A question I dont want to ask.

Everybody has things they hope are not true.  Everybody has questions they don’t want to ask.  This is mine.

Before I start I want to say that I really don’t know the answer, but my hope is that some people reading this post may.

Is male violence, manipulation, and abuse of females a  problem in this movement?

In the last couple of weeks I have talked to several people who say it is.  One person in particular who I have good reason to trust told a harrowing tale and essentially said her involvement in this movement in a very real sense put her life in danger.

It is wrong.  Wrong.  Wrong.  One time is one time too many.  If you have been put in danger or know people who have been put in danger I hope you will speak up.

To know this and ignore it, to know this and rationalize it, to know this and say “well it isn’t that bad of a problem” forfeit any moral standing this movement has.

Maybe I am over-reacting.  I certainly hope so and no one will hurt my feelings by saying so.

But the question still remains.  Is it a problem and if it is should it not be time to address it and confront it where ever we see it?


6 thoughts on “A question I dont want to ask.”

  1. Misogyny is a huge problem within the movement. I have been speaking about it for some time. While I have never felt my life to be in danger as a result, I have experienced it and witnessed it. And yes, I have heard of at least one woman whose life was threatened because she did not comply as she was directed by a male activist. This may or may not be an extreme case of such misogyny. This topic goes a great deal deeper than I could cover in a comment here.

  2. Your question of whether this is a problem in this movement is insufficient. Yes, it is a problem in the movement. No, it’s not exclusive to the movement. It’s pervasive in society and the movement just reflects a small portion of that society. So, addressing this issue within the movement will not likely bring about the desired change. It will take addressing the issue in the larger context to bring about meaningful change.

  3. Reblogged this on and commented:
    Larry Drain speaks out about the pervasive misogyny and gender-based violence, abuse and discrimination in the mad movement. Alongside a growing number of fellow activists in the Occupy, racial justice, socialist, anarchist and atheist movements, the video game industry, music and entertainment industries, Larry has taken the personal risk of speaking up about an issue that our social justice movement and communities can no longer afford to ignore.

    Here in Sacramento, the Sacramento Women’s Council, a grassroots, not-for-profit community-based organization that I co-founded in December 2014, is organizing within our local social justice movement and communities to demand gender equity and end the rape culture through restorative justice, community education, offering self-defense training and providing a security presence. We support women-led efforts around the US and internationally to stop gender violence, create safer spaces and encourage equitable participation for women, trans and gender-nonconforming people. Allies like Larry deserve the enthusiastic support of the movements they are part of.

  4. Larry, I have re-blogged your post with comments on my WordPress blog. 🙂

    I agree with Sharon that this is a huge problem. I personally know and have worked with at least a dozen women, trans and gender-nonconforming mad activists who have been made targets of gender-based violence, abuse, harassment and discrimination, and I myself can recount numerous such experiences both in the mad movement and in other social justice movements I’ve been part of, including several in which my life and safety were in fact threatened, and in which the lack of community support left me much more vulnerable, isolated and in despair.

    I agree with Pat that misogyny and gender violence are a societal problem, although Pat, I strongly disagree that addressing this issue within the mad movement is unlikely to bring about the needed culture change. Rather I believe that ending the rape culture and building safer, more equitable communities will require that the issues be addressed and actions be taken *both* within struggles such as the mad movement *and* in other movements and communities.

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