Welcome to Eugene, "Anarchist" Capital of the World|
It has now been one whole year since "Chaos Days", the "Seven Week Revolt", and the "Historical Reenactment of June 18th", a two-month-long anarchist spectacle of anti-statist and anti-capitalist "urban insurrection". Over these last twelve months, while the male anarchist leadership has been busily occupying their time "bringing on the ruckus", romanticizing glorious street battles with cops, and littering their rhetoric with the same old, tired, and stale "smash the state" lingo, a wave of sexist violence has riddled the city of Eugene, with little or no response from men:
In June of last year, Chad Hamlin strangled his wife, Amy , during
an argument, because she refused to reconcile with him, choosing
instead to move to Seattle. Amy's body was found floating in the
Mckenzie River, bundled in a green futon.
Last July, Casey Stafek was shot in the head and murdered "execution
style" by Stephen Weavill, who apparently, laughed about it
In January of this year, a nine year old girl was raped in the
Whiteaker neighborhood by a man disguised in a black ski-mask, who
is still at large.
In April, it was announced that at least three young wimmin have
been assaulted by a male stalker on the campus of the University
of Oregon. In each case, the man, who is still at large, forcibly
grabbed each womyn from behind whispering sexually explicit
comments in their ears.
In February of this year a womyn was attacked on the Willamette
bike path near the EWEB building by a man who knocked her to the
ground attempted to remove her clothes. Similar attacks on the
same bike path occurred several times last summer.
In May of this year, William Green, a local construction worker,
was arrested for videotaping half-dressed girls and young wimmin
from outside their homes. Two searches of Green's south hills
residence have yielded more than 35 videotapes of 50 girls be-
tween the ages of 10 and 30, in various stages of undress.
These examples, pulled from the newspaper, represent merely the tip of the iceberg. According to statistical information, it is estimated that a womyn is raped every two minutes in the United States. Nearly one half of all wimmin will be sexually assaulted and one third of all wimmin in the U.S. will be raped according to national statistics. Unfortunately, these numbers may actually be rather conservative in comparison to anecdotal evidence, as statistical information is based only on what actually gets reported to the police. My own experience, based primarily on the stories that I've heard from wimmin in my life, would lead me to believe that most wimmin will be targeted by sexual predators, more than once, during the course of their lifetimes.
This is Patriarchy, the tragic reality that men have imposed on the wimmin of this world. It would be too easy to view specific incidents of rape and other forms of physical violence that men do to wimmin as isolated incidents, with no connection to each other, but that would be na•ve. Physical violence against wimmin represents only one end of the larger spectrum of systematic sexist-oppression that also includes the psychological and mental abuse that millions of wimmin are subjected to from the men in their lives.
Men, as a whole, have the power to stop sexist oppression, and anarchist men have a unique role to play in this struggle. Unfortunately, rather than taking on the responsibility to deconstruct their own sexist behaviors, hold abusers accountable, and work to create safety for wimmin in the community, many anarchist men have chosen to avoid anti-sexist struggle in favor of ego-gratifying self hype, abstract macho rhetoric and, ironically, backlash against feminists. As long as anarchist men continue to avoid dealing with these issues, we will continue to alienate more and more wimmin from anarchist struggle, and we will all lose. It is no wonder that many wimmin have begun to refer to us as "manarchists".