[Pga_europe_process] about gender and rumours

ni co lu nicolu at chutelibre.org
Wed Jul 7 16:53:56 CEST 2004

a.  about men-only meetings and gender reader
b. a few sad general considerations about rumours /agressions and collective
decision making process. 
c. extract of the minutes for those who can't go on the website.

a. There are rumours about the fact there would still be a block against the
possibility to have men-only meetings during the conference. so to answer
again to friday who mentions it and west essex zapatista crew who keep on
affirming it  loudly  :

the block on having a women-only
space during the conference, as well as the one about the possibility to have
men-only workshops and meetings were both simultaneously taken off during
april's meeting. It's clearly mentionned in the minutes (minutes that have
been sent on the list  for collectives re-reading before
to be publicly published on the website / I'm personally very carefull to
ask people to read the minutes and tell if they disagree before they're
published). Around thiry/forty people were participating to this meeting
when it has been decided. so it shouldn't be hard to make sure about it. 

The two people who had first puted this block during october meeting even
clearly mentionned that they didn't want to have this block anymore (and I
can guess that they clearly remember about it as it seemed they had
collectively spoken about this decision before). 

Even if it's also in the minutes and to
make it clear again, the proposal about men-only things was not  about a
men-only permanent space but only about the possibility to have men-only
workshops and discussions if some want to. 

After the april one, we had the last preparatory meeting in london, but nobody
proposed to rediscuss it during the general meetings. 

Me and a few others actually proposed
to have a specific working group session about gender between a few
interested people but that was in no case part of the general decisional
meeting nor a space to rediscuss blocks, more a space
to start at least some constructive work between people who are in will to work
with each other...if you see what I mean ;)

I think that it was quite clear on this conference organisation process that
general preparatory meetings would be the place to take important political
and practical decisions about the conference (and that's what we did, with a
lot of difficulties but also quite a lot succes for such various people).  

I don't believe a second into trying to find new decisions or consensus on
such uneasy issues through email list and don't want to rediscuss the same
things all the time with people who are not able to respect horizontal
organisationnal process and lie.  

So, please, if you disagree with decisions made during the preparation
process, do your own things (a pga conference is a space open to a lot of
autonomy of initiatives as far as i can understand it) and stop trying to
exist by criticizing other people stuff and by rebuilding the
organisationnal process following your will. 
You even have right to direct action during the conference and to come and
sabotage it if you dream of it :)

Personally and as a men, I'm not obssessed by having men only discussions in
itself (mixed one can be much usefull too, as long as critical dicussions
and concrete initiatives against patriarchy/men power and cultural
constructions can be adressed...) but feel really tired with people
disrespecting collective organisationnal process. 

paki, I would feel really
happy and interested if you propose workshops and discussions about the race
and gender issue, both because it would surely be really usefull, implement
what other people want to do... and because we could at least maybe exchange
on something concrete and constructive if it happens.

about the gender reader : there's a project to have a publication/magazine
with various texts about gender issues that we could distribute during the
conference. Paki/w.essex has sent public messages to say that I personnaly
refused to include in this reader an answer that he made to the text
"thoughts about masculinity...".  As for as I know, he didn't asked me to do
so (but i may get lost in his various numerous emails) and I surely never
answered him that I disagreed to put his text. Until now it was kev from
escanda who
had proposed to coordinate this reader and we still don't know exactly what we
want to include in it. 

That's all I have to say really... DO IT YOURSELF !... or  go on spitting on me
and others if you want...

b. I'm really impressed sometimes how some people can have so much time to
spend at agressing others and spreading rumours with tons of
emails on this kind of list. 

Maybe some people who know them could offer
them some practical things to do or tell them a few things about respecting
other people and about autonomy of initiatives in such networks as pga...

I mean, seriously, this is something that often happens and that can be
quite destructive  and I'm really
wondering how we can react to this in open networks like pga, without
loosing too much time and having too many people new to the network, quickly
discouraged by such empty fightings. 

I mean, I dislike a lot "social peace" (as we call here the fact not to
debate about controversial issues) and believe into contradictory debates
and fighting for your right to be heard and respected, not always having to
keep sweet, nice and cool, espacially if you feel opressed by a situation.

But when a few people are
only spending their times spreading various agressions and rumours, I'm
starting to be very defiant (especially as we have the same type of
intellectuals maniacally obsessed by the critical side of things and by
their own ego here in france also, and that we usually try to keep them as
far away from our projects as possible)

I believe in pga's usefullness because I believe in constructives debates
and sometimes common actions with people of various opinions and cultures
into an anti-authoritarian framework and also because I believe in the need
to exchange on revolutionnary stategies on a wide scale. It means that in
this conference preparation process, I  personnally accepted a
lot of things that seemed shocking or at least weird relating to my usuall
political practices because I consider we need to offer a bit of confidence
and good will to others if we want to build something in common and if you
see that people are open to learn from others and ready to build things.

And I know that a lot of other people who participated to this serie of
preoparation meetings did this kind of compromises too, and I'm glad of

But if it's about
bashing people and doing war to know who's the cleverest ideologist or who
has the more insult to spit on others, as some seem to want it on
this list, I've better time to work
in my own affinity groups and networks. 

c. extracts of the minutes

(C) the various proposals (gender day during the conference, women-only
space, questionnaire, text about sexual abuse...) from the gender group were
finally accepted. The work done since october (questionnaire, contact with
groups, text about sexual harassment, workshops and creation of a discussion
list) has been presented. 
Some people recalled why a politic of group separation, in the context of
the recent yougoslavian history, could be taken in a bad way and that it had
to be thought about. 
(C) nicolu[AT]chute-libre.org precised that, if a women-only space was
surely needed and asked, it was pretty much different for men and that the
idea was just to propose some men-only discussions or workshops for those
interested, but without the need to have any permanent space. 
It is also clear that gender workshops are not only about gender issue
inside the "movement", but about gender issue in society/counter society in
general and that the aim is to link as much as possible gender issues with
issues discussed through the conference. 

bisous anyway / nicolu

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