See the original blog post, "PLP Defends Rapists" for the announcement and call to action regarding PLP's defense of admitted rapist Seth Miller.

***TRIGGER WARNING*** Everything in this blog is a frank discussion of sexual violence and rape.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Targets of the state are heroes, targets of patriarchy disappear

In the course of activism, many of our allies are attacked by the state. They get targeted arrests, trumped up charges, long trials, and long sentences. These attacks on our comrades are devastating, repressive, intimidating, and our communities rally to give support.

Many more of our allies have been the targets of patriarchy.  Our allies have been assaulted, intimidated, raped, and shamed. How often has your group done support and public campaigns for a member attacked by the state? And how often has your group done support and public campaigns for a member attacked by patriarchy? Where are the fundraisers to support rape survivors? Legal support teams to defend assault survivors? Why isn't the National Anti-Patriarchy Guild at events and meetings wearing neon caps, documenting and reporting patriarchal repression and providing pro bono survivor support? Squads of armed and trained Anti-Patriarchal Action punks, physically confronting patriarchal groups and individuals? Where is Patriarchy Watch, documenting and publicizing attacks by specific individuals on women?

The state is a clear enemy. It wears uniforms and titles. The state is the other. Activists against the state engage in planned, theatrical resistance. Each side is obvious and engaged in a deliberate struggle with a predictable outcome.

Patriarchy is a more insidious enemy. It wears the face of each of us. To fight patriarchal repression includes confronting ourselves, our friends, our allies.  We can't otherize patriarchy like we can the state. We might find that when we confront patriarchy that our friends and our own behaviors come down on the wrong side: confronting patriarchy is risky.

The targets of the state are usually men conducting public theatrical actions. Being a target of the state is a heroic act and a badge of honor in our community. The targets of patriarchy are usually women* who were attacked in private by their friends, colleagues, family, partners, and comrades. Being the target of the patriarchy earns further betrayal and shame from our community in the form of skepticism, inaction, or worse. Survivors who have the strength to speak out and/or confront their attacker and his defenders do not receive the praise, support, and admiration that targets of the state receive. Survivors fear intimidation, repression, and attacks from within their own communities. Many eventually leave or are driven out of their communities, let down and ostracized by their former comrades who lie to themselves and others that they are anti-patriarchy. A movement that cannot confront its internal abuses of power and support its own people cannot succeed.

* We use the terms "men" and "women" as crude shorthand for patriarchal structure experienced by all genders in a diverse set of circumstances.

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