we have a tendancy to always be defined by what we are against. we are anti-clearcutting and anti-racist and anti-imperialist. the discussions regarding male socialization, rape culture, sexual assault and what to do about perpetrators need to begin to redefine themselves to be a discussion about:
1- what are effective ways to deal with perpetrators?
2- how can we make EVERYONE, but specifically women, trans and queer folks, feel safer in our community?
3- how do we get around male denial/backlash?
4- how should we define the balance between punishment and rehabilitiation for perpetrators? how do we do that without compromising the safety of survivors?
additionally, i feel we need to start talking about and working on, ALL of us, the question asked at one of the accountability meetings, which is
5- what does a sexually responsible community look and feel like? how do we get there from here?
it has become clear that we have a good idea of what we don't want. we don't want to be assaulted anymore- especially by the people we consider friends and loved ones, and especially not in the places we feel the most safe. we don't want to be disbelieved when we come forward with our stories. we don't want to be blamed for the damage that other people have done to us, or have to defend our right to HURT when someone has VIOLATED us. we don't want the people responsible for it to evade responsibility....we don't want to have to defend our choice to go to the police. or to not go to the police and to attempt a a community resolution.
it is time to start talking about some concrete steps to make these things happen.
for reference, the previous article is: http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2003/09/271150.shtml