"You think a million people like you could do the business? Well, where are they? If you haven’t got them after two hundred years of agitation what makes you think they will turn up now or some time in the future? And do you really think it possible that a million people can believe the same thing at the same time? How would you check they were really thinking what you thought and not hoping to get something else out of it, a PhD. thesis, a promotion, a ministerial promotion, a groovy party, radical credibility, a new girlfriend? And if they did truly believe as you believe, if they downloaded your consciousness by what mechanism would that change the world? It sounds like magic: if we all think the same thing then everything will come good. Why should people believe what you say more than the promises of any other religion? The internet is full of get rich quick schemes, anarchism is just one of them.”
— Monsieur Dupont
Hetero Poly under patriarchy. Not so viable. Especially when so many men see us as things not full people.
Reports suggest this document is about to be taken down from Pastebin. Pasting it here.
We are some cis and trans women and non-binary poets in the Bay Area who are concerned about ongoing issues of misogyny and gender/sexual violence in our communities.
We are writing now with some urgency. In the past weeks we have heard many stories regarding acts of sexual violence and/or sexualized intimidation perpetrated by men in our communities.
We feel it is crucial that we share this information publicly.
Accusations have surfaced about the following people: Zach Houston, Claiborne McDonald, Steven Trull (who goes by Janey Smith), and Nicholas Sung. The individual accounts of the consent violations are all somewhat different and come from multiple sources. Some are as intense as rape. Some are probably closer to intense harassment.
We are not a judicial body, nor are we interested in putting these men on trial. We know there is a lot of confusion about these stories circulating in our communities. Some people want us to share the specifics of what we have heard. But this is not our work. If survivors wish to tell their stories publicly we will do all we can to support them. But we also want to protect those survivors who do not feel safe and do not want their stories shared publicly. Some of us have expressed interest in developing restorative justice and community accountability processes around these issues. Others are not interested in those measures. We cannot predict how any one person or group of people may respond if one of these men decides to attend a poetry event. It is likely that some people will choose to confront the perpetrator and ask him to leave the event space.
We are speaking out because we want to protect ourselves and our friends and share information that might make it easier for other people to do the same. We have not always done a great job with this, but we want to do better. We want to make sure that as new people (not just women) enter our communities and attend readings, they will have the information necessary to make informed decisions. We want organizers of reading series and public event spaces to have this information, too.
It would be naive to think that these accusations represent the only instances of sexual violence in our communities. Because misogyny and sexual violence are so pervasive, it’s difficult to know where to begin. We understand that these problems exist all around us. We understand that the continuous oppression of feminized and racialized bodies is structural and necessary to the everyday functioning of capitalism and the state. We recognize that sexual and gendered violence is contiguous with the male-dominated culture that defines our domestic, semi-private, local, non-institutional (and institutional!) creative and intellectual spaces. We also understand that if we were to name every person who dominates the conversation, jokingly grabs our ass, mansplains feminism to us, misgenders us, fetishizes us, erases our presences, aggressively pursues relationships with us when our disinterest is obvious, doesn’t speak out when someone is roofied at their social space, or destabilizes our lives and children’s lives by acting violently inside the relationship or family structure, the list would be endless.
People have argued that, in calling out some names, we run the risk of deflecting attention away from the forms of relation and politics of gender that produce misogyny and sexual violence in the first place. But we believe that we have to start somewhere. And our work won’t stop at naming names. So this is not the end, but the beginning. While we are not a group, and do not claim to speak on behalf of anyone, our hope is that this work will continue in the years to come. And if we have to keep writing statements like this, we will. We will also be having frank conversations with some of you that are not on this list but who we feel are contributing to the general atmosphere of harassment. Many of us are committed to calling this stuff out. But we hope we will not be doing this alone.
Our communities are also full of cis and trans men who are, or want to be, allies, and this is an acknowledgement, too, of all those who have supported us and who are engaged in uncomfortable, ongoing conversations. And while we have focused this on the Bay Area, we know the Bay Area is not in any way unique, and our communities are international. So this is also to acknowledge those in other geographic locations. We welcome all who want to struggle together to transform the structural problems that foster sexual violence.
"Most people think of prostitution as dangerous, degrading and exploitative work. But there are some who are attempting to reinvent it as a profession free of stigma by using all the tools of modern business."
This is a really good article about how slandering socialist and communist groups as “outside agitators” has been used historically to put distance between black people/people of color and revolutionary socialism (and the two have an intertwined history). Communism has always been portrayed as being brought to the US from “foreigners” (e.g. in the 1900s it was Italians) and as being anti-American. also this quote = tumblr.(via marxvx)
“Where the fuck were you until five in the morning?”
And we’ll be surprised. He knew we were strippers when we started dating. Hell, maybe we met AT the strip club.
“I was at work, where else would I be? And then I got Denny’s with the crew. Like I always do on Wednesday nights.” And we shake it off. That was weird.
But the fights escalate. Maybe he refuses to give us rides to work, or maybe he insists on giving us rides and picking us up so he can account for our whereabouts. He reminds us that most guys wouldn’t be so understanding about our line of work, that most guys think we’re diseased and damaged, just one night stand material. He needs more money, because he lost his job because he was so distracted worrying about us all day.
It’s our fault he’s drinking more. It’s our fault he’s smoking more. It’s our fault he stayed up all night sharpening his knife collection. It’s our fault he was too tired to take the dog for a walk, and so the dog shit on the kitchen floor, and do you think he enjoys putting our face in dog shit?
We talk about these things at work, with an air of resignation. It’s not that bad, it wasn’t in the face. Good thing the red lights cover bruises. But an older girl pulls us aside one day and says “Look, I know you’re young and you think this is some fairy tale shit and he’s gonna change his act, but he won’t. You need to leave. Like yesterday. Don’t end up like me,” she says as she parts her hair just over her ear and we see a thin, ropey line of scar tissue.
We don’t leave. Not yet.
No, it takes a few more fights, a few more close calls, before we can really admit how bad it’s gotten. Maybe it’s when we go out on a rare night off from work with some friends, and he ruins the night by calling and texting every minute, demanding to know who you’re sucking off behind some dumpster, you fucking whore. Or maybe it’s when he plans an actual date, just the two of us, like old times, but before we can even get out the door he criticizes every outfit for being too slutty, and you want other men to know what you’re doing behind his back, don’t you?
So we leave. We sneak out a few articles of clothing at a time and stash them with a co-worker. Or we find a motel room on the other side of town. Or we take our chances and sleep in our car because we have nowhere else to go. But so often, leaving isn’t the end. It’s the beginning of a new fight.
If we had any property that was shared, we calculate how much it was worth, how much it will cost to replace, and how much personal injury we’re willing to risk. If there were children, multiply by lawyer’s fees and court costs and the risk of him painting us as bad parents because of our job. Oddly enough, it’s times like this that we’re grateful for the jobs we have because we have more room to control our schedules and almost any manager has had their own interactions with the legal system and they know.
But there’s always the risk that the fight won’t be contained by legal channels. There’s always the risk that he’ll bring the fight to us, long after we thought it was over. There’s the risk that he’ll show up at the club or at our new apartment or at our “day” job or at our school. And that’s when we start having really shitty nights, curled up with a kettle of coffee or a bottle of wine, wondering if we should write our own obituary so if he does come back again and finish what he started, we won’t be reduced to the “troubled woman” by the press.
I escaped. It took a few thousand dollars, 500 miles, and seven months of lawyers playing “Dueling Fax Machines” but I got out."
— Electra Fyre in “The Second Shittiest Thing About Being Abused: Survivor Solidarity and Getting Out" at Tits and Sass today (via marginalutilite)
If smoking will forestall the grotesque act of human intercourse then light me up