Category Archives: Society

Inappropriate Ads Showing Up on this Blog

Has anyone noticed how counterproductive the Google ads on this blog are?

Under the post about UNH installing surveillance cameras, for instance, the site included an ad for a security service offering surveillance solutions.

On the page about Dismantiling the Patriarchy, it included an ad for a dating service or somesuch, complete with a picture of some woman in a bathing suit.

Why are we advertising for the things we’re opposing, on the very pages on which we’re opposing them?! What’s next, Coke ads on the Uncoke page?

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Filed under Capitalism, Commercialism, Revolution, Society

Draft Some Group Handbook, Original Variant, Version 0.1, April 15, 2010

Some Group Handbook, Draft, Original Variant, Version 0.1, April 15, 2010

Some Group Handbook


Draft, Original Variant, Version 0.1, April 15, 2010

About this Handbook

This handbook is intended as an outline of principles and practices that Some Group has adopted. As time goes on, and details get ironed out, this handbook will evolve. It is expected that, once the group has reached a state of maturity, this Some Group Handbook will have become developed enough to serve as a blueprint for replication of this group’s organization, activities, and efforts in other communities across the nation and around the world.

This Handbook is Fluid

This Some Group Handbook is fluid. All useful information is at most temporarily useful. While every attempt has been made to ensure that information in this handbook is current and accurate, it is expected that this handbook will change and evolve as time goes on. Change, adaptation, and inclusion of new information to this handbook is emphatically encouraged.

Name

Some Group does not yet have a final name. Originally (and currently) referred to simply as “Unschool,” Some Group is looking for a name that accurately reflects the nature of the group. As has been discovered “unschooling” is a term currently in use to describe a subschool of homeschooling, which promotes ideas quite different from those of Some Group. The name “Unschool” has also been criticized for its distinctly negative construction—being the negation of “school”—without offering any hint, in positive form, as to what Some Group might be. A number of alternative names have been proposed, including the possibility of having no name at all. Most of the names proposed, including having no name for the group, have been rejected for a number of practical and/or principled reasons.

Presently, it is understood that the name of Some Group is fluid and indeterminate. It is believed that a name should be chosen, but that an appropriate name will likely reveal itself as the group develops. At some point in the future, it is expected that a name for the group will be chosen. When that happens, this section of the Some Group Handbook should be updated. This description of how Some Group does not have a name should be removed, and replaced with a statement of the group’s name, along with an explanation of any meaning behind the name chosen.

Purpose

Some Group grew out of a sense of discontent with existing social structures and conventional systems of education. However, Some Group has not yet adopted any guiding principles. At present, Some Group is a space or forum where people can share, discuss, create, and explore with others a number of subjects. It is expected that, as Some Group progresses, a common set of principles will naturally emerge, and be adopted by the group. When that happens, this section of the Some Group Handbook should be updated. This description of how Some Group has not adopted principles should be removed, and replaced with a description and explanation of the group’s common principles.

Meetings

Some Group holds a number of different “types” of meetings. Presently, there are two types: regular meetings and organizational meetings. Regular meetings are where Some Group performs its primary activity of exploring various topics of interest. Organizational meetings are dedicated to discussing and selecting logistical details, such as topics for upcoming regular meetings, etc.

Organizational Meetings

Organizational meetings are Some Group meetings with the purpose of choosing details for future regular meetings, and other logistical and/or administrative matters. Any member of Some Group is free to attend and participate in any organizational meeting he/she wishes, and to whatever extent he/she wishes.

When choosing details for an upcoming regular meeting, the following four details will be identified:

  • One or more people who will lead the meeting.
  • The topic or activity for the meeting.
  • The format that will be used for the meeting.
  • The date, time, and location of the meeting.

The activity planned for a regular meeting can be anything, and need not be topic-oriented. Meeting activities may include presentations, group discussions, creative projects, or group activities of any sort. The format of a regular meeting is also flexible. It could consist of a short presentation, followed by each participant having five minutes to express their own view, opinion, or perspective. It could be a lecture format, or a lecture followed by discussion. It could take any format the leaders of the meeting believe appropriate for the topic or activity. Whatever meeting details are proposed, all these details (leader(s), topic, format, date, time, and location) should be proposed to the entire group, at the next regular meeting, for approval.

All decisions made at organizational meetings, including selection of meeting details, will be made by a hybrid consensus/voting mechanism. A consensus process will be used whenever possible, encouraging input and participation from all present. If the consensus process ever stalls to the extent that it threatens the very purpose of Some Group, a majority vote will be used to decide the matter. If the consensus process degenerates to voting on a frequent or regular basis, this would indicate an underlying organizational problem which would need to be addressed.

For the sake of convenience, Some Group currently plans to hold organizational meetings immediately prior to, and in the same place as, Some Group’s regular meetings.

Regular Meetings

It is important that all members of Some Group be included in organization of the group. Because people have exhibited a tendency to leave during the course of regular meetings, each regular meeting will start with a brief organizational message consisting, at a minimum, of following:

  • A summary of what was discussed at the previous organizational meeting, if an organizational meeting was held since the last regular meeting.
  • All proposed details (leader(s), topic, format, date, time, and location) for the next regular meeting.
  • Proposed details (date, time, and location) for the next organizational meeting.
  • A request that the whole group accept, reject, or modify the proposed meeting details.
  • An explicit invitation for anyone in the group to come to, and participate in, every organizational meeting.

The remainder of any regular meeting can take many forms, lead by one or more people, on a specific topic or activity, and in a specific format. Each regular meeting’s details (leader(s), topic, format, date, time, and location) will be as agreed upon by the group during a previous regular meeting.

Communications

Some Group will have a number of means of communicating with its members. Potential means of distributing information include having a blog, an e-mail list, a web forum, a newsletter, etc. In order to maintain Some Group’s inclusiveness and neutrality, any Some Group publications, such as newsletters, blogs, etc., should be open to publish contributions from any and all Some Group members.

Each Some Group meeting (regular, organizational, or otherwise) should be announced, in advance, to all members of the group. Each such announcement should include all meeting details: leader(s), topic, format, date, time, and location. The location of the meeting place should be described in specific enough terms that the meeting can be found by someone who has never attended a previous Some Group meeting.

A digest of each Some Group meeting (regular, organizational, or otherwise) should be published to the group. Each digest should be comprehensive enough to give people who did not attend a good overview of the subject and results of each meeting, but should not be specific enough to constitute meeting minutes. Due to the potential of minutes to violate privacy rights and breed controversy, detailed meeting minutes should not be published. The digests for each meeting, whether posted to Some Group’s blog, e-mail list, or anywhere else, should be posted as separate posts, one for each meeting. Keeping the digests for each meeting separate makes them easier to identify, organize, comment on, etc.

When posting messages to Some Group’s blog, e-mail list, forum, etc., the following guidelines are recommended, but not required:

  • POSTING IN ALL CAPS IS CONSIDERED YELLING.
  • The title or subject of a post or comment should reflect its content.
  • Top-posting (“toilet paper quoting”) is considered poor netiquette.
  • Posting well-organized thoughts, in grammatical sentences, makes posts easy to read, understand, and respond to.

Draft, Original Variant, Version 0.1, April 15, 2010

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Are you a Manarchist?

ARE YOU A MANARCHIST QUESTIONNAIRE

General Questions:

I. Do you ascribe to either:

A) Passive-Aggressive Patriarchy: You often come across as: a victim/helpless/in need/dependent

and you get women in your life to: be your physical and emotional caretakers? buy you things? take care of your responsibilities?
pick up your slack? use guilt or manipulation to get out of your responsibilities and equal share of the work?

Do you treat your female partner like a “mom” or your secretary?

B) Aggressive Patriarchy: Do you often take charge? Assume that a
woman can’t do something right so you do it for her? Believe that only
you can take care of things? Think that you always have the right
answer?
Do you treat your female partner like she’s helpless, fragile, a baby or weak?
Do you put down your partner or minimize her feelings? Do you belittle
her opinions?

2. How do you react when women in your life name something or someone
as patriarchal or sexist? Do you think of her or call her a “PC Thug,”
“Feminazi,” “Thin-skinned,” “Overly-Sensitive, “COINTELPRO-esque”
or “Un-fun?”

3. Do you see talking about patriarchy as non-heroic, a waste of time,
trouble making, or divisive?

4. If a woman asks your opinion, do you assume she must not know
anything about the subject?

5. Do you believe that women have “natural characteristics” which are
Inherent in our sex such as “passive,” “sweet,” “caring,” “nurturing,”
“considerate,” “generous,” “weak,” or “emotional?”

6. Do you make fun of “typical” men or “frat boys” but not ever check
yourself to see if you behave in the same ways?

7. Do you take on sexism and patriarchy as a personal struggle working
to fight against it in yourself, in your relationships, in society,
work, culture, subcultures, and institutions?

8. Do you say anything when other men make sexist or patriarchal
comments?
Do you help your patriarchal and sexist friends to make change and help
educate them? Or do you continue friendships with patriarchal and
sexist men and act like there is no problem.

Activism Questions :

9. As a man, is being a feminist a priority to you? Do you see being
a feminist as revolutionary or radical?

10. Do you think that you define what is radical? Do you suffer from
or contribute to macho bravado” or ‘subpoena envy? (I.e. defining a
true or “cool” and respectable activist as someone who has: been arrested,
done lockdowns, scaled walls, hung banners, done time for their actions
argued or fought with police, done property alterations, beat up nazi
boneheads, etc.)?

11. Do you take something a woman said, reword it and claim it as your
own idea/opinion?

12. Are you taking on the “shit” or “grunt” work in your organizing?
(I.e.: Cooking. cleaning. set up, clean up phone calls, email lists,
taking notes, doing support work, sending mailings, providing
childcare?)
Are you aware of the fact that women often are taking on this work
with no regard or for their efforts?

13. Do you take active step to make your activist groups safe and
comfortable places for women?

14. If you are trying to get more women involved in your activist
projects, do you try to engage them by telling them what’ to do or why they
should join your group?

15. Do you ever find yourself monitoring and limiting your behavior and
speech in meetings and activist settings because you don’t want’ to
take up too much space or dominate the group? Are you aware of the fact that
women do this all the time?

16. Do you pay attention to group process and consensus building in
groups or do you tend to dominate and take charge (maybe without even
realizing it)?

Sexual/Romantic Relationships and Issues :

17. Do you make jokes or negative comments about the sex lives of women
or sex work?

18. Can you only show affection and be loving to your partner in front
of friends and family or only in private?

19. Do you discuss the responsibility for preventing contraception and
getting STD screening prior to sexual contact?

20. Do you repeatedly ask or plead with women for what you want in
sexual situations? Are you aware that unless this is a mutually consented upon
scenario/game that this is considered a form of coercion?

21. During sex, do you pay attention to your partner’s face and body
language to see if she is turned on? Engaged, or just lying there? Do
you ask a woman who she wants during sex? What turns her on?

22. Do you ask for consent?

23. Do you know if your partner has a sexual abuse, rape, or physical
abuse history?

24. Do you stay with your partner in a relationship for comfort and
security? Sex? Financial or emotional caretaking? If you’re not completely happy
or “in love” with your partner anymore? Even though you don’t think it
will ultimately work out? Because you’re afraid or unable to be alone?
Do you suddenly end relationships when a “new” or “better” woman comes
along?

25. Do you jump from relationship to relationship? Overlap them? Or do
you take space and time for yourself in between each relationship to
reflect on the relationship and your role in it? Do you know how to be
alone? How to be single?

26. Do you cheat on your partners?

27. If your girlfriend gets on your case for patriarchal behavior or
wants to try to work on the issues of patriarchy in your relationship,
do you creak up with her or cheat on her and find another woman who
will put up with your shit?

28. Do you agree to romantic commitment and responsibility and then
back out of these situations?

29. Do you understand menstruation?

30. Do you make fun of women or write them off as “PMS-ING?”

Friendship Questions :

31. Do you tend to set the standard and plans for fun or do you work
with the others in the group, including women to see what they want to
do?

32. Do you talk to your female friends about things you don’t talk to
your male friends about especially emotional issues?

33. Do you constantly fall in love with your female friends Are you
friends with women until you find out that they are not in love with you too
and then end the friendships? Are you only friends with women who are
in monogamous or committed relationships with other people?

34. Do you come on to your female friends even jokingly?

35. Do you only talk to your female friends (and not your male friends)
about your romantic relationships or problems in those relationships?

36. Do you find yourself only attracted to “Anarcho-Crusty Punk
Barbie”, Alterna-Grrrl Barbie,” or Hardcore-Grrrl Barbie?” (The idea here being
that the only women you arc attracted to fit mainstream beauty
standards but just dress and do their hair alternatively and maybe have piercings
and tattoos) Do you question and challenge your internalized ideals of
mainstream beauty ideals for women?

37. Have you ever heard of or discussed “sizeism” and do you think it
is low on the oppression scale?

38. Are you aware of the fact that ALL WOMEN, even women in radical
communities, live under the CONSTANT PRESSURE and OPPRESSION of mainstream
patriarchal beauty standards?

39. Are you aware of the fact that many women in radical communities
have had and are currently dealing with eating disorders?

40. Do you make fun of “model-types” or “mainstream” women for their
appearance?

Domestic/Household Questions :

41. When was the last time you walked into your house, noticed that
something was misplaced/dirty/etc. AND did something about it (didn’t just walk
by it, over it, away from it or leave a nasty note about it) even if
it wasn’t your chore or responsibility?

42. Are you constantly amazed by the magical “food fairy” who
mysteriously acquires food, brings it home, puts it away, prepares it in meal form
and then cleans up afterwards?

43. Do you contribute equally to domestic life and work?

44. How many of the following activities do you contribute to in your
home (this is a partal list of what it takes to run a household):
A: Sweep and mop floors and clean carpets
B: Wash and put away dishes
C: Clean stove, countertops, sinks and appliances if they are messy and
each time after you have prepared food
D: Collect money, do food shopping, put away food and make meals for
people you live with
E: Do house laundry (kitchen towels, bathroom hand towels, washable
rugs, etc.)
F: Clean up common room spaces, even if it’s not your chore
G: Pick up other’s slack
H: Deal with garbage, recycling, and compost
I: Take care of bills, rent, utilities
J: Deal with the landscaping and gardening
K: Clean bathrooms and make sure bathroom is clean after you use it
L: Feed, clean up after, and take care of housepets

Children & Childcare :

45. Do you spend time with kids? If you do, do you spend time with
children (yours or anyone’s) in a way that is gendered? (do certain things with
boys and other things with girls?

46. If you are a father, do you CO-parent your children? (Spend equal
time AND energy AND effort AND money to raise them)?

47. Do you make childcare a priority? (at both activist events and in
daily life)

48. Do you help make the lives of single mothers in your life and
community easier by finding out if and how you can assist?

49. Have you politicized your ideas about child rearing and parenthood
radical communities? Do you believe that individuals who are in the
movement have children or that the movement has children?

Multi-Category Questions:

50. When was the last time you showed a woman how to do a task rather
than doing it for her and assuming she couldn’t do it?

51. When was the last time you asked a woman to show you how to do a
task?

52. Do you get emotional needs met by other women, whether or not you
are in a romantic relationship with them? Or do you cultivate caring,
nurturing relationships with other men in which you can discuss your
feelings and get your needs met by them?

53. If a woman discusses with you or calls you out on your patriarchy,
do you make an effort to be emotionally present? Listen? Not
emotionally shut down? Not get defensive? Think about what she said? Admit you
fucked up? Take responsibility/make reparations for the mistakes you made?
Discuss your feelings and ideas with her? Apologize? Work harder on your own
shit to make sure that you don’t make the same mistakes again with her
or other women?

54. Do you look inside yourself to find out why you fucked up in these
relationships and work to both change your behavior and be a better
anti-patriarchy ally in the future?

55. Do you organize regular house meetings or activist meetings to
resolve conflict in the house/group?

56. Do you use intimidation, yelling, getting in someone’s physical space, threatsor violence to get your point across?
Do you create and atmosphere or violence around women or others to threaten them (i.e.: throw
things, break things, yell and scream, threaten, attack, tease or terrorize the
animals or pets of women in your life)?

57. Do you physically, psychologically, or emotionally abuse women?

58. Do the women in your life (mothers, sisters, partners, housemates,
friends, etc.) have to “remind” you or “nag” you or “yell” at you in
order for you to get off your ass and take care of your
responsibilities?

59. Do you talk to other men about patriarchy and your part in it?

60. When was the last time you thought about or talked about any of
these issues other than after reading this questionnaire?

Scoring: ALL MEN need to work on issues of patriarchy, sexism and
misogyny. However, this questionnaire may point out to you areas of particular
focus or concentration for your own anti-patriarchal/sexist/misogynist
process and development.

Copied from: http://www.anarcha.org/sallydarity/AreyouaManarchist.htm

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Filed under Anarchy, Freedom, Love, Oppression, Related Thoughts, Revolution, Self, Society

All societies

All societies are rational and irrational at the same time. They are perforce rational in their mechanisms, their cogs and wheels, their connecting systems, and even by the place they assign to the irrational. Yet all this presupposes codes or axioms which are not the products of chance, but which are not intrinsically rational either. It’s like theology: everything about it is rational if you accept sin, immaculate conception, incarnation. Reason is always a region cut out of the irrational — not sheltered from the irrational at all, but a region traversed by the irrational and defined only by a certain type of relation between irrational factors. Underneath all reason lies delirium, drift. Everything is rational in capitalism, except capital or capitalism itself. The stock market is certainly rational; one can understand it, study it, the capitalists know how to use it, and yet it is completely delirious, it’s mad. It is in this sense that we say: the rational is always the rationality of an irrational. Something that hasn’t been adequately discussed about Marx’s *Capital* is the extent to which he is fascinated by capitalists mechanisms, precisely because the system is demented, yet works very well at the same time. So what is rational in a society? It is — the interests being defined in the framework of this society — the way people pursue those interests, their realisation. But down below, there are desires, investments of desire that cannot be confused with the investments of interest, and on which interests depend in their determination and distribution: an enormous flux, all kinds of libidinal-unconscious flows that make up the delirium of this society. The true story is the history of desire. A capitalist, or today’s technocrat, does not desire in the same way as a slave merchant or official of the ancient Chinese empire would. That people in a society desire repression, both for others and *for themselves*, that there are always people who want to bug others and who have the opportunity to do so, the “right” to do so, it is this that reveals the problem of a deep link between libidinal desire and the social domain. A “disinterested” love for the oppressive machine: Nietzsche said some beautiful things about this permanent triumph of slaves, on how the embittered, the depressed and the weak, impose their mode of life upon us all.” – Gilles Deleuze

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