criticism. The fact that the social centre project is a sham as long as there’s no real dialogue created in order to understand what the hell this radical feminist is going on about – through mental illness and breakdown after breakdown. The fact that all this is happening right now, in the city of Helsinki, in a so called “open space”. Doesn’t seem to upset any of the persons involved in the project.

It’s an outrage that a project flaunting principles stating that it’s against any forms of discrimination and domination, and that speaking about the problems openly is the way to go about in order to raise awareness and change things, and still it’s possible to have Inka saying after the meeting, with the forced decision – which she herself facilitated – that the two persons protesting “don’t count anyways cause they’re not ‘in'”.

I’m quoting another woman about the project: “Some people are more equal than others.”


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