Siren Song Like a War Cry


allies: lesson one

Disclaimer: I am only one womyn, my ideas of what a good ally looks like are not complete or perfect. These are my ideas, which have been carefully considered and learned through experience. However, I am not the voice of God. 

Allies are extremely important. Allies can protect womyn from serious harm at the hands of supposed comrades by showing their support for womyn fighting against oppression. The question is how. It can be difficult to distinguish between the privilege and acting as an ally when one has been raised in a culture of sexism and oppression. 

 

Consider Your Privilege

Actively and consciously consider the privileges you are relinquishing in trade for the downfall of patriarchy. Think about how operating as a male in this society benefits you directly, and how that makes you feel. Consider how it will feel to give up those privileges. Some of those privileges you have no control over, such as employment opportunities. However, there are some that you have direct control over. Think of the way you address people, the intricacies of your presentation of masculinity, the space you take up, the way that you posture your body. 

 

Also consider the ways in which patriarchy and masculinity restricts your ability to be a free and autonomous person. That will be personal and individual to each person. These things are important to consider, because the more in touch with what privilege looks like for you, what masculinity looks like for you, and what you are giving up, the less inclined towards defensive behavior you will be when being asked to be accountable to behavior. 

 

Get Called Out

Everyone makes mistakes. It’s inevitable, growing up in this awful, oppressive culture. We will be constantly making mistakes and working to fix them. If you are truly committed to ending sexism within yourself and society, then getting called out is the first step. But for this to happen, you must maintain a reputation for being easy to talk to about masculinity and privilege. Womyn spend every waking hour in an oppressive society, radical womyn spend every day engaged in subversive combat against patriarchy simply to keep our sanity. Fighting against our comrades to get them to recognize their behavior is one of the most draining tasks of anarcho-feminism.

 

When you’re being called out, just listen. That doesn’t mean maintain absolute silence. It means listen. If your first response is that they’re wrong, question that response heavily and wait to debate the nuances until you’ve decided that your knee-jerk reaction isn’t defensiveness. Keep in mind that in many circumstances, the womyn calling you out is talking about the way your behavior made her feel, and those feelings won’t simply go away because you told her she was wrong. Even if she is wrong, this is still about how she feels. Trust what she is saying as her own experience, it may be different from your experience, but trust it as hers. Your reality is not the reality. 

 

Solidarity

Men standing in solidarity with womyn fighting against oppression can be difficult to navigate. Solidarity doesn’t mean co-opting, overrunning, overpowering or acting as a vanguard and protector of womyn from sexism. However, there are times when a male voice can be very helpful. If you see a womyn trying to call out a man who’s being extremely difficult and defensive, even the simple act of nodding in response to her statements can make her feel as though she is supported in her actions. A well placed “Dude, she’s right, listen to her.” or “You’re being really defensive right now, you need to stop and listen to what she’s saying.” can make a world of difference in a conversation. Men are much more likely to listen to another man than they are a womyn, which is a facet of sexism. Allies can use their privilege to subvert this function of patriarchy without overrunning or silencing the womyn who is conducting the call out. 

 

When in doubt, ask. Check in with your womyn comrades about organizing, meetings, house behavior, and ask them how they feel about you and your behavior. Ask what you could do differently. Ask what they need from you if they’re in a position of leadership with a project. It isn’t womyn’s responsibilities to teach you how to be proper men, but it isn’t wrong to ask them how they personally feel when organizing and in any other circumstances. 

 

 

It is not lifestylism to say the revolution starts at home. We must first change ourselves, deconstruct the lessons drilled into our heads by our indoctrination into a capitalist culture, and begin to free our minds from the shackles of oppression before we can ever create a truly liberated world. The lessons of oppression taught to us will not disappear after the revolution, we will continue to carry them with us in our hearts and minds unless we do something to fight against them. And that, my love, is the revolution.

 



a plea to liberals
August 4, 2009, 11:07 pm
Filed under: reasonable, sane, logical arguments | Tags: , ,

 The system was built broken. It was founded on the notion of white supremacy and patriarchy. The founding fathers that are hailed in elementary schools from Los Angeles to New York City were slave owners, wife beaters and alcoholics. These men are glorified for the sake of the continuation of the capitalist doctrine that this nation was created under. It was created to serve the interests of white men to the destruction of all else. 

 

For capitalism to exist, there must people in poverty. There must be people starving to death, willing to work at menial service jobs for minimum wage, for capitalism to succeed. Capitalism is rooted in death, and no form of reform is going to eradicate that fact completely.

 

You are working to change a system that is broken. Every vote we cast places a new puppet in office that will make the same mistakes as their predecessors. Every president, Democrat or Republican, has made a grievous error during their presidency that has placed not only the American people in danger of life and limb, but the global population at risk. While you shop calmly for your groceries, carefully contemplating organic versus inexpensive, there is an arms race being conducted by world powers that set us poised on the edge of complete annihilation. 

 

Regardless of the reformist laws passed through slanted courtrooms by bought politicians and hired lobbyists, there will always be conversations conducted by powerful officials behind locked doors discussing matters of national security, discussions that determine the fate of the world, without a single citizen knowing of the decision. 

 

When we vote to elect someone into office, we are placing our fates into an entirely fallible human being, without thought or consideration to the potential outcome of our decision. This is a republic, not a democracy. We have no direct control over the actions, decisions or path of our government. 

 

Who are you choosing to trust? 

 

This is no longer a matter of politicians and sex scandals. Our lives hang in the space between the pen and the paper. A system that is broken will always be broken. We can only wipe the world clean and begin anew. 



a love letter
August 3, 2009, 9:26 am
Filed under: romantic bullshit

A better world is possible. 

 

Stare at those words. 

 

Look at them like you’re seeing your lover stumble blindly from the gates of prison to see the sun for the first time in days. The bars on our windows are invisible. Another world is possible. A world where our children will never be survivors, they won’t have rape and fear ingrained into their veins, channeled through their mothers cord like survival. A world where police don’t come into our houses in the dark of night and interrupt our sleep with the sounds of expended copper shells rattling our kitchen floor. A world with no borders, no countries, no weapons of mass destruction poised to begin the apocalypse with the stroke of a pen. A world where our gardens are not overthrown to protect the owner class that holds property above nourishment and growth. A world where children’s bellies don’t bloat from hunger and teenagers don’t carry military issue semi-automatic weapons at home or abroad. A world where race, gender, class and prison aren’t things that are connected to one another inexplicably and as inevitably as a hurricane. A world where we can trust our friends, after so many have rolled on us, turned on us, rooted betrayal deep in our bones that lead us to forever doubt the people that we yearn to trust. 

 

A world where we can begin to heal.

 

But this is not what our world looks like. Our world looks like war and terror. It looks like fear. It looks like rape. It looks like starvation and humiliation, it looks like fascist presidencies and corporate interests. It looks like puppet strings and infiltration. It looks like forced penetration and suicide seeds. It looks like strip mining, deforestation and extinction. It looks like the end of the world, the end of the species, the end of everything. It looks like nuclear war and hatred. It looks like oppression and exploitation, furthering and furthering and furthering corporate greed until it extends on ad nauseam with infinity and death. It looks like unmarked graves and sunken bodies, it looks like famine and disease. It looks like medication thats too expensive and inadequate diagnosis. It looks like sadness, grief, attacks. It looks like hate crimes and fascists. 

 

Wake up. 

 

Get out of bed. Look in the mirror. It starts with you. It has always started with you. The revolution begins at home, begins with the person looking back at you, it starts in your shadows, your fears, and your courage. It isn’t in a dumpster in the back ally of a city that never sleeps. Its not in a squat with unkept electricity and needles littering the floor. The revolution is in your next door neighbor, your mother, and your history professor. It is in finding your comrades, building ties. It is in vigilance, militancy and rejection of capitalist values. It isn’t hiding around the corner of your local anarchist cafe. It isn’t written in between the lines of safer space policies. It is in your raised fist and the weapons already heavy in your hands. It is marches that ignore government permits, ignore tax brackets, it is in the riot, in the fires, in the union. It is in fighting for your life, and that of the whole species. 

The revolution is in your heart. 

Stand with me on barricades built by fallen soldiers and corporate executives. 

Saying,

None shall pass. 



language politics & the art of subversion

Words are power. Words define our thoughts and actions. Words are weapons in the hands of both revolutionaries and capitalists. They are an act of revolt or an act of oppression. Words are violence and words are peace. Historically, proper language use has been co-opted by the liberal left and translated into political correctness, translated into color-blind racism, identity restriction, and the furtherance of boxes designed by the bourgeoisie to continue our oppression through division. Historically, it’s meant boxes, definitions and limitation.

Words are still an act of resistance, or an act of oppression. However, language is symptomatic of a larger, greater and more complex issue. Employing the word bitch is an act of violence against all women. Those five letters create, perpetuate and excuse rape, domination, exploitation and enslavement. In only five letters, one is relegating another to the category of sub-human, less-than-human, object, animal. Bitch translates into female dog, this definition is widely accepted. Female dog. Dogs are owned by masters, masters dominate the animals they own. Masters force dogs to breed, force dogs into cages, force dogs to listen to every command uttered by the master under threat of capital punishment. Masters beat dogs that are fractious.

You are calling a woman a female dog.

Women are owned by their husbands. Women are dominated by men. Women are forced to have children by men. Women are caged into houses, relegated into kitchens, bound into marriages. Women are beaten for resistance to their domination. Women are raped. Women are murdered.

Bitch is used to describe difficult situations. Bitch is used to describe someone of either gender who is complaining, but when employed against men is always meant to express that a man is acting like a woman. Bitch is used to describe revolutionary women. Bitch is used to describe women who do not accept the domination of men, who speak, who make noise, who take a stand. Bitch is used to invalidate the revolt of women who no longer wish to be dominated by masters.

Things that aren’t human are okay to harm. Things that are less than human are okay to rape. Bitch upholds this mentality without pause or question. When revolutionaries use words rooted in oppression and dehumanization we are upholding the very society we claim to be destroying. At best, the use of the word bitch by revolutionaries is hypocrisy. At worst, it is an act of counter-revolution, an act of violent oppression through the silencing of our comrades.

Words define our ideas. Define your ideas.



a call to arms; an open letter to allies

I was once in love with a beautiful boy with the brightest green eyes I’ve ever seen. He was kind and gentle. He was filled with passion, always talking about bringing about the revolution, the destruction of oppression and the fall of capitalism. He wanted to save the world. He taught me about love, and freedom. He taught me to love my body, my soul, and to search for freedom amidst terrible oppression. He gave me feminism, and I ran with it. I loved him with every particle of my being.

One night, he raped me. Whereas some memories fall to the wayside of time, become blurry and less distinct as others line up to take its place, the events of that night are etched into my soul forever. We were in the bathroom. He had just gotten out of the shower, and I was standing near the tub as he dried off. I can still feel his breath hot on the back of my neck as he told me to bend over, hands already pulling down my pajamas. I told him no. I didn’t feel safe in the bathroom, the door was missing a panel and anyone who walked by could see what was going on. The light was harsh, I didn’t like the way my body looked underneath its unforgiving blaze, I was scared and uncomfortable. I told him no. His hand pressed down upon my back and demanded that I bend over. I didn’t resist. How could I hit someone I loved so much? He didn’t stop. I let him rape me. When he finally relented, it was because I begged for him to stop.

When we got back to the room that we had shared for over a year, he told me that I played into it. That somehow my hard learned defense mechanisms of freezing, begging, making myself as small as possible, shielding myself in the places I did not wish to be touched, was somehow an act of consent. I spent six months in silence. I still slept with him because now I knew that consent was optional, not a requirement. Every night, I’d simply float away from my body so as not to feel his poisonous touch. He never spoke of it. He never asked.

He was an anarchist, a revolutionary. He vowed to destroy patriarchy and oppression, yet embodied oppression within himself. He allowed it to harbor there unchallenged and unchecked, making countless excuses and avoiding accountability. I have no doubt in my mind that my rape was a direct result of my uncompromising approach to challenging oppression within our relationship. In the weeks leading up to our encounter in the bathroom, I had been challenging his privilege and accountability every day. My partner blamed it on passion. He told me that he didn’t mean to, it was simply a mistake. But it was clear to me that he made an example of me. He chose to rape me in a place that was public, so as all could see the fate of women who challenge the dominance of men.

This is a call to arms. This is a reminder to every man who has ever forgotten what women are sacrificing to confront patriarchy. This is for every man who doesn’t tell his friends not to use the word bitch. This is to every man who lets a woman stand alone, fighting against her oppression. This is to every man who doesn’t get there first.

We are being raped. We are being raped and murdered by your comrades, your friends, your brothers. And you are silent.

Men don’t get raped for calling out their comrades. Remember that, and act.



burn your dictionary
July 21, 2009, 8:21 am
Filed under: hostile diatribes | Tags: , , ,

The dictionary is a worthless peice of shit.

If you weren’t aware of that already, try this nifty little experiment.

Grab your thesaurous.
Find femininity.
Find the word effete.

Read the definition outloud.

Mine reads as such:
–adjective

1. lacking in wholesome vigor; degenerate; decadent: an effete, overrefined society.

Apparently degenerate and immoral are synonymous with femininity.

Or,

The third definition of femininity is effeminate.
To be effeminate is:
2. characterized by excessive softness, delicacy, self-indulgence, etc.: effeminate luxury.

According to the dictionary, women are soft, delicate, self-indulgent, immoral degenerates, and all that was uncovered by just one definition.

And they tell me sexism died with the nineteenth amendment.




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