The Bristol anarchist bookfair collective welcomes notes/feedback on the meetings and workshops held at the 2009 Bristol anarchist bookfair from the workshop organisers, and we’ll be happy to publish them if organisers want us to. we also welcome feedback by email from anyone who attended the bookfair.
We’ve received the following notes on the ‘Tyranny of patriarchy in the fight against the patriarchal economy’ workshop at the bookfair, from the workshop organisers – The Laboratory of Futurefull Acts. You can also read their pre-workshop notes here.
A. We asked the people who attended to work on identifying problems on this theme that are apparent to them in their own lives trying to work in radical circles. We found that these examples fell into four categories:
*Children and the-non inclusive culture, in which parents and children experience problems due to the assumption that women do the childcare and children are excluded from becoming part of the community by everything from the meeting/pub culture, (traditionally mens territory and therefore containing all sorts of interactional structures which propagate exclusion of children and carers) to being excluded from accessing the horizontal meeting process due to the inappropriate and ageist behaviour of others.
*Sexism, power dynamics in groups due to maintaining and propagating through often unconcious means traditional gender roles/rules and internalised behavior. Problems encountered are: playing the women are incapable game (male lack of confidence in women’s abilities), women’s work is often invisible, the credits for their efforts go to men in their social sphere, maintaining the illusion that women are inferior. Women’s words not given as much weight in discussions. (We all need to fix this stuff in our heads! men and women carry the same programming) Okay its there can we start to deal with it.
*Sexual objectification and abuse.
* Masculinity and the exclusion of Emotions (humanity) from work in groups. People find an inability to share emotions in working groups that are male dominated making the groups more unpleasant and hard to work in.
B. We asked people to brainstorm practical things they can do to aid the situation, and here they are. We hope this list serves as inspiration for other futurefull acts:
* To introduce having sharing our feelings time (on specific topic or generally) as a regular part of the agenda in meetings.
*To tackle sexual abuse and objectification, people are going to: do councilling for refugees. Start up self defense groups. Speak out against it as a man.
*To, foster a culture of cooperative childcare by having playtime at social centers eg game nights instead of the pub, football down the park after meeting. To print t shirts for kids highlighting issues. To write up facillitaition guides to foster child inclusive horizontal democracy and distribute them.
*To set up meetings about sexism
And finally to challenge and root out sexist behavior in themselves and others for the rest of life.