Gender transversal

Contribution to a non existing 'transversal' gender debate

overview after one and a half hour of the PGA process discussion:

First, i wanted to put these few numbers on the walls of the debate room as a contribution to the gender debate that was supposed to be transversal to every debate during the conference. But i didn't because these few numbers are partial and the fact that less women than men participate actively to these type of debates is not frankly new. I was first quite happy with the choice made of taking the gender debate as a transversal one that should appear in every debate. I thought that having a separate debate on gender would have easily ended in the usual list of concrete differences between men and women and the statement that those are based on patriarchic cultural representations and schemes.
becoming aware of this fact seems necessary to me if we want to struggle against patriarchy. But it's also really limited. We can indeed find an ever longer list of situations and areas where women are excluded or where women do the work and men control and decide.... But these type of list usually only makes me sick and tired of gender-relations and often makes me want to stop getting involved in mixed areas and struggles alltogether.

If we had really questioned ourselves about gender issues inside the different thematic debates on the program, maybe it would have given us the chance to get a clearer picture of why our different practices are in itself patriarchic. It may have given us a better possibility to understand in which values patriarchy is enrooted and to go beyond the usual "men are like this, women are like that" . Maybe we could have started to build different relationship and to think about less oppressive practices.
a lot of interestings things were to be expected if these "transversal" debates had ever taken place.
as this was not the case, we're collectivly led to the assumption that we can't manage to go any further than listing facts as "men speak more than women during debates" and that as someone from rampenplan kitchen told me yesterday "80 per cent of volunteers for the kitchen are women"

I dont mean that i get involved in "women only" things just because i can't stand gender mixed situations. On the contrary i think that it's a good tool and an important choice if we want to liberate ourselves from gender roles (and it's fun!). But actually confronting partiarchic oppression would need a work of both men and women. Indeed, it would be wrong to say that the victims of patriarchy are only women.

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