This was sent to me and Riikka Kaihovaara by (s) after I had gotten excluded from the Helsinki social centre project mailing list in January 2008. It’s an email sent to the list, where Riikka says that I’m mentally ill, asking the random people on the list, not to pass this information on to me. So it starts with (s) explaining to Riikka and me, why she feels she can not agree with the request of secrecy.
After (s) passed on the letter to me, (s) was also quickly removed from the mailing list by Aleksi (list administrator and former lover of Riikka).
First in Finnish. Then a rough (not super correct) English translation.
Valitettavasti en voi suostua pyyntöösi salata tämä asia Millalta. Jos haluaa uskoutua jollekin tuntemattomalle, on varmistuttava etukäteen, että vastaanottaja on valmis ottamaan mielivaltaista tietoa kannettavakseen. Ensin houkuttelet kaikki listalla olevat lukemaan viestisi, ja sen jälkeen vaadit, että heidän pitäisi salata tämä tieto. Vaadit heitä kantamaan tällaista omallatunnollaan. Teet väärin. Teet väärin myös minua kohtaan, henkilökohtaisesti.
Tunnen Millan, ja koen tekeväni väärin, jos salaan tällaista häneltä. En suostu pyyntöösi.
Minusta on erittäin törkeää, että kirjoitat yleisellä listalla, josta Milla on potkittu pois, moisia juttuja, ja vielä kohdennetusti pyrit estämään Millaa saamasta tätä tietoonsa.
Saattaa olla, että suhtaudun medikalisaation nojalla tapahtuvaan vähättelyyn varsin samalla tavalla kuin Milla seksismiin. On uskomatonta, että näinkin radikaaliksi käsitetyssä porukassa jätetään täysin kyseenalaistamatta järjestelmän kenties käyttökelpoisin keino tehdä toisinajattelijat kyvyttömiksi: heidät todetaan henkisesti sairaiksi. Näin heidän sanomaansa ei tarvitse ottaa vakavasti. Heiltä voidaan viedä uskottavuus jopa ihmisoikeudet. Tämäkin maa on pullollaan masentuneita, psykoottisia, skitsofreenisiä ja ties mitä. Kaikki popsivat kiltisti lääketeollisuuden syytämiä kemikaaleja. Ja mikä pahinta, he uskovat aidosti olevansa sairaita, ja uskovat muiden kaltaistensa olevan sairaita. He hyväksyvät nöyrinä kohtalonsa ja alistetun asemansa, sen sijaan, että etsisivät toisensa ja loisivat jotain uutta.
Suosittelen tutustumaan esimerkiksi seuraavaan tekstiin, vaikkei se oikein asiaan liitykään:
Olet tehnyt voitavasi Millan auttamiseksi. Hän ei ilmeisesti halunnut apuasi, tai sitten apu ei ollut oikeanlaista. En tiedä miten on asian laita.
From: Riikka Kaihovaara
Sent: Monday, January 28, 2008 10:47:45 AM
Joka tapauksessa on mielestäni epäolennaista keskustella siitä, onko Milla “oikeassa” tai “väärässä”. Tässä ei enää pitkään aikaan ole ollut kysymys seksismistä tai feminismistä tai politiikasta ylipäätään, vaan sekaisin olevan ihmisen kieroutuneista avunhuudoista.
Tilanne on mielestäni verrattavissa siihen, että jollakulla olisi vaikka skitsofrenia, ja hän “kuulisi ääniä” ja piinaisi ihmisiä talolla. Tällöin en pitäisi ko. ihmistä *kusipäänä*, vaan yrittäisin suhtautua häneen nimenomaan sairaana ihmisenä, joka tarvitsee ammattiapua. Samoin jos jollakulla on vakava masennus ja ahdistus ja siitä aiheutuva päihdeongelma, on hänen käytöksensä jossain määrin ymmärrettämpää kuin jonkun “normaalin”, joka vaan sikailee kännissä.
(Mieli)sairaus ei tietenkään oikeuta ihmistä käyttäytymään miten tahtoo ja tuhoamaan muiden elämää. Pidän bännejä perusteltuja nimenomaan siksi, että meidän teoillamme ja puheillamme emme voi enää tilannetta ratkaista. Jos Millaan suhtautuu nimenomaan sairaana, apua tarvitsevana ihmisenä, auttaa se kuitenkin ymmärtämään sekoilua.
T: Riikka, joka hartaasti toivoo, että tämä viesti EI leviäisi listan ulkopuolelle eikä varsinkaan asianosaisen luettavaksi
Unfortunately I cannot agree to your request on keeping this a secret from Milla. If one wants to confide something to strangers, you have to make sure in advance if the receiver is willing to take the burden of the information. First you lure everybody on the list to read your message, and afterwards you demand that they should keep this arbitrary information a secret. You demand that they must carry this on their conscience. You do wrong. You also do wrong towards me, personally.
I know Milla, and I feel I would do wrong, if I keep something like this from her. I do not go along with your request.
In my opinion it’s particularly rude, that you write these kind of things on a public list, from where Milla has been kicked out, and try to prevent Milla from knowing this.
It could be, that I relate to the belittling of the events in the light of medics in the same way as Milla does to sexism. It’s unbelievable, that even within these kind of radical circles, to declare somebody mentally ill, the possibly most effective way of the system to invalidate dissidents, is left unchallenged. By doing so, we don’t have to take what they say seriously. We can rob them of credibility and even of their human rights. This country is full of depressed, psychotics, schizophrenics and who knows what. Everybody pops the blaming pills of the medical industries. And what’s worse is that they really believe that they are ill, and think that they are ill in comparison with others. They humbly accept their fate and their submissive position, instead of finding each other and creating something new.
I recommend getting to know this text, even if it doesn’t relate to the topic:
You have done what you can to help Milla. She apparently did not want your help, or the help was not the right kind. I don’t know the nature of the matter.
From: Riikka Kaihovaara
Sent: Monday, January 28, 2008 10:47:45 AM
This message probably belongs to the forum and not to the mailing list, but I send it anyways. I promise that this bad list behavior will not be repeated 😉
However: I have on a certain other list underlined that in my opinion Milla is mentally ill, and she should be related to in that way. She has probably been traumatized by some sexualized abuse some time in the past, which has strengthened her wavering way of life (she doesn’t have any longterm friends, nor family in Finland). This scene doesn’t have the competence to solve these kind of things. I have myself guided Milla to the stuff of Tukinainen, a center helping rape / sexually molested victims
In an case I think it’s irrelevant to discuss whether Milla is “right” or “wrong”. This has for a long time not had anything to do with sexism or feminism or politics whatsoever, but is about the twisted cries for help from a confused person.
The situation is in my opinion to be compared with someone for instance having schizophrenia and that she was “hearing voices” and pestering the people of the house. In this way I wouldn’t consider the person to be an *asshole* but would instead try to relate to her as a sick human being, in need of professional help. And the same would go for if somebody has a serious depression and a drugproblem related to that, then their behavior is somewhat more understandable than somebody “normal” who is just behaving like a pig in their drunkenness.
(Mental)illness does of course not give a person right to behave in anyway they want and destroy the life of others. I think the bans are justified, because our words and actions can no longer solve the situation. If you relate to Milla as an ill person, in need of help, at least it helps to understand her messy behavior.
Regards: Riikka, who strongly wishes that this message is NOT spread outside this list, and especially not to be read by the person concerned
THE EMAIL EXCHANGE AFTER:
FROM ME TO RIIKKA, Feb 6, 2008:
could i get a sensible explanation why the päätoimittaja [chief editor] of tulva
would spread this kind of twisted kitchen pshychology to different lists
without consulting the feminist activist you with your words/ideas/
ponderings are making a great effort to discredit.
i think it’s only fair i get an answer.
i can not recognize myself in your analysis.
and i beg of you to stop sending this kind of nonsense to public places.
you are making a fool of yourself.
FROM RIIKKA TO ME AND (S) Apr 14, 2008
Hello you both!
Sorry that I didn´t answer earlier. Both of my grandmothers died within three days. It was the same week when I received your messages so I couldn´t react on anything.
When I wrote my message to sosiaalikeskus-list, my aim was not to hurt you, my aim was to DEFEND you.
I have read a lot about medicalization and I´m against the phenomenon. I´d say that most of the mental disorders today are caused by this fucked up (patriarchal) society and oppression. The link to Takkus article that (S) sent was good and I totally agree with the text. This is what I wanted to say myself. Difficult experienses in life may cause mental illness. Often it´s best to try to remove the cause (discrimination and patriarchal power structures). But sometimes this isn´t enough and then other kind of help is needed.
Milla, long time ago you told me about how distracted your image of your own body is (you told me you wanted to cry every time you see yourself naked etc.). I had the same problems as a teenager but then I found feminism and emancipation. Now I feel fairly good and can love myself. And when you can love yourself, others can love you too. When your image of yourself and self-esteem is strong enough, you don´t get hurt so easily. Then it´s easier to shrug your shoulders and not to get offended by every “vittu” [cunt. a common swear word in finnish] you hear or every disagreement you have with others.
I strongly advice you to seek help for example from Feminist Radical Therapy (FRT).
I don´t want to seem as a coward, but I´d like to end this discussion here.
Once again: I apologize if I caused bad feelings. I hope I´ll still see you both in Rajasaari or other squats without any hard feelings! ❤
“To read is to empower. To empower is to write. To write is to influence. To influence is to change. To change is to live.” – Jane Evershed
Hello Riikka and Moi (S).
Riika, I heard you when you said that you’re not interested in
continuing this discussion.
And i hear you when you say that you are going through a rough time
with the death of persons close to you.
I still feel i have a right to confront you on this though. And i
would like to get an opportunity to talk with you face to face, in a
setting that we both would feel comfortable in. For instance both of
us having the support of a friend present. And maybe work out how the
discussion can go (if any of us feel upset or uncomfortable it’s ok to
express that and take a break or continue the talk at some other
I strongly suspect you’re confusing me with somebody else with the
“crying when i see myself naked” comment. I have critical thoughts
about my body (body-hatred) which is something i see very connected
with societal pressures/propaganda. A way to keep women in control
(commercials etc). I’ve never cried when i see my body though.
I would still like to know why you consider my struggle (and i’m fully
aware that i’m on the forefront in this issue. i do things that people
i truly admire, wouldn’t dare to.) So it’s very hard for me to hear
that this is not seen as feminism, sexism, or anything political at
all, but that what i do is just desperately crying for help.
Which on a certain level is true. i yearn for political support.
something i don’t think tukinainen [rape crisis centre, that riikka had “guided” me to..] provides with..
So Riikka, i would still like to talk with you about this. So that i
can get some kind of idea (cause the things you wrote strike me as
just so completely outrageous..)
I would really like to understand where you come from, and how come
you – as a feminist – decided to publicly discredit the political work
i do as non-political.
I have no wish to punish you (even though i’ve felt really sad and
hurt about your letter). I only have a wish to understand. And maybe
get an opportunity to explain my idea of fair politics.
FROM RIIKKA TO ME AND (S), Apr 14, 2008
Thank you for answering.
I forgot one important point from my previous message.
I do consider your struggle as political. It definately is about sexism and feminism, but what I wanted to say is that sometimes there is also something else involved (wheather we call it self-hatered or mental issues or whatever). The work you do is political, but sometimes it just seems so overwhelmed, that the solution cannot be found only by untieing the political knot but also by looking inside of yourself too.
Phew, hard to explain by email. Might be easier face to face. But to be honest even the thought of discussing about this live makes me feel uncomfortable. I need time to think, if that´s ok?
FROM ME TO RIIKKA AND (S), Apr 14, 2008
how can i respect the feelings and needs of the both of us?
yes. i wish for you to have enough time to find a way that would be
comfortable for you.
and yes. i also do not want to wait for let’s say another three months
before i get any further with this.
i told the conflict resolution group that i wish to speak/meet up with
you. so i think they might contact you about that at some point.
but yes. i truly hope we can meet and talk about this. even though we
have very different views on what’s going on. (i don’t agree with the
statements in your public letter)
Tässä ei enää pitkään aikaan ole ollut kysymys seksismistä tai
feminismistä tai politiikasta ylipäätään, vaan sekaisin olevan ihmisen
on the other hand. i absolutely: think we’re all crazy, cause we’re
all part of this society.
(Mieli)sairaus ei tietenkään oikeuta ihmistä käyttäytymään miten
tahtoo ja tuhoamaan muiden elämää. Pidän bännejä perusteltuja
nimenomaan siksi, että meidän teoillamme ja puheillamme emme voi enää
i do see other solutions than banning. for instance: open dialogue. a
political will to communicate, as constructive alternatives to
banning/closing something out that we do not understand.
it would allow the movement to grow.
and that’s something i would really wish to happen.
breaking the status quo.
so: as i said. it would be nice for me to have a time limit.
is two weeks enough for you to think about how you would like to move
(and i don’t know when k-ryhmä will contact you)
in these kind of processes. when it’s only two persons involved and
trying to communicate the tone easily turns more accusative and nasty.
so that’s why i forward this to (s) as well.
I have never really spent much time at any squats, with or without Milla. Anyway, I have followed the sos-list, to which Milla sent messages from time to time.
I remember those messages making sense to me. They were about situations in which Milla saw sexism or other problems. Even if Milla was the only one who was concerned about those situations, there should have been at least some sensible conversation about those situations and issues ralated to them. But, at least on the mailing list, there were only coarce provocation (like the review of some documentary in which certain animal species rape their females), and insults. Milla still tried to start a conversation, and that’s why she kept sending those mails, which in turn summoned more insulting replies, but never any conversation. Maybe people grew angry about getting too much mail, and forgot the original point of Milla’s mails. Finally it was easy for them to label Milla’s initiatives as “kieroutuneet avunhuudot”. [twisted calls for help]
I don’t really think Milla ever sent any mail, which was nonsense. But I think she got fed up when no one really wanted to talk about things she saw urgent. No one either critisized, nor supported Millas initiatives. They only made stronger and stronger attemts to silence them, until Riikka brought that “mental illness” -argument.
When people really don’t want to talk about certain examples or general issues, they finally begin to see the person taking initiatives, as mentally ill. It is a science-backed way to silence certain people, who are seen as threats. Closing dis-liked people to mental hospitals is also a common tool for totalitarian governments to maintain their power.
Btw, I would like to know more about the case of Leena Muranen. She was closed to a mental hospital against her will, after she spoke loudly, in the public and as a witness in front of courts, about suspects of pedophilia. She also encouraged the mother of one child, to take her child to Norway, to avoid the child being assaulted. She was a doctor in Jyväskylä.
I have found several fuzzy links around that subject using Google:
I have been too lazy to make a serious attemnt to get a clear picture. It may be true that Leena Muranen lied and beared a false witness, or over-reacted. It may also be true that she was speaking the truth. I am seriously concerned, however, that the mental institution silenced her and that her testimony was ignored due to her being labeled mentally ill.
I believe there is a lot of good things in the idea how courts work and try to ensure their objectivity and equality. I also believe that the “conflict resolution group” -idea is good. It is dangerous if psychiatric discourse is mixed into court processes or conflict resolution. It offers a lot of tools for oppressors, as certain ideas can be ignored if the person presenting those ideas is labeled “sick” and people no longer have to analyze those ideas “as they are”.