I expected support. I believed people would reach out. But I hadn’t anticipated the urgency with which feminist comrades would respond. And the number of perpetrators we would immediately identify. Not surprising, the same names came up and the same complaints. “Claims to be a feminist ally but uses activist spaces to lunge at women”, “uses gendered language and tells everyone I’m crazy”. We know this is patriarchy in action but… HOW DARE THEY? How dare they invade our activist spaces and make it difficult for us to work on our world? As if the cosmos wasn’t enough of a dirty perpetrating misogo stomping ground, they infect our very limited safe spaces with their privilege and their sexually threatened manz egos and somehow it is all OUR fault. Yeuch.
Safer Spaces Solidarity is a feminist collective aiming to create safer spaces for activists experiencing oppression as a result of their gender. The group comprises feminist activists who responded empathetically to my previous post regarding predatory allies. Sadly, it would seem that I am not alone when it comes to unwanted misogynistic attention. And from people who should know better. They pretend to be our allies and succeed a fair while… so they obviously know how it works. Makes it more sinister doesn’t it?
Safer Spaces would like to hear from you if you believe you are being harassed/stalked/intimidated by a misogynist masquerading as an ally. We will not judge you; we will not tell you we don’t believe you (regardless of whether or not the perpetrator is a known and ‘trusted’ comrade). In turn, we ask for:
- CONFIDENTIALITY: Everything we discuss in this space is in confidence.
- HONESTY – we are being open & trust others to be the same. If we have nothing other than a ‘gut instinct’, we say so. If we have anything additional, we say so too.
- JUDGEMENT – part of this group involves making judgements; that is part of what keeps us safe. However, we need to be mindful that we are giving constructive advice, be empathic & understanding. If we cannot do this, we should opt ourselves out of a discussion by not commenting.
- SENSITIVITY – there may be some (generally men) that we follow, & have no problem with, and we may feel protective over both these men, and our choices. However, saying ‘he’s never done that to me’ etc. is (at the least) unhelpful & needs to be avoided.
If you would like to share your concerns, please send an email to:
One of our administrators will respond to your email and discuss any fears you might have in confidence. Armed with information we can make an informed decision about whether to continue following/engaging with potential perpetrators.
Remember, we are here to support and reassure each other that we believe each other and will not stand for abuse and intimidation of our feminist comrades, we have the right to move and speak freely.
Also, discuss your concerns within our safe space. Moving the discussion onto a public forum is risky and we do not want to expose ourselves to further threats.
(HT @opinionatedpavs for Code of Conduct)