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(en) France, Alternative Libertaire AL #256 (Dec) - Québec: Sisterhood, feminism and anti-fascism (fr, it, pt) [machine translation]
Sat, 23 Jan 2016 13:13:03 +0200
Sisterhood ("sisterhood" in French) is a Montreal-sex feminist collective of which, for
five years, campaigning for the militant anti-fascist milieu particularly gender-neutral
space. ---- AL: How the collective was it created, in what context and on what findings?
---- The Sisterhood is a Montreal-sex group that was formed there about five years ago at
the initiative of a few girls in the radical militant anti-fascist milieu, but also from
the movements against-cultural (punk, skin, hardcore, hip hop, etc.) connected thereto. At
the time, the main finding was that although the middle advocated equality and solidarity
among all and all, it was admitted that there was still sexism. For example, we were often
relegated to secondary roles, if not downright set aside in certain actions or tasks.
Sexist jokes and judgments physically or women's sexuality were common, and women's issues
were generally addressed bit. On the other hand, we could benefit from the experience of
older activists and / or experienced, who had managed to get a place and we had bequeathed
a certain force.
The group has built gradually, over the experiences. At that time, there was this idea
that it was the girls to make their way without taking into account the real difficulties
that also included. Sometimes we felt we were given the responsibility for our own fate,
because we were not quite fonceuses not involved enough, not enough claimants, etc. It was
decided to impose itself by organizing together. "Do not release me, I'll take care" has
become a kind of slogan for us.
There also were many reactions to our organizational structure, single-sex. Some,
especially the guys do not understand our desire to organize this way, accusing us of
dividing the movement. Guys were disappointed to be "excluded" from our group because they
wanted to advocate on our side. Some have also told us that we were a social club that
spent her time gossiping, which shows the seriousness they accorded to our political
approach. Today, our single-sex is much better accepted and we have seen several positive
changes in the attitudes of our comrades.
Which lines have evolved past five years?
Rereading our writing and remembering our beginnings, we see how we evolved. At first, one
might say that one is not bad theorized. Although we already proclaim radical feminists,
we were not very worn on major intellectual discussions.
For us, the practice has often come before theory; we started to certain topics or ask
questions over the life situations (domestic violence, compared to the queer movement
against political violence, etc.). On some issues, we still do not have "official"
position because for us it's kind of against-productive extensively discuss issues on
which we do not intend to act in the short term. Then we could say that organize
themselves to us more aware of patriarchal oppression.
For example, we realized that there was much competition between girls created by the need
to make its own place in a male environment. We also took a lot of strength together,
enabling us to better respond to situations of injustice: thus we have denounced sexual
assaults that occurred in our communities, and implemented strategies to improve the
situation. Moreover, we do not claim that this is the result of our group only, but it
seems that the presence of women in the medium increased. While we remain a peer group, we
are more political than before. However, we can say that in five years, despite some
changes, we stayed pretty true to our original objectives. Although it was not always
easy, we continued our work in our environment and are cons-cultures that are associated,
as "macho" as they are, because that is what makes the essence of our group.
On intersectionality, which sometimes even raises questions in France, this is part of
your theoretical basis?
We fully endorse the concept of intersectionality, which means for us the importance of
understanding how the different oppressions feed and reinforce.
We have great admiration for women who are trying or have tried in the past to create
alliances between different struggles, be it black feminists who thought the issue of
"race" and gender relations, women unionists who highlighted the overlap between class and
In a revolutionary perspective, we must think how our global struggle and ensure that it
is inclusive for all. In short, we can not, as a radical feminist, fighting for own mouth.
That said, this is easier said than done. If we have been quite active in the
anti-capitalist struggles and the struggles around work, we must admit that apart rather
symbolic support, we have not yet managed to create strong alliances with other groups
dominated es. That is why we must continue to ask these questions and consider our
privileges as white women, heterosexual or not disabled, etc.
You realize workshops on environment activist sexism, how's it going?
It's going pretty well. It is certain that people who attend have, in general, sensitivity
to our demands. As we try to have a more popular approach, our workshops are quite
accessible, which often gives rise to interesting exchanges. It is the fact of organizing
themselves into single-sex which has allowed us to gain confidence in us and then to be
able to organize these workshops. Besides, we conducted a series of conferences in France
and Germany, during the European tour of our comrades of sedition Action band last winter.
We noticed that everywhere, it is almost the same conclusions that come back,
demonstrating that women's oppression is a constant reality.
Interview by Clemence (AL Paris North East)
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