Another scene is possible!

Helsinki squat-movement anti-SEXISM (international call for solidarity)
Tuesday, January 22, 2008 11:53 am

This is a call for solidarity and at the same time a massive BIG WARM heart-throb for all the humans struggling with the all too common everyday every-minute every-second oppression known as: SEXISM.

We are still at a level where it’s not even seen as something that REALLY NEEDS TO BE DEALT WITH, and there’s a constant vilification and ridicule of the ones trying to say “we have a problem, and i think i know what we can do in order to make things better”…

I have been a critical voice. Trying to raise awareness on invisible power-structures, and putting focus on the fact that the principles of the squatting-movement in Helsinki – No sexism, No homophobia, No racism – has yet not been put into practice.

At the physical places I’ve faced:

Unwanted sexually aggressive come-ons.

Told that I should shut up, because “when men speak, women are quiet”, and that I deserve to die because of speaking.

Hearing men call their female partners bitch and whore, without any deeper reflections on why this might be wrong.

Having so called “progressive” men put H&M posters (commercials with passive sexually “willing” women) on the wall and making sexist and antisemitic “jokes”, stating that, “you can’t take everything so seriously, you need to have some fun as well.”

Men watching pornographic films.

When speaking of the CONSTANT confrontation with sexism, that it means for me being at the squat, and how EXHAUSTING this is for me, I’ve been told that

“it’s not true”. Apparently I get treated badly not because I am a woman or a feminist or because there’s a problem with sexism at the house. I’m being treated badly because I’m a “cold hearted asshole”.

and the analysis on the mailing list related to the physical places are not getting any deeper…

When trying to open a discussion on sexism, I’ve been called crazy, fanatic, puritanistic, fundamentalist, aggressive and so on…

And lately when confronting the moderator of the list, asking why he chose to call some comments by a man “not in particular sexist”. –> The man was stating that I lack a sense of humour and that he hates feminists but loves “women and girls”, and apparently if I could just “learn when to shut up” I could also manage to “get laid”. (A statement that I can not interpret in any other way than that “a REAL woman shuts up and spreads her legs.”)

I asked the moderator for help on calling these comments sexist, and also to get help with telling the same man (and several others) to stop sending me private emails. To this I got no response whatsoever, and the next time I came with criticism on the list, the moderator signed me off. Telling me I lack a sense of proportions and that I have a “mental state” and that he should have signed me off the list a long time ago. That I’ve been using the list for my own “private personal therapy”. And that he was not going to answer any of my questions on why he didn’t respond to my request for help, but that I instead should – “now that I was no longer on a mailing list where he was administrator” – leave him alone (not talk to, avoid when meeting in person) because I’m oppressive and dominating.

The local community seems to have a difficulty in waking up, so this is why I turn to the international one (And I also chose to do this, because of this possibly being a great opportunity to break the ice, for having these issues recognized as POLITICAL ISSUES, and not just “personal conflicts”)

the website of this scene: valtaus.org

and feel free to write: sosiaalikeskushki(at)gmail.com

or send letters, comments of protest/solidarity directly to me: milla.ahola(at)gmail.com

so i can post them on the blog (where i still have not been kicked out from).

i say:

ANOTHER SCENE IS POSSIBLE!

milla
.

.

“Remember; Resist; Do not comply!” –Andrea Dworkin

here is a link to a review about hothead paisan:
http://www.stayfreemagazine.org/7/hothead.htm
and you can order it here:
http://www.hotheadpaisan.com/

the comic is really funny and intelligent and
inspiring and it will make you feel like you’re not so
crazy.

+ theoretical aid in recognizing an oppressive reality

this text was composed by a german woman
in order to raise awareness on the ever-existing
power-relations we all have to deal with always
if we truly want to make an effort to create more
equal and safer spaces.

she wrote the text in two columns. power of
definition on one side. and a + sign and partiality
on the other side.

with the phrase
“Power of definition and partiality belong together!”
written accross at the bottom of the poster.

hopefully this material could be of some use
to someone.

:::::: POWER OF DEFINITION

Only you can decide what your boundaries are.
Only you can define when they have been violated. **

When something violates you, no one can claim that it hasn’t violated you.

There are no predefined criteria about when something becomes a
violation other than the affected person’s power of definition.

**
“Can’t you have any fun?”

“That wasn’t meant to be sexist/racist/homophobic…you are too sensitive”

“Let’s not overreact.”

“Now you’re violating my boundaries when you jump all over me like
that, just because I was a little…”
**

:::::: PARTIALITY

There are structural power relations. Everywhere.

Examples:

Sexism: male dominates female
Racism: white dominates non-white
Heterosexism: hetero dominates non-hetero
Antisemitism: non-Jewish dominates Jewish

As a result, there are repressed and privileged positions. The ability
to be unaware of your privilege is, in and of itself, a privilege.

–partiality means making your own position clear
–there is no neutrality
–violations don’t happen in spaces without power structures, there is
a “power divide.” The perpetrator is generally the one with privilege.
–partiality with the affected person means making power of definition
possible and therefore making it also possible to challenge the
prevailing power structures:

>>don’t call the affected person’s credibility into question
>>support their demands

Power of definition and partiality belong together!

RESPONSES TO THE CALL:

Invisible power-structures are tough work, Milla, just because they
are invisible for so many people so you are doing a great job to
visible them! What can you do on a personal level so you dont get so
attacked? To be strong and non-violenced-fighter you also need to take
a rest and work silently in the small areas I think. Its a big world
to change, but if we all do a small part it gets results.
Anger creates more anger.
I think
— sweden

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SUBJECT: Keep fighting…!

xxXX..

but, whatever: even if i didn’t understand every detail of your
conflict, i got to know that you feel alone with your fight against
sexism; and that the reactions you get are mostly negative and
aggressive towards you.

so all i want is to thank you for what you are doing and to encourage
you not to give up. i know how difficult it is to explain people all
these things that are so deep beneath conciousness, so totally
“normal”, that everyone who’s pointing on it with her finger will be
seen as someone who causes disorder and trouble. i’m sorry, my english
isn’t good enough to speak really clearly …

perhaps i will be lucky and have the possibility to speak to you from
face to face one day!
— germoney

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milla,

all i can say is that your situation in that
environment seems suffocating and overwhelming. i
think that unless you can find some other local
feminists to help you tackle these issues, there is
little hope of changing this particular squatting
group’s behavior. if i were you i would instead try
to form a new squat with others who are committed to
feminist/anti-racist/anti-homophobic work…

good luck and stay strong.
— usa

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milla,
even if all those sessist behaviors are part of daily women life,
do’nt give away your “power” and try to stay in peace.What I mean is
don’t get angry with people that don’t understand but use your energy
to raise awareness in ones who are open-minded about this. protect
your self-balance and peace mind 🙂
I recently spent a supposed-to-be “only boys” evening with few friends
and it’s incredible how many sessist “thoughts” they have. And all the
stupid jokes about women, “you can’t drive”etc. So, I wondered if I
really want to spend my energy to get angry with them, beginning a
discussion that won’t lead anywhere.Bcause when they’re in group, they
feel safe and reinforce the patriarcal beahavior.
I think we should talk seriously to our male friends, try to explain
them how we feel when they say such things. And above all, we should
raise awareness in other women, because what I often see is a lack of
solidarity among women themselves. If each one of us supports the
others and talk about how we feel to men in our
lives(fathers,brothers,friends,boyfriends…)maybe we go a little bit
farer.Will this really work? I don’t know, but it’s an idea.
anyway,
Milla, I’m(we are) here to support you, feel safe 🙂 Choose, first of
all, people that support you, who you feel confortable with. I think
all of us need a support net:)Then, you can fight ,but you’ll always
have a secure place where to go back and recharge “batteries”.

love and struggle
—- italy

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wow,
it sounds like quite bad problems there, scheisse!

i like hothead paisan, but i guess the guys with h+m posters don’t.
best of luck there with your scene!
—- germoney

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Dear Miila, that is a very sophisticated approach. All sounds so
deep and  clever. But .. . what is in practice, here is an eternal
Russian question – what to do? Any ideas? Ready to join in the
solutions and actions.

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hello milla,

remember me? we met in stockholm at the cyklopen event and recently in
berlin at the “jukss”. you have told me parts of this story before. but
i actually did not realize that it is that bad.

you have my fullest support and solidarity in opposing these
pseudo-emancipatory individuals who seem to be reflecting the alpha-male
hero in the squatting / autonomist scene, who is doing all this action
in order to proof himself as a “real man”. i have made similar
experiences within a circle of close friends whom i also thought to be
“progressive”. sadly, sexist images of women as willing sex-objects are
still common place, no matter how emancipatory these individuals might
be on other levels.

therefore: all the best and keep up the internal struggle.

saludos libertarios
—- sweden

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feminist/womanist solidarity from the US. believe me, it happens here as well.

Never does an event, a fact, a deed, a gesture of rage or love, a
poem, a painting, a song, a book, have only one reason behind it. In
fact, a deed, a gesture, a poem, a painting, a song, a book, are
always wrapped in thick wrappers. They have been touched by manifold
whys. Only some of these are close enough to the event or the creation
to be visible as whys. And so I have always been more interested in
understanding the process in and by which things come about than in
the product in itself.
Paolo Freire, Pedagogy of Hope

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xxXX.. i’m thinking of
you. take care of yourself because no one else will. that is what i
have learned after all these years of doing this work and also that
apparently no good deed will go unpunished. i never knew that, but
now i understand what that saying means. love

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Hyvät valtaajat,

Viime vuoden loppupuolella olin yhteydessä teihin mahdollisesta
Elimäellä (tai muualla) kanssanne järjestettävästä
tulevaisuusverstaasta. Ajatus lähti liikkeelle halusta osoittaa
solidaarisuutta kamppailullenne ja xxXX..kin, jolla
on kokemusta tulevaisuusvertstaiden järjestämisestä, innostui mukaan.
(Kumpikaan emme asu Helsingissä, joten tuki /
osallistuminen muuten olisi hankalaa.)

Ikävä kyllä, enää en koe suurta intoa solidaarisuuden osoituksiin
yrityksillenne luoda “vapaata” tilaa. Syynä korviini
kantautuneet uutiset, jotka tiivistyvät alla olevaan postiin.

Toki tulevaisuusverstas tai sen sovellus voisi olla hyvä tapa
käsitellä myös kyseistä ongelmaa, mutta halu siihen täytyisi
kummuta keskuudestanne. Nyt kokisin lähinnä tulevani saarnaamaan
ulkopuolelta – tuskin osaisin olla itse nostamatta
asiaa esiin. Ilmeisesti ongelma on muhinut jo jonkin aikaa, mutta
siihen liittyen ainakaan minua ei ole lähestytty tai
ehdotettu tulevaisuusverstaan pikaista järjestämistä juuri tähän keskittyen.

En siis ainakaan hetkeen ole käytettävissä tulevaisuusverstaan
järjestämiseen: uuden sopivan ajankohdan etsimisen
voimme lopettaa tähän. Mikäli keskuudestanne näyttää löytyvän aitoa
kiinnostusta asian käsittelyyn ja saatte käyntiin
prosessin ongelmien ratkaisemiseksi, voin toki myöhemmin olla mukana
prosessissa, jos tilanne näyttää teistä siltä, että
ulkopuolinen fasilitiointi (tms.) olisi tarpeen.

Yhteisöissä, joissa itse toimin, saattaa hyvinkin potentiaalisesti
muhia samoja ongelmia – – en siis väitä, että olisitte
erityisen epäonnistuneita seksismin & siihen liittyvän
välinpitämättömyyden yleisyyden huomioon ottaen. Lienee
kuitenkin parempi, että keskityn tällä kertaa muutosprosesseihin
omissa toimintaympäristöissäni. Ehkä myöhemmin
voimme verrata kokemuksia ja jakaa oppimaamme toisillemme.

Terveisin
xxXX..

P.S. Lienee korrektia, että viestini välitetään listallenne, jotta
tieto syistäni olla osallistumatta tulevaisuusverstaan
järjestämiseen päätyy kaikille, jotka verstaasta jo ehtivät innostua.

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> xxXX.. on todella ikävää jos
> annat koko skenen leimautua yksittäisten ihmisten suorittamien
> vääryyksien takia ja kyvyttömyydestämme hallita kaikkia sisäisiä
> konflikteja samaan aikaan kun olemme valtavan paineen alla poliisin ja
> viranomaisten suunnalta, joka kerran kun toimimme. olemme ilman taloa
> ja jatkuvassa poikkeustilassa, eivätkä asiat aina voi mennä putkeen.

Hei xxXX.. 🙂

Älkääpä huoliko: olen nähnyt tarpeeksi asioita & erilaisia
yhteistoiminnan yrityksiä, jotta leimaisin koko skenen mielessäni tai
muuten. Uskon & olen koko ajan uskonut, että mukana on ihmisiä, jotka
suhtautuvat feminismiin & antiseksistisiin kamppailuihin positiivisesti
& ovat niissä omilla tavoillaan mukana… ja hiukan pessimistisesti
pelkään, että nämä samat ihmiset kantavat eniten vastuuta myös yleisen
toiminnan organisoinnista & kokevat tämän konfliktin raskaimmin…

En kuitenkaan keksi tapaa, jolla olla yhteydessä mahdollisesti ongelmia
aiheuttaneeseen osaan yhteisöänne tai niihin, jotka ovat suhtautuneet
ongelmiin välinpitämättömästi & vähätellen. Yhtälailla, en voi osoittaa
tukeani / solidaarisuuttani pelkästään niille, joiden uskon suhtautuvan
aiheeseen (& toimintaan yleensä) vastuullisesti. Koska olen
ulkopuolinen, on vaikea olla yhteydessä yhteisöönne / skeneenne muuten
kuin kokonaisuutena: tukeni tai sen evääminen kohdistuu teihin kaikkiin
(sekä symbolisesti että muutenkin).

Mielestäni ei olisi ollut kovin vastuullista suhtautua Millan
solidaarisuudenpyyntöön & toimintakulttuurinne kritiikkiin sillä
ensioletuksella, että se on aiheeton tai liioitteleva. Siksi en kokenut,
että voin sokeasti / ehdoitta jatkaa toimintanne tukemista (edes
symbolisesti / henkisesti).

Ja vaikka Millan kuvaamat tilanteet & kommentit olisivatkin yksittäisten
ihmisten vastuulla, etenkin listalta poistaminen on koko yhteisön
vastuulla. Jos moderaattori on toiminut yhteisön mielestä väärin, lienee
hänen vaihtamisensa ja/tai päätöksen peruuttaminen koko yhteisön asia.
Ilmeisesti yleinen mielipide pitää listalta poistamista sopivana
ratkaisuna tai on jostain syystä – luultavasti jonkinlaisista
epävirallisista valtasuhteista johtuen – kykenemätön puuttumaan siihen.

Yhteisön (myös virtuaalisen) ulkopuolelle sulkemista puolestaan ei
mielestäni voi pitää vain käytännöllisenä ja neutraalina tapana
ratkaista ongelma tai “rauhoittaa tilanne”. Siinä on kiistämättä myös
rangaistuksen elementtejä, vaikka sen tekijät eivät niin ajattelisi,
eikä sitä mielestäni pitäisi koskaan käyttää kevyin perustein. Ennen
vankiloiden ja muiden vastaavien rangaistuslaitosten kehittämistä se on
ollut yksi vakavimmista rankaisemisen tavoista (ja nykyisessäkin
vankilajärjestelmässä “normaaliyhteiskunnasta” ulossulkeminen on osa
rangaistusta vapauden riiston ohella).

[Jos jonkun asian ympärille syttyy kaikkia uuvuttava “sota” ja
sähköpostivyöry, voisi tilannetta ehkä rauhoittamaa pyytämällä asian
käsittelyyn taukoa, jonka aikana kaikki ehtisivät lukea jo kirjoitettua
ja muotoilla seuraavia kommenttejaan ehkä hieman suuremmalla
harkinnalla…???]

Lisäksi olette varmaan huomanneet, että yleensäkin yhteiskunnallisessa
keskustelussa feministinen kritiikki vaiennetaan juuri sillä, että
epäkohdat ovat vain yksittäisten henkilöiden aikaansaannoksia.
Esimerkiksi raiskaukset ja naisiin kohdistuva väkivalta ovat vain
sairaiden ja epänormaalien miesten tekosia… kyse ei siis ole
kulttuurissamme & asenteissamme yleisesti vallitsevista / piilevistä
piirteistä, malleista, taipumuksista ja/tai suuntauksista, jotka
äärimuodoissaan ja raaimmillaan näkyvät raiskauksina ja väkivaltana.
Kollektiivinen vastuu pestään pois asettamalla se epäkelpojen yksilöiden
päälle: tarvetta yhteiskunnalliseen tai kulttuuriseen muutokseen ei ole.

Ja jos joissakin yksittäisissä yhteisöissä / instituutioissa /
työpaikoissa tarvetta yleiseen muutokseen todettaisiinkin, ei sille
yleensä tunnu löytyvän aikaa muiden (tärkeämpien?) päämäärien vaatiessa
kaiken huomion. Poikkeustiloille löytyy aina hyvä perusteluja. (Tämä on
tuskallisen tuttua – eikä sen enemmän tai vähemmän anteeksiannettavaa –
myös omissa toimintaympäristöissäni. Olen myös ollut mukana sulkemassa
ihmisiä ulos yhteisöistä, joten siinäkään mielessä en kuvittele, että
olisin omissa yrityksissäni onnistunut sen paremmin…)

Esimerkiksi perinteisen vasemmiston piirissä feminismiin ja puheeseen
naisten oikeuksista on pitkälti suhtauduttu torjuvasti juuri sen takia,
että ne hajoittavat liikkeen yhtenäisyyden – – ja tämä jo  pitkälti
viime vuosisadan alkupuolella ellei aiemminkin (ikävä kyllä
myöhemminkin), jolloin naisten asemassa ja oikeuksissa tämän päivän
näkökulmasta katsottuna kiistämättä olisi ollut (pikaisesti) parannettavaa.

No, pointtina siis kuitenkin, että toki mieluusti tuen teistä
vastuullisesti toimivia & ajattelevia. Mutta yhtälailla haluan / halusin
viestiä erimielisyyteni niille, jotka eivät koe Millan kuvaamia
tapauksia merkittävinä ongelmina. Ja ainut hahmottamani keino tehdä tämä
oli vetää tukeni pois koko projektilta. Harmi. Ja ehkei hyvä ratkaisu.
(Noh, se mitä menetitte oli lähinnä oli ainakin henkilökotaiselta
osaltani lähinnä symbolista tukea ja varmaan aika pientä sellaistakin…)

Ja enemmän kuin protestista, kyse oli myös puhtaasti halusta miettiä,
mihin suuntaan energiaani. Voi olla hedelmällisempää, että painiskelen
samojen asioiden kanssa siellä, missä olen ja toimin. Eikä mikään ole
(ollut) lopullista, kuten jo ensimmäisessä viestissä yritin ilmaista.

Toivottavasti siis ette anna tämän lannistaa itseänne. Ikävä kyllä,
näiden asioiden puiminen & niissä oppiminen ja eteenpäin meno näyttää
monesti käyvän (tuskallistenkin) konfliktien kautta…  Ja tosiaan, ette
ole etenkään Suomessa ettekä muuallakaan maailmassa ainoita, jotka
näihin ongelmiin törmäävät. Eikä helppoja tai nopeita ratkaisuja taida
olla tarjolla oikein mistään.

Jatketaan tahoillamme. Ja katsotaan, josko jossain vaiheessa olisi
mahdollista jakaa oppimaamme & pohtia näitä & muita yhdessä.

Vielä hieman varovaisen solidaarisin, mutta toiveikkain, terveisin

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Hi Milla !
I fully support your letter and protest against sexism in No Border
movement and left movement, as well as in the society overall. This is
really a question of democracy, people are not treated equally. We
fight against borders and against rascism, but when it comes to deal
with sexism we did not move forward at all. Why this difference ? Many
things I read in the protest letter are sad to read, but unfortunately
well known. Sexist jokes, porno films (on No Border camps ?), telling
woman she should know her place – I wish we could have come a longer
way than that year 2008. As long as we keep our ears closed for this
then the problem will stay for long time. We are not talebans, the
left movement should not accept sexism. Of course it is not a personal
conflict, this issue is far more big, more structural. Of course it is
everywhere, in every country.

The structural hatred and abusements against women in our society are
often obvious, and in our left movements we did not strentghten
ourselves much to be an alternative in this aspect. And we must ask
ourselves why. I think many men (and many women as well) did not think
about this issue. It is difficult to start a discussion, either the
response is zero, or negative. This is why it is so hard to work on
this issue, you only feel yourself attacked and blamed, and the
interest to take the discussion seriously is often zero. I am talking
from my experience from swedish movements. We should win to be more
open for discussion. We should say thank you to somebody who try to
raise this issue. And people that support a work against sexism, women
and men, should not remain silent.

This is a question of democracy, I want to encourage everyone to write
a support letter to this protest letter, and to join the discussion.
We should also collaborate more to help each other to raise this
issue.

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hi
i just want to express my solidarity with you, i highly agree with your
e-mails, as an activist i also experience some acts of sexism but i’ve
learned that if you start the talk with no agression it turns out that
it wasn’t consious and people often change their mind, but i also found
that some guys have reacted as you had described in your e-mail, so i
really understand what you feel, so take care! hugs!

Hi
yeah, i think it’s fine with me. i wanna add that i am against agressive
methods of expressing our thaughts, and that should include women and
man but on the other hand there could be no compromise when you feel
hurted and opressed. i think that if this topic would be about for
axample a jew offended by jewjokes the hole list reacted differently,
there would be no questions like if this was ok, needed or meaby it was
just a joke. women are pushed to express their need not to loudly or
with too much determination, if not they’re called histerical whores etc
etc. i am not supporting writing bad reports on our mates but i agreed
with the teoretical part of your e-mail and i consider it as a kind of
alarm, we should start the discussion about the place of feminism in the
xxXX.. movement and redifine our opinions. feminism shouldn’t be treated as
something a little bit important, and all of the activist must be open
to the critic, women and men, we’re not perfectly sensitive because all
of us were educated in the opressive way, taught to be agresiive and
all-knowing, we should learn to listen, admitt we were wrong and that we
do make mistakes, i think this is the aim of the discussion about
feminism vs male activist. take care!

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Sexism and neoliberalism go to gether.

I agree with you…if we are not for all of us…who are we?

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xxXX..
And about the squat where you lived, trying to change the way
things go there: I think you’re just a single person and all you can
do is make that offer of sexism-awareness-raising which is already a
big thing to do since it is so not easy to do, having all these
discussions, being in a very vulnerable position. Other people can
only take that offer and take it seriously and really be willing to
change the way things go in the place they live(which means first
being aware that there is a problem) or there is no way of changing
things in there. I believe that some people could just have you come
to their squat and talk and talk and talk so later on they can say
“well look we’re so emancipatory we had this sexism awareness thingy
here so now there’s no more sexism here and we don’t need to talk
about it no more.”
I’m just thinking about two guys who were pretty sexist and racist,
studying some other subject than gender studies, I don’t remember what it
was, and they came to this gender seminar that was about whiteness, racism
and awareness and they actually just came so they could say “look we did
this we’re so antiracist and also we’re so not sexist because it was a
gender seminar.” But they were just there not really listening, not really
taking anything seriously, having some really arrogant position like
“lets watch this seminar from the last row and whisper stupid remarks
about it into each others ears.” The seminar was cool. There was not
much wrong about it. Many people learned a lot going there. But these
two guys came out just as stupid as they came in. But that’s their
fault.
There’s nothing you can do about people with attitudes like
that. If people aren’t really self-critical and willing to listen and
to change things about their own thinking and behaviour, then you
can talk and dicuss and you can be absolutely excellent at it and have
all that knowledge and be totally convincing and have great
discussion-strategies and still you won’t see no change.

So having these texts about direct intervention in English is cool but
they won’t change the attitudes of people who behind their “I’m super
emancipatory and leftist and look I got dreadlocks”-fassade are
actually quite comfortable with being ignorant. I mean, admitting that
there is a need to change and that there is a problem with sexism in
the squat someone lives in means this person must face the fact that
s/he is not meeting his/her “everything here is so
non-hierarchical”-ideals. That’s painful and a lot of people prefer to
not deal with that and ignore the problems there are to keep up a
beautiful picture.

Well I think what I’m trying to say is: I believe you’re probably good
at what you’re doing, that’s the impression I got since I met you, and
I really believe that if people you talked to and discussed with
stay ignorant that’s not your responsibility at all. And I think it’s
so not any feminist woman’s job/responsibility to make sexist men into
self-reflective and sexism-critical  people. It’s men’s job to try
hard and do that. If you decide to make that cool offer to help them
with THEIR problem called sexism, then what they should say is “thank
you”.

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Hi Milla,m

Juist a quick e-mail in solidarity. We had similar problems when
raising issues of racism in London.

What I find most frightening is the ease with which such people
stigmatise those who raise the issue.

in solidarity]

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++

xxXX..
I read your e-mail about what happened to you in Finnland, it
was horrifying, but unfortunately such things happen also in Poland,
I had a best example of it last time, when one of my friends was
looked at like crazy and “ugly” by some of supposedly “alternative”
men because she was talking out loud about feminism. xxXX..

++
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xxXX..
Ive read your mail and can only say I feel with you, and other woman
having to deal with sexism in such a bad way.
I can understand that u much feel the movement is totally fucked up
when people can just say such fucked up things to other people and
treat them in such an inferior way. Sexism and Machosim, like Racism,
Xenophobia, etc. should never be accepted and your rightly fighting
it.

So I wish you luck in your battle. I can only say that sometimes it
takes some time for people to realize how they are behaving towards
other people. Im currently in Berlin and on my way to Russia and also
in berling, the so-called stronghold of activism sexism is a big
issue. Ive visited many social houses and centers these days and many
have issues concerning this topic. Luckily none as bad as what you
described. In one case it tooksome  people, themselves victim of
sexist behaviour some time even to realize this what was exactly
happening. this ebcause sexism can also be very hidden and it takes
some time to realize the assumptions people can have because of
gender.

Still its always better to choose for dialogue, never sepetarism
(which on itself can be good for short times for reflection). So my
advice in a situation as this would be, try to find people who do
support your cause, you will need their warmth and maybe still it will
be possible to let people realize they are behaving in a fucked up way
by a constructive dialogue, never a fight with words.

I know sometimes this seems impossible and maybe it will take a long
time, but the result is worth it: we need each other solidarity and
everybody should respect and accept one another.

Also I can say that its very bad sexism is such a big issue
everywhere. In Russia where I will eb going now sexism is even a wider
issue, where machosim is almost a ingrained stereotype in many
activists.

I dont know if these words helped you in any way please try to stay
positive and great!!!
Comfort, warmth and solidarity!!!

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Dear Milla!
I get your Mail about the feminist xxXX.. mailing list. I send you a
warm and  powerful force and my solidarity!
Here in Berlin I have the same fight as you! You are not allone! I
want to say more but my english is to bad.
If you want to make holidays from your fight,send me a mail,most of
the time we have a free room. YOU WELCOME!
Remember; Resist; Do not comply! Never give up!

++
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xxXX..
Yeh, the things you wrote about are really stinck.
I want to show you my support ang wish you bear up!
I hope (hm, i do sure) the problems are temporary ones – but the
question is how long ‘ll it takes to solve them, of course.
xxXX..

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