TW: Depiction of bullying, threats of violence, harrassment.
Why two anarchafeminists resign from the French Anarchist Federation
On May 18-20, 2013 the AF Congress was held.
We decided to go, us, two anarchafeminist women, in order to read out our resignation letters.
For my part, because, following my response article about Roger Dadoun I had published on Indymedia, I have been subjected to collective harrassment on the federal email list, which shed the light once more on antifeminism within this organisation.
For my part, because I could not accept to be complicit with the bullying of a female member of the organisation just because she had spoken out, outside the closed email list, and because the pressures, orders and morality lessons which we were receiving showed that the organisation was anarchist in name only.
For our part, because we no longer could be part of heteropatriarchy, of power struggles, of hierarchies, and internal bureaucracy.
This congress was very difficult, since we were identified as the feminists who had criticized the AF from outside. Conversations stopped when we walked through, some people refused to talk to us, some people talked about us in front of us as if we didn’t exist.
The plenary debate on feminism and antisexism, something unheard of in an AF congress, had the objective to reign us in, women who had talked too much, outside the rules laid out by the organisation. It was organised by women, who call themselves anarchafeminists but can also be against the feminisation of texts, who took part in the bullying mob on the federal list and refuse to see patriarchy within the AF, which has blatanty been around for many years.
During this discussion, we read out both our resignation letters. We were wearing pink t-shirts : ‘Hysterical for as long as necessary’ and had a banner ‘Hysterica-feminists for as long as necessary’, held by two male comrades, who also left the AF in solidarity.
For some people, our resignation is a failure, but to us it’s a victory. Because for once the men in attendance have had to remain seated for half an hour while women were standing up, mic in hand, to tell them what it is to be a woman within the Anarchist Federation.
We left the room after our resignation. Several people, men and women, also left the room in solidarity. Others remained to intervene in our favour. Out of a hundred people, it wasn’t many, but we hadn’t hoped for even that.
Later, a woman told us we were cowards, while we needed incredible bravery to dare come and read out these words.
We were publicly threatened with violence, we were told to fuck off, that we had no dignity, that we had soiled them. All these threats and sentences, they were pronounced by men who didn’t talk to us, but talked to the two male comrades who supported us. Some people refused to eat the evening meal prepared by the collective canteen because we were there, invited by the organisers.
Back home, our email inboxes had been hacked. One of the male comrades who supported us received phone calls, telling him he better « switch sidewalk » and that « that was a threat ».
We thank the people who supported us, who came to see us, who invited us to stay and who continue to show support. These people know they don’t have to be named individually, because they know who they are. These people also know who are the sexists, men’s rights’ activists and informal leaders of the AF against whom our texts are directed.
Because if one day anarchy exists, it would be a shame if it looked like the French Anarchist Federation.