portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article

actions & protests

Code Pink is Sexist

No Men allowed at April 9th meeting.
AOL I/M: Chetalk
Why no men allowed? Stop this before it gets out of hand.
you're an idiot 08.Apr.2003 19:07


Unless you are in a specific position of power you cannot subject others to oppression.(i.e. women cannot be sexist, people of color cannot be racist and queers cannot be heterophobes.) If you want to give Code Pink crap I'm sure there's other hierarcies you can address but sexism isn't one of them. Plus Code Pink rocks. Start your own damn anti-war organization, god knows there's plenty of work to go around.

So you are saying..... 08.Apr.2003 19:11


so by your reasoning only white men should be held accountable for discriminating? Somehow I feel this is a slight discrimination. And I hope you caught the sarcasm you dumb-ass.

If you are unhappy 08.Apr.2003 19:16


If your unhappy with the sexism, protest it. Show up at the meetings with a few other dudes and protest sexism. And if you can, get some women on your side, it will help out your point of view.

thats funny 08.Apr.2003 19:18

sick n tired sweetnothings@riseup.net

I wonder what ChePlague would say if a female were elected president of the U.S.?

I love it... 08.Apr.2003 19:19


It makes me feel so happy to see all of you socialist American haters implode as your pathetic egos clash. Thats ok though, by the time you figure out that the zipper on your trousers goes towards the front the war will be over and you can go climb fir trees again...

Ha Ha I made you mad 08.Apr.2003 19:26


Yes women can be sexist and I would love HRC to be the next President. I like code pink but come on do we need division of the sexes in 2003?

Why Only Womne 08.Apr.2003 19:28

Code Pink

Ok, since this has generated so many comments, I will try to respond. The average age of our group is probably over 50 (although we do have several younger members). Most have NEVER done any direct action and the majority have probably not even protested unitl after Sept 11. Affinity group is new terminology for most of us. Some are taking civil disobedience training.

Given these facts, we simply feel more comfortable in an affinity group where we can explore our feelings with others who identify as women. This is not menat in any way to be sexist, just to create a comfort zone around what we feel compeled to do to confront our current government.

Pink Guys 08.Apr.2003 19:39


As one of the younger Code Pinkers, I have to say that while I personally have no issue with guys doing stuff, I acknowledge that some of the women in this group who are of an age to have experienced more sexism and discrimination may very well feel more comfortable in a situation without men. I'm willing to contibute to this if it gets my sisters out of their living room comfort zones and into the streets. Anybody have photos of the masked Pink Bloc from last Friday's PPRC rally and march?

If any of you guys want to doll up in your bestest pink duds and march with us, come on down! Lipstick is optional.

Or somebody start up a men's peace group and we can coordinate activites.

But if you just want to give us a bunch of shit, fuck off.

Ok 08.Apr.2003 19:40


Time to start Code Blue a group only for men, oh wait if we do that we get sued to allow women members, and even if we survive a suit political pressure is applied to the point that it makes it impossible for the group to operate. Many examples of this can be seen around us in the world today. So it would seem to me that if you agree that women can have exclusive groups but men can't then you are the true sexist. I personaly am very equal rights, in fact I think a woman president would be a nice change of pace. But I also think that if women are going to complain about wanting equal rights, then they should actually want equal rights. This includes women in the draft(when and if it starts back up), media, politics, and even women who support stay at home Dads. My point is simply that a person should support what they say they support, and not just look out for their own interests.

Code Out 08.Apr.2003 20:18


I'll bet a troll posted this. Don't allow them to divide us. let code pink be all women. What's the big deal? The code blue idea for men sounds good. If they want to aloow women, that's fine also. Stop bickering. You don't see King of Troll bickering with Bush Admirer.

i agree with ok 08.Apr.2003 20:28


i agree with ok.
equal rights is equal rights.

This is Good 08.Apr.2003 20:35

ChePlague AOL I/M: Chetalk

I am a man.
I am a father.
I am open to ideas.
I dont really care if code pink is just for women.
I feel that exclusion of anyone in the peace movement for what ever the reason is wrong.
We are supposed to be making this Earth a better place for ourselves and our children.
Yes there are problems out there, but seperating the genders for comfort and safety is something that we must overcome.

Thanks Typical 08.Apr.2003 20:41


It's nice to know that someone else actually has the right idea.

I really can't believe 08.Apr.2003 21:13


you're all wasting your time on this. ever heard of prioritization?

ceasefire 08.Apr.2003 21:19

ida b. was my hero

These arguments are tired and old, exhausted and exhumed every few years. Instead of fighting what millions (if not billions) of other people have hashed out before you perhaps you should read Michael Kimmel's The Gendered Society or Peggy McIntosh, John Stoltenberg, Audre Lorde etc. etc. Better yet, dig up a copy of the anthology The Social Construction of Difference and Inequality: Race, Class, Gender and Sexuality by Tracy E. Ore. The Woodsman is right, infighting only reinforces many people's oppression while those who benefit from the system sit back and laugh at us. Do yourselves a favor stop throwing stones, pick up a book and challenge our REAL oppressor(s). Peace.

Pinkies 08.Apr.2003 22:46


If Code Pink were a group established to empower financially, politically or socially, then I could see where men might have a gripe. It is not.

There are plenty of working examples of men only or women only groups = e.g. many twelve step groups are set up for one or the other gender for reasons of safety in sharing personal information and in the ability to speak out.

We are, partly, a support group for each other, and we're learning and teaching each other how to speak out without the inherent male takeover of conversation and decision making. That may sound sexist to some of you, but even the best intentioned men still have male privelege and tend to take over discussions -- and many women tend to let them.

I would welcome a men's affinity peace group! You go, boys!

RE: sigh 08.Apr.2003 22:54


I disagree with you. Your statement is absurd. Racism and sexism have nothing to do with power. Racism and sexism have everything to do with denying people their essense for arbitrary reason of genetic class. There are black racists and their are female sexists. Code Pink just lost my support.

Puhhleaze 08.Apr.2003 22:55


The idea that men don't let women talk during meetings is an old, tired, stereotype that has no basis in fact. If anything, the opposite is true, in my experience. That is, it is women who dominate public meetings and men who are quiet.

excuse me? 08.Apr.2003 23:32



Racism and sexism have EVERYTHING to do with power.
These are tools that are used to by one group to exploit another.

If anyone thinks that a few millenia of indoctrinated racism, sexism, heterosexism can be overcome by just having some new rules on the books for a few measley decades they are sadly deluding themselves.

If some women need to have a place where they can be surrounded by other women to help eachother heal then so be it.

Ponder this metaphor-
A teetertotter is horribly unbalanced. There is too much weight on one side. Obviously, weight needs to be placed on the other side before one can worry about standing in the middle.

Support 08.Apr.2003 23:43

Stop the War

Seems like this person is complaining that because a guy can't be part of it, and therefore cannot control it, its not valid, so they're just going to make sure to destroy it. Its like complaining that this whole anti-war movement is invalid because it doesn't conform to some dogmatic analysis of human behavior and isms. If a few individuals, who happen to be women, get together and figure out a way to do something serious in a fun way, I would hardly call this an ism. It seems the very argument they have, that its sexist for women to have any power, is one caused by some ego flattening un-manly feeling that is so powerful, so programmed, it must break into some post-menopausal group of fun loving gals that got a good idea and crap on it. Typical. You know I saw code pink the other day and these women appear to be humans, relating to other humans. So politico hair splitters, get honest about your your divisive snide little remarks (and sighs). There's dozens of ways to speak out against the war. Room for everyone. No one owns this movement. Its free. Its yours. Its mine. Its no ones. Its everyones. So just get real and dress up to match. They sound like they'd love to have the support. I don't know, but that's what it seems like when they are saying they hope the guys get together, put on some pink, and get their butts out there so they (men and women) can protest the war together. Iraqi children are dying for oil for America Oligarch, our nation's poorest 19 year olds are out there in what will probably be the worst nightmare of their lives. America is sucking on the pacifier of mass media, being driven to blind obedience by unbelievable propaganda, and all you are griping about is a few women in pink not letting a guy into their "club meeting"??? Hint read Snoopy or Garfield. Does a lot to relax, realize that dogs carry security blankets, cats eat lasagna, and lucy gives great advice.

In theory..... 08.Apr.2003 23:56


Well if it is "ok" for one group of people to exclude another as it is being said so in this occasion, what stops it from going further? Say a group of White people exclude blacks from a club because they are more "comfortable" when only surrounded by other whites. Or maybe Jews could be excluded cause their different. Oh what's that your gay? sorry your not allowed. Is this the kind of world you want to live in? A world filled with hate, distrust, and lack of freedom? There was another group that did all these things, plus discrimination on the basis of sex. And this group rose to power in Germany. They were known as Nazis. Now I'm not saying that these Code Pink people are the same as Nazis, but they are in the same class as them.

Reply to support 09.Apr.2003 00:03


There is a problem with your argument. This isn't a group of people who "happen to be women". This is a group of women who exclude men. The group "happens to be women" because they make it that way. If this group just "happens to be women" then the KKK "just happens to be" white men, and the Black Panthers "just happened to be" African Americans.

... 09.Apr.2003 00:28


Boy Scouts
thats all i have to say...oh wait...maybe they are nazi's too?
I think you people need to pick something legit to cry about.

Some women feel safer in all-woman places 09.Apr.2003 00:35

GRINGO STARS gringo_stars@attbi.com

So let them do what they want to do. Why make others uncomfortable?

for kelso 09.Apr.2003 01:09

clamydia clamydia@tearitalldown.com

I feel a bit frustrated right now, Kelso, because (to me) you don't seem to be listening to anyone at all. I will try to explain to you what has already been said in hopes that you will (if you insist on carrying this argument further) at least address a few of these points.

Wimmin have been historically oppressed by men. This has occurred physically (by means of rape and other forms of physical violence), and psychologically (by means of treating women in ways that facilitate feelings of powerlessness such as not allowing them the right to own property, to vote... by ordering for them in restaurants, by making them wear dresses from age 1 or 2 or whenever they learn to walk, having their ears peirced when they are still a baby, making them sit with their legs crossed (which is bad for your circulation and your knees), passing laws which (still, in some places) make it illegal for them to go topless while it's perfectly ok for men, etc...). Wimmin are only recently BEGINNING to empower themselves to revolt and break free from this oppressive sexism. You may say, "well, they used to not have the right to vote, but now they do"... Well, they got that through fighting for it. Every step wimmin (and every gender of person that is non-male, for that matter) have taken towards "equality" (which they still don't have, BTW) has been a bitter, uphill-towing-ten-ton-weights battle. Anything that wimmin seek to accomplish towards that end in the future is going to be difficult as well. Older wimmin, who come from a time when male oppression was more pronounced and more consistent, are naturally going to have a harder time speaking up around men. Think about it: you're sitting in an organizational meeting and some guy is talking and one of these wimmin gets an idea; is she going to feel comfortable jumping in and expressing it after years of being belittled by men in similar situations? This is why they don't want men in their meetings. It's not because they hate men, it's not because they think men are inferior or that they think that all men are out to oppress them; it's simply because years of conditioning have led to a lot of psychological damage that can't be instantly shrugged off. If you read up on the basics of psychology, you might begin to understand this. How can you expect people to "just get over" years of psychological damage (especially when a lot of oppression is ongoing, just like that? Yes, the peace movement is important, and if it's so important to you, then keep up whatever work you are doing at let these people do theirs in peace.

*sigh* 09.Apr.2003 01:28


It doesn't sound like you pondered the metaphor.

It's not acceptable for white people to have groups that exclude blacks because that's how it's been for countless generations and it's time for a change. And the only way for that change to take place is for people to heal.

Non-white people, or women or homosexuals can have groups that exclude white men because white men have been oppressing these minorities for a VERY long time and for some of the these folks, they only way they can feel safe enough to address their pain openly is to be surrounded by others like themselves.

These minorities have never been the oppressors of white men so I don't seriously think we have any need to worry about the tables turning in any kind of near future. I think that the cries of 'reverse' racism or whatever is just the wimpering of white men that are having a hard time giving up the privelege that was aquired for them through centuries of oppressing women, people of color and homosexuals.
The residual effects of such long standing oppression will not go away by just waving a magic wand and saying 'oh we're all equal now, let's move on..'

That's like trying to balance an unequally weighted teetertotter by standing in the middle.

??? 09.Apr.2003 05:23


What's wrong with being sexy?

Thanks Clamydia 09.Apr.2003 08:08


I think Clamydia did the best job of expressing the thoughts I'm having as I read this string of posts. I can't believe that some seemingly well-meaning white guys still have difficulty understanding that the experiences of the rest of the world are not the same as their own. Because some white guy thinks oppression of women or people of color is over, it must be.

Women protecting themselves from male domination is NOT sexism. And yes, as Clamydia points out, male attempts at domination are not merely a thing of the past.

Case in point: The person who commented that in his/her experience, women dominate public meetings. Surprisingly, study after study has showed that in any group setting, men spend more time talking, they interrupt more often, and they talk over women. They are also listened to more intently. Yet women are saddled with the stereotype of being talkative and gossipy.

Several studies have shown that when women talk more than 1/3 of the time, people (both men and women) preceive that women are talking too much -- even though men are speaking 2/3 of the time. Similarly, in elementary and high school settings, other studies have found that teachers pay a great deal more attention to boys and spend much more time with them. When this was pointed out to the teachers through videotapes, many of them wanted to correct the problem. Oddly enough, even the most progressive teachers found this very difficult to accomplish. When the studies were re-done after the teachers had taken steps to improve the amount of attention given to girls, the same discrepancies were noted -- albeit slightly smaller. It turned out that even when they were actively trying to balance their attention between girls and boys, any time a teacher gave less than 2/3 of her time to boys, she felt she was sommitting "reverse discrimination." In other words, long before equality was reached, the teachers believed they were short-changing boys.

Back in the 1960s and 1970s, activists who were women found that they were denied a voice among male activists. They were, overtly or covertly, told to shut up. They were expected to provide food and drink for males, and to do all the typing. Things may have changed since then, and yes there are many men actively working hard to undo this sort of damage. But we're not yet to a place where we can even pretend that none of this exists any more. Importantly, most of the men who are actively working with women to overcome these problems understand the need for women to have places where they can be away from male domination. These men tend to support women's action camps, women only meetings, and woman-centered educational paradigms. These men are not opposed to code pink.

I suspect that it is only the kind of men who would, probably without meaning to, be dominating conversations and expecting women to clean up after them who are put off by code pink or other women-only organizations.

Actually ida b. 09.Apr.2003 08:16


...the infighting comment was made by me, not Woodsman. Woodsman was being joyfully sarcastic about the clash of egos at Indymedia. I guess we were saying the same thing but coming from different directions. I am trying to get people to stop the bickering and maintain priorities. Reading through these, I notice that it does strike a chord that does not seem to resolve itself too easily. Of course, everyone has the potential to be a racist or a sexist. It goes both ways. But I still don't see a reason to lose sleep over Code Pink being an all female group. We can have a co-ed Code Blue.

Men Against War 09.Apr.2003 09:17

That will be the day

It would be great to see some "Men Against War" groups get started. It seems like a lot of the guys I've seen at the marches and rallies enjoy biking, drumming, playing with and looking after the younger children. It would be great to see these men form groups in solidarity with the women's groups like Women in Pink and Women in Black (think this is already happening). In this way, the groups could be mutually supportive, not really separate. When women form groups, it gives us the chance lead, think for ourselves, and just basically feel that we don't have to conform to what it seems like the men want us to do all the time. It also seems like a Men Against War group would plain rock the world of many younger men who are looking for role models of the kind of men who are willing to get together and be peacefull, who use their energy to do something besides kill and exploit. (I know if my Dad were in such a group, I would have immense respect for his bravery to be matched with such powerful words--Men Against War.) It would probably help the younger men feel safer talking and expressing themselves rather than have to worry about what thier moms, girlfriends, wives think about their struggles to be peaceful in the world. Its not like every group should be separate. It seems like the world is getting together, starting to relate in new ways after years of isolation, realizing humans on this planet have a lot of work to do to create peace. It seems healthy that there are all kinds of groups forming that allow people to safely express themselves. Most of these groups will probably die out anyway, giving way to address new issues. So I wish all the people who would like peace would try to help others by supporting rather than begrudging the very selfless actions, words, and projects that are going on to change our militaristic and materialistic world into a more peace-loving and joyful world.

codepink4peace.org 09.Apr.2003 09:23

check it out!

for those that got to the bottom of this diatribe, check out their website and the growing movement nationwide!


just claim to be transgendered 09.Apr.2003 09:53


If men are stopped at the door, just claim to identify yourself as a woman even though you don't dress like one. I've actually seen this work. Har de har har. Even if you have a beard, a belt buckle the size of your head and a t shirt that reads, "respect the ladies...cuz' they got all the pussy," if you claim to be trans, they'll buy it. If they don't, tell them they're further oppressing you and they'll relent.

just claim to be transgendered 09.Apr.2003 09:54


If men are stopped at the door, just claim to identify yourself as a woman even though you don't dress like one. I've actually seen this work. Har de har har. Even if you have a beard, a belt buckle the size of your head and a t shirt that reads, "respect the ladies...cuz' they got all the pussy," if you claim to be trans, they'll buy it. If they don't, tell them they're further oppressing you and they'll relent.




This message was a provocation, nothing more. A provocation is some bit of deliberately inflammatory tripe that Trolls and other Disrupters will post on a site in order to elicit a reaction, sow acrimony, and most of all divert attention and energy away from fundamental issues (like the current slaughter against Iraq) onto some bullshit non(issue).

All of you people (all 33 of you!) who even bothered to respond to this issue in the first place apparently fell for the bait.

In response 09.Apr.2003 11:13


In response to those who have spoke out against me, I would like to say that you are right, in the past men, paticularly white men, have oppressed others. But why continue discrimination? It is the old, I hit you cause you hit me cause I hit you, ideal. Revenge and retaliation are not the way to fix things. Being peaceful and cooperative without discrimination are the way things should be done, and the way things could be done if people would STOP DISCRIMINATING.

SHUT UP! 09.Apr.2003 12:07


Will you just SHUT THE HELL UP and go do something USEFUL! The bombs are dropping and you want to bicker over THIS???

For Kelso and ChePlague 09.Apr.2003 12:12


Your "this is revenge, this is i-hit-you-because-you-hit-me etc" arguments have already been given many responses. You have not responded to any arguments against this description you are using for certain women wanting to be in an environment of their choosing. You are ignoring these rebuttals because A: You are provocateurs -or- B: You are disrespectfull people who most non-masochistic people would not want to have attend meetings with them anyway. <p>At any rate, your concerns have certainly been answered, and your persistant attempts to "rile up the boys" are doing nothing but making you look like idiots. I suggest that no one else respond to these people as they are trolling and will not listen. It's like banging your head against a wall.

Pleased to be pink 09.Apr.2003 13:01

Peace Angel


first of all men are welcomed at ACTIONS, just not at organizing meetings, as I understand it.

Although I have been too busy to go to a meeting yet, I am really really happy to be part of a women's group that has the very specific purpose of promoting peace and organizing around that agenda.

Hanging out and doing good work with a bunch of women is fun. It is empowering. It makes me feel connected. If it gets me and other women to organizing meetings when PPRC and the rest would not have, then it has value to the peace movement overall, not just to those of us "allowed in".

For those upset by women only groups, please know that while dialogue about the need for affitnity groups and working together across differences is valuable, attacking attitudes are not. Life is not fair. Which is why women want their own groups sometimes. Patriarchy sucks. It is a major factor for war in the first place.

Men who are upset about women only groups should not expect few local women organizing for peace to take on the patriarchy problem and fix it so they can be part of code pink. Go worry about something else, like the war.

alienate! alienate! alienate! 09.Apr.2003 13:11

Not a white guy

I personally don't have a problem with the concept of a group started by women and trying to attract women participants. What I object to, however, is the exclusivity-based on what one has between one's legs, or the quantity of melanin in one's skin, or the gender someone sleeps with. All it does is contribute to the alienation and fracturing we already experience in this society through corporate/ and media social engineering.

Mislabel me a right wing troll if ya must (I'm not), but I maintain that the Left is totally misguided on this so-called "coalition building" stuff. It re-inforces the notion that we're totally incapable of getting along with those who are different from us, should not expect better from those who are different from us, and we should only come together when our so-called coalition leaders direct us to. This is perfect justification for segregationists. If anyone disagrees with that, show proof that it builds unity among different types of people in day to day life, not just at mass demonstrations. People should be able to get together to fight for what they believe in on their own, no matter what biological traits they possess, and without some "well-meaning" identity politics freaks steering people with a genuine desire to work on certain issues together into separate groups of "their own kind".

True Blue 09.Apr.2003 15:50

Peace Angle


first of all women are welcomed at ACTIONS, just not at organizing meetings, as I understand it.

Although I have been too busy to go to a meeting yet, I am really really happy to be part of a men's group that has the very specific purpose of promoting peace and organizing around that agenda.

Hanging out and doing good work with a bunch of men is fun. It is empowering. It makes me feel connected. If it gets me and other men to organizing meetings when PPRC and the rest would not have, then it has value to the peace movement overall, not just to those of us "allowed in".

For those upset by men only groups, please know that while dialogue about the need for affitnity groups and working together across differences is valuable, attacking attitudes are not. Life is not fair. Which is why men want their own groups sometimes. Matriarchy sucks. It is a major factor for war in the first place. After all, Margaret Thatcher (Falklands War) and Golda Meir (Israeli wars against Palestinians starting in 1948), were both female as were many aboriginal war chiefs as well.

Women who are upset about men only groups should not expect few local men organizing for peace to take on the matriarchy problem and fix it so they can be part of True Blue. Go worry about something else, like the war.

Makes you think 09.Apr.2003 16:04

Scott McCarty Laytonmccarty@netscape.net

I am ChePlague. I wrote that Code Pink is sexist and I still stand by that statement. I am not afraid to use my real name nor my real email. Look at the discusion that this has created and I am proud to have started this debate. Go forth and march for peace but realize that Code Pink is a sexist group. I didnt say that it is bad, just a fact. For the women out there that feel that they can only talk in a group of women then you are still being "oppressed" by men. I am sick and tired of all men being put under the umbrella of not understanding or against women. The type of man that would want to go to a Code Pink meeting is the type of understanding man that you want to attend. I hope that all goes well for Code Pink and that this debate at least made some Code Pink members re-think their stance of no men at the meetings.

Scott A. McCarty
Portland Or

it takes love 09.Apr.2003 16:31


first, i agree that things should be integrated.

so start integrated things.
then invite all.
support and believe in those working for peace.
love them.
this is what helps people to become integrated...i:e 'whole'.
we live in a factured society.
what good does it do to be throwing stones here.
i hang out with all sorts of groups, i belong to none exclusively.
if the sex division thing bothers you, start using womens bathrooms, storm womens only night at the public hot tubs, r take a bunch of your female friends to a masonic temple.
start invading and integrating all the established mens affairs.
or plan an affair and invite every women you know, and tell them to invite women.
if you want integration, you understand why things are not.
but in any case, man, why so defensive?

Arrrggh 09.Apr.2003 17:14


Scott -
You are welcome to your opinion, but as it has been said above, the exclusivity of Women in Pink is NOT sexism. You may define it as discrimination, but not as sexism. An
"ism" requires a position of power over the opposite group in order to exist. Discrimination can exist without the existence of power over the other party.

Clamydia 09.Apr.2003 18:08


Your right, if given the chance I most likely wouldn't attend the meetings. But the point wasn't whether or not I would attend the meetings, the point was that I didn't have the option to attend. Women are forcing their way into Augusta National (which I think they should be allowed to join) and excluding men from their groups. I just don't want people to be hypocritical. I know that sometimes it is just more fun to hang out with people of a certain likeness, but to set up organizations to exclude certain groups is wrong. I know too that in the past men have oppressed women. But today (most) men don't oppress women. To fight a jaded fight is lame and simple. I am also sorry that you don't see my point of view. Living in the house I live in I have seen the issue from pretty much every side there is to see, and I have come to my point of view as an informed decision. Hopefully in the future others won't simply grab one side of an argument and run with someone elses trite idea.

Grow up, Scott 10.Apr.2003 13:11

GRINGO STARS gringo_stars@attbi.com

In our society, rape is common. Have you ever been raped, Scott? No? Then shut the fuck up.

Far too many women have been raped - and the healing process is not simple or easy. For some, the mere presence of a male is enough to completely unsettle a woman who has been victimised like that. Scott, grow up and realise that you might want a safe community in which to do work that beenfits people. Let women have an all-woman space if they want one. How are you being hurt by this? I'm a male and it doesn't bother me because I want as many people working for peace and justice as possible, even victims of male violence that still feel uncomfortable with men. Gender violence is more common than you might think, Scott. Healing is never easy. Grow up and respect women instead of demanding to be somewhere that you don't really even want to be.