Proposal for New IMC Process Submitted by Global IMC Women's List Volunteer
The imc-women's-list has existed since summer 2001 and consists of women active in indymedias in Latin America, North America, Europe, the Middle East and Australia. For two years, we have discussed in many facets the depressing situation of patriarchal repression in society which unfortunately doesn't stop at the doorstep of leftist groups.
Many concrete situations came up, in which women were discriminated against in their local group. In most cases we were able to support the women emotionally and to give advice. But we feel that this is not enough.
Women are a small minorty within many indymedia groups, some groups consist only of men. This may be due to the fact that people perceive indymedia mainly as a website and don't realize how much work needs to be done concerning building politcal relationships, outreach, editorial work etc. Therefore indymedia attracts relatively more people who are interested in computing than people who are not. Accordingly, the underrepresentation of women within indymedia reflects the underrepresentation of women in Information Technology related fields.
However, only some incidents in which women were discriminated against within their groups were tech related. Several were silence in meetings, some had experienced openly sexist behavior, many state that there was a general atmosphere that made it hard for women to work within thier indymedia group.
This meanst that gender discrimination is not only due to the fact that techies have an important role within indymdia and techies tend to be male. It is apparent, that non-tech as well as tech males descriminate against women.
Many of our male co-activists have taken an active stance against gender discrimination within indymedia. And we hope they will keep up this stance as we don't perceive our struggle as females versus males but as a general cause.
However, the discrimination by individual men and the patriarchal atmoshpere in some groups has reached a degree that we believe action needs to be taken.
Furthermore we believe that similar mechanisms that minimize women's involvemtn also work against the participation of ethnic and sexual minorities and maintain a homogeneous class structure.
We talked about different measures to change the situation. As a result of our discussions, we would like to propost that these issues be addressed during the process of which new imc's undertake.
We propost that the following questions be incorporated in the application form:
A. How does the makeup of your collective reflect the diversity of the local community (e.g. in relation to gender-sexual-spiritual and/or cultural identity)?
B. If your group currently does not represent the diversity of the local community, particularly in relation to groups who are underrepresented in mainstream society and denied access to vehicles of expression, what steps will be taken to address this on an ongoing basis?
C. What steps will be taken to involve individuals in workfields new to them? What measure will be taken to overcome a gendered work division?
Hysteria Collective stands in complete solidarity with the proposal drawn up by the Global IMC Women's List. Patriarchy, mysogyny, sexism, sexual violence, tokenization and other forms of women's oppression are a daily reality for all women in the world. The radical/revolutionary left is not exception to these forms of oppression and in fact perfectly reflects the society we claim to be working to change. It is the responsibility of all men to critically analyze their actions, socializations, and privileges and actively work to destroy them. It is the responsibility of all radicals and revolutionaries to stand in solidarity with all women fighing oppression. All of the work we undertake must be done with a critically militant feminist analysis. Support the women in our communities, smash Patriarchy!