Are you a male or a female?

Male
76% (39 votes)
Female
24% (12 votes)
Total votes: 51

Posted By

JDMF
Oct 7 2004 21:18

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JDMF
Oct 7 2004 21:18

Since there has been so many posts about class composition of anarchist movement(s) and varous anti-capitalists/whatever groups, i've been waiting when someone would bring up the apparent disportionate amount of men the anarchist movement compared to women - or likewise here in enrager where it seems like there's a ratio of more than 10 to 1 of males in among active posters (i could be wrong though!).

Please vote in the poll to get some data on this issue while we go along smile

I have personal experience of quite a few countries anarchist groups and movements and the UK one seems to be one of the most male dominated one out there.

This comment is aimed at the more traditional class struggle anarchist groups - movements like EF! don't seem to suffer from this.

Any ideas? I'm sure you have discussed this before?

redyred
Oct 7 2004 22:10

Oy, where's the "prefer not to say" category? tongue

Could also be the male bias in forum posters in general. I post on a few apolitical forums (some music related, some film related) and there is a male bias on them, even though the subjects wouldn't necessarily have more men interested in them in reality.

Anarch
Oct 7 2004 22:23

Kinda wierd, the ratio of men to women is much closer to 50/50 amongst anarchists I know, I am not sure why this would be different on the magical world of the internet.

pink black star

Wayne
Oct 8 2004 00:25

Hmmm, it's an interesting question, I think that there's a problem with men tending to dominate discussions and shout down others view points. I also think that class struggle anarchism suffers from a prioritisation of masculinist public sphere politics. Additionally, there are some sexist arseholes in the movement who make bad jokes about fluffy bunnies and are too agressive and intolerant of any politics that isn't exactly the one true line. I think we need to try and listen to each other more attentivley.

JDMF
Oct 8 2004 07:42
redyred wrote:

Could also be the male bias in forum posters in general. I post on a few apolitical forums (some music related, some film related) and there is a male bias on them, even though the subjects wouldn't necessarily have more men interested in them in reality.

i post to couple forums where there are more females than males, reflecting exactly the ratio in the movement as a whole, so i don't buy that argument, unless it was done with more self reflection on what kind of atmosphere there is on this board.

the button
Oct 8 2004 09:02
Wayne wrote:
Hmmm, it's an interesting question, I think that there's a problem with men tending to dominate discussions and shout down others view points. I also think that class struggle anarchism suffers from a prioritisation of masculinist public sphere politics. Additionally, there are some sexist arseholes in the movement who make bad jokes about fluffy bunnies and are too agressive and intolerant of any politics that isn't exactly the one true line. I think we need to try and listen to each other more attentivley.

eek Wayne? Are you feeling OK? wink

Spartacus
Oct 8 2004 13:35

yeah, you also forgot to put "none of the above". but as to the question, i don't really know why it is. some people say it's cos of the macho emphasis on violence, but then in greece where they tend to carry out the violence rather than just watching videos of it, and where one group i met over there explicitly said that they aimed to attack the police with big sticks and not waste time with any of this cowardly rock throwing nonsense, they appeared to have a rather better male to female ratio. in fact the best male to female ratio seemed to be among the insurrectionist "destroy everything everyday" types. worth discussing though...

the button
Oct 8 2004 13:42

To (almost) quote Monty Python, I'm an anarchist & so's my wife. So in the Button household at least, there's a 50/50 gender split. Perhaps we should set up our own federation wink

JDMF
Oct 8 2004 14:18

button, same here. But the question is, why is it you here on this board and not your wife (unless you share your account or something...). I asked the same from my wife and she said some words which are best not to repeat here, lol!

Hey, i just tried and you can't add poll options afterwards, so i can't add that "none of above", whatever that means! (shared accounts?)

Spartacus
Oct 8 2004 14:26

none of the above means just that, you are neither male, nor are you female, because as a person you do not feel you fit into either gender classification. i mean, i don't need it, but there could be others here who do.

JDMF
Oct 8 2004 14:30
GenerationTerrorist wrote:
none of the above means just that, you are neither male, nor are you female, because as a person you do not feel you fit into either gender classification. i mean, i don't need it, but there could be others here who do.

right, well, ok, hands up, i didn't see that coming. Though thinking of it, perhaps man/woman are more gender, whereas male/female is more biological sex? I don't know anything about this issue, so don't shoot me!

simple question gets very complicated in right company grin

the button
Oct 8 2004 14:50

Sex/gender, biology/culture... now there's something the Mrs could post about to her heart's content.

As it goes, the reason I'm on enrager not her is that we don't have internet access at home. Or indeed a phone line. My partner only goes in to college to check her e-mails/use the facilities & works from home most of the time.

I've mentioned enrager to her (especially the '-----only spaces' thread a while back) & I suppose enrager's somewhere on her lengthy things to do list, some places behind "finish PhD" & "get the Button's dinner ready" wink

JoeMaguire
Oct 8 2004 15:18

The gender balance amoungst anarchists appears to be much better than my previous experience with the marxist left, thats despite some of the mocking comments I still hear from trots, but still hasnt topped the 60%-80% women ratio of the animal rights movement...

redyred
Oct 8 2004 16:51
JDMF wrote:
right, well, ok, hands up, i didn't see that coming. Though thinking of it, perhaps man/woman are more gender, whereas male/female is more biological sex? I don't know anything about this issue, so don't shoot me!

Yeah, put simply gender is ways of dressing, mannerisms etc etc - the way sex difference is patterned according to social norms. And sex is the actual biological thing.

Transgenderism is a bit of a grey area in libertarian politics. A lot of activists are ok with it, for freedom of lifestyle and sexuality. But there's also quite a few who are against it, saying its the same as white people pretending to be black. I'd say that was a bit of a sloppy analogy though really. I see it as more a reaction to constricting gender roles, and it should be supported and accepted by the left.

Anne Oakley (not to be confused with the old west markswoman) has written some good stuff on the social construction of gender.

redyred
Oct 8 2004 17:07

My A-level actually.

redyred
Oct 8 2004 17:52

Ooh, hark at Mister Politics and Human Rights BA.

redyred
Oct 8 2004 21:29

I'm sure sociology contributes plenty to the bourgeoisie's class struggle effort, judging by how most sociology graduates join local government or the police. tongue

Ramona
Oct 9 2004 15:31

Graduates join the police? confused I thought you just needed 5 GCSEs? Most cops I've met can barely string a sentence together, let alone a dissertation.

redyred
Oct 10 2004 14:03

It seemed like about half the people on my course wanted to go into the police when they graduated, I assume the higher management jobs though, but I never really talked to them much. They had the being an arsehole bit of the job down to a tee.

Fucking students.

JDMF
Oct 11 2004 07:54

ok, next question: why is it that on enrager we have numerous threads analyzing the class composition of anarchist movement/groups/individuals, but not that many posts about the apparent lack of females in the movement? Seems like not many people see this as a problem? If it's not a problem, it would be nice to hear why?

Ramona
Oct 11 2004 16:01

I think people do see it as a problem, I know I do (I'm a girl by the way wink ) but I guess I feel put off talking about it cos I don't want to be the grl who's constantly bleeting on about feminism. I f there were more girls then I probably would talk about it more! So for me it's kinda a viscious circle, to use a phrase I can't spell correctly....

Not that I'm trying to say i feel like I should shut up, or that people on the boards intimidate me in any way (ie it's not like I feel all vulnerable and victimised or anything...), I guess that I'm just not a confident enough person to actually start that kinda conversation. Which is a confidence thing, not necessarily a gender thing.

Kidda
Oct 11 2004 23:46
zobag wrote:
but I guess I feel put off talking about it cos I don't want to be the grl who's constantly bleeting on about feminism

why arent the blokes bleeting on about feminism, surely its something that effects us all? (general question, not a dodgy comment at zobag)

Quote:
but then in greece where they tend to carry out the violence rather than just watching videos of it, and where one group i met over there explicitly said that they aimed to attack the police with big sticks and not waste time with any of this cowardly rock throwing nonsense, they appeared to have a rather better male to female ratio

what about in this country though? some of the anarchists blokes ive met wouldnt throw a crossed word at coppers never mind a rock.

a lot of this riot-fetish is macho bollocks imho

patriarchy is still alive and well and unfortunatley its within the anarchist movement to. something that i think a lot of people dont want to face up to.

other experiences that ive had have been along the lines of some anarcho-blokes believing they have ''more important'' struggles to deal with rather than feminism. Whilst also feeling that they cant talk about feminism because they are male and will offend females.

I think pushing the line that men can (and should) be feminists to is an important one.

Ceannairc
Oct 12 2004 09:09

It has always been my impression that girls face very different social pressures to guys right from the start. I reckon this could be the reason. Certainly I have never seen anything about anarchism which actually discourages the female half of the population from joining in. If that is the case, then is it really a problem? I resist the idea that any movement must be a certain % female in order to be valid, as we have seen in some areas of party politics. If we are open and encouraging to women and men in equal measures, then as far as I am concerned what problem there is can only be corrected by society as a whole.

lucy82
Oct 13 2004 10:35

its never particularly mattered to me whether i'm talking to boys or girls. i don't think being female gives a person automatic insight into wimmins stuff. i've met some women who'd stamp on you to get what they want and feminist men who recognise the shit a lot of women take and fight back against for what it is. mostly these men have been anarchists.

when i was in the swp i got into a massive row about their perspective on women. which is basically that feminism is a reaction to capitalism which actively works against building revolution because it divides the working class so women should shut up, stop being divisive and engage with the wider class struggle alongside men to bring about the glorious day of revolution. end of crude political analysis. end of story. to me, this was a negation of identity. no womens history. no understanding of how society constructs gender and why. no fucking recoginition of anything. to correct my deviant tendancies i was given a tape by lyndsey german.

i never listened to it, so if my brief summary of the swp position on this is wrong, i apologise in advance., but this is what people said.

i agree with ceannairc that a percentage of female faces means very little, but women are not some amorphous blob that can be assimilated into class struggle (as the swp think) without any understanding of who "we" are, why we are and what we might want.

i am a feminist and i'm proud of it. i hate the way the word itself has been perverted into something unacceptable. women are fucking oppressed and the "i'm a bigger bastard than you boys are, and i'll prove it" approach of some women in management and politics seems to me to be a way of constructing an identity to achieve in response to a patriarchal society which devalues women who aren't men.

you don't have too look too hard to see women getting fucked over. in my own life i can see it. not least that i received a letter recently telling me how many years don't count towards my pension (and i am old enough to start caring about that) and those years were the years i spent working part time so i could bring up my kids.. not that thats important or anything. really.... but i could pay them a lump sum of £500 if i "choose" too, so i could match the men of my age. yeah right.

as for enrager, i don't think the gender bias on enrager is necessarily typical of anarchism as a whole. the younger people i do stuff with are pretty evenly boy/girl and frankly, i'm not arsed what sex any of them got born with, although its kind of interesting that i haven't met any older female anarchists except at earth first. The anarchist federations seem to be older people and almost entirely male. In comparison, EF is young and there are more women.

Is it to do with the different perspective on anarchic politics?

now i've finished ranting, i'll think about that for a bit...

Steven.
Oct 13 2004 11:01

in a bit of a rush so will be quick... but yeah lucy it's interesting, I don't really get that (about the composition of the feds)...

Perhaps it's to do with age, if the people in the feds are generally older then maybe that means that there'll be fewer women cos more older women have other commitments like kids etc.?

Cos I don't think it's the class politics, since there are plenty of women in class struggle @ groups on the continent (and a greater proportion of women in non-anarchist - i.e. trot or other - class struggle groups...)

kidda - when you say this

Quote:
patriarchy is still alive and well and unfortunatley its within the anarchist movement to. something that i think a lot of people dont want to face up to.

other experiences that ive had have been along the lines of some anarcho-blokes believing they have ''more important'' struggles to deal with rather than feminism.

What do you mean exactly?

D'you mean you think male anarchists should devote themselves exclusively to feminist struggles (if they're the most "important")?

And it'd be interesting to hear your experiences of patriarchy within the movement smile

lucy82
Oct 13 2004 12:33
Quote:
Perhaps it's to do with age, if the people in the feds are generally older then maybe that means that there'll be fewer women cos more older women have other commitments like kids etc.?

i don't get it either but if thats the reason, there is a massive disproportion of men in the feds because they get to play politics while the older women look after family responsibilites. In a patriarchal society where who looks after the kids and takes care of other family commitments has consequences for the woman that does it (cause it is her most of the time).

whose commitments are these? whose values are these?

anarchism <sigh>

lucy82
Oct 13 2004 13:04

and because also if thats whats happening its shitty class politics.

JDMF
Oct 13 2004 15:55

if the age factor would be a valid reason then why the same doesn't repeat itself in other groups around the world.

My wife said that she thinks that the reason why there are more women in SAC and IWW (in US) for instance is that they do more concrete shit. This goes for EF! as well.

This would reversely explain why there's not that many women on this board either smile

redyred
Oct 13 2004 15:59
JDMF wrote:
My wife said that she thinks that the reason why there are more women in SAC and IWW (in US) for instance is that they do more concrete shit.

That sounds bloody painful. Sorry...

Steven.
Oct 13 2004 23:31
lucy82 wrote:
and because also if thats whats happening its shitty class politics.

Well no that's not a fair criticism - you can't blame the few blokes in the feds for the existence of patriarchy!

Yeah JDMF I think that's a fair point - ditto for ethnic minorities.

Maybe blokes are more prone to hobbyism? I.e. it doesn't matter if it's actually concrete or not?