Hello, and welcome to the second issue of "Deal With It!". Unfortunately this rather small group of guys that produces "Deal With It! has failed miserably in living up to our goal of producing a bi-monthly zine (as it has taken us nearly six months to put together our second issue). It's not that we're lazy (well maybe some of us are just a little). For some of us, writing about violence against wimmin, sexism, homophobia, and patriarchy can be really difficult, as it typically involves a lot of personal reflection on our own socialization as "men" in this fucked up culture. As I have discovered, it is a lot easier to spew out recycled anti-authoritarian rhetoric pointing fingers at the cops and politicians that have stood in my way, than it is to analyze my own shit and deconstruct my own privileges (much less actually cop to them). For me, attempting to figure out just how I got to be so fucked up by this culture has been a painful process -- but a necessary process nonetheless. So, please, please, please, send us your submissions and maybe we'll be able to put this zine out more than twice a year!
In our first issue, in the "mission statement" thing, we posed a list of questions to our readers that may have seemed kind of rhetorical, but in actuality were intended to be serious questions:
(1) "How does a men's group include transexual, transgendered, and intersexed people?"
(2) "Is a men only group the most effective way for men to support wimmin's liberation?"
(3) "Does the need exist for an anti-sexist male publication -- men speaking to men, or is it more important to create a broader publication that includes everyone?"
(4) "How can we move towards creating a more inclusive project?"
These questions reflect serious concerns we have regarding the purpose and significance of this "men's" zine. As we begin to unravel the lies of culturally enforced binary gender roles and compulsory sex assignment, it becomes more and more confusing to use words such as "male" and "men". What do these words really mean? Due to the courageous work of intersexed activists over the years, we now know that thousands or possibly millions of people are born each year who do not fit perfectly into the commonly accepted "male" and "female" sex categories. And when you consider the sheer numbers of people out there who are exploring genders outside of the "man" -- "woman", "boy" -- "girl" boxes that patriarchy has divided us into, it becomes increasingly complicated to continue using the restrictive, non-inclusive and oppressive language that we are used to. Considering all of this -- what the hell does a "men's group" really mean? For us, (so far), it has meant a group of "biological males" who are culturally defined as "men" (regardless of whether or not we personally identify as "men"). Whether we want to identify as "men" or not, what we have in common is that patriarchal culture has accorded us with privileges that we have not earned, that are not fair, and that we may not necessarily "enjoy".
These privileges are maintained by the oppression of and violence against wimmin, gays, lesbians, trannies, intersexed people and anyone else that this culture has placed below "men". This means that it is our responsibility to put an end to all of this violence and oppression.
Anyways, these are just some of my thoughts. We'd love to hear what ya'll think about these issues, so please write, or email, or whatever, and let us know.
To all of the people who appreciated our first issue by giving us positive feedback and thoughtful critique, your support has enabled us to continue our efforts. Thanx and hope you like our second issue!
love and kisses,