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Feminist League for Agitation and Propaganda (FLAP) Newsletters

Blog posts reflect the views of their authors.
women in the streets
women in the streets

These two files are the two publications of the newly formed Feminist Activism group- FLAP (Feminist League for Agitation and Propaganda).

The G8 Issue

Why FLAP organizes in a women and trans only space

To contact FLAP, email them at flap.halifax|a|gmail.com!

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45 words


"Women and trans-only spaces"

I think it's absolutely wonderful that people of groups who have for a long time been excluded from politics make an effort to change this, but not when that means discriminating against people who are of groups that haven't been excluded. Despite what the second article says, I don't think any man who is against sexism and has a problem with these discriminatory spaces has the problem with "women and trans people gathering beyond the presence/surveillance of cis [sic] men".

Most, like me, would be thrilled that they are gathering and would not care if no men were there at all. That's not a problem. We take issue only when men are actively excluded, and then the issue is treated as some identity conspiracy, in which men who are against sexism are actually causing sexism by their very presence at events.

But no, it's not anti-sexist men who are disregarding the input of women and trans people. It's sexist men who disregard the input of women and trans people just because they are women or trans, just as it is sexist women who disregard the input of men just because they are men. The pattern here is that it is sexist people, regardless of their biology or identity, who are the problem, and they should be fought by anti-sexist people united.

The fight against sexism can't be fought with alternative kinds of sexism that only serve to alienate other anti-sexist people.

In a sexist, patriarchal

In a sexist, patriarchal society, where women are taught that they are not as capable or powerful as men, and in a cissexist society where trans people are taught that they are lesser than cisgendered people, having a political organizing space that is not open to the people who are most privileged in a sexist, patriarchal, cissexist society - cis men* - is a valuable tool for cis women and trans people to build confidence in themselves as political organizers and activists.

*Not a typo - short for cisgendered men, which means men who are born physically male and who identify as men.

Do you also consider affirmative action to be discriminatory to "people who are of groups that haven't been excluded", also known as people with relative privilege?

Would you also accuse a group of racism if they were only open to people of colour and not to white people, even those with anti-racist politics?

I hope not. These policies and groups are not "discriminatory." They are formed in the face of discrimination and oppression. It is an ugly display of entitlement when a person who is privileged by the social structures that oppress others demands to be allowed into a space meant to build solidarity and strength among people who face systemic oppression. This kind of entitlement shows that this person making demands has not recognized or taken responsibility for their privilege and the power dynamics it creates.

In radical political organizing spaces, women are often relegated to tasks that replicate the patriarchal mainstream and keep them from participating in direct action. If cis men truly do support women and trans people working on political projects, they should offer to do the support work that is needed to keep a movement going, such as food preparation and childcare. Please feel free to contact us if you would like to show your support in a useful way.

- Mary Burnet

The site for the Halifax local of The Media Co-op has been archived and will no longer be updated. Please visit the main Media Co-op website to learn more about the organization.