International Women’s Day grew out of demonstrations and strikes of working women and
feminist demands for equality at the beginning of the twentieth century. Today, this day, is once
more co-opted by the political class, while shops give us roses.
Between political recuperation and good patriarchal
conscience, 8 March will be OUR day. But…
Every day we are harassed by a boss,
chatted up by a neighbour, insulted by a
stranger, raped by an uncle or a partner,
murdered by a husband.
Every day a black cleaning lady is raped by
a presidential hopeful who still struts about
the “international scene”.
Every day a homeless woman immolates
herself in despair in the Paris area.
Every day a prostitute is raped by three cops
in a police van – cops who are acquitted by
the class-based, patriarchal justice system.
Every day we are treated like liars when we
speak out against those aggressions.
Every day we have to put up with
precarious work, with the social crisis, with
imposed part-time work, low wages, housing
problems, a double workload, economic
dependence on a partner, prostitution.
Every day abortion centres close, helplines
for women who are victims of rape are
privatised, the job centre gives us «makeovers
» (so we can be easier relegated to work
as strippers ?)
Every day we are shut away, in prison or outside.
Every day we are subject to patriarchy and
In all walks of life, all social classes, all
cultures, at all ages.
In the family, with our partners, with our
friends, in our activist spaces.
In the street, on the subway, at work, at
home, at parties.
It’s EVERY DA Y, EVER Y
NIGHT AND EVERYWHERE.
International Women’s Day grew out of demonstrations and strikes of working women and
feminist demands for equality at the beginning of the twentieth century. Today, this day, is once
more co-opted by the political class, while shops give us roses.
Masculine solidarity gives aggressors and their accomplices a feeling of impunity. Their
propaganda of sexist hatred condemns us all to shut up and drowns us more and more, while
the justice system supports the most masculinist discourses.
General Assembly of Feminists and LesbiansAgainst the Impunity of Masculine Violence – http://www.ag-feministe.tk
Join us ! Next GAs: 5 March, 19 March & 2 April 2012 – 6:30pm – at the
Bourse du Travail, 3 rue du Château d’Eau, Paris 10è – Métro République
The General Assembly of Feminists and Lesbians, a non-mixed gathering of women and
lesbians, has been meeting every second Monday since September 2011.
Following the acquittal of DSK by the US-justice system, we mobilised against the impunity of
masculine violence. We took action to highlight the responsibility of politics and media, and to
denounce the law of silence. We demonstrated on 5 November to break this silence and against all
masculine violence done to women. We denounced the hypocrisy of the ideology of the couple and the
family at Christmas and on Valentine’s Day.
We act whenever possible to free ourselves from the oppressions, violence, and harassment we
experience on a daily basis. We are developing practices of solidarity amongst ourselves. We denounce
what society refuses to acknowledge: the enormous impunity of masculine violence. We rebel
publicly and act to give hope to women in struggle in Paris, In France, in Europe, and in the world.
We act depending on our needs, desires and motivations. In addition to the biweekly GA, the GA is
organized in committees, which are open to all those who participate in the GA. Everyone can propose
a committee. Committees work in small groups on specific issues or on everything that we find is
necessary to organise, resist and liberate ourselves.
WE WILL NOT SHUT UP !
In public space, the night is meant to turn us into victims. We should stay covered up. We should stay accom-panied or be taken home. But we are not afraid. Since the 70s, women,
lesbians, feminists, take back the night, the street, public space, in women-only marches.
take back the night ?
Today, we organise as women and lesbians on a basis of class. We are learning to defend ourselves verbally and physically. We are creating relations of sisterhood and mutual support. We are building our autonomy. We no longer feel guilt or doubt or shame. Let’s fight back, and we’ll see who is « asking for it »! Enough
of their impunity !
LET’S FIGHT BACK! LET’S ATTACK!
Women & lesbians, let’s
take back the night and the
street on 8 March 2012
Men in general are simply more intelligent. This has been proved and is a fact.
Men on average consistantly out score females by 5 points in any IQ test.
Not much but enough for it to tell us that it is men that should run things.
Radical is another word for being a bit silly.
If you want to be a anarchist then stop drawing dole money!
Actions speak louder than words but I know as well as you know that none of you have the courage of your convictions and are quite rightly lapooned by normal well adjusted people.
An anarchist infoshop in Estonia needs your support to survive the harsh winter
The ‘A-library’ (‘A-raamatukogu’, http://www.araamat.org) which is an anarchist/alternative infoshop in Tartu, Estonia (Eastern-Europe) needs your help. The winter of 2009/2010 has been exceptionally cold and our heating expenses have been way bigger than expected. Since we don’t receive funding from any organization, foundation or institution, and depend on individual donations from the local scene to pay for utilities and rent, for now our monetary resources have been exhausted. We are eager to keep A-raamatukogu functioning but for that we need to pay our bills. You can help us out by making a solidarity donation to following bank account:
Local account code: 17001364482
IBAN account code: EE32 1700 0170 0136 4482
SWIFT bank code: NDEAEE2X
Recipient: INDEPENDENT ACTIVE MTÜ
Explanation: “Donation for A-raamatukogu”
All donations go fully to the use of A-raamatukogu and their proper and purposeful use can be verified from the bookkeeping of NGO Independent Active (www.indyactive.net). All work done to maintain A-raamatukogu has been and continues to be voluntary and non-paid.
What is this A-raamatukogu anyway?
A-raamatukogu is an anarchist/alternative infoshop in Tartu, Estonia, currently located on the third floor of the Culture Factory in Tartu (Pikk street 58/60, http://www.tartu.kultuuritehas.ee ). Estonia is a small ex-Soviet country in north-eastern Europe, located between Finland, Russia and Latvia. The A-raamatukogu is situated near the downtown area of Tartu, the second biggest city in Estonia which is known as the university town of the region.
A-raamatukogu is operated by about fifteen young activists (mostly university students), most of us are connected with PunaMust (a small Estonian anarchist network that is gathered around the web page http://www.punamust.org ) and Estonian animal rights group Loomade Nimel (‘In the name of animals’, http://www.loomadenimel.org ). We are also closely linked with the squatting scene in Tallinn (the capital of Estonia, about 180 km northwest from Tartu).
We don’t have any formal or bureaucratic structure. Formalities (e.g. rent contract, book-keeping and bank account) are handled through a friendly NGO called Independent Active (www.indyactive.net ), but we find it important to point out that Independent Active is not the ‘owner’ of A-raamatukogu. Decisions are made directly by the people involved in running the place and everybody can take part in it.
The main goal of A-raamatukogu is to promote anti-authoritarian ideas, introduce alternative social, cultural and political movements and to create a space where activists and groups can gather, communicate, share information, prepare for actions or just hang out.
A-raamatukogu was first opened on June 1st, 2009. We have been regularly opened (four days a week) since September 2009. We have organized movie screenings (topics ranging from food industry and climate change, to anarchism and the Spanish Civil War), community dinners (vegan food for an optional small donation), Really Really Free Markets, info events… A-raamatukogu is a meeting ground for a local Animal Rights activists and anarchists, we have hosted poetry events and organized workshops (stencil art, creative writing, etc). All the events in A-raamatukogu have been free of charge.
In the beginning of March 2010, A-raamatukogu is moving from the Culture Factory to a ‘youth house’ called Lille Maja ( http://www.lille.tartu.ee ) which is closer to the downtown of Tartu. Rent and utility prices are also cheaper there but we still have to settle unpaid heating bills from the Culture Factory. Also, the moving process and preparing the new place takes some monetary resources.
This winter has been extraordinarily cold – temperature has been constantly in range of -20 to -10 C (that’s about -4 to 14 degrees Fahrenheit) for the past few months, dropping sometimes to -30 C (-22 F). Since we only had the possibility of using electric heating, unexpectedly cold winter has brought nasty heating bills. In addition we’ve been hit quite hard by the economic crisis – Estonia has one of the highest unemployment rates in Europe (15,5% in February 2010), which especially affects young and uninsured people.
In preparation for moving, our library has been closed in February 2010, but events scheduled earlier are still taking place. We will be regularly open again from sometime in March 2010 in Lille Maja (Lille street 9, Tartu). If you are interested in any kind of cooperation, you can contact us via e-mail: email@example.com. If you happen to visit Estonia, you’re very welcome to drop by – we can offer you accommodation or host your project/lecture/performance.
The A-raamatukogu collective
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org (please write in English)
You can find more information about A-raamatukogu from our webpage: http://www.araamat.org
Awesome intervention! I’ve added your blog to an online transnational grassroots feminism archive called http://www.grassrootsfeminism.net (it’s web 2.0- so if there’s anyone reading this who is interested in promoting their feminist projects, please just log-in and upload 😉
RAG is an anarchafeminist collective in Dublin. We are mainly a publishing collective – producing a yearly magazine, though we have also organised anarchist and feminist events. We were delighted and buoyed to watch your movie and read your statement. The negative responses are typical of the backlash. The buzz that this action has created has been incredible (and positive!). We salute your courage and wish you all the best in your work. We would love to link up with you all in the future. Please contact us or put us on your mailing list if you have one! Fair play on the website too – some great articles/links.
looking forward to seeing u grrrls at housmans this evening….shame no pretense or yourselves arent doing anything at the bookfair??? workshop or anything?
hope see u sunday
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 London Profeminist Men’s Group 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.
This action and interventions is notjust a need in uprights of any support to the queer-feminist movement, it shatters the ideology of -isms in wider corporation and likely statehoos.
it does circulate here in montréal as well…
Thanks Thanks Thanks…for the action , its efficiency,
we want more
my english is not good enough to do a complete response
but i’d like to say to pinky…
your intention can be perfect…
but a poster can not be “out of context” a poster is out there alone…
and i do think the critic is valid
just look at the image itself
please accept the critic
we have all internalize those models
please do some more research and propose another image next time…
Another thing i’d like to ask you for responses and exchanges…
here, women do talk more and more publicly, and do organize things, while there are often guys in the kitchen …
it’s not enough
and i’m also worried and tired to see those guys now saying now this to encourage me: women did talk, and guys cooked
while what i want to say is… ok now: what do you do in your intimate relationships? do you need the girls to show you your own sexists behaviors?
TX again No pretence… the video rocks!
and please put my email adress in your mailing list!
Some more comments here
loads of comments here http://indymedia.org.uk/en/2009/06/431897.html
and here http://london.indymedia.org.uk/articles/1539
and here https://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2009/06/431963.html
Solidarity to sisters in rage from a brother in spirit.
Hi Guys…like the video.
I however feel it is important to raise a few issues and points for further discussion.
As the woman who designed all 3 class war posters for the anarcho speed dating event I believe that the poster has once again been taken out of context,
I do not speak for the whole of CW when I write this as I believe a statement will be coming.
However as an individual I am confused when people can take somethin out of context and here is why….
as our event was for people of ALL sexual identities so our advertising for it had to illustrate this. I am not homophobic. personally I am a bi sexual female and I believe it is important that my ‘comrades’ know that this event isnt just for your stereotypical ‘hetero’ couples. because it seems like the dating world is simply that…hetero orientated.
There is a flyer for my gay comrades also…. 2 semi naked men cuddling… i didn’t see an out cry about that on here???
there was also a flyer with alexander berkman and emma goldman a play on the ‘match dot com’ ad..
i have received lots of comments about these contraversal images and I dont see anything contraversal about 2 women holding each other in this particular poster.
I am saddened that some women in the anarchist movement assume on first sight that it is an image manipulated and targetted for the male gaze. Well I tell you something I LOVE looking at images of women holding each other… it isn’t my fault that some men might like that to.
The point I am trying to make is that people need to be AWARE of what INTENTION is behind these images.
I received lovely feedback from some lesbian and bi-sexual friends of mine saying how they felt welcomed to such an event and they thought the photo was beautiful. I also received praise that i didn’t use stereotypical ‘butch’ women to portray lesbians…. because not all women who love women appear ‘butch’ in image.
I have tonnes of photos of me and my ex girlfriends and we are mainly slim and tattooed…. is that our fault?? I say this because I had many people say I should have used large women and those with glasses…. am I to be ashamed that I am a naturally slim woman??
As you see this flyer/poster has brought up many questions in many people.
Am I to solely target a heterosexual audience in future??? or if i target the LGBT communities am to solely use ‘stereotyped’ portraits of such individuals?? if i had made a flyer to cater for everyone there would be thousands of them and still i have no doubt lots of complaints.
I do consider myself to be a feminist. I’ve spent years working over the world with womens empowerment groups. i have lots to still learn as we ALL do
But I do not want to feel judged within my own communitiy, i am not wanting to feel that people cannot approach and ask me about these images…. because as anarchists are we not meant to COMMUNICATE with each other.
as for the clips of women speaking…. there was a woman from LCAP who spoke at the rally at the g20 and that clip was obviously left out.
and YES it is shame that not more women speak… i was offered the mike at the mayday rally and because i am slightly shy…especially in public speaking I declined…and yes this is an area for me as an individual to work on
and any other women anarchists….we ALL have VOICES…. we all have CHOICES…..u wanna hear women speak….then learn to speak….dont be fearful about your voice.
in fact i overcame it recently and spoke on stage at the recent CW benefit gig for the anarchist conference and had warm feedback after.
I am not slating your points here….but i am sayin you used my poster out of context and i feel you need to undertstand about intentions without assuming.
because women should be free to express love to each other and not have other women assume it is for the pleasure of a male market….. how closed off are you?
How can we always generalise???
very dangerous ground assumptions
anyways….ranted tooo long
looking forward to feedback
Love and Light ALWAYS
I can’t speak on behalf of the women who made the ‘no pretence ‘video but this is my view- I think that the inclusion of your poster in the video was not a criticism of the fact that two women are holding each other – there’s nothing wrong with being lesbian and I’m sure the ‘no pretence’ video makers aren’t homophobic, I think what they may be objecting to is the hyper sexualisation of women and your poster uses imagery that is typical of hyper sexualised and objectifying imagery, the fact that it was made by a woman doesn’t change the way the general public view it, they don’t know who made it or what your intentions are.
One of the problems I see in lesbian, hetero and bi culture is that many women have internalised patriachial values and are now participating in their own oppression by objectifying themselves/other women in imagery, strip shows at women only nights etc. Just because your poster was created by you, a woman, doesn’t mean the ‘no pretence’ crew has taken it out of context, the context is the public sphere and the no pretence vid is also in the public sphere. As an artist I am aware that my work will be read in many different ways by different people, I’m sure that alot of people who saw your poster had no idea of your intention and couldn’t care less- just like alot of people who see hyper sexualised images of women in the PETA campaigns couldn’t care less about animal rights.
hey, fair play you lot
glad to see someone’s raisin this issue proper like.
i’ve seen my fair share of sexual violence in the “scene” (by which i mean site, i’m scottish and therefore have more experience of protest sites than squats, though they share many similar charecteristics socially and that)
we brushed it under the carpet of course, as is to be expected. i don’t really have any answers. i’d like to think i’d act differently in the future and do something about it, but my brain always comes up with the same old “hurt my sister and i’ll kick your head in” bullshit. which falls down on several points, like how it’s not empowering women having men beating up the men that are beating them up.
i think some women tend towards violent relationships though, you see it recurring time and again. i think it’s due to wanting a strong protective figure or something, but men that project themselves as strong and macho are usually moral cowards who only know how to hurt those physically weaker than themselves.
violence can cut both ways of course, but it’s fair to say that men are more violent, cos they are. it’s too obvious for words.
men can be afraid of violence as well, and be victims too, and some people don’t recognise that.
i used to stay in a social centre in london. basically i was the guy who cleaned up in the morning and that, and there used to be this feminist men-only event on every other week. i remember one time i came back from work late at night and was refused entry cos i’m a guy, and even after explaining that i lived there and would more than likely be cleaning up their mess in the morning (as it was they didn’t leave any) they wouldn’t let me in. so i wandered off and started trying to think of where i could sleep. 15 minutes later after trying to choose between the cemetary and the street it occured to me that i could probably end up getting myself badly hurt sleeping in hackney on a friday night and went back to bang on the door till someone with some common sense let me in, after making me put a jacket over my head, like a paedo on his way to court. it made me feel pretty bloody awful, but it occurs to me now that’s probably how a lot of women feel in pubs, clubs or on the street after an Old Firm match
anyway, i could say i don’t hold mysoginistic or anti-queer or ableist tendencies, but i’d be lying. i know i’ve got homophobic tendencies (for certain like) and i spend a lot of time trying to bend my head back into the shape it could’ve been in if i hadn’t spent my life being indoctrinated by bigot-TV and all that
i dunno. i could ramble on all night if i wanted to, but i’d best not. i’ve got a bottle of wine and i’d quite like to wake up feeling like shit tomorrow, so i’d better go and drink it
coincidentally, i totally don’t want to get into an internet argument, cos they’re stupid and always turn into abusive slaggin matches.
also, the white text on a black background thing in the comments form is making my eyes bleed
blah blah blah (keeps talking while being gently pushed out the door)
That was fucking great, really inspiring.. how do we keep updated ??
Right on! Smash patriarchy.
What was it about the organizing of the conference that made women feel excluded or marginalized?
I haven’t had any involvement in it for a bunch of reasons but i’m just curious (I didn’t go because I couldn’t make the time, travel from scotland was costly, and I felt disillusioned with anarcho-stuff after that embarassing farce the G20)
from the US–fuck yeah, thanks for doing this.
Thankyou thankyou thankyou thankyou for having the firepower and energy to challenge this type of endemic gender blindness/unawareness that still exists even after all these years ….
navel gazing shite.
thanks so much for having the guts to do the action at the conference, this is an issue that desperately needs addressing and seems to be one of the few remaining that too many anarchists still feel comfortable (& justified) in dismissing as a ‘side issue’.
I think using familiar anarchist tactics against sexists in the movement (storming the event & masking up) is a great way to challenge their double standards. Suddenly hardened activists start whingeing about the use of masks… hilarious!
I’m part of a group of feminist (mostly anarchist) women in Newcastle who recently made a zine defending women’s space after lots of problems locally with sexist anarchist men. Do u want a copy?
It would be great if you could send us the zine. If its in a format to send via email, then send it to email@example.com. Would you be happy for us to put it up on the blog? Otherwise email us and we’ll arrange some other way we can get hold of it. x
Hey I would also like a copy, if you could email me at charlielittle1 [at] gmail.com. I am based in the NorthWest.
Can I get a copy too?
typo. 3rd para., 3rd line. “of” should be “or”. Sorry!
It’d be good if “more coming soon” could include putting the film up here. I couldn’t see it well enough to read everything from where I was, but from what I did see it looked worth getting around more widely.
Numbers aren’t the only issue, of course, but other anarchist gatherings I go to (whether they use the word or not) are usually fairly close to equal numbers of women and men. People’s roles in what’s going on are a different matter and still too often gender stereotyped, but if the event is such that loads of women don’t want to come in the first place, that’s a lot less likely to change.
The whole idea of the groups was they would be mixed up, each including people from different backgrounds and with a variety of experience. Yet the registration form didn’t ask your gender of sexual orientation (if you wished to state it). You can’t necessarily infer gender from the names people use. “I just put ‘S.’ ” one woman in our group said. Obviously male, then!
It didn’t ask people’s age, either. There weren’t many people of my sort of age there. Considering people between about 57 and 64ish are a HUGE bulge in the population, with millions more of us eating, drinking and farting away than in any other equivalent age group (post-war baby boom blah blah), that wasn’t too good, though less easy to see what to do about it. TELL YOU WHAT THOUGH, of the few sort of not-really- middle-aged-any-more people there THERE WASN’T A SINGLE WOMAN. At least not as far as I noticed. Did the whole pitch of this conference seem even less relevant / more oppressive / less worth challenging to older women than it did to those in their 20s, 30s and 40s?
Us old ‘uns are supposed to be more use for our experience than for running away from the cops. What about the experience of WOMEN brought up in the “back to the kitchen” era of the 1950s? Should married women be allowed to have jobs? Controversial issue when I started work! I mean, they only work for “pin money”, don’t they? Oh yeah, then there was the great youth revolt of the late ’60s. The world belonged to us now and all these old farts could just crawl away. They’d fucked everything up and we weren’t having it any more. By and large the “chicks” were expected to sort of tag along as necessary appendages to this great revolt. If experience counts for anything, don’t we need the experience of WOMEN who lived and fought through all this shit -and by the 1970s were telling us THEY weren’t having it any more, either!
In some respects, the conference seemed like a wind-back to about 1972. Then your intervention at the end….wahey….feels like 1976/77 now! The black hoodies might have been 21st century, and the mike was wireless, but what needed to be said was the same as 30+ years ago. Are we going backwards or what? Why are we still mired in sexist crap? Is this one of those dreams where the past and the present get all mixed up? What do us men have to do about it? (The question mark is much more for us than you -it’s us who has to sort ourselves out.)
I have some thoughts on the narrowness of this conference and why it had more need for your intervention than other gatherings, actions and events recently, but I’ll get these around somewhere else.
Special respect to one woman (she knows who she is) who stuck in there with the organising of the conference throughout. I got pissed off and dropped out after the second meeting. In the end, I was lucky to land up in a very good group which included (gasp!) 6 women with plenty to say. Not everyone’s experience, unfortunately.
great great great great great
Are you interested in doing a workshop as part of the next London Freeschool? (19th – 21st June). A friend gave me your leaflet after the Anarchist Conference. We were planning to include a workshop addressing exactly the issues that you raise. The theme of the freeschool is Housing/Squatting/Gentrification and some of us think that it is vital to address gender issues in that context. The freeschool planning collective is composed of members of various social centre collectives (rampART, Belgrade Rd, Library House and The Block, Limehouse). We don’t know the exact location as yet but it will be in the North East London area. We reckon to be starting workshops on the Friday evening and running through Saturday and Sunday. It’s up to you when you do it. Please let me know if you are interested.
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