by Cunt Incognita (Pina in Budapest)
Hmm. I’m feeling dead and disconnected. There are interesting people around, and also people who can understand what I’m talking about when I say: Sexism, Group Dynamics, Community. But.
Once again I’m stuck and obsessing over Things That Hurt. I’m trying to get some justice in order to get some peace in relation to a group of people who have come together for whatever random reasons. The world is a sandbox and we all just ended up here spade in hand and started interacting with one another in the ways we’re used to.
I was bullied out of the box, some kids told me I shouldn’t come to the playground. I said that the playground is for everybody, and I want help from the other kids to deal with the bullying. But most of the other kids don’t care. Either they blame me for being bullied. Or don’t think it happened. Or think that I’m violent because I’m insisting on talking about it.
There’s been an email exchange. Mostly me repeating: “We have a problem! And we should deal with it!” And others going “Why don’t you just find some other place to go and bad-mouth and complain!” I don’t feel okay, and when I express that openly I’m told that i spread negativity and complexes. I don’t know how to deal with it. But I try. It’s insane. But I try.
So. In this email exchange the different realities are coming out. One woman compared the situation to a sandbox. A brilliant analogy. Social relations are just like that. How we relate to the bullying in the sandbox. She told me to stop complaining about the bullies and go find another sandbox to play in. That I’m just a kid hanging on the fence boardering to a multitude of other sandboxes. She doesn’t understand why I don’t go somewhere else. Then she explained further that she feels that the people in the sandbox [the Morze infoshop] felt like family to her.
I think I agree with her perspective on things. There is no self-deception going on. Just as a matter-of-fact acceptance. Sandbox. Family. Morze Infoshop.
The only thing that differs is that I don’t accept these systems. I want something different.
Here’s yet another mail I sent today on my own exclusion:
what kind of group do you want? (exclusion and group dynamics)
this is long. but with content.
an email structured like this:
2) my idea of what’s going on within the Budapest infoshop collective
/ the radical leftist scene in europe + my interpretation of what i
think (mr)’s idea of the bp infoshop collective is… kind of a
3) my idea of (p)’s stand in this conflict (regarding my exclusion).
4) shortly saying that 4 basic things are needed for consensus
decision making within groups. the first being: A Group (willing to
work together). So… my whole point with this mail being… why not
have a discussion on what kind of group you/we want and wish for?
Agree on what the hell you want to do together and / or at least HOW
you want to do things together.
5) … about a workshop + discussion on
Meeting techniques, Consensus Decision Making, Conflict (resolution?),
Group Dynamics this thursday. in Budapest. I’ve added (n) to the
email string, since (h) wrote an email to her with concerns about
some “sect-ish” tendencies within the collective (n) is participating
in. Just showing that sometimes it’s easier to notice and worry about
what is going on “on the other side of the fence” than reflect on what
is happening within one’s own social circles.[sandbox] (my own point
of view in this being that (h) herself has a dominating role in her
own collective) …
hello (p) who i was shouting “i am the ni****r” to this afternoon…
(i know it’s not cool behavior. and i know: i need more support in
order to be calm and balanced in this)
okay, i know i’ve been dominating this discussion. kind of repeating
over and over again: There’s a problem! Let’s talk about it! (please
be patient with me)
so. i really appreciate(mr)’s analogies to ‘sandbox’ and ‘family’
[family also used by (h)],
cause i really recognize myself in these descriptions. and see that
these comparisons are good ways to bring out the different ways
we as individuals relate to these concepts.
what i’m obsessed about discussing is
— Discussion culture
— Decision making
— Exclusion (“Otherness”)
— The way our (active, passive, silent, loud) participation affect
what happens in a(ny) collective.
my criticism is related to systems. not individuals. we are all
responsible of getting aware of what roles we have in these systems
and see what we can do to bring change about. (with this i want to
make clear i’m not looking for “the bad/evil guys”, in the same way as
i don’t think that killing the president is a good solution. somebody
else would just take this persons place. this is how the systems work.
only awareness and willingness to break patterns and try something new
will make a difference in the end. we are all responsible for what
happens around us.)
in this mail i present two interpretations of how i understand the
realities of two persons – (mr) and (p)
i’m not sure if my criticism comes out clearly in my
interpretations… it’s related to how i see groups function in
general and also how the scene is reacting to me as a radical
feminist. [i am treated like the “other”, “non-family” member. black
the descriptions i make fit into the reality that i experience as “the
other”, and in this i try to bring out the inconsistency that i see in
statements made on bp infoshop flyers, and on the internet pages:
— “People who come to Budapest for the first time can get in touch with the antiauthoritarian political underground.”
— “All horizontalist grassroot groups can hold open or closed
meetings, debates, workshops, working sessions.”
the system i’m about to describe is far from horizontal or
antiauthoritarian. and very close to how i percieve things to be at
this moment in time…
(mr) I would like to know if I’ve understood this correctly… It would
be great if you could comment-react-disagree-agree-
(feelings, thoughts, opinions). I would really appreciate it. [the
same goes for you (p). And anybody else.]
One reality as I understand it
(a completely subjective interpretation – you may call it bizarre if
you wish – and in this case I would very much like to know what
specific details in this interpretation that you find bizarre, and why
– it would really help me understand what is going on in this group of
random people. your point of view is especially of interest to me
since you (mr) are repeating that i should just go and do my politics
Here comes some more story-telling. Once upon a time:
??? ?? ? ?? ? +++ ?? +++ ++ + ??? + ++ ++ + + +
(mr) relates to some of the people involved in the infoshop as her family.
And out of that emotional reality she also respects a diffuse
decision-making model where << inclusion — exclusion >> depends on
certain (or even a majority? of the) members of the family liking or
opinions / ideas / thoughts
attitudes / actions
for (however) vaguely stated reasons. It’s a discussion culture where
“Yes” or “Veto” is enough to tip the scales in favor or against.
The same type of social mechanisms that function within a family or a
sect – where a person expressing a differing viewpoint is easily seen
as the black sheep disrupting the “peace” (or law and order) – at
worst [naah. Best!*] a dissenting family/sect member’s refusal to
conform to the norm can lead to her being cut off from the rest of the
herd, and Pushed Out Into the Great Unknown.
As a family member (mr) accepts these social mechanisms to rule the
life of the group. Hierarchy is accepted in the
INFOSHOP-family-sandbox. The sandbox can have visitors**, but the only
way to receive full valid membership in the family hierarchy is
through marriage or adoption. Both have to be accepted by the head(s)
of the family in order to receive official recognized status.
[Friendships and other relations outside the home/sandbox is accepted,
as long as friends and “others”, with differing opinions are kept away
from the discussions around the family dinner table. No pizza for
dissidents! This way it’s possible to maintain an atmosphere where
traditional values can safely be transferred from generation to
generation without disturbing disruptions. Change comes very slowly
within the family. If ever at all.]
??? ?? ? ?? ? +++ ?? +++ ++ + ??? + ++ ++ + + +
taken seriously. Put in roles that don’t fit and that we can never
fulfill in any satisfying way.
visiting, Papa P will skip dinner and spend the afternoon and
evening in her study reading books, drinking tea, and smoking cigars,
cause Milly talks way too much and asks way too many questions and
Papa P gets way too redfaced and way too headachy and annoyed
whenever she is around.
The Great Unknown [ =outside the sandbox] – An imaginary territory
(kind of the same way we imagine “country”) usually described as a
really nasty and fascist and dangerous place amongst family members.
The family has a deeply rooted identity in being a safe place to hide
from the evils of the world. Family is good and safe. Outsiders /
Non-Family Members are seen as potential threats and possible
evil-doers. The Great Unknown, “enemy-land”, is clearly separated from
the well-known “home-land” by the wooden sides of the sandbox. The
concept of ‘inside’ / ‘outside’ is deeply imprinted in the brains of
family/sect members. As well as the motto: “Protect the Sandbox at all
Another reality as I understand it:
(p) is not fully informed on the previous conflict – and has after
listening to some of the persons involved – come to the conclusion
that she disagrees with the exclusionary decisions made / methods used
by (h) and (mx), but doesn’t take a confrontational approach to
making a discussion happen around this. If people don’t want to talk
about a tree – then it’s violent insisting on talking about the tree
(was the example given to me earlier today). So (p) is also having a
conflict within herself, in wanting to support me, Pina, but at the
same time not seeing any point in putting efforts into supporting a
discussion, since she sees it as fruitless and violent. Instead: She
feels that declaring friendship with everybody is a good way of
resolving conflicts in the long run.
(p) can’t relate to the sand-box analogy because she thinks there is
a difference between grown-ups and children. Bullies in the sandbox do
not have the same rights as grown-up (h) and adult (mx) and
already-come-of-age (v) in not talking about their participation in
disturbing incidents and display of violent behavior and the effects
these things have on their surroundings.
NUMBER 4 ?
a bit a bout
CONSENSUS [decision making]
Each person has a part of the truth, and no one has all of it.
Needs four ingredients:
1. A group of people willing to work together.
2. A problem or issue that requires a decision by the group.
3. Trust that there is a solution.
4. And perseverance to find the truth.
Leads to PEACE, PROSPERITY, EFFICIENCY.
The fundamental right of consensus is for all people to be able to
express themselves in their own words and and of their own will. The
fundamental responsibility of consensus is to assure others of their
right to speak and be heard.
NUMBER 5 !