[Breakingthesilence] another text for reader

miss moon tveye_ at hotmail.com
Mer 14 Juil 21:15:57 CEST 2004

hi kev

bosa from azin has 2 texts for the reader
1 on womens economic position here
one on collective worker organisation and women

these will be translated

im wondering it would be very good to have a serbian version of the reader
will try to find a neans for this aye!

xx jet

>From: "Kev Smith" <kevin.smith at gmx.net>
>Reply-To: "gender working group for the european people's global action  
>(PGA)<breakingthesilence at gendertrouble.org>"@lautre3.lautre.net
>To: breakingthesilence at gendertrouble.org
>Subject: [Breakingthesilence] another text for reader
>Date: Tue, 13 Jul 2004 19:27:19 +0200 (MEST)
>i am back in escanda and i can start to work on the reader....
>here is another text that i would liek to include... it is a bit long (3000
>words) but i really like it and i think its very relevant and useful.
>If people have texts that they would like to include can they please sedn
>them to me.
>I was thinking it would be something like 30 pages long... nothing too
>visually fancy... simple layout with a few images... and i was thinking of
>doign it in a landscape format for no particular reason other than this is
>how i usually do the pimiento verde and i can recycle a few bits of layout
>from the gender magazine.
>I would really liek to include a couple of pieces from queer perspectives
>but i am not sure what yet.
>I would liek to include something from the gender stuff that went on at the
>asia conference... does anyone have any idea who would be a good person to
>approach for this? (so far i have only tried trasgu)
>ok, hope all is well in your respective necks of the woods,
>Taking The First Step: Suggestions To People Called Out For Abusive 
>by wispy cockles (originally published in the Jan/Feb issue of Clamor
>What you see before you is a work in a progress and will likely remain so. 
>write this to encourage dialogue and to provide a resource to people 
>with difficult situations. I do not write this to provide answers to every
>situation where someone is accused of abuse. Every situation will have
>unique characteristics that require unique responses and courses of action.
>What I hope is that this will spark a dialogue about how people accused of
>rape or abuse or sexual assault should conduct themselves regardless of
>their feelings of guilt or innocence. As radical communities we need to 
>extensive dialogue about how to deal with abusive behaviour, and this is 
>current within that dialogue. We should ask ourselves many questions. What
>responsibilities does the accused have to upholding a "process of
>accountability" regardless of their feelings of guilt or innocence? As
>survivors and communities how do we hold abusers responsible? How do we
>create strong communities that are ready to deal with difficult and
>controversial situations without factionalizing or falling apart? Is it a
>priority to determine "guilt" or "innocence" or is it a priority to create
>processes that demand accountability and deconstruct privilege?
>There are some aspects of the ten suggestions I would like to explain first
>and foremost. We find ourselves in a world where the overwhelming amount of
>abuse occurs with men preying on women. It is a patriarchal phenomena. In
>this document I have used the gender neutral term s/he. I wish for 
>that fall outside of the male=assailant/female=survivor model to have
>visibility. I wish to speak to all abusers regardless of their gender. It 
>not an attempt to cloak the fact that abuse is largely perpetuated by men
>against women.
>Also in this document I do address people who feel that they have been
>falsely accused of whatever they've been accused of doing. My reason for
>doing this is mainly, because people who are in denial need to be spoken 
>and they need to be held to standards of conduct that support an atmosphere
>that challenges privilege and oppression. It goes without saying that in 
>majority of instances when people are called out for abuse it is because, 
>fact, they abused the person(s). However, there exist a minority of
>instances in which people are falsely accused of things.
>This writing comes from the context of my own experience of dealing with
>accusations of sexually coercive behaviour. Accusations which were later
>revealed, by the person my accusers had pegged to be the "survivor", to 
>no validity. However, there were a good three months where, due to
>miscommunication and misunderstanding*, I honestly believed I was being
>accused by someone of manipulative and sexually coercive behaviour. I did a
>lot of self investigation and soul searching. Luckily, I had some great
>people to help me process through my conflicting feeling surrounding 
>with these very frightening accusations of abuse. This is my way of giving
>back to all those who gave so much to me, and to a radical community which
>inspires me. It is a product of a very real, very intense lived experience
>facing accusations of abuse, and the reflection that followed.
>I would like to say, in my opinion, that false accusations of abuse are
>themselves a form of emotional abuse. However, it is very important to keep
>a perspective about such things. The priority, in any situation, where
>someone is calling out someone else of abuse must clearly lay with the 
>and desires of those claiming to have survived abuse. This is not to just
>err on the side of caution, as false accusations are by most accounts an
>extreme rarity. It is to support the beginnings of communities that trust
>those who stand up to those that hurt them. It is to support those that
>occupy the front lines in the struggle against hierarchy. Those beautiful
>souls who take the struggle home, where its most difficult, and those whose
>strength should be displayed, if they wish, on the covers of radical
>tabloids alongside photos of black blockers doing property alteration. 
>militancy doesn't leave them when the demo or deed is done, they live it.
>*Take my advice, don't use e-mail to communicate about serious and
>emotionally charged issues.
>Ten Suggestions For People Called Out For Abusive Behaviour
>1. Be Honest, Stay Honest, Get Honest
>If you know that you hurt the person calling you out for abuse, acknowledge
>it. If you think its a possibility that you might have hurt them let them
>know. If you have any inkling that some way that you interacted with them
>might have compromised their dignity and boundaries let them know. The 
>step to dealing with our abusive tendencies is getting out of denial. 
>is like an infection. It starts in some locality (specific instances and
>situations, nitpicking at certain parts of an account of the situation[s]),
>and if untreated festers and eventually consumes us entirely. When we are
>able to vocalize that we are aware that something isn't quite right with 
>behaviour it brings us a step closer to dealing with it in a meaningful and
>honest way.
>2. Respect Survivor Autonomy
>Survivor autonomy means that the survivor of abuse, and the survivor of
>abuse alone calls the shots concerning how abusive behaviour is dealt with.
>This means s/he calls the shots and you live with her/his decisions. You
>don't get to determine how or even if a mediation/confrontation happens, or
>initiate action towards a resolution. You get to make it explicitly clear
>that you respect their autonomy in the situation, and that you're willing 
>work towards a resolution. They may prefer to never be in the same space
>with you again and don't wish to speak with you. It is not their
>responsibility, nor their duty, to attempt for resolution or enter into
>dialogue with you or take any specific course of action for that matter
>However it is your responsibility, as someone being called out, to respect
>their needs and desires.
>3. Learn To Listen
>It is imperative that you open your ears and your heart to the person
>calling you out. This will likely be difficult, because people tend to get
>defensive and closed when they are accused of wrongdoing. Very few people 
>this world want to be pegged as the "bad apple of the "bunch" To listen you
>will need to keep your defensive and knee jerk reactionary tendencies in
>check. These suggestions could be very helpful to you: A) Let the person
>calling you out direct the dialogue. If they want you to answer questions 
>so, but otherwise let them have the floor. B) Be aware when you're
>formulating responses and counterpoints in your head while they're
>expressing their account of the situation(s), and attempt to stop doing so.
>C) Focus on their account of things, and save going over in your head how
>you remember things until after they have spoken. D) Reflect upon the
>entirety of what they expressed and not just the disparities between your
>and their account of events. E) Talk with your friends about how you can
>better listen before you enter a mediation/confrontation.
>4. Practice Patience
>Sometimes things take time to be resolved. Sometimes it takes months, 
>decades for a resolution, and sometimes there is no clear cut resolution.
>However, there is no timeline for resolution when human dignity is at 
>Be patient and never attempt to force a resolution. a process, or a
>dialogue. You may ask for a dialogue or a mediation, but if the answer is 
>it is no until s/he says it is yes. Don't attempt to wear down the
>boundaries of the person calling you out by asking for dialogue or 
>over and over again. Stay put, reflect, and think about the power dynamics
>in your relations with others.
>5. Never, Ever, Blame The Victim
>S/he did not ask for violence or abuse. S/he did not ask for it in how s/he
>dressed. S/he didn't ask for it, because s/he was under the influence of
>alcohol or drugs. S/he didn't ask for it, because s/he is a sex worker. 
>didn't ask for it because she chose to make out with you or because s/he
>went back to your place or because s/he is known to be into s/m or because
>she is a "tease" or because she is a "slut". S/he did not ask for it in
>anyway. It is not acceptable to write off his/her responses to your
>behaviour, because she is "hypersensitive" to your' threatening of abusive
>behaviour. It is not acceptable to say that s/he is "exaggerating" the
>abuse, because s/he is a feminist/queer 
>PC thug"/etc. It is not acceptable to say that s/he is making it up, 
>s/he has a history of abuse or any other such nonsense. Making excuses for
>why someone is to blame for your hurtful actions are a way for you to avoid
>taking responsibility for your' fucked up behaviour. They expose you as a
>6. Speak For Yourself
>You can account for your experience and your experience and your experience
>alone. Don't ever assume that you can know how the person calling you out 
>an abuser experienced the situation(s). People walk down the same streets
>everyday and have very different experiences. This is a simple fact of 
>It is, also, a very different experience to have the winds of privilege
>blowing against your back than to have the winds of oppression blowing in
>your face as you walk down those same streets. You cannot know how someone
>else felt at a certain moment, and so you should never presume that you 
>the right to judge the validity of their feelings. If they have expressed
>how they feel, then what you need to do, first and foremost, is to listen.
>It is important that you actively seek to understand theirs feelings. If 
>find that you simply cannot understand their feelings no matter how
>sincerely you try it is still not your place to judge the validity of them.
>7. Don't Engage In Silence Behaviour
>By telling your "side of the story" you could be creating an atmosphere 
>silences people who have been abused. If you feel that their are major
>discrepancies between your account of the situation(s) and their account,
>and that you are being "falsely accused" take a deep breath. First you need
>to know that you can never stop sincerely investigating the yourself and
>questioning how your behaviour affects others ..the case is never closed.
>With time you might come to realize that, yes, in fact your behaviour was
>abusive. It is your responsibility to continuously challenge your notions
>about how your behaviours effect others, and to challenge your
>understandings of how you hold power over others in your relationships. 
>books, enter into recovery programs for batterer'/sexual assailants, seek
>out a therapist, and discover your own ways of challenging yourself and 
>conceptions of how your behaviour effects others.
>Understand that if you attempt to silence the person(s) by promoting your
>account of things as "the truth" you will silence others as well. People
>will fear coming forward with their stories and fear confronting abuse,
>because of YOUR silencing behaviour. If you are committed to creating a
>world where people speak freely about the wrongs done to them you will want
>to avoid focusing on how the accusers are "lying" about you, and you will
>want to avoid airing your presumptions and theories as to their "motives".
>One example off the top of my head is how one particular rapist/sexual
>assailant passed out a list of 40 points of contention at a punk show to
>refute the stories of three women calling him out. The flyer went on and on
>about the disparities between these women's stories and the "truth". This 
>one blatant example of silencing behaviour, but it can act in far more
>subtle ways.
>Silencing behaviour is ANY behaviour which attempts to make the survivor of
>abuse out to the perpetrator of misinformation. It is any behaviour which
>attempts to make the abuser out to be the victim. It very quickly puts into
>question the character of the person calling out an abuser. Often it leads
>to a backlash against them both explicit (threats, harassment, violence) 
>implicit (endless questioning, non supportive behaviour i.e. "I don't want
>to get involved in this" or "I'm hearing a lot of different stories").
>Silencing behaviour creates an atmosphere where people fear and don't call
>out their abusers, and therefore an atmosphere where abuse flourishes.
>However, this does not mean that you should not speak of how you 
>the situation(s) differently from the other person(s) calling you out. It
>simply means that it is your responsibility to do so in a way that is
>respectful and that does not help to foster an atmosphere of silence around
>abuse. You may need to relate your experiences to those with which you have
>close friendships/working relationships and to those that approach you, but
>as I said above speak for yourself. Do not intersperse their account with
>yours to illustrate the inconsistencies that you perceive. Do not relate 
>person(s) stories for them. Do not go on and on about how they should have
>called you out in a different manner. Do not talk about their shortcomings
>in the relationship/ friendship. Do not cast yourself in the role of the
>victim of a "witch hunt" or "cointelpro". Do not assert that they are 
>and if your account differs from theirs make it clear that this is how you
>and only you account for your experiences(s) of the situation(s). Let what
>you say be limited exclusively to your recollection. If you feel the need 
>vent find a good person to vent to whose outside of your immediate social
>scene/community (if you look hard enough you might find a therapist willing
>to work with you on a sliding scale basis, preferably find one with a
>radical/feminist analysis) or someone outside the scene/community 
>(who you know for sure has not been a victim of abuse). If you honestly
>believe you are being falsely accused your character will have to speak for
>yourself rather then you speaking for your character.
>8. Don't Hide Behind Your Friends
>Often the people most vocal in defending abusers are not the abusers
>themselves, but their friends, comrades, and lovers. "But s/he's really a
>good person/activist/artist" or "S/he contributed so much to the
>community/scene" or "The person I know would never do something like that"
>are some common defensive reactions among many. If you feel that people are
>trying to insulate you from your problems or from questioning your
>actions....let them know that it isn't acceptable. You need to hear the
>criticisms and anger of the survivor(s) and their allies. As well you need
>to stop others from engaging in silencing behaviour. Let them know that if
>they truly care about you that instead of defending your character and
>reacting to the accusations they need to help you examine yourself and
>figure out ways of transforming dominating behaviours.
>9. Respond To The Wishes of The Survivor and The Wishes Of The Community
>Taking responsibility for our harmful actions is an integral part of the
>healing process. You will need to respond to the wishes of the survivor and
>the community not just for their healing, but yours as well. If s/he or 
>wish that you be suspended from certain projects/activities or that you
>engage in a batterers/assailants program or that you do book reports on
>books about ending rape and abuse or if they want you to do anything within
>the realm of possibility don't argue with them....give them what they ask
>for. You need to show the survivor and the community that you are acting in
>good faith and that you are ready to deal with your problems of abuse or at
>the very least that you are willing to sincerely investigate the 
>that you engaged in abusive behaviour. You need to show the survivor and 
>community that you respect their autonomy and their ability to make
>decisions that meet their needs and desires for safety, healing, and ending
>oppression. Again if you want to live in a world free of abuse,rape, and
>oppression you will support survivor autonomy and community
>self-determination even if you feel you are being "falsely accused". . Do
>not engage in the silencing behaviour of attacking the demands and process
>of the survivor(s) or the community. This is what abusers and their
>supporters typically do to create a smokescreen of issues to take the heat
>off of themselves.
>10. Take Responsibility....Stop Abuse and Rape Before It Starts.
>It takes a lot of courage and self-knowledge to admit that you've hurt
>someone, that you compromised their dignity and self worth, or that you 
>power over someone in the worst ways. It takes a lot of sincerity to make 
>apology without expecting to be applauded or thanked for it. However, this
>is what it will take to start overcoming our abusive tendencies. To know
>that you have wronged someone and to do otherwise is to perpetuate the
>hierarchy. It is to be more than simply complicit within it, but to 
>support it. It will take honesty, diligent self investigation, and
>compassion to start to overcome our abusive tendencies. Once your able to
>admit that you have a problem with (sometimes or always) abusing people you
>can begin to learn how and why you do it. You can learn early warning signs
>that you're slipping back into old patterns, and you'll be better able to
>check yourself. My life has been a life of unlearning such patterns of
>abuse, of learning to reject the roles of both the abuser and the abused,
>and it is far from over. Bad habits are easily taken up again, and many
>times it is easy to assume that we are not wielding power over someone. We
>must persistently question this assumption just as we would demand that any
>assumption be questioned, lest it become dogma.
>It is crucial that we learn to ask for consent from our sexual partners. It
>is crucial that we learn to recognize aggressive and passive aggressive
>abuse in its various emotional, economic, physical, and sexual
>manifestations, and that we stop it before it escalates to more severe and
>harmful levels. We need to call it out when we are aware of it in other
>people, as well as ourselves This process is a process of overcoming of
>oppression, of rejecting the roles of oppressor and oppressed. It is a path
>that leads to freedom, and a path that is formed by walking. Will you take
>the first step?
>wispy cockles currently resides in Richmond VA where he organizez with the
>Richmond Queer Space Project and spins records with the 215noise crew. He
>can be contacted at 120 w marshall st or by e-mailing
>wispy at defenestrator.org
>I'm not using my eyfa email address anymore
>please update your addressbook accordingly, innit
>Breakingthesilence mailing list
>Breakingthesilence at gendertrouble.org

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