Milla’s latest (speaking truth)

by Cunt Incognita, FOTZE homeless in Berlin — she=he

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Some of my latest thoughts on how the community behave in relation to sexism expressed openly, publicly within. Daniel posted on my Couchsurfing profile that I am “hardcore borderline” and a bad drunk. For more on that read this: Daniel – Do something about your sexism!

Maria Morozova posted a very protective and sweet reference to Daniel in response to me saying that the guy has problems with male chauvinist behaviors. I don’t understand why. Why?

Once when speaking with Maria, she said that Daniel “is like a girl”. She also told me I shouldn’t say this to Daniel for some reason. I don’t understand why. As if it would have been an insult to the guy’s manhood or something(?) If this is her perception of girlish or innocent behavior, then I dread to see the rest of the men taking part in the Morze Infoshop collective she’s so keen on “keeping together”.

An Outsider About The Morze Infoshop

I’m going out of my mind with so many conflicts going on at the same time. Normal life is like a warzone. Violence are us. We are violent. Not free.

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Daniel’s latest (endless nothingness)

by Cunt Incognita, FOTZE homeless in Berlin — she=he

This is a continuation of Psycho Sexism and What? Talking with a guy with a bad habit of dominating women. This is tedious documentation of painful and real sexism in my life. At this moment. Now.

What? (talking with a guy with a bad habit of dominating women)

by Cunt Incognita, FOTZE in Berlin — she=he

This blog post is a continuation of THIS

I feel sick. Lonely. I get response in private confirming that things are not right with the men’s group in Budapest. But no public support or any form of knowing how to talk with these guys. Daniel is taking part in their activity. Sitting at their meetings and talking with them about me sexually coercing the man into sleeping with me. Letting these type of rumors go around, reassuring people that “this has already been discussed” between Daniel and I. No. This has never been “discussed”. Daniel is lying.

And at the same time, there’s no space made where I can speak of my reality in relation to this man without being silenced, scorned, told that I’m mentally ill. There is no space made where my reality is taken seriously, where there’s some effort made to heal the hurt and the aching ills of the past and present.

I feel sick when speaking with Daniel. I feel sick that there’s no help to get this done. I know the rules. I should bite my tongue and suffer in silence. I should know that I’m insane for asking for a change in the man, or a change in the persons in collusion with Daniel’s non-accountability and refusal to change. I’m selfish and demanding for asking for help, and I should conform and adapt and accept. Forgive and forget. I know the rules. I feel them deeply inside of me. But I don’t know how to obey. Why should I?

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QUESTION – from me, written in black

ANSWER – from Daniel, screenprints of the reply over Facebook

RESPONSE and QUESTIONS – from me in green

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Daniel responding to my question about why the guy doesn’t want to see my face around, saying that the reasons have been stated already, many times, last summer..

hmm. you are absolutely totally vague. i don’t understand a word of what you are saying. could you be more specific?

1) what things were you repeating last summer?

A) Why do you want to meet live?

You said that you’ve been repeating the reasons for why you don’t want to see my face around. I asked you what those reasons were. You said you’ve been repeating them last summer, and that I should look them up. I tell you I don’t understand what the reasons are, and I ask you to express them explicitly. Your answer to this is that we should talk about it at a meeting – face to face.

This doesn’t make sense to me:

You don’t want to see my face around. And you say you’ve given the reasons for this many times. But you don’t care to repeat them again, when I say I don’t understand, and I ask you a direct question.

You say: Let’s talk about this face to face.

B) Why do you need a face to face meeting to tell me why you don’t want to see my face around?

You say that you don’t have time to discuss the reasons for not wanting to see my face around online.

C) 1: What takes your time away from sorting these things out? 2: What would be the difference between a face to face meeting and an online meeting?

2) what was the sum up of the meeting we had in Vienna?

D) What made sense to you with the meeting in Vienna?

E) 1: What did not make sense to you with the other meetings? 2: What does ‘making sense’ mean?

F) 1: Why do you speak from a ‘we’ perspective, as if the feeling of ‘making sense’ in Vienna was mutual? 2: Do you believe this feeling was mutual?

I don’t like that you include me in your feeling of that meeting. I don’t share your perspective or feelings.

G) Why do you view the text you are referring to as ‘yours’?

I wrote the text. You read it through, and ‘okayed’ it. But you didn’t live your end of the agreement.

H) 1: Do you feel that you lived your end of the agreement? 2: If yes: How?

Here are your written statements about Vienna.

Daniel about Milla:

“saying that she shits on my feelings, forcing me to physically please her with emotional pressure (it happened in Vienna when we were supposed to have a “clearing up meeting”… she forced me to sleep with her… she said she doesnt care if its out of whatever feeling she has a right to that… then she forcibly kissed me and wanted to sleep with me saying later that she noticed how much i didnt want it from my body language, but her first question was “why cant i make up my mind?” like its my fault”.

Daniel about Milla:

“we didnt have intercourse… she really would have had to use physical force for that… but it stopped at emotional coercion and physical “attempts”…”

The quotes come from Stacy. You told her that you and I already talked about this. H) 3: When did we talk about this?

I don’t share your perspective on what happened. In fact. I would say that you are lying.

3) in what way do 1&2 affect my face?

I) What is the issue according to you?

J) 1: Why can it only be solved live? 2: What would you consider as ‘solving the issue’?

4) how do you relate to concepts like accountability?
5) what does accountability mean to you?
6) do you practice accountability, and if yes? how?

K) 1: What mechanism makes you in what way? 2: Mechanism = What behavior? What thing? 3: The way you are = What behavior?

L) What behavior is it that you are trying to make happen in relation to people you encounter in your everyday life? Give specific examples please. I don’t understand what you are talking about.

M) 1: What behavior is important to you? 2: What behavior is it that you are far from practicing?

N) 1: What is it that you are trying to set straight with me? 2: What does “setting straight” mean?

N) 3: How do you relate to having made statements like this, in relation to me for several months wanting to talk about what I lived and experienced in relation to you:

“i dont want to talk to an obssesed, alcoholic stalker, who thinks i should go kill myself, writes sarcastic messages in my name, uses my friends, sexually abuses me, wants to take out lifelong traumas on me and shits on my feelings…. yes this was all traumatizing to me you FUCKING, INSENSITIVE; ASS…”

N) 4: Do you think that anti-sexism is possible to make happen disconnected from the reality lived by women? 5: On several occasions you’ve called my reality distorted and you’ve also called me mentally ill. In what way are you practicing accountability in the statement above? 6: How is this related to your anti-sexist practice?

7) what does anti-sexism mean to you?

N) 6: When we intervened in Helsinki, you didn’t understand the gender aspect of a man beating a woman in the street. What do you mean by “it’s usually more than that?”

O) What does ‘patriarchic culture’ mean?

P) 1: What do you read? 2: What do you do in the men’s group? 3: What do you discuss with people you live?

Q) 1: Do you acknowledge male chauvinist behaviors in yourself? 2: Do you acknowledge having this type of behavior towards me? 3: Do you acknowledge the harmful affect your behaviors have on others? 4: How do you turn around patriarchal culture in relation to me?

You wrote a negative reference in relation to me on couchsurfing, where you do not acknowledge male chauvinist behavior in relation to me – after I pointed out that you have severe problems with this. Instead you wrote that I have drinking problems (without stating the same about yourself?!) and that I have mental problems (without saying the same about yourself?!)

R) 1: Why do you say that I am borderline? 2: In what way does this statement support turning patriarchic culture around? 3: In what way does a statement like that support patriarchal culture?

8. you say you have caused me harm. in what way have you caused me harm?

S) 1: Why do you make a statement about having caused me harm? 2: And how come you refuse to define it when I – the person you caused harm – asks you to? 3: Who should define it and why? 4: Do you acknowledge having harmful behaviors, causing me harm in the present time as well?

9) how are you in contact with the men’s group?

T) 1: Have you talked with the group about me sexually coercing you? 2: Have you talked with the group about Hajni sexually coercing you? 3: Have you talked with the group about you talking to other people about me and Hajni having had sexually coercive behavior towards you? 4: Do you believe that these statements you are making are true? 5: How has the men’s group responded to these statements?

10) how can outsiders get in contact with the men’s group in such a way that they would respond?
11) could you hook me up with people from the men’s group?

They responded after I asked a woman to pass on my questions to them. The woman is in a group working with support for battered women. The group is supervised by Peter, who is one of the guys in the men’s group. [This power relation is super problematic!] The men’s group ignored the contacts made by several others, including myself before this. And you mentioned 5 persons interested in joining a meeting between you and I. The response was only from Feri, Gabor and Peter. Not the whole group.

They stated clearly that they only speak with people that they want to speak with – defined as “in a working relation” with these three men.

They said that you are on a trial period with the group.

U) 1: What does being on a trial period mean? 2: Does that mean that you are in a working relation with them? 3: How long does it last? 4: What do you need to do during this period? 5: How do they make a decision for you to stay in the group or not? 6: Did Feri, Gabor and Peter go through this trial period? 7: How were you informed of the conditions for staying with the group?

V) 1: Do you trust the men in the group? 2: If yes: Why? 3: If no: Why?

W) 1: Could you contact individual members of this group, and ask them if they would meet me online for chat? I am here referring to the five persons you said were interested in participating in a meeting between you and I. 2: If your answer is no: Why?

X) Could you – as a person I assume is in a working relation with the group (it is still not clear to me how to get a response from this group), so, could you pass on these questions to the group, and have them discussed at the next meeting?

1. I hope you can understand why, right from the outset, women and feminist groups might be wary of mens organizations, and so would desire transparency in regards to policies and procedure?

2. Policies about how to handle issues regarding male members sexism towards women in their personal lives?

3. Policies regarding decision making?

4. Policies regarding discussion management?

WHY ARE THESE QUESTIONS NOT IMPORTANT TO THE MEN IN THE GROUP? WHY ARE THESE QUESTIONS ON PRACTICAL PROCEDURES IGNORED?

The four points above was sent to the group by a woman, and she did not receive any response. I would like to know how these questions could be responded to. Since you are in the group, I assume you would have the power to make that happen. Or at least have the possibility to ask the others of your group about this, face to face.

Y) I have problems with contradictory behaviors and statements made by you. I don’t know if this is related to the mental illness you say that you are suffering from: Borderline (1a: What does it mean? 1b: Have you been getting this diagnosis from a doctor?) So, if we would have face to face meeting, I would very much like to have it recorded, filmed. 2: Would you agree to this? 3: If no: Why?

And all these questions have been sent to Daniel:

Reading this blog post through, makes me physically ill. Makes me want to vomit.

Daniel has said that I have sexually abused her. Daniel has said that I am stalking her. Daniel is saying that she is doing anti-sexist work on a daily level, and making efforts to be accountable to the people around her – when I know she is lying to people around her about all kinds of stuff. Daniel calls me mentally ill, and says that my reality is distorted. I feel ill. I feel really ill.

Anti-Sexist Therapy (Pull the laundry out in the open)

by Cunt Incognita, FOTZE in Berlin — she=he

I’m slowly responding to the cluelessness expressed by the men in this group:

http://www.stop-ferfieroszak.hu/en

Once again: Lots of pretty words — and very contradictory practice. In other words: We’re all human.. My response will be sent to the group when I’m finished. Dunno when that will be. I have no deadlines..

This is the response I finally got from the men’s group in Budapest.

I will write about the thoughts coming up when reading this type of text later on. The first few words would be something like: Dismissive, Belittling, Non-responsive. Authoritarian. Patronizing.

I am deeply bothered by the fact that Peter Szil – a man – is the supervisor* of a women’s group dedicated to support work for battered women, and at the same time is participating in a men’s group with this type of response to my questions. Whoah!

*How come any man serious about anti-sexist, feminist work would accept a position like that?

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Here below are the answers of Gábor, Feri and Péter to your questions.

////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

The questions I have for Peter, Gabor, Feri, and Daniel
as well as any other man relating to this so called

“male anti-sexist self-therapy group” that Daniel is doing workshops about
https://sosiaalikeskus.wordpress.com/2010/03/14/a-sick-joke/

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QUESTIONS:

1. How do you as males relate to the fact that a man — Daniel — in
your group claims to have been sexually abused by females — myself
included — and as well claims that this has “been discussed” when
passing this information on to friends of mine? (the matter has NOT
been discussed and came as a total shock to me and ended with a
ruptured friendship. simply put: my friend went nuts — and so did i)

— We did hear something like that from Daniel in relation to you, and we do know from you that this affected you very badly. We are not responsible for how Daniel reflects things in his blog entries. “Been discussed” is much more pretentious than what in reality happened: we just listened to him. Reading your letters and Daniel’s reactions one would easily think that our 4 hour long meetings every 6 weeks deal only with Daniel’s behavior, but that is not the case.

The confusion never ends.

“Been discussed” refers to Daniel telling people that I’ve coerced the man into having sex with me, and as well told Stacy, that this matter has already been talked through between Daniel and IWhich Is Not True. Stacy then started saying that I’ve raped Daniel. And Daniel did nothing to stop this painful farce.

“One would easily think” after reading my letters, that there is something very nontransparent about what is going on at these men-meetings, and that Daniel is feeling reinforced in her machismo when she can pass on the image of doing anti-sexist work, by simply attending these meetings – where she then, apparently, complains about feeling sexually abused by women – while: being listened to by other men. Men who in turn don’t listen to, nor respond to my requests for Confrontation (Not – mediation. Mediation was what was talked about initially, but later it’s been clearly stated that this is about confrontation. In this letter as well as in the bulk of the letters sent to the men’s group).

Daniel, a guy who hides in a men’s group, escaping accountability for sexually abusive behavior, openly lies to persons I know about me having sexually coerced the man, and falsely claims that these issues already have been discussed with me.

Not cool.

>> “Reading your letters and Daniel’s reactions one would easily think that our 4 hour long meetings every 6 weeks deal only with Daniel’s behavior, but that is not the case.” <<

I hope that some of the time at these meetings could be dedicated to pondering and responding to some of the other questions you men so arrogantly have ignored to answer:

“Before saying anything about the group that isn’t specifically related
to issues with Dani and Milla I want to say that while I can
appreciate that there can be value in having mens only spaces where
men can talk to each other freely to explore their own issues I hope
you can understand why, right from the outset, women and feminist
groups might be wary of mens organizations, and so would desire
transparency in regards to policies and procedures. Not just policies
about how to handle issues regarding male members sexism towards women in their personal lives, but even policies regarding decision making and discussion management.”

1. I hope you can understand why, right from the outset, women and feminist groups might be wary of mens organizations, and so would desire transparency in regards to policies and procedure?

2. Policies about how to handle issues regarding male members sexism towards women in their personal lives?

3. Policies regarding decision making?

4. Policies regarding discussion management?

WHY ARE THESE QUESTIONS NOT IMPORTANT TO THE MEN IN THE GROUP? WHY ARE THESE QUESTIONS ON PRACTICAL PROCEDURES IGNORED?

2. How do you communicate your methods and >> in what way the
self-therapy is practiced << within the group to men? And in what way
is the self-therapy anti-sexist?

— Information about our work and the concrete content of our anti-sexist commitment is found on our website.

The simple response to that would be: Yes. It’s there on the website. Beautiful theoretical texts. But failing miserably in practice. Where is the space made for criticism?

I repeat: “How do you communicate your METHODS?”

Could you be so kind to give links to specific texts and specific paragraphs within these descriptive texts found on your website?

We do not maintain any self-therapy group. We do have a general discussion group for men about personal issues related to the male gender role and a working group carrying on the practical work of the Stop Male Violence Projekt. Daniel forms part of the former (we accepted him for the moment for a trial period).

How long is this trial period? What happens during this period? What are the requirements for staying with the group? How does a person become a permanent member? What are the differences between being on trial, and being a regular member?

How are the personal issues discussed? How is the male gender role discussed?

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3. How do you communicate your methods and >> in what way the
self-therapy is practiced << within the group to women? And in what
way is the self-therapy anti-sexist?

— See 2.

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4. How do you as anti-sexist group/individuals relate to transparency
with your activities in relation to women/feminist? How do you keep
yourself accountable and open to criticism in relation to
women/feminists?

— We put effort in transparency and accountability and being open for criticism in relation to the organizations and individuals we do work together with. We did answer to your request about mediation already in August 2009 and after that did not consider that it was a group issue to continue dealing with the issue until there was a change in Daniel refusing the mediation. We think it is confusing that you present that as an issue of transparency and accountability.

I think it’s confusing that you make a difference between “work” and yourselves as regular male socialized human beings in interaction with other human beings. In your lives you only respond to, and stay accountable to persons you have a working relation with..

So: The concerns regarding transparency sent to you from women and men doing anti-sexist work around the globe, are not seen to be in a working relation with you? We are not connected in our struggle to end patriarchy and transform our personal lives?

You as a group did not respond to my request for mediation in August. Peter Szil wrote to me as an individual, not as “the group”. Peter made an individual choice to set as a condition for mediation: Daniel’s wish to hear me out. After I changed this from a request for mediation to wanting to know how the group relates to me wanting to confront Daniel (or any woman wanting to confront any man taking part in activities of this group) – there has been no answer from neither group nor Peter.

I think it’s confusing and crazy-making to think that it’s “normal” not to respond to the flood of mails sent to the group. Not even a: “Why are you sending us all this stuff? We are confused!”

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5. How do you relate to women wanting help with confronting, and or
having boundaries set in relation to men taking part in the group? How
do you relate to that as a group? How do you relate to that as
individuals?
(for example: I would like to have some help in getting
boundaries set in relation to Daniel)

— We do as much we can and we think we have a mandate for. In your case we were willing to mediate since August 2009 if Daniel was willing to, and Péter Szil had on the 13th of August 2009 a several hour long personal conversation with you about how to set boundaries to Daniel. More than a half year later the group got to the point where we put as a condition (among others) to Daniel to contribute to get this issue to an end. He agreed to get in touch with you with that purpose. He already submitted to our mail list the proposal for that letter to you, we don’t know if you got it already. We are awaiting the concretion of the date of a meeting with you and Dani. Until then we do not think we can do more or have more to say in that issue.

6. Could you give a description of the process in relation to the
mails I’ve sent to the group, individuals of the group? Have you read
these mails? Have you talked about these mails? How did these talks
go? Were there any conclusions?

— The e-mail of the group is used for people to get in touch with us. Once a week we meet to answer the phone calls on our information line, to work on the projects we carry on (see our website) and also answer e-mails. We did answer your request about mediating, saying that we can do that only if both parts want it. The rest of the e-mails we could not really relate to, as they seemed to be more about the same, but elevated to a matter of principles. (By the way in this same period we had a total crash of our website and it took us months to create a new one, for the rest obliging us also to concentrate on the most urgent issues which relate to our work.) We still checked up information we got by reading your e-mails and blog entries we thought were relevant for our group, e.g. the notice about Daniel having tried to strangulate a woman.

— We did receive also your mail about missing the “Everyday Male Chauvinism” text. Sorry for not answering that, we were in the middle of repairing the crash. Thanks for making available the text on your blog. We would like to ask you now to change that back to a link to our webpage.

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7. Does the group/individuals support the workshop held by Daniel? If
the answer is yes: Why? If the answer is no: Why? Was there anybody from the group present when the workshop was held?

— No, we do not support it. No one of us were present.

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I will repeat what a friend of mine asked you:

— Indeed we received several letters repeating your questions and we also found out about you requesting Luis Bonino to make us “accountable” of things he doesn’t have any relation to. As we said, we put effort in transparency and accountability and being open for criticism in relation to the organizations and individuals we do work together with. None of the requests we got from other people on your initiative falls in this category.

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Before saying anything about the group that isn’t specifically related
to issues with Dani and Milla I want to say that while I can
appreciate that there can be value in having mens only spaces where
men can talk to each other freely to explore their own issues I hope
you can understand why, right from the outset, women and feminist
groups might be wary of mens organizations, and so would desire
transparency in regards to policies and procedures. Not just policies
about how to handle issues regarding male members sexism towards women in their personal lives, but even policies regarding decision making and discussion management.

Now I want to talk about Milla’s issues with Dani directly. As I
understand it, you are specifically a group against male violence.
Milla, a radical feminist woman, has stated that Dani has abused her
and continues to lie to women, and to hurt women. Having a member in
your group who has been abusive towards women isn’t necessarily a bad thing, I do not know if therapy to help such men understand they have a responsibility to the women in their lives is something that you do as an organization, for example.

All I know, is that there is a woman, who wants to confront a man in
your organization about sexism and abuse, that she has asked for the
group to come up with strategies for how to deal with this specific
situation and for similar situations, and for these strategies to be
made transparent. This seems like a fair request, but there has been
no response from your organization.

So I add my name to a list of people concerned about the lack of
transparency regarding our organizational principles, strategies and
policies, particularly as they apply in this specific issue.

Please respond to this issue,
Cellycel

I sincerely hope
for a clear response

Milla Ahola

FAQ #1 How do we address violence within our communities?

by Cunt Incognita, FOTZE in Berlin — she=he

I participated in two workshops at FAQ Infoladen (infoshop) in Berlin, February this year. The first was on Perpetration of sexual assault, the second on Community accountability.

There was plenty of material presented and questions raised on these two occasions. I will give a comprised, neglectful-selective-subjective, brilliant-in-its-own-way, non-chronological version of what we discussed.

We were about 15 – 18 persons meeting at FAQ. On the wall was a piece of paper:

Workshop structure:

  • Consent
  • Perpetrator + behavior
  • Consequences for perpetrators
  • How can perpetrators change?
  • What does this mean for our own lives / communities?
  • Discussion agreements

INTRODUCTION

We started with a round, everybody sitting in a circle, taking turns saying Name, Something about ourselves, and Why we had come to the workshop, what our expectations were. Someone was there because of dealing with a current case of sexualized assault within their community, some others were there with their Wendo group.

The workshop was held in English. Spoons had been put on the small table in the middle of the circle and people were encouraged to grab a spoon and raise it in the air to indicate that they would like to have help with translation or have a word explained to them. During the time of the workshop, some persons started saying “spoon” instead of showing a spoon in the air.

After the round, the workshop leader presented the structure of the workshop, and we moved on to the last point on the paper: Discussion agreements.

DISCUSSION AGREEMENTS

We talked about what to do in case of “triggers” (words, actions, topics that cause upset or initiate a negative emotional, psychological response in someone.)

The workshop initiator warned ahead that one of the sections could be triggering, and that persons could choose to step out during the whole section, and come back later.

We agreed on checking the mood in the group every once in a while by using hand signals:

One method to check the mood in a group is to have green, yellow, and red cards for everyone, and when asked, people hold up a card that corresponds to how they are feeling at the moment. Green is to show that everything is okay, and that the workshop can continue as it is. Yellow is to show that you are not feeling okay – if someone shows yellow then they could be asked if they care to share what’s going on with them. There’s no need to say anything if you don’t feel like it. Yellow could be that you are very tired, or stressed, or that you had a fight with someone before coming to the workshop. It can also mean that you are unhappy with how the workshop is going, and that you would like to change something in it – for instance get into smaller groups, or play a game to change the atmosphere. Showing red means that everybody takes 5-10 minutes break. Persons holding red cards are also asked if they would like to share what is going on with the rest of the group.

In this specific group we decided, in case of triggers, and somebody feeling like stepping out of the workshop, but not wanting to interrupt it, that we could go to the kitchen to chill out and make tea.

We also agreed on, if we would feel able to, to communicate if we were leaving for the whole section, and would like to be called back at the end of it. And also to express if we would like some company.

One person asked to see how many would feel capable of giving support. Some persons raised their hands.

It would be good to check this at the beginning of every section, or several times, since our energy levels change throughout the day. Persons who say they feel up to it at the beginning of the workshop might not feel the same some hour later on.

One person said that she’s a survivor, and that she would feel safer knowing that she wasn’t the only one in the room. In response to this some persons raised their hands or said out loud that they had faced sexualized violence as well.

The Perpetrator, sometimes known as the “perp”.

Someone wanted to share that she laughs when she gets nervous, so she might do that at an inappropriate moment, when someone is sharing something personal, for instance saying that someone close to them has died.

Another person expressed that they wished to have a balance between personal and theoretical. If there were too many personal stories shared, there would not be enough time for theory, and if it is too theoretical, the discussion might get too abstract, making it difficult to understand and connect with the topics.

There was a suggestion on protecting identities when telling personal stories, and also that what’s said in the workshop would stay in the workshop. It was also suggested to let persons share their personal stories and not use these stories to get into arguments over how things should be or, how things should have been dealt with.

It was also said that we shouldn’t interrupt one another, and speak from our own experience, speak from the self, using sentences with “I”.

The last thing brought up was to make a commitment to stick with the time frame set for the workshop. The workshop initiator said that she was willing to stay an hour longer if anybody would be interested in continuing a discussion or would have a need to talk about something after.

CONSENT

What is consent?

The workshop leader gave a short definition on what consent is: Two or more persons deciding together to engage in the same activity, at the same time in the same way.

We all participated in giving ideas on how and what the conditions for consent could look like.

Some keywords written down during this talk:

The workshop leader was talking of how sometimes sex is seen as a “train” – once you decide to get on you can’t stop.. She was emphasizing that consent to one activity does not equal consent to everything. And also pointing out that it’s like a gliding scale, where some things might start feel more, or less, okay, while you’re trying it out.

More keywords:

What is not consent?

Aggressiveness was a mishearing, but still ended up on the list 🙂

Some might give consent, but it can’t be seen as valid:

Also something to be conscious of:

Awareness of power asymmetries in human relations makes it easier to stay out of trouble. Here are some of the power relations that could come in the way of equally enjoyable sex: Student < > Teacher; Boss < > Employee; Age; Gender; Race; Ability; Location (somebody’s house); Class; Size.

Also not a condition for consent:

The workshop leader drew a graph of a scale from consent to coercion, and with this visualizing the difference between a consent based definition for punishment (response ) and the legal definition for punishment. The legal being based on how much resistance the affected person has been putting up – a sardonic comment was, that in order to prove something has happened within the legal definition you basically need to have “skin under your nails”. The consent based definition for sexualized violence comes a lot earlier, and is based on if the person has the power and awareness to give consent. Was there mere co-operation, or was there consensual sex?

Also said, while speaking of consent, was that there is no hierarchy in trauma. The gravity of the harm done can not be measured on a scale, and can only be decided by the person who experienced it.

PERPETRATOR + BEHAVIOR

In this section we had a look at a heteronormative study of male college students and perpetration of sexual assault. A lot of these guys had admitted to committing non-consensual sexual acts. The figures were something around 5 – 14 %.

Some workshop participants expressed that they felt uncomfortable with, and did not understand the purpose of the survey in the workshop. Weird wordings, weird numbers, weird focus.

Someone appreciated the information, presented in the study, on males who have committed repeated sexualized assault. It was stated that the men who coerce are also the men who are most sexually active.

There was also astonishment expressed over the amount of sexualized violence – repeated rape; child sexual abuse – and the low age of these men.

We talked of stereotypes of “the perpetrator”.

:::   In the second workshop on community accountability there was a person who felt uncomfortable with mentioning the stereotypes, saying that repeating them would reinforce them. She agreed with first having some of the stereotypes listed and then have it contrasted with reality.

Anyone can be a perpetrator but mostly it’s men – there’s a clear gender imbalance.

A stereotype of “the perpetrator” would be: big, stranger, sociopath, non-white.

The reality of perpetration is that it’s a behavior and not an identity, but since the images and myths are so strong in our mind (used by the dominant mainstream culture to target for instance non-white and queer communities as deviant and abnormal) most of us don’t want to believe that we or someone we know could be the “Dirty, evil, bad, crazy, monster”.

In order to transform the behavior we need to understand how powerful these images are. We need to see us all in the role of the perpetrator, capable of committing non-consensual harming acts. Rejection of the image as “perpetrator”, leads to a rejection of discussing and negotiating the behavior that is harmful. If we start looking at it as a behavior instead of a fix identity – we understand that it’s possible to heal and transform the behavior, and that ‘perpetration’ doesn’t mean that you-we-I are ‘it’ for the rest of our lives.

One way of healing and transforming the behavior is to work on prevention. In a sexist society this responsibility is put on women with good clubing advice such as: “Check if somebody puts something in your drink”. Or: “Don’t get drunk”.

Pushing some responsibility over to men would be to educate them on having better consensual sex. The more towards the consent side you are, the less risk you have of finding out that you’ve done something unpleasant.

A guy called Berkowitz was mentioned. Apparently categorizing perpetration into three sorts:

Unintentional .. They genuinely feel sorry, and feel empathy when they find out they have done something [this is NOT the same as acting that they feel sorry.. as many perpetrators do.]

Opportunistic .. If they’re provided with the possibility, and they can get away with it, they go for it

Predatory .. Plans; for instance, gets the person drunk

:::   At the second workshop, this material was presented again, during which the workshop initiator said that the predatory perpetrators were the “scariest” ones. One person inquired why she was saying that, and the response was, that it was from her own personal point of view, after which the person who had asked the question said that there is a difference. There is a difference in what we as individuals find scary.

At this moment in time I see no use for Berkowitz’s categories, since they easily re-create a scale of “good” and “bad” perpetrators, as in the “unintentional” ones who ‘didn’t mean it’, and the “predatory” ‘sick, and evil beasts’.

The previous mention of punishment as a response to violence within the community, is not seen as an effective way for perpetrators to transform the harmful behavior that we wish to rid ourselves of in our communities. So the following section came with the encouragement to think about what perpetrators need to change.

CONSEQUENCES FOR PERPETRATORS

It was suggested that we would get into three working groups:

  • what are the needs of the survivor (example: safe space, not seeing the perp)
  • needs of the community (school, work place, political group)
  • what do perpetrators need to change

The workshop participants seemed to agree on staying in a larger group, and the workshop leader took a big paper and asked us for the needs of the affected person, the community and the consequences for the perpetrator and the community in relation to the needs, drawing connecting lines between the needs and the consequences.

I don’t have all the arrows in my replica.. But it looked something like this:

Some thoughts brought up was that there could be conflicting needs (for instance, talking / not talking) between multiple survivors, as well as between survivors and community.

HOW CAN PERPETRATORS CHANGE?

At this point we had run out of time for the workshop. I asked the workshop initiator to say a few sentences about the last points of the agenda, which she agreed to, after having a finishing feedback round for the ones who wanted to leave.

So this is what was said in a few short notes.

Unintentional – counselling, political education, education on consent etc

Opportunistic – professional therapy & help

Predatory – professional therapy & help

PUNISHMENT:

for perpetrators depends on >>

characteristics of the assault

The likelihood of repeating-offending

the willingness to accept responsibility

reliability + consistency

lack of consent – how it was expressed (for instance, was there a verbal “no” ignored?)

role of culture / identity

Most programs in the US are made for relationship violence, and do not deal with friends having occasional sex. The programs with most success look something like this:

  • consent / feminist / gender education, anger management
  • long term, they must stick with the program
  • accountability to survivors
  • make the men pay for the program

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR OUR LIVES / COMMUNITIES?

Well. There was no time to get into this question. Workshop finito

Soon coming up — Workshop part 2: Community accountability.


Anti-Sexist Therapy (#8 Say hi to Pif!)

by Cunt Incognita, FOTZE in Berlin — she=he

I don’t know. Things are the usual majorly energy-drainingly fucked up, and I’m wondering what the hell to do – how to move – how to think, in order to be free.

Communication is Blaah. And every so often I get dysfunctional. Like now: Saying HI TO PIF! 🙂 The Punk In Finland forum that keep on discussing this blog in whatever way. Daniel has been said to deserve a bottle of booze for all the attention that has been focused on her. Hear that Daniel? Some free vodka if you sign up on the PIF forum!

Also this blaah, bleeh, with Daniel not being able to answer simple questions. The slippery snakeyness about this guy. Why do you call me mental? Why do you call yourself anti-sexist?

And this is a continuation from this discussion CLICK HERE


Anti-Sexist Therapy (#7 … )

by Cunt Incognita, VITTU in Finland — she=he

To see the previous blog post on this matter, click here.

I keep on asking questions, even though I’m fairly cynical and worn out by now. I feel bitter about the past and present. I feel bitter about a love so abused.

This guy calls me borderline when I try to address sexist behaviors. Why?

Hello Daniel. I think you are bullshitting people about wanting to do anti-sexist work, since I’ve — frankly — haven’t noticed any of it in the way you’ve been relating to me. You call my reality and my experiences with you “distortion”, and you label me “borderline”, and you’re saying i have “manic depression”.

Yes. Hell yes. Your sexism drives me crazy, and I don’t understand why it’s so difficult for you to take some responsibility for that. To own that you have some shitty behavior that you need to change, and that you need to look over that behavior (now), and change those behaviors (now).

I don’t understand why you, who sit naked with me and chat with some other person about what we’re doing over the internet, without asking me or the other person if we’re okay with this, why then you would have any problems with discussing when and how and where I can meet and have a talk with you about this. Why you think it’s cool to behave like this in your social network, but you don’t think it’s cool to talk about it in the same network.

I don’t understand why sexism is such a cool thing for you to hold on to, and why you lie to all the women you’ve been relating with intimately, and why you’ve been treating us badly. I know this is a generalization, but 4 out of a whole bunch, I would see as a pattern strange to ignore! I don’t understand that at all. And I don’t understand why you are in a group, supposedly dealing with fucked up male socialization, and you do workshops about the stuff, without asking the guys in the group, and you still keep treating me in a way that makes me think that you see me as an inferior being, and that you have a right to hurt and damage whoever you want, cause any other opinion on what you do is “crazy”. I don’t understand why you just don’t come out in the open with your ideas, and stop clinging to a group who – in theory, at least – do not seem to share the same core values that you seem to hold dear and true.

What’s your reason for not having this talk on your facebook wall? I would like to understand your reasoning behind this.

I have given my reasons for why I would like to have this talk on your Facebook wall. I would like to hear the reasons for why you disagree.

Today’s song: Madonna – Borderline