Friday, 17 July 2009

No Pretence

The London Profeminist Men's Group (LPMG) wishes to thank and support the Anarcha-Feminists who made the "We Make No Pretence" intervention at the Anarchist Conference 2009.

The members of the LPMG cannot in anyway claim that they are less sexist than any men or anyone out there, whether inside or outside the anarchist scene. But we wish more men were interested in getting involved in discussion and consciousness raising groups that are here for us to work on our internal sexism and gender role and how it affects our lives and our everyday interaction with other people.

Oppression systems are everywhere. As individuals, we are sometimes on the good side of the power balance, sometimes on the bad side... It is more than time for everyone, including inside the anarchist movement, to get ready to be challenged. To stop "pretending nothing was said" and start asking why we're getting challenged by oppressed people. In this respect, white heterosexual men have to make lots of efforts. This is not about guilt. This is about realising our position in oppressive systems and taking responsibility for it.

Thanks to the group of Anarcha-Feminists for such a powerful and meaningful intervention. We do believe the "movement" needs to be shaken up.
We welcome the "Make no pretence" statement as well as the second statement written in response to the big reaction that the intervention provoked.

Finally, we condemn all hostility, intimidation and sexist reaction that the intervention has provoked.

4 comments:

  1. great statement of support, good work. Perhaps it should be posted on the nopretence website as a comment, or on indymedia or something like that, thus enabling more people, especially men to see it and think about the issues.

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  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  3. "Oppression systems are everywhere."

    Feminism/Matriarchy is one of them.

    A pro-feminist man is simply a man who wishes his own enslavement.

    "As individuals, we are sometimes on the good side of the power balance, sometimes on the bad side..."

    Feminist individuals are on the bad side all the time.

    "I am a white American male, and I hate white women. In a nutshell, white women are the most likely to cheat on you, to divorce you, to get fat, to steal half of your money, don't know how to cook, etc. Therefore, what intelligent man would want to get involved with a bitchy white woman?"

    Good question.

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  4. Your above comment - sexist and racist at the same time - provides a good example why a group like ours and in fact any feminist group still has a place in our society today. Due to the content and offensiveness of the comment and the lack of arguments in it, we discussed deleting it, but in fact thought it would be more helpful to leave it on our blog and respond to it.

    Your comment was preceded by another comment, which we did decide to delete - for two simple reasons. Firstly it was overly agressive and filled with hatred. Secondly and more importantly, your first comment consisted a link to a website that in our view incited and spread hatred, which is obviously not something we want to contribute to.

    It is true that oppression systems are everywhere and matriarchy could in fact become one of them if there would be a similar power imbalance as there is in patriarchy today. Patriarchy, for the past 2000+ years is a world-wide phenomenon in which women all over the world (and of course other minority groups - e.g. non-heterosexuals) are and have been viewed in a derogative way, stereotyped and discriminated against. Discrimination and opression still happens to women around the world every day - ranging from being harassed on a bus, brushed up against by strangers, being beaten, raped or murdered.

    Feminism is not about turning the world into matriarchy. It's aims are for women to be given equal rights and opportunities. It's aim is for women and men to finally become equal and for women to be freed from all kinds of oppression in our society, a lot of which are still regarded as "normal".

    The fact that in the past 50 years or so women - in your view white women - have become increasingly independant from men, definately has taken some power and control away from "us men" over women. For some men - it seems as if you fall into this category - this seems like a very scary prospect and you react with more hatred towards a group that must to you seem "broken from their chains" and apparently are perceived in a threatening way by you. I think this is a very narrow-minded way of looking at patriarchy and feminism. It is a view that neglects all the positive elements we as men, as fathers, as brothers, as husbands can gain from feminism and an equal world - personally and with regards to the women we love.

    Yes, generally it is true that "as individuals, we are sometimes on the good side of the power balance, sometimes on the bad side...". But if the individual as a group belongs to an enslaved group, or a hated group (like the jews in Nazi-Germany, like black people during Apartheid or slavery, like non-heterosexual people or women in patriarchy) the imbalance surely takes over. You are not seriously suggesting that any of these groups are or have been just as often on the "good side of the power balance" as white, middle class men?

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