In our community we want to minimise sexism. Of course we’d like to live completely without it, but we don’t want to ignore all that socialisation we went through. So we raise the claim to avoid, search for, criticise, question, challenge, change and reduce sexist behaviour, thinking and sexist education. In our community we want everyone to be happy and free, free to develop themselves to become more who or how they want to be and to live how they see fits. Of course we want the whole world like this, but we can’t influence that. However in our community we can influence that.
Work and anti-sexism
In our community everyone is welcome to do what they want, what they’re interested in, what’s in their nature. The sex shouldn’t have any influence on what work / activities someone undertakes. But that’ll also mean that people, irrespective of their sex, will have to take on work that is unpopular or that they don’t like. Typically that’s reproductive tasks: Dishwashing, cleaning, cooking, child care, relationship-care (i.e. conflict resolution, mediation, conflict-prophylaxis), care of sick or old people, … We have thought about many different systems to help us distribute these often unpopular tasks fairly, but we haven’t settled for one yet. We’ll probably try them all out at some point. From the anti-sexist point of view it’s important to us that, with which system whatsoever, not drop back into the classical role allocation, in regards to the reproductive tasks and instead actively antagonise it. With this in mind we have to consider that there are more women that don’t have an education in the productive sector and therefore can’t contribute (with this education) to the productive tasks. And we have to consider that women have been educated to and are accustomed to do more of the reproductive tasks then men were / are. And that women do it more often without grumbling. Which doesn’t mean that they like to do it. So we always have to keep track of that.
Besides it’s important to us to reduce hierarchies of knowledge and experience, if that’s what people want. And that everyone is welcome to contribute to anything, even if it means that they’ll have to learn the skills or gain the experience beforehand. In our community we explicitly want to have support and room for that.
Education and anti-sexism
Sexism is something that our environment implants into us when we’re an infant, even a baby. For us, having realised that sexism sucks so much, it’s now hard to deal with the contradiction of rationally rejecting it but (still) thinking and acting sexist. We want the children of our community to have to struggle less, that they grow up with the freedom that we adults crave so much. That means that we don’t want to urge our children to play with sex-specific toys (dolls for girls and football for boys), to dress sex-specific (pink skirts for girls and blue pants for boys) and that they’re free to choose what they want to occupy themselves with or learn (→ self-determined education).
But there is so much more sex-specific education and that will be much harder to overcome: Girls are called back sooner (running, climbing a tree), are scolted more often when they get dirty, girls are being deprived of being equally capable or powerful as boys, they can rest earlier than boys. On the other hand boys can be more “wild”. But then boys are not allowed to cry and they’re not supposed to complain. Girls are expected to help with housework, while boys are allowed to go out to play already. We want to try to avoid these subliminal attributions – as a group, as parents, as support of parents, as social background, as reference person…
Alongside there is everything the children observe: What roles do the adults have? Who does what and who behaves how? Who’s strong and who’s wark? Who teaches them stuff and what? Children realise all these things and internalise them, what comes out of it we can only suspect. But what’s certain is, that they will keep at least a part as what’s normal, natural. The question remains: What will they see? Hopefully in our community a bunch of equal people who’re all individual and different. Playmates who have three mums or two dads, a grandpa who’s always wearing those beautiful colourful skirts? It’d be nice if there’d be loads of people who deviating from the norm (homo, bi, queer, poly…), because that could be one way of exeplifying another world than the crazy one outside of our community.
Power, decisions, talking and anti-sexism
In a consensus-based, communally organised community there can’t be any room for inequality of power based on the sex, of course. Everyone has the same access to money (where an inequality of power often derives from). Everyone has the same access to information about the community and everyone has an equal say. But that’s just theory. We’ve often experienced that in the most anti-sexist groups men are talking louder and have more speaking time. Automatically this gives them more power, because only the one who’s able to present / presents their argument can influence a decision. Theoretically it’s always possible for people who were “disregarded” to put a veto on the decision, but we don’t even want this process to go that far.
If this is ground in, it can easily come to a situation where these people stay out of decision-making-processes completely and consistantly and are opressed de facto or that they start making their votes “with their feet”, meaning they just do what they think’s best. We haven’t got the perfect solution for this problem yet. We just know that it’s important to us that we don’t try arguing away the differences in speaking-behaviour, gestures, volume, speaking time and so. But rather to consider them and try structurally to reduce them and work them off.
Boundaries, violence and sexism
Sexualised and sexual violence is in the normal society completely normal and isn’t even being recognised by many people. We will not tolerate sexualised or sexual violence but rather punish it with expulsion. If someone rapes someone (to take it to the extreme) will be expelled without any debates – for ever.
The violation of boundaries is something much more common and does not have to be sexist. But here we want to talk about the explicit sexist violation of boundaries: Groping, caressing, kissing, to penetrate the invisible line around the other – without the consent of the one who is being caressed, kissed, groped or whatever. If someone let’s himself / herself be carried away to penetratinf someone’s boundaries like this without the explicit verbal consent of that person – well they’re stepping on thin ice. If the counterpart defends themselves, with words or physically, well then that’s bad luck. And that stands for women as well as men.
Since in our society it’s clear that men are always the offender and that women are the victim, that it doesn’t have to be that way. If a woman violates a man’s boundaries that’s just as bad, of course. The violation of boundaries, sexual or sexualised violence is never tolerated, of course.
General role cliches
We want to work on recognising and reducing the role cliches that we have as a result of our socialisation. In our community we don’t want anyone to be pushed into a certain role that they don’t want. And we also want to work on not putting people into pigeon holes or ascribing certain roles to people. These genderspecific role cliches are present everywhere in our lives: There are genderspecific clothes and colours, postures and fields of interest, talents and skills, experiences and character traits and probably much more. We want to discard all this, so we can live self-determinedly and so we don’t imputing us or others with certain roles or behavioural patterns or even enjoining them on others or expecting them. What is more we don’t want to exemplify all this to the children of our community through our own lives, so that they will be able to lead a life that is more self-determined and free.
Sex and gender
We appreciate that there are biological differences between the sexes and that not all people can be assign one explicit sex. But the differences between the sexes that we can find in our society are mainly just cultural and therefore constructed.
We want to deal with these constructed role models and supposedly gender-characteristics critically. It’s important to us that everyone can act out all gender-specific cultural elements in our community, however they want to and irrespective of the definitions of the society. It’d be nice if everyone questions themselves if they only like a specific cultural element because it has been assigned to their gender or because they just like it. And of course everybody’s free to love whomever they want to and to desire whomever they want to, no matter who’s got which sex or gender.