Is the Anarchist Man Our Comrade?
There was a time when I felt lucky. When statistics of assault and recounted stories of aggressive, irresponsible and selfish boyfriends and men seemed so pleasently on the other side of a glass wall, allowing me to see everything quite clearly but providing me with a non permeable barrier which kept me safe. And I was lucky for a long time. Then it ran out, and people who’ve hurt me all happen to be men fairly entrenched in our anarchist subculture. I like to think my luck would have run out either way and that it was mostly logical. I was exclusively gay in the earlier part of my life and teenage girls just don’t have the same bad mojo as teenage boys and men.
I’ve spent whole gatherings going on an endless walks with different people, either trying to help my assaulter through their fucking process, venting to friends about it when I felt on the verge of freaking out, and trying to explain to someone who hurt my friend that he doesn’t want to be talked to.
The emotional tumult of various recent assaults, lies and betrayals by anarchist men has consumed most of my confrontational energy. I have nothing left to think about violence from the state, either direct and physical or discreet.
I envy my friends, particularly male bodied ones, who seem to have all the energy and gung ho in the world for confronting the state. I simply don’t have it. I am confronted everyday with the pain of what supposed friends and comrades have done to me and other female bodied people along with the daily manifestations of patriarchy that rear their head in almost every facet of life.
So this is my anarchy right now, my focus. The place where my rage against so much funnels largely into a few people and a few situations. Of course it means so much more than that to be a queer, female-bodied sex worker, an identity which I claim proudly,
So I’ve been angry you could say. Me and anarchy are working some things out and it hasn’t been pretty. I am no less angry than I was the day I realized how fucked up I felt about him wordlessly fucking me while I was half asleep. My anger isn’t going anywhere and it shouldn’t.
Certain men have been my best friends and partners, others have hurt me in ways that will never go away. As a group you have been a plague upon my life. I hate men.
Something has to change. I am not a person who puts up with much shit, yet shit keeps happening. It makes me worry for younger women, or women with less supportive friends, who don’t feel as safe standing up to men’s abusive behavior.
I’ll conclude this with some pertinent information. G from Pittsburgh and I had sex in November. I told him that I have unprotected sex with my partner, that I’m a sex worker, that I make porn with our friends, and that I had recently been sexually assaulted and felt nervous and distrustful about sleeping with men. He didn’t tell me he’s had herpes for three years. He’s done this same thing with at least four people prior and most likely more as I keep finding out about new people that he didn’t tell me about.
When I found out about this my heart broke a little bit. Here I had trusted this person I didn’t know very well but felt good about and had had a good sexual experience with that made me feel more confident about my recovery and general mental health. He destroyed any good that came from that experience by not telling me he had herpes. He put people I love and he supposedly loves at risk and absolutely knew what he was doing. There was no miscommunication or confused signals, he intentionally and knowingly didn’t tell me about something that could hurt me and people I care about and stop my means of survival from being viable.
As I’ve been talking to women I know about this I keep hearing that female bodied folks think he’s sketchy and have been made uncomfortable by his behavior. Mostly by him being an older guy hitting on and sleeping with mostly younger women. This wasn’t my experience but I think it’s important to know when someone makes others uncomfortable. Who knows how many people who aren’t as well connected or who are too silenced to say anything have been made uncomfortable/unknowingly infected by him.
I don’t trust him, I don’t think you should either, especially if you were thinking of, or have had sex with him. In an ideal world people would be so outraged that I wouldn’t need to post an article on the internet; it would simply get around. But I’ve tried that method to get out important information and it hasn’t worked for me, so here I am.
Accountability process’s often do a lot of good but sometimes they just teach men how to appear unabusive when nothings changed but the words coming out of their mouth. Survivors and friends are left wondering if said male is no longer a threat. Eventually the issue receeds from peoples minds because they don’t want to seem overly reactionary and don’t know what further steps to even take and the perpetrator is able to continue on in their life without much changing.
I want people to talk about sexual abuse and betrayals like they truly are nothing to be ashamed of. We do all ourselves a disservice in being overly conscious about survivor confidentiality. People were not told about my assaulters many times because people assumed, without ever asking me that I didn’t want just anybody to know despite having said many times that I wanted everyone possible to know.
We cannot afford to tiptoe around these issues. They need to be confronted aggressively. How that takes shape is up to us. To quote a brilliant and inspiring lady, Molasses:
“If you’re a man and you’re not ready to radically change, then I don’t want or need you in my life any more. If you’re a woman, any woman, then I’m ready to call you a sister and to support you and fight for you.”
I am ready to be called an angry bitch, I’ve been ready my whole life. The line in the sand has always been quite clear to me. When I became an anarchist I thought I could start to trust men, I thought they were different. I put aside much of my hard line feminism and am now reconnecting to it.
Why did it take T calling the cops to get the rest of new York to reject him, while him abusing his partner not enough?
Why do we de facto believe the words of sexual assaulters when so many times they’ve been proven to have been lying?
Why is physical violence not seen as a more viable option in situations where someone is refusing to acknowledge their misdeed(s) and be accountable?
Why is it exceptional and ‘badass’ when I tell the older white man whose been staring and me and my female bodied friends bodies all night and asking me if “I’m straight” to fuck off instead of putting up with him.
(The following is a contribution by another young female bodied anarchist(whose a badass) who was not told by G about his herpes)
“I have been hurt, betrayed, manipulated, accosted, lied to, and fucked over by men too many times to keep track of. There was a point in my recent past where it was so normalized and ubiquitous that I internalized much of the hurt. I thought I must be crazy or oversensitive. Then I met punks, found anarchism, read feminist theory, and had this huge process of radicalization that seemed to give all that pain I felt or saw in the world a reason. And if there was an identifiable reason for injustices there must be a solution to them as well. It felt so good to be around all kinds of folks actively working towards supporting each other as we strive to help create a world worth living in. Worth loving even. I have met so many inspiring people that do beautiful things.
This is ever remaining true, though recently an onslaught of bullshit patriarchal behavior has seemed to be affecting my life, as well as the lives of females I care about. It’s one thing to have to deal with the everyday manifestations of sexism (not being able to walk down the street or ride the bus without someone saying something shitty and offensive; being in group situations where the male identified people are taking up way more space than women and trans folks; living situations where the housemates who clean up are almost always female bodied...ect.) These things are almost expected and I deal with them with the help of those I’m close to.
What do I do when it is those men who claim to be “down”, who seem to be “working on their shit”, who spout off all kinds of inspiring radical rhetoric in the sweet epic hardcore bands they are in; What the fuck do we do when it is those men who are the ones assaulting, manipulating, lying to us? I thought I could give people I wanted to be close to the benefit of the doubt. I thought it would be a reasonable thing to expect from ‘anarchist’ dudes to be honest about things like romantic expectations and sexual history.
I am so thoroughly disappointed. Anger is not an adequate emotion to express just how justifiably sickened I am by this total lack of consideration that I am continually experiencing with different men in my life, both past and present.
How can someone believe their own hype to such an extent? What does it take to be continually dishonest with women, if not a certain amount of dishonestly with themselves? A dishonesty motivated by selfishness and an opinion of self that is so fucking high, partly because our “community” does it’s share of reinforcing it. Though I have become slightly embittered and hopeless by various defeats and the everyday weight of the totality of oppressions, there is still so much worth fighting for.
It’s a damn shame that I find myself making fists at those I thought would be fighting alongside me.
The questions posed need to be seriously considered by the men who claim they want to fight patriarchy and be accountable to the women in their life!!!
It’s bullshit that we ladies are brought together by these shared wrongs perpetrated against us, but I want everyone to know I have your back so hard
Yours with love, yet another pissed of woman”
I want to emphasize that this is not about herpes. It is about dishonesty and the valuing of your comfort and desires over other peoples choice and safety. And it’s primarily men asserting their control over other peoples lives.
Words will never be enough to deal with this problem which is so physical and concrete. Everytime I start making the phone calls to get tested(it’s particularly hard for me b/c myself and my partner have severe needlephobia’s) I get so mad that I have to spend my time dealing with Geoff not giving half a fuck about me and tons of other people, it’s hard to continue and get done what I need to get done to take care of myself.
Someday soon I may have just sucked enough dick to buy that land out in the middle of Montana and all the best ladies will be there and you will never be invited.
If yall could stop on your own, for gods sake, you would have done it already. You can’t. You are infantile creatures, supposedly struggling with gender norms and male socialization, carelessly throwing yourself at and hurting different women, hoping one can save you. There are exceptions for sure. But by and large, you are manipulative assholes born of the darkest materials, with all the schooling in the world on how to sound like a good feminist man. My confidence in our abilities to be good to each other and keep each other safe has been destroyed, at least if that ‘our’ includes men. I used to consider our network of anarchist friends my community. That community is cut nearly in half now that I exclude almost every man that I don’t know well.
News of this needs to be spread far and wide, across the whole world. I don’t want him to be able to go to an anarchist community and have them not know what he’s done. I want women he slept with and didn’t tell he had herpes, or who were made uncomfortable by this older man hitting on them or other young women to feel supported and encouraged in beating him up if they so desire. Or taking any other action.
I don’t want to put his phone number and email in this for security reasons but feel free to email me and I will most likely give it to you if you need to get in touch with him or simply want to hassle him.
Don’t take any shit.