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Minutes of Indymedia Meeting (16th Sep 2006)

category dublin | indymedia ireland | news report author Monday September 18, 2006 20:28author by Anthony - Indymedia Ireland Editorial Group Report this post to the editors

Minutes of the first proper Indymedia meeting to take place since May 2005. This meeting formed the first (brain-storming) part of a proposal on the imc-ireland mailing list by a list subscriber to "have an organizing conference in September to deal with important outstanding issues surrounding the running of indymedia.".

The meeting began with each participant introducing themselves and stating their involvement in Indymedia. It was then pointed out by the chair that there was too much on the agenda for a two-hour meeting so a discussion began as to what the priorities for the meeting should be.

12:30 Wider Collective:

The current theoretical structure was outlined but it's not currently working as it was originally envisioned. Problems with the current structure were then identified and barriers to getting involved were noted on the flip chart:

  • Unclear decision making process
  • Not enough links between online community and real life community
  • Feeling that you have to be an editor to be involved
  • Not clear how to link editorial group to wider collective + individual groups to wider collective (editorial group ended up being the only aspect of Indymedia)
  • Not enough real world meetings / Reliance on virtual meeting space
  • Structures that exist and role of editors not clear to general public

After the problems had been identified, participants were asked to brainstorm with suggestions to solve the problems as outlined above. To ensure that the meeting remained a productive one, participants were asked not to criticise other suggestions but to focus on presenting their own. They were asked to begin their sentence with “One thing that we can do is ...”:

  • establish who has a vote in the wider collective - allowing proxy votes
  • put together an organising list for video and film-makers
  • develop an online resource for women
  • create extra categories to encourage different groups to use the site
  • print a small document to publicise the site to outreach to other groups
  • meet those people in the real world
  • create a separate out-reach mailing list
  • create a new list for abuse reports
  • make a clear decision that the current Indymedia collective is only web-site Indymedia
  • constitute this group meeting here as the Dublin Indymedia collective who makes decisions by consensus


13:00 Gender

For this section the participants of the meeting broke up into three groups each dealing with a question relating to the issues of gender and sexism:

1) What can be done to increase women's participation?
(As reported and minuted by James)

  • There are different types of participation, producing articles and cleaning the newswire work.
  • There should be positive discrimination for women aimed at involving more in both aspects. There is a perception that imc.ie is a closed shop and even if that isn't true, positive steps should be taken to ensure that it isn't.
  • It was suggested this could involve doing 3 or 4 workshops a year aimed at women who might be interested in using the site, for example members of community campaigns, feminist groups. These workshops would be aimed at encouraging women who aren't familiar with Indymedia to use it as a place to publish stories etc
  • Conduct 3 or 4 workshops per year for female users or female members of groups who use Indymedia. These workshops would be focussed on detailing how the site is administered: what the editors, techies, etc do, how to help out with that. How to become an editor and to offer practical assistance to women interested in this aspect of Indymedia.
  • More real world meetings would serve to put faces on names, and make Indymedia a more friendly environment as the lists can be too impersonal.
  • To take measures to facilitate the attendance of people who have kids at Indymedia meetings.
  • To have explicit list guidelines in order to ensure appropriate behaviour on the lists. Apart from explicit sexist or racist mails being prohibited, people should be sensitive to minorities on the lists. So, remarks which may be intended to be funny, can easily be interpreted as being smartarsey and thus contribute to an environment where women feel less than welcome. Everybody should be able to participate in discussions without fear of abuse, intimidation or snide remarks.
  • To reconsider the system whereby one editor can block anybody from becoming an editor. This could be abused in a rogue fashion, to prevent appropriate people from becoming editors on the grounds of sex, race, affiliation etc.

2) What is sexism and how is it experienced?
(As reported and minuted by R)

Sexism is when people are treated differently because of their sex/gender

In an indymedia context we felt that the perception of sexism is enough to convince people of a real sexism on behalf of the indymedia collective even when this is not the case. This perception is encountered in threads where people make agresssive accusations of sexism. This may turn some women away from becoming more involved as contributors or editors.

One person felt that indymedia.ie needs to be more proactive in dealing with the perception of sexism, by directly responding to accusations and encouraging women to get involved.

We felt that while the gender balance of the indymedia collective is obviously a problem, it is symptomatic of an activist community in which men are generally in the majority. Regular contributors to indymedia are predominantly male.

Perhaps women are deterred from becoming more involved in indymedia due to the assumption of gender roles, i.e. by assuming they wouldn't be abe to do any of the technical stuff necessary.

We were also concerned with tokenism, i.e. putting more women onto the editorial collective merely because they were women, without addressing the wider cultural and institutional problems.

Someone also remarked about the length of the procedure necessary for people to become editors, perhaps this needs to be made more transparent.

3) What Are The Barriers To Women In Indymedia?
(As reported and minuted by Ray)

  • Technical Skills
  • Time
  • Media Arts - Radio, TV, Web, can be technical in nature
  • Lack of Awareness
  • Activism - Women more active in creative arts, constructive real-world activities
  • Isolation / Minority - feeling of being in a minority
  • Not Real World Enough
  • Problem of Society - Gender Bias in society
  • Prioritisation of Women
  • What is Required to be an Editor?
  • Lack of Active Recruitment
  • Existence of Blocks in Society - Stopping people joining a 'club'
  • Lack of Gender Issues Covered
  • Lack of Separate Section for Women
  • Fear of Speaking Out


13:40 Email List

The last item on the agenda was the running of the email lists. As we were short of time, we went directly to suggestions for improving the working of the email lists. The following problems and suggestions came up.

  • Written Code of Conduct – Personalised comments should be proscribed
  • Good Netiquette should be adhered to
  • Introduce moderators who are not editors – recall and rotation of such
  • Use a web-based forum instead of email list
  • Have a list secretary – to keep track of proposals & decisions
  • Clear and Separate Procedure for Complaints
  •  Sensitivity should to women are in the minority
  • Separate Abuse Reports into Another List – Limit the Amount of such reports that can be made by any one individual
  • Positive Expression of Safe Space Guidelines
  • Lack of Understanding of Threading
  • Suggestion that people think through proposals clearly
  • Introduce user-friendly procedures
  • Specialist Lists for different activities
  • A volunteer should be designated to answer the
  • Reasons given in editorial notifications should not be abusive
  • Set up a separate list to discuss process


Finally, it was agreed that all proposals based on this brain-storming session would be discussed on the imc-ireland list. All formal proposals should be submitted to the imc-ireland list for consideration at the next meeting.

James volunteered to collate the agenda for the next meeting and if collating similar proposals would get the permission of the original proposers beforehand.

It was agreed that anyone making a proposal will have to physically present to present their proposal at the next meeting. If they are unable to attend themselves, they will have to organise a proxy to attend on their behalf.

It was then suggested that editors should discuss in the mean-time whether consensus or voting would be used for decision-making at the next meeting. Editors would have to agree on the standing orders before the meeting takes place regarding decisions running the site.

It was suggested that the Dublin collective should meet once a month as a separate entity.

It was agreed that minutes of this meeting will be posted to the Indymedia newswire. As the subject of the article includes how the site is run or could be run, commenting on editorial policy will be allowed but all other editorial guidelines will be enforced rather than having a repeat of the previous article on Indymedia where a lot of abuse was tolerated. It was also agreed that proposals for the next meeting could be discussed on the newswire report of this meeting.

It was agreed that the next real world meeting would take place on 7th October 2006.

author by R.publication date Tue Sep 19, 2006 11:24Report this post to the editors

apologies for lateness.

What is sexism and how is it experienced?

Sexism is when people are treated differently because of their sex/gender
In an indymedia context we felt that the perception of sexism is enough to convince people of a real sexism on behalf of the indymedia collective even when this is not the case. This perception is encountered in threads where people make agresssive accusations of sexism. This may turn some women away from becoming more involved as contributors or editors.
One person felt that indymedia.ie needs to be more proactive in dealing with the perception of sexism, by directly responding to accusations and encouraging women to get involved.
We felt that while the gender balance of the indymedia collective is obviously a problem, it is symptomatic of an activist community in which men are generally in the majority. Regular contributors to indymedia are predominantly male.
Perhaps women are deterred from becoming more involved in indymedia due to the assumption of gender roles, i.e. by assuming they wouldn't be abe to do any of the technical stuff necessary.
We were also concerned with tokenism, i.e. putting more women onto the editorial collective merely because they were women, without addressing the wider cultural and institutional problems.
Someone also remarked about the length of the procedure necessary for people to become editors, perhaps this needs to be made more transparent.

author by Womanpublication date Tue Sep 19, 2006 13:02Report this post to the editors

You seem to be denying the problem:

"In an indymedia context we felt that the perception of sexism is enough to convince people of a real sexism on behalf of the indymedia collective even when this is not the case. This perception is encountered in threads where people make agresssive accusations of sexism."

Come on now- there's only a problem with sexism on Indymedia because people comlain about it? As a woman user of Indymedia, this is unacceptable. Are you saying that when we point sexism out, we're being cranks, and we should just shut up, because WE are creating the problem?

You are purely giving lip service to the issue- are you trying to tell us you are taking the issue seriously when you state that "the perception of sexism is enough to convince people of a real sexism on behalf of the indymedia collective even when this is not the case"? This IS the case. It is hugely insulting that you claim to be concerned about this issue, and then just brush off sexism in the same sentence. I am disappointed, but unfortunately not surprised.

author by redjadepublication date Tue Sep 19, 2006 13:24Report this post to the editors

Note: I don't know who 'R.' or 'Woman' is - but it would be helpful if people used their own well recognised pseudonyms in this discussion. And please, no more sock puppetry.

Many good ideas here - thanks goes out to Anthony and James for the work put into this.

I wasn't there, so my responses are based on what I am reading, not on how things were like at the meeting itself.

———

I wanted to comment about only a few of the points above off the top of my head and then go to others later on....

• develop an online resource for women
• It was suggested this could involve doing 3 or 4 workshops a year aimed at women who might be interested in using the site
• To take measures to facilitate the attendance of people who have kids at Indymedia meetings.


All of these are great ideas and I support them. But there is nothing about these particular proposals that require approval from editors. If people want to create an online guide of women's resources, I am sure that the current editors would be supportive. Workshops? Again, I am sure you could find a friendly editor (or someone else - doesn't have to be an editor) who will do this. And child care, again I am sure the editors are supportive of this too. But I don't think one would want a bunch of guys dictating who would be providing childcare, right?

• Conduct 3 or 4 workshops per year for female users or female members of groups who use Indymedia.

Again, no problem. If there is a demonstrated demand I am sure editors and others can provide this.

I think it is very important to think beyond 'The Editors' in the proposals i highlighted above. There is absolutely nothing stopping these things from happening now (or many many months ago). It is just a matter of energy, time and organisation to find the people and space to do these things - and then, if needed, the editors can vote on it.

• create a separate out-reach mailing list
Few know about it and it is not used, but there has been a mailing list for this for sometime....
imc-ireland-promo
http://lists.indymedia.org/pipermail/imc-ireland-promo/

• To have explicit list guidelines in order to ensure appropriate behaviour on the lists.

I agree with this one, as well. Especially in regards to people who make demands from members of the mailing lists via the contact form [ http://indymedia.ie/contact_us ] when they know they could do the prerequisite homework before making such requests. Such repeated behaviour is tiresome, antagonistic and should no longer be tolerated.

Indymedia is an all-volunteer organisation - this means it is also DIY. If someone wants something done, then go out and do it. If it requires approval with the editorial team - in terms of features or off-line 'indymedia branded' events, then the editors can talk this stuff through.

Also, yes there should be women editors and I (as one editor) would support and have always supported 'positive discrimination' that promotes qualified women. I know many of these qualified women, but they will not become editors unless they themselves step forward and request to become editors.

I hope they do.

I also believe that anyone (male or female) that wishes to be an editor must be subscribed to and an active participant in the 'imc-ireland-editorial' mailing list for a minimum of about one month first. [ http://lists.indymedia.org/mailman/listinfo/imc-ireland...orial ]

I'll write up more comments later regarding these notes.

author by Qpublication date Tue Sep 19, 2006 13:34Report this post to the editors

What is the exact nature of the sexism of which you complain?

author by pat cpublication date Tue Sep 19, 2006 13:46Report this post to the editors

Woman I am sure will answer for herself but I would like to give my opinion.

The sexism is demonstrated by the fact that there are 13 male editors and 0 female editors. This suggests Institutional Sexism. If a Trade Union Executive Committee, Credit Union Board or Community Group Council had no female members it would be seen as a scandal. The fact that the Indymedia.ie Editorial Collective is entirely male is also a scandal.

author by republicapublication date Tue Sep 19, 2006 13:52Report this post to the editors

Very happy to see that there is a will to rethink about structure failings and of facing possible sexism in indymedia ie:
thanks for this post and the work is being done
Very sorry not to be there and personally contribute to all this process
sorry if something is not completelly understandable (i try my best)

-on decision making: consensus and blocking: now that docs works again it would be helpfull check that: https://docs.indymedia.org/view/Global/DecisionMakingGuide
-on women and sexism:
*there has been people complaining about indymedia ie sexism for a long time. It is necessary to face it cause nobody wants that. I think it is a good start and hope we get it. Let's make indymedia ie a friendlier and safer space for women.
*It can help to have wellcome in general(women, other cultures people...)someone responsible of wellcoming and doing workshops to anyone willing to be editor(for example after 3 or 4 requests do a workshop (we are all busy and volunters)).
*It can help taking complains seriously and stablish a general procedure for possible cases. If someone in indymedia is accused for being racist how do you deal with this? how do you try to know if it is true? what do you do if it is true? the same sexual violence, fascism and this....
*it can help constructive criticism instead of destructing one.
-i have to say that i am another local indymedia editor (bcn) and i have been wellcomed to the indy ie list(there was a misunderstanding about this) so i have not been refused or removed from the list.

author by Stuartpublication date Tue Sep 19, 2006 15:11Report this post to the editors

A County Councillor who was visiting a large mental hospital was impressed by the smallness of the staff responsible for the control of nearly a thousand inmates. Why, he wondered, were there not more frequent disorders? "Tell me," he said to the official who was showing him around, "how is it that the inmates do not band together and overpower your small staff?" The official answered in a flash: "Neurotics never co-operate." Dr Eustace Chesser, Love without fear, 1941.

Drop the ad-hominem and ad-feminem attacks and put the procedures in place to ensure that accusations of sexism are handled transparently to the satisfaction of a reasonable observer. It will cost nothing and will benefit both accuser and accused, whichever is correct.

author by Thinkingpublication date Tue Sep 19, 2006 15:34Report this post to the editors

put the procedures in place

Without a trace of ad hominem ... what are those procedures? Specifics please.

author by tom eilepublication date Tue Sep 19, 2006 16:48Report this post to the editors

Good report ,but could somebody please explain what this means:
"make a clear decision that the current Indymedia collective is only web-site Indymedia"
Is there any other indymedia ?

author by Miriampublication date Tue Sep 19, 2006 18:03Report this post to the editors

The meeting appears to have been very constructive. Just a few points.

Thanks for the minutes.

I agree with the point that 'woman' is making above. It isnt just a perception of sexism - there is sexism.

Secondly, there is no necessity for any great fear of tokenism. Was there a worry about tokenism when appointing men? Is there more to be afraid of where women are concerned? The women who have supported and contributed to this site are all as capable and constructive as the men who control it.

The workshops will be very welcome. Will they all be held in Dublin?

Any meetings planned outside of Dublin?

author by James Rpublication date Tue Sep 19, 2006 18:03Report this post to the editors

If this was a meeting with a decent facilatator I'm sure they would have repeatedly have asked you to let other people speak at this stage. Taking the cue from Redjade, I suggest you make a proposal if you have anything more to contribute to this discussion.

author by James Rpublication date Tue Sep 19, 2006 18:07Report this post to the editors

Again taking a cue again from Redjade, are you willing to put some work into organising a meeting in Cork? You live there and contribute from there, I'm sure if you went about organising a workshop some people from Dublin could (provided it fits in with their life commitments) give you some help with it.

author by pat c - Ememies of the Collectivepublication date Tue Sep 19, 2006 18:12Report this post to the editors

"If this was a meeting with a decent facilatator I'm sure they would have repeatedly have asked you to let other people speak at this stage. Taking the cue from Redjade, I suggest you make a proposal if you have anything more to contribute to this discussion. "

What a charming welcoming comment from yet another editor. It really makes the plebs feel welcome. How am I preventing anyone else from commenting? I dont have the power to hide comments.

I have already suggested that you approach SIPTU or ICTU to get a mediator

1) for the second meeting;
2) to help the Indymedia Collective to overcome its Institutional Sexism.

That is a proposal.

author by Anthony - Indymedia Ireland Editorial Grouppublication date Tue Sep 19, 2006 19:28Report this post to the editors

The report backs from the two other sub-groups as reported on by R and Ray have now been received and I've added them into the original minutes above. I'd like to take this opportunity to again thank Aileen for her excellent job in chairing the meeting. Well done.

author by Chris Murray - .publication date Tue Sep 19, 2006 19:30Report this post to the editors

On the agreed issue of equality of access on the issue of gender within
IMC Ireland, I would suggest that women and men who have an interest in
discussing positive proposals for the meeting in October would meet and discuss the formulation of proposals to be sent in Writing to the lists. These are the ones that will be
accepted by the colective. There are lists available through groups like Resist ca and rise
up that would provide facilities for such a discussion, for those not in the Dublin Collective
or outer group that met on Saturday.

author by Looking Onpublication date Tue Sep 19, 2006 19:47Report this post to the editors

"These are the ones that will be
accepted by the colective."

How can you know what will be accepted by anyone Chris? I'm completely confused as to how I can contribute to any of this apart from either posting to this thread, posting to the editors list (which is what it says above). Are you saying there is some other process?

author by Miriampublication date Tue Sep 19, 2006 19:53Report this post to the editors

I have offered to organise a meeting in Cork. I posted a proposal and reminders for that proposal - see January - March editorial archives - and ever more wistful posts after that on this subject! I offered to get a venue, computers and whatever might be needed. I offered to put leaflets out and about in Cork and to mail/contact anyone you already know of in this area. I asked for the presence of two editors so that there would be experienced voices at the meeting. I suggested in January that the meeting be arranged for March so as to give any willing Dublin editors a chance to plan time for the visit. I can only speak as a contributor and may not be able to answer the sorts of questions newcomers may have - especially on visual stuff.

The replies I have had to the best of my recollection are:

1. Chekov - who said he thought it was a good idea and would try to make time to come down but I had no response to my reminders from him since then
2. Kev - who thought that he might be able to help out but was busy at the time and recommended I do it alone.

I dont mind doing it alone but have reservations about 'being' Indymedia in the circumstances. My intention was to help promote both contributions and readers.

Maybe I should re-propose since the original seems to have been forgotten?

Chris's suggestion of an online meeting forum would be really helpful but there is a need for face to face meetings with folk out in the shires too. What I'd hoped to do in Cork was to make it a sort of open day so people could come and ask about Indymedia, look at how it works and get tech advice if needed. We could then organise our own meetings in Cork among any people who express an interest in volunteering/contributing after taht. It's just helping to get it off the ground that Im suggesting, really.

author by Chris Murray - .publication date Tue Sep 19, 2006 19:58Report this post to the editors

I am saying that the meeting was constructive, that we were advised that this list would
be useful for agenda formation, but that only written proposals to the editorial list would
be accepted for the agenda on gender at the October meeting, thus Logically
those with an interest in pre-discussing the issue would converse and agree
some definite proposals. Some people are not on the editorail list(including me) and some
are unable to fully discuss because of distance issues, thus a facility for formulating
proposals to the collective would be a way of having discussions in the formulation
of proposals. This could be done quite easily and researched accounts on how other groups
such as NWCI/political parties would aid the issue enormously. It is a suggestion.
Whilst here and the ed list might suffice, it would also be nice to bring in people from afar
and concentrate wholly on the issue of gender. It can be quite easy for things to get cluttered
and dispersed on an open list, such as this, wherein I had to repeat the proposals
for both a minutes taker to be available and a mediator. T'is a discussion, focussing on prioritisation. however if people want to do it singly without collaborating that is cool too.

author by redjadepublication date Tue Sep 19, 2006 20:02Report this post to the editors

I'm not sure what Chris is talking about regarding lists - existing ones or new ones to be created? If the latter, then offer some links please. If the former, is there some reason they should be on riseup.net or resist.ca and not lists.indymedia.org?

But if you want your issues to be ignored, the best way to do that is to start new or other mailing lists.

I look forward to reading clearly written proposals on the indy lists

author by readerpublication date Tue Sep 19, 2006 20:06Report this post to the editors

You are still not on the editorial mailing list MY GOD! why why why, go apply and you can be on it in ten minutes. !!!!!!!!!! What you do on that list is another question but you are creating non- difficulties for yourself and continuing to confuse personality clashes for sexism.

author by Chris Murray - .publication date Tue Sep 19, 2006 20:10Report this post to the editors

A discussion forum on gender to formulate proposals to the editorial list,
for these reasons:

1. Access.
2.Agreed approach.
3.Research on gender inclusivity.

why?

Things can get dispersed on the openwire list.
Some people are not on that list and may want their views included.

Thus, as stated at the meeting written proposals on gender, alone, will be accepted
at the October meeting. Therefore a facility for open discussion that would feed into the
agenda formation proposals that is inclusive.

I will give an example, three or four separate groups of people could come up with a similar idea, that may be worded differently, thus taking valuable time from discussion on
items on the agenda. If groups, such as gay rights, anti-patriarchy or feminist
discuss with each other and agree to forming a specific point it reduces the ability
of points from getting lost in a voluminous open list and focusses the issues.

It was just a suggestion- I am sure a clunky one, but these things can be refined by inclusive debate.

author by Looking Onpublication date Tue Sep 19, 2006 20:11Report this post to the editors

"this list would
be useful for agenda formation,"

Do you mean this current thread that we're posting on right now or are you talking about some list I should be on? Is there some way of accessing this thread as a list?

"Logically
those with an interest in pre-discussing the issue would converse and agree
some definite proposals."

Agree

" Some people are not on the editorail list(including me)"

Are we not allowed on it?

" and some
are unable to fully discuss because of distance issues,"

I'm in Donegal. I don't see what you're getting at about the distance. We're discussing here aren't we? Or do I have to attend a physical meeting?

"accounts on how other groups
such as NWCI/political parties would aid the issue enormously."

What are the NWCI?

author by James Rpublication date Tue Sep 19, 2006 20:19Report this post to the editors

http://lists.indymedia.org/mailman/listinfo/imc-ireland...orial

Of course you are allowed on it.

author by Chris Murray - .publication date Tue Sep 19, 2006 20:20Report this post to the editors

are the National Women's Council Of Ireland.

These lists get habitually long, and as I said repitition of points can occur
thus people can find themselves making exactly the same point. The issue of
gender is therefore obfuscated by other discussions , given that it is something
that should be prioritised in, it appears many walks of life I was simply suggesting that
another forum for discussion on gender could provide a focus point for formulating a
proposal or set of proposals on inclusivity, categories and management of issues
such as trolling on feminist issues.

we would often organise fora and discussions to feed into proposals
for a convention or meeting. it creates a familiarity between groups and a relaxed open space
to discuss important issues of gender. such sites exisit already within IMC, the links
are on the other thread-unfortunately with the massive load of discussion , you have to
trawl to find em.

author by Stuartpublication date Tue Sep 19, 2006 20:55Report this post to the editors

I thought "procedures" and typed "the procedures" as if there were some proposed. No harm - I can locate specific operational procedures for handling disputes - want some? Every proactive organisation has them. My point is that if dispute resolution procedures were in place then discussion about disputes could be curtailed to the benefit of all concerned, except those who relish dispute for dispute's sake.

author by Terencepublication date Tue Sep 19, 2006 21:00Report this post to the editors

It was agreed at the meeting that proposals should be sent in writing in email to the IMC-Ireland list. Not the editorial list. Discussion on proposals would take place here and on the IMC-Ireland list. Actually it already says this in the original post at the top.

And Chris above said:
Thus, as stated at the meeting written proposals on gender, alone, will be accepted
at the October meeting.

This is incorrect. In fact all proposals no matter what they are must be written and submitted to the IMC-Ireland list for consideration at the real-world meeting. Just as it says at the top.

author by Yespublication date Tue Sep 19, 2006 21:00Report this post to the editors

I can locate specific operational procedures for handling disputes - want some?
Yes. No one else has put forward any actual ideas yet.

author by Chris Murray - .publication date Tue Sep 19, 2006 21:05Report this post to the editors

Got the list wrong, apologies.

I will then put here, in a couple of days proposals for gender prioritisation
and then send them onto the IMC-Ireland list.

They are based on an archive trawl from a feminist perspective :-)

author by Stuartpublication date Tue Sep 19, 2006 22:39Report this post to the editors

I Bowdlerised this from A Big American University:

Complaint: A complaint is an informal request to the poster, forum moderator etc made in a timely fashion prior to any escalation or formal grievance. A complaint may be made on the forum ("please apologise") or in private. If the complaint cannot be resolved, a grievance may be filed.

Grievance: A grievance is a formal written allegation that there has been a violation, misinterpretation, misapplication, discriminatory application, or unreasonable application of an policy, procedure, rule, or regulation.

1. Step One — Moderator. A formal grievance must be filed and must:
* Be timely.
* State all the facts in the case.
* State when the incident(s) being grieved occurred.
* Specify the policy, procedure, rule, or regulation involved.

Response. the moderator will forward the grievance and must provide a written answer.

2. Step Two — Appeal to the Moderator
If the either party is dissatisfied the grievance may be appealed.

3. Step 3—Appeal to the Editors
If the grievance has not been resolved at Step 2, it may be appealed to the Editors

You might need definitions of what is on and off board, what time elapses between steps etc. Time is important a) to cool rising tempers but b) problems should be resolved before resentment sets in.

You need some Policies & Procedures - some of the invective I saw this week is an affront to dignity on sexist, homophobic and disability grounds inappropriate here - but the Protection against Harassment Act is a starting point.

author by seedotpublication date Wed Sep 20, 2006 00:44Report this post to the editors

Tom Eile, I think your question:
Good report ,but could somebody please explain what this means: "make a clear decision that the current Indymedia collective is only web-site Indymedia" Is there any other indymedia ?
Is the most important to come out of this series of meetings and discussions. But to deal with the questions re moderation – I think discussion of the moderation of the last meeting should really be led by people who attended this meeting. I feel to criticise the moderation of the last meeting from a position of ignorance and not bothering to turn up at the meeting to see what was in place is fairly destructive criticism. The meeting had three possible chairs, none of them members of the editorial group – two women and one man.

In my opinion, the woman that chaired the meeting was strong and effective and ensured that the time was very open, productive and inclusive. I think this is reflected in the minutes which contain an accurate and fair representation of the meeting – and quite a bit of work to achieve this. If someone feels that a TU chair is something that they desire then I think the collective that met in the Teachers club should and would consider this. But I would propose that to have an informed discussion about the chairing or moderation of a meeting you really have to have been at the meeting – or at least refer to the minutes to make your point.

I think Chris has the right idea – find places to talk about some or all of this process lain out above, put formal proposals together and come to the meeting and talk about it. The decision making process and the other elements of how this group will work will be decided at the meeting with one caveat – decisions that will impact on the operation of the website will only have validity if they are decided using a process approved by the editorial collective. All other decisions the group makes will be determined by the decision making process this collective agrees. (BTW I should disclaim at this point that I currently am an editor but speak entirely as an individual as does everybody else on this thread – all my personal opinion).

When Tom Eile asks is there any other Indymedia the question can be answered by referring to the idea of an independent media centre where people choose to collaborate and create under a banner that has flown over similar initiatives all over the world. So of course ths other indymedias. If you mean has a group met and decided to call itself indymedia in Ireland as a separate entity to the grop who makes this website – I don’t think in any long term manner although a large number of projects have been undertaken by people as part of indymedia. Temporary Media Zones if you will. I would hope there will be a formal proposal to this meeting to constitute itself as the Dublin Indymedia Collective and undertake to organise independent media in the Dublin area. It would be good if other groups were formed – with the support of indy.ie, the wider network or on their own with regard to the principles of unity.

So, is there other indymedias?

Only if you want them.

Don’t hate the media, be the media.

author by Seeking Helppublication date Wed Sep 20, 2006 01:32Report this post to the editors

You need some Policies & Procedures - some of the invective I saw this week is an affront to dignity on sexist, homophobic and disability grounds inappropriate here - but the Protection against Harassment Act is a starting point.

Stuart, I hope you are aware that there are Policies & Procedures
here
http://www.indymedia.ie/editorial
which cover "sexist, homophobic, racist" and other grounds?

Also, you are aware that these comments get deleted all the time and that one of the accusations levelled at Indymedia.ie is that it hides too much of this stuff?

I thank you for responding above, but I don't understand how you envision this Moderator being appointed, or any of the actual concrete details. One of the useful parts of your post (IMHO) was that it required complaints to be specific, detailed and written. There's a button one each comment which allows anyone to do this.

I'd like you to point out the sexist, homophobic and ablist comments to which you refer, otherwise I'll have to assume that they don't exist and that you are making accusations that you can't back up.

Again, if you have a specific idea about what can be done it would be very useful if you could detail it. It would be even more useful if you could make that proposal without making unsourced allegations which (if left to stand) divert from the purpose of the thread.

author by Paul Baynespublication date Wed Sep 20, 2006 01:50Report this post to the editors

"Stuart, I hope you are aware that there are Policies & Procedures
here
http://www.indymedia.ie/editorial
which cover "sexist, homophobic, racist" and other grounds?"

The guidelines you refer to relate to complaints about comments that have been published. It seems clear to me Stuart's suggested guidelines relate to complaints about the administration of the indymedia.ie website, which is a separate matter.

Further, I don't believe that Stuart made allegations of sexism etc. as you intimate, but rather suggested procedures to deal with such allegations should they arise, which is a different matter.

Not presuming to speak for Stuart - just an observation.

author by Seeking Helppublication date Wed Sep 20, 2006 01:57Report this post to the editors

Further, I don't believe that Stuart made allegations of sexism etc. as you intimate,
It's not an intimation Paul Baynes. All you have to do is read the quote I took from his email, then go and read his email again. It would be helpful for everyone in this conversation if they avoided muddying the waters by the sort of "belief" that you express above. Please, read, think. Read. Think. It's VERY clear what Stuart has said.

author by Paul Baynespublication date Wed Sep 20, 2006 02:13Report this post to the editors

Yes, you're correct - my mistake - sorry about that. Seems he did allege sexism.

btw, get off your high horse and read, think, read, think, read, think, yourself. It is clear that your reference to the editorial guidelines is a red herring: I reiterate - the guidelines suggested by Stuart do not relate to the hiding of comments.

There's absolutely no need to be patronising, particularly when you've muddied the waters yourself.

Thanks for the clarification, though.

author by seedotpublication date Wed Sep 20, 2006 02:18Report this post to the editors

the global docs projcts seems to have domain issues at the moment - theres a version up at
https://212.18.240.237 which contains the must read Principles of Unity if you were thinking of starting and independent media centre

Loads of Global thinking including articles on gender and other issues that have affected the global network.

There is of course the Indymedia Ireland pages which are noticeable for their use of the indymedia brand - of 120+ geographic doc projects, only Ireland and the Ukraine choose indymedia over imc as their brand.

author by Seeking Helppublication date Wed Sep 20, 2006 02:25Report this post to the editors

I reiterate - the guidelines suggested by Stuart do not relate to the hiding of comments.

No Paul Baynes, you are wrong. I've had another read and another think and it is very clear that Stuart's email is in two pieces. In fhe first he answers my request for specific dispute resolution processes. In the second he makes an unspecified insinuation of sexist, homophobic and ablist posts and suggest that we need Processes & Procedures to deal with those posts.

Your intemperate and aggressive response that you read and think before you post is exactly the sort of thing that causes problems.

However, instead of being shouted at by you and insulted I'll propose a formal code of conduct for editors:

1. Editors should read posts very carefully before they contribute to discussions under their own names.
2. Editors should not engage in flamewars on threads under their own names (I find Paul Baynes very intimidating in this regard)

Now, please read and think about this twice before posting.

author by seedotpublication date Wed Sep 20, 2006 02:35Report this post to the editors

Dear Seeking Help

in reference to your missive of the 20th incident whereupon you proposed
2. Editors should not engage in flamewars on threads under their own names (I find Paul Baynes very intimidating in this regard)
can I thank you for the time taken to formulate a clear proposal but am unsure as to its appropriateness for Indymedia.

Are you proposing editors should only engage in flamewars anonymously?

Are you proposing that the use of the name Paul Baynes in particular is intimidating?

Are you proposing that issues like this are the most constructive use of the space and time given to the report on the ongoing process to improve indymedia?

I agree that 'Seeking Help' appears on the surface a much less intimidating name but can I suggest that the manner you have engaged in posting to this site and this thread may have been slightly less constructive than Paul (scary name) Baynes, and even than Stuart who at least put a series of clear proposals to the thread - allowing for the little dig at unidentified invective.

To that end can I suggest you try and improve your posting in future.

yours sincerely

C.

author by Seeking Helppublication date Wed Sep 20, 2006 02:48Report this post to the editors

I thank you for your courteously worded and inquisitive response to my proposal.

Specifically, yes, I think that it is completely obvious that editors engaging in flamewars using their own names are intimidating to those that are not editors. If editors are going to engage in this behaviour then they should choose a nom de plume. It would be better if they didn't, but if they are then it's less damaging.

W.r.t. Paul Baynes he's incindental. The general point is that abstracted, unsourced and unspecific posts are not constructive. Your suggestion is one that I reject whole-heartedly and I find that it's exactly posts in the manner of Paul Baynes that are a problem on the site.

Sincerely, and doffing my hat.

author by Robynpublication date Wed Sep 20, 2006 05:08author email peacefulwarriorprincess at yahoo dot com dot auauthor address AustraliaReport this post to the editors

I didn't realise girls were rare beasties on here. Most people use non gender specific names, but you can usually tell gender from writing style, and yes, it does seem predominantly male.

I find that female creatures are usually interested in other stuff, so am not sure what you plan to do about any gender bias. I wouldn't worry about it, if girls don't want to come here its their problem. Or are they too scared to post because of the men??

Maybe have a *women's issues* section? But of course there is no way of keeping men out, should they want to participate, nor should there be. Gender discrimination works both ways.

Its about time women started toughening up IMHO.

author by pat cpublication date Wed Sep 20, 2006 11:02Report this post to the editors

"In my opinion, the woman that chaired the meeting was strong and effective and ensured that the time was very open, productive and inclusive. I think this is reflected in the minutes which contain an accurate and fair representation of the meeting – and quite a bit of work to achieve this."

I'm not denying that is the case. I take it you are referring to Aileen, I would have the fullest confidence in her independence and abilities. But its not enough to be independent. You also have to be seen to be independent. If the chair is in the WSM and 3 editors are in the WSM then unfortunately the chair will not be seen to be independent.

"If someone feels that a TU chair is something that they desire then I think the collective that met in the Teachers club should and would consider this. "

I'm not suggesting that any TU activist just chair the meeting. I'm suggesting that Indymedia engage with either SIPTU or ICTU. They have staff who are trained in conflict resolution, specifically in the area of voluntary organisations, where there are sexist structures or where there is a perception that sexist structures exist.

The help that Indymedia requires will not end with the chairing of one meeting. So take the idea on board. Dont just burocratically suppress it as something that has to be discussed at the next meeting.

"But I would propose that to have an informed discussion about the chairing or moderation of a meeting you really have to have been at the meeting – or at least refer to the minutes to make your point."

I did not attend the meeting because Chekov had described those who criticise the editors as being "mentally ill". I feared that in such a poisoned atmosphere that I might do something which would result in me having to plead "not guilty by reason of insanity".

I think I am referring to the minutes. IMHO unless outside assistance is sought the second meeting will end there will still be 12 male editors and no female editors. There will be a promise of female editors somtime in the future.

If there is to be real change then some of the boys should step down at the second meeting and female editors should be appointed. Some male editor needs to set an example. How about Chekov? Anarchists believe in rotation and that does not mean spinning. So isnt 5 years long enough? Come on Chekov, make way for a woman.

author by Miriampublication date Wed Sep 20, 2006 11:56Report this post to the editors

Im not sure from the above if this is the list where proposals to be discussed at the next meeting should be made, or whether a separate thread is to be used. But in case it is:

PROPOSAL: To hold an editor supported open day/evening in Cork.

DISCUSSION: There have been a number of high profile issues from this area reported on Indymedia in recent months. But there is a need for greater awareness of Indymedia locally. I've also noticed a fear of this news medium among some activists. For these reasons and more besides, a widely promoted open day might well be beneificial both to Indymedia and to the local causes that badly need greater publicity and reporting.

I am suggesting an open day which people can look in on as suits them rather than a specific meeting time. Say, from 4pm - 9pm so people are not prevented from attending by work/study routines. Suggest two computers for demos of how the site works and would need probably two experienced editors to be on hand for tech advice and general background information.

I will advertise the open day as widely as possible - third level colleges, public notice boards, etc etc.
We can advertise it on Indymedia too.

Hopefully enough interested people will come out of the woodwork for people in Cork to be able to take it from there - set up their own collective and run in tandem with the Dublin collective, organise their own meetings and generally spend some time getting up to speed on what is required. We would obviously need ongoing support for a while.

TIMEFRAME: To allow enough time to prepare for this meeting, suggest a date for late November/early December - so venue, equipment, publicity etc can be arranged and editors can book time.

I will post this proposal to the editorial list also so that it does not get lost or forgotten in the general melee here.

GENERAL/SECOND SITE

There has been some talk about setting up a second site. Iosaf knows more about it than others, I think. I know a certain amount has been achieved but its not clear exactly what is happening. Could I ask what people think about starting a thread here on Indymedia.IE - (if that does not contravene guidelines) for the purpose of discussing the second site, if there is still committment to and interest in doing that.

author by pat cpublication date Wed Sep 20, 2006 11:56Report this post to the editors

Some editors are now claiming that Chekov is being misquoted. They are using this as an excuse to hide comments which they disdagree with.

To clear up any misunderstandings, this is what Chekov wrote:

"While I think that some people's behaviour has been consistently appalling on the lists, and now on the newsire, we should remember that:
a) people tend to misbehave a lot more on the internet than in person
b) some people are mentally ill"


Now who exactly do the other editors think Chekov was referring to?

These are the comments which were wrongfully hidden:

Oscailt 3.00 Automatic Notification
Date : Tuesday, Sep 19 2006, 6:13pm
Action : Multiple hide comment [2 from 167653] performed by Anthony
Reason : more repition of false allegations by Pat C that "editors abuse
critics as enemies and say that they are mentally ill". This is a
deliberate misreading of what Chekov wrote.

--- Comment 167653 ---
Parent Story : http://www.indymedia.ie/newswire.php?story_id=78476
Title : The Future
Author : pat c
Organisation :
Email :
Phone :
Address :
Related Link :
Time Posted : Tuesday, Sep 19 2006, 10:00am
--- Comment Content ---
To have explicit list guidelines in order to ensure appropriate
behaviour on the lists. Apart from explicit sexist or racist mails being
prohibited, people should be sensitive to minorities on the lists.

Reasons given in editorial notifications should not be abusive


Very good. I hope that results in a situation where an editor will not be
allowed in the future to suggest that who oppose the Collective are mentally
ill.

I may not be at the next meeting but I think its in Indys interest to have
an outside mediator who is experienced in conlict resolution. In particular
I suggest that SIPTU or ICTU be approached. They both have skilled staff who
are used to resolving conflict in cooperative and voluntary organisations
where there are sexist structures or where there is a perception that the
organisations structures are sexist.

I believe that this input is needed. Otherwise after the second meeting you
will still have 12 male editors and just a promise that women will be
treated better in the future. If you had an ICTU or SIPTU mediator present
at the second meeting then there would be a better chance of real
progress.

----------- End of comment 167653 Content-----------

--- Comment 167727 ---
Parent Story : http://www.indymedia.ie/newswire.php?story_id=78476
Title : Perceptions
Author : pat c
Organisation : Enemies of the Collective
Email :
Phone :
Address :
Related Link :
Time Posted : Tuesday, Sep 19 2006, 4:57pm
--- Comment Content ---
There are people out there who have a very bad image of the Indy editors. I
was just disscussing the whole editor issue with a woman and I suggested to
her that she post a comment. She declined, saying that she feared her
details gained from her IP address might be used to pursue her if she made
any critical comments.

I'm not making this up. This is the climate of fear that evolves when
editors abuse critics as enemies and say that they are mentally ill. Unless
outside mediators are involved it will be more of the same at Indymedia.

Oscailt 3.00 Automatic Notification
Date : Tuesday, Sep 19 2006, 6:07pm
Action : hide comment 167736 performed by Anthony
Reason : repeat of false allegation not directly relevant to article

--- Comment 167736 ---
Parent Story : http://www.indymedia.ie/newswire.php?story_id=78476
Title : Oh, and James
Author : pat c
Organisation : Enemies of the Collective
Email :
Phone :
Address :
Related Link :
Time Posted : Tuesday, Sep 19 2006, 5:18pm
--- Comment Content ---
You might ask your editorial colleague to withdraw his allegation that those
who oppose the Indy Editors are mentally ill. Would you that? It might make
people a little less fearfull of contributing to the discussion.

author by @gendapublication date Wed Sep 20, 2006 12:09Report this post to the editors

what you read above is part of Pat C's declaration of 'War' that he made on the Indymedia Editorial List on 13 Sept.

he said then 'If you want war then so be it.'

Pat C's intent is to drag down this site to suit his own personal vendetta against chekov.

author by Dpublication date Wed Sep 20, 2006 12:09Report this post to the editors

- and other related ones - will take time to read through all this stuff

Briefly

PC - Quotes -'So isnt 5 years long enough?

Long enough for what? as an editor on Indymedia ?

author by pat cpublication date Wed Sep 20, 2006 12:16Report this post to the editors

""what you read above is part of Pat C's declaration of 'War' that he made on the Indymedia Editorial List on 13 Sept.

he said then 'If you want war then so be it.'"

Why not post what that was in response to or put it in context?

"Pat C's intent is to drag down this site to suit his own personal vendetta against chekov."

How am I dragging down the site by suggesting that it is Institutionally Sexist? Thats a fact, you can try and run from it but there are 12 male editors and 0 female editors. I am suggesting ways to change that by bringing mediators who are skilled in conflict resolution.

As for Chekov, he claims to be an Anarchist. Anarchists believe that posts should be rotated. Isnt five years long enough as an editor?

I, by the way do not want to become an editor. I just think its time for some of the Old Boys to step down.

author by ronanpublication date Wed Sep 20, 2006 13:26Report this post to the editors

hi, pat insists that the fact that there are no women editors in indymedia means that indymedia is sexist. this is by no means an argument, indymedia is sexist if it operates to prevent women becoming editors based on their sex or gender. unless pat c can offer some substantiation of this he should stop bandying around words he doesnt understand.

author by Stuartpublication date Wed Sep 20, 2006 13:56Report this post to the editors

I did not allege sexism, homophobia or ablism. I stated that I had observed invective that was an affront to dignity (sanity rating, playpen, brainwashed, foaming ("man hating" :) radical feminist one issue people, ladies, systemic paranoia, brain-dead, mentally ill, a couple of flakes and cranks, boys club, playing to the boys, pathethic ramblings, sane editors, spoiled children syndrome, unhinged) and has no place in civilised debate. I will contribute further if anyone is interested in procedures for taking such invective off the board in a transparent manner that is objectively satisfactory to a reasonable observor, which is plainly not the case at present.

author by pat cpublication date Wed Sep 20, 2006 14:03Report this post to the editors

"hi, pat insists that the fact that there are no women editors in indymedia means that indymedia is sexist. this is by no means an argument, "

Yes it is. Its one that would be accepted by most rational people. You have no female editors. Indymedia is Institutionally Sexist.

"indymedia is sexist if it operates to prevent women becoming editors based on their sex or gender. "

Well I can only point to the fact that all female candidtes have been blocked.

"unless pat c can offer some substantiation of this he should stop bandying around words he doesnt understand."

Ronan I suspect that you do not understand the meaning of Institutional Sexism. To be Institutionally sexist means that there is a problem with the structures of an organisation wherby it is impossible or exteremely difficult for women to be accepted.

If a Trade Union Executice Committee, a Credit Union Board or a Community Group Council was entirely male then it would be seen as a scandal. I'm sure the Indy editors would see it as a scandal. At least I hope the WSM Indy editors would see it as a scandal.

The fact that Indymedia has no female editors is equally a scandal. Ronan is in denial as is any other Indy editor who would pretend that Indymedia is not Institutionally Sexist. It just goes to show that for some, little has been changed by last Saturdays meeting.

There are some editorial mindsets which have to be decommissioned. Come on boys, step down and give some power to the girls.

author by The Truthpublication date Wed Sep 20, 2006 14:14Report this post to the editors

Is indymedia racist because it has no immigrants as editors? How many editors are homosexual?
We might as well bring in the NCCRI rather than ICTU or SIPTU because the Unions are rubbish when it comes to racism, I have no idea what their like regarding homosexual rights. Whats your opinion Pat?

author by pat cpublication date Wed Sep 20, 2006 14:19Report this post to the editors

Oh, please, your attempt to sidetrack the discussion wont work.

This is about the lack of women editors on Indymedia. You are hardly helping the Indymedia Editors case. No one would take your sophistry seriously. You are not interested in genuine debate. I am sure there were plenty of people like you around when attempts were being made to make Trade Union structures more female friendly.

author by Ronan - one of Indymedia Irelandpublication date Wed Sep 20, 2006 14:27Report this post to the editors

The person posting above as "ronan" is not me. There was another Ronan at the meeting. I am not sure yet if it was him who posted that comment, or whether it was impersonation.

author by The Truthpublication date Wed Sep 20, 2006 14:28Report this post to the editors

Pat, I merely pointed out that there was not any immigrants on the editorial list. I asked was there any homosexuals on the editorial list. If there is not and following on from your points about institutional sexism, then surely there is institutional racism and homophobia on the list. If you don't believe that this is the case then your arguments for their being institutional sexism on indymedia on the basis that there is no female editors simply falls flat.

author by pat cpublication date Wed Sep 20, 2006 14:32Report this post to the editors

No, I think my points stand. But you will be seen by some as a smart-alec who is hostile to women becoming editors in Indymedia. Do you honestly believe that any aggrieved women will be won over by your argument?

author by Terencepublication date Wed Sep 20, 2006 14:34Report this post to the editors

We are looking for proposals here on this thread for the next real world meeting for which you can see the minutes at the top.

Pat C, your constant repetition is tiresome. We all know what your points are. Can we now get on with moving this discussion forward or do you have to have the last word on everything everytime?

author by The Truthpublication date Wed Sep 20, 2006 14:36Report this post to the editors

First of all Pat I fully support women becoming editors of indymedia, and the sooner the better. I reject your allegations of institutional sexism because they don't stand up to scrutiny. If you think I'm being a smart alec thats okay with me, but I utterly reject your claims that I would oppose women becoming editors of indymedia, because I wouldn't.

author by pat cpublication date Wed Sep 20, 2006 14:38Report this post to the editors

If you would get your henchman "the truth" to quit then I will quit.

But if editors wrongfully hide comments then I will respond here and on outside lists. Chekov acused those who opposed the editors of being "Mentally ill"; Robbie said we were "enemies". Anthony denied this in his spittle flecked hidings of my comments.

author by Andrewpublication date Wed Sep 20, 2006 14:40Report this post to the editors

Actually Pats argument doesn't fall flat that easy.

Women are a slight majority in society so you would expect a 12 person collective to have 6 women and 6 men. Random chance might lead to some deviation from this norm eg 5 - 7 or even 4 - 8 but the liklihood of randomly getting 12 - 0 is almost zero.

The argument as to what percentage of the population if gay is very subjective but the maximum reasonable figures you tend to see suggested is around 10%. From this out of a 12 person collective you might expect 1 to be gay. But either 2-10 or 0-12 would not be much of a deviation and could arise randomly.

I'm not sure what you mean by migrants (it is often a code word) but AFAIK only around 5% of the population were born outside of the island. From that you wouldn't actually expect a single migrant editor till you had 20 editors. There is only around a 60% chance of having one migrant editor on an editorial collective of 12.

author by The truthpublication date Wed Sep 20, 2006 14:42Report this post to the editors

Pat I am nobody's henchman. Just because I disagree with you does not turn me into a member of some kind of grand coalition against you. I rejected your arguments and not yourself. Just because you don't agree with that does not give you the right to accuse me of opposing women from becoming editors, or as being somebody's henchman.

author by pat cpublication date Wed Sep 20, 2006 14:46Report this post to the editors

not meant as repetition.

sorry, you are right. I shouldnt suggest that your motives are malign just because we disagree.

author by Andrewpublication date Wed Sep 20, 2006 14:47Report this post to the editors

BTW Pat you are being quite unfair to Chekov. The While at the start of the post you quote
""While I think that some people's behaviour has been consistently appalling on the lists, and now on the newsire, we should remember that:
a) people tend to misbehave a lot more on the internet than in person
b) some people are mentally ill""

quite clearly indicates that he is asking people to make allowances for the tone of some of the posts not suggesting some sort of purge based on mental illness.

author by pat cpublication date Wed Sep 20, 2006 14:49Report this post to the editors

i hope this is not regarded as repetition.

Andrew

why did chekov use the term "mentally ill"? who would you anyone think he was referring to other than those who opposed the editors?

author by The Truthpublication date Wed Sep 20, 2006 14:50Report this post to the editors

Andrew the editors are pulled from a pool of indymedia contributors, not the general population. The vast majority of contributors to this site are sadly male. The solutions to overcoming this is not to bring in an ICTU/SIPTU mediator but to increase the pool of female's contributing to the site. By merely deciding to have a gender quota of editors is mere tokenism and does nothing to alter the pool of female contributors. The reality is that female participation in political activism in Ireland is very male dominated and that is due to the nature of the society we live in, not institutional sexism of the political groups. This is the same for increasing the pool of immigrants contributing to indymedia. To just accuse indymedia of institutional sexism and to demand the appointment of women without coming up with long term solutions is a recipe for disaster. Yes we should have women editors, but we need long term solutions.

author by Chris Murray - .publication date Wed Sep 20, 2006 14:50Report this post to the editors

The point is and has been , that gender is an issue. as is race and sexuality.

IMC is about reflecting the society of the country wherin you live and connecting with
other groups globally. It is about collaboration.

For example and this is not an attack but a point:-
a feautre on sexual violence did not include a contribution (essay/personal viewpoint) of an attendee from bcn. Her view was as valid asthe featurised article,
but it was slipping of the page, so I put in a request that it be included
in the body of the feature or the comments and it was.

Irelandis a multi-racial and multi-cultural society,an organ of free-press should reflect that without creating rules and guidelines that may alienate some or make others feel unwelcome.
I have been criticised for syntax,for C+P's , when, in fact the vast majority of my articles were original, and involvedsome amount of visiting the Dail, or Tara - Thus negative trolling of women activistsis most certainly a problem. Making a space friendly , open and collaborative. opening upand creating categories that function (enter 'Gender and sexuality'into the search engine)is a way of attracting people who offer different approach to protest is essential.
It is about evolving an IMC service and not an attack.

A quick trawl of the archives on, for example feminism or anti-patriarchy actions
provides an interesting research into the negative trolling of many women activists.
These were largely unrecognised as attack-hence the necessity of experience in gender
issue to this site.

Lastly- Look at the IMC's around Europe and the US. They are completely different-there is for example a lot less in the way of trolling.

I think Clare stated that there should be sections on anti-patriarchy, feminism, women's agit-prop. collaboration on gender/sexuality would probably allow for the creation o other categories. Race would include categories such as education/workwers rights/children's rights/deportation etc-with links.

author by Padraic - 1 of indymedia editors.publication date Wed Sep 20, 2006 15:09Report this post to the editors

Miriam said: "The workshops will be very welcome. Will they all be held in Dublin?"

Hi Miriam,
I think its clear from the minutes if you read them again but all the points listed were / are suggestions. The only decisions made at the meeting were how to organise and prepare for the next meeting. So if there are going to be meetings people will have to take it on to organise them.

Pat C said: "I have already suggested ... That is a proposal."

Hi Pat,

Again I think its clear in the minutes above but formal proposals are supposed to be submitted to the imc ireland list, not the editorial list and not on this newswire page.

I also think that you should put a bit more thought into your proposal. Who exactly would the mediator mediate between? Would you expect them to decide what might constitute suitable structures for indymedia? Would you expect the editors to be divided 50 : 50 in terms of gender after the next meeting? If so where will these women come from? (There were less than six women at the last meeting).

Pat C also said: "I did not attend the meeting because Chekov had described those who criticise the editors as being "mentally ill". I feared that in such a poisoned atmosphere that I might do something which would result in me having to plead "not guilty by reason of insanity".

If you look at it again Pat I think it is clear that Chekov didn't say that people who criticise the editors are mentally ill. What he did say is that lots of people misbehave on the lists and on the newswire. He then said that some of those people were mentally ill. I don't think that that is necessarily the same thing. That said indymedia does attract attention from people who seem to be suffering from certain mental problems. The biggest incident which would jump out at me would be that druid chap who wrote in about Tara. At first I thought he probably didn't understand how the site and lists work. Once he started getting into conspiracy theory land I started to change my mind. I decided he probably had severe problems when I followed a link to his forum which talked about how the druids would have to defend themselves from the 'anarchists at indymedia'. I started laughing when he went on to say that the indymedia anarchists would have an advantage in the cities (due to our street fighting skills and access to petrol bombs) but that the druids would defeat us in the open countryside and boglands.

Pat C also said: "IMHO unless outside assistance is sought the second meeting will end there will still be 12 male editors and no female editors. There will be a promise of female editors somtime in the future."

In the last couple of months a motion was passed saying that anyone who wanted to be an editor had to spend 3 months on the editorial list making suggestions etc. AFAIK there is only one woman who has done this - if she wants to be an editor she can go forward for it. Personally I am going to put in a motion to reduce this length of time. However I don't think there is any other way to appoint editors so I don't think the next meeting is going to radically change the number or makeup of the editors .

Miriam said: "PROPOSAL: To hold an editor supported open day/evening in Cork".

Miriam, as I said above proposals are supposed to go to the imc ireland list. TBH though I don't actually see what relevance this proposal has to this thread at all. If you can get someone willing to come down to Cork fair play to you. Everyone could agree with the idea in the abstract without anyone being willing / able to make it down. Surely this idea relies on volunteers. I don't know if this is the type of thing that should be voted on anywhere ...

Miriam also said: "Could I ask what people think about starting a thread here on Indymedia.IE - (if that does not contravene guidelines) for the purpose of discussing the second site"

I think it would contravene guidelines. Indymedia is supposed to be a newssite not a discussion board. You could always post a story about the start of an initiative to set up another indymedia site though.

author by Andrew - WSM - personal capacitypublication date Wed Sep 20, 2006 15:14Report this post to the editors

Pat I'm not denying that Chekov suggested some contributions might be influenced by mental illness. I'm pointing out that the context in which he wrote that was one of asking people not to over react to such contributions. I.E. he was offering it as a mitigating factor rather than having a go at the person. It is however true that societies attitudes to mental illness are such that the mention of it will almost always be seen as an attack so I can understand why you read it that way. But it is clearly not how it was meant (he probably could have phrased things a bit better).

On the mediator idea - wouldn't this cost a lot of money. TU's can pay wages, indymedia can not AFAIK.

'The truth". Get yourself a less arrogant name, its annoying to try and discuss something with some whose handle is so full of themself!

That aside - your right that indymedia reflects the society it finds itself in. I made the same point on Saturday. However that society is sexist so it therefore follows that if indymedia chooses to simply reflect it then that reflection will be sexist. You can't have it both ways.

In that situation there is a debate to be had about what to do about this. But it is hard to have that debate if people keep returning to 'there is no problem' as you were trying to do above. Clearly there is a problem.

Your probably part right that a good solution would be to "increase the pool of female's contributing to the site" but it is also a hard solution to implement. And in itself it does nothing to tackle the gendar bias reflected in 12-0.

I have no clear idea about how to improve on the current situation but I would say a good starting point would be for indymedia.ie to say 'yes we have a problem and we want to address this by positively recruiting women editors. We know this might mean a willingness to spend a little more time teaching essential skills but we are willing to do this'. A bad starting point would be to shrug you shoulders and say 'don't blame us, blame society'.

I'm not under any illusion this is easy, my own organisation is only around 20% but we do discuss this and have adopted positive steps to try and address this problem.

author by redjadepublication date Wed Sep 20, 2006 15:35Report this post to the editors

'there is no problem'

Andrew - I know you dont mean that literally - but please do not state it this way - there is no editor that has said there is 'no problem' with not having women. This is the kind of statement I'd expect to hear from Miriam, to be honest.

'yes we have a problem and we want to address this by positively recruiting women editors. We know this might mean a willingness to spend a little more time teaching essential skills but we are willing to do this'

Dude! I've been saying this for a long long time! And so have others. Go to the archives its all in there. And 'teaching essential skills' is not something that only editors can do - read my rant about Indy DIY above, please.

As I have said above: 'Also, yes there should be women editors and I (as one editor) would support and have always supported 'positive discrimination' that promotes qualified women. I know many of these qualified women, but they will not become editors unless they themselves step forward and request to become editors. I hope they do.'

But I doubt any qualified female indymedia volunteer would want to face the nastyness on the List put forth by the critics here. Being accused of playing up to the boys and so on. Forget that, not many 'boys' want to get in this crossfire either!

You are right about one thing though - it is all about recruitment. That and making media. But we should be recruiting based on the idea of making media - because that's what indy is about.

This theoretical debate is useless until people start proposing things. I'll wait for it to appear on the IMC List.

'I'm not under any illusion this is easy.'

Yes I know andrew :-) thank you for trying to help.

author by The Truth is out therepublication date Wed Sep 20, 2006 15:46Report this post to the editors

The name is just a name and not suggesting that I have all the answers or that I am arrogant, so apologies for offending you.
I am not trying to suggest that there is no problem, and you are misrepresenting me to suggest that I am. I am merely saying that it is not a problem of institutional sexism. I oppose tokenism and I oppose appointing editors merely on the basis of their sex, all that would do is change the arrithmetic. I am not saying that indymedia should accept the status quo of society either, I am saying that it is a problem that indymedia has inherited from society. If indymedia were to decide to appoint 6 female editors today, who would they be? The pool of female contributors needs to be expanded and unless this is done, the females who would be appointed would be from outside indymedia and I doubt would meet any editorial criteria. We need to be extremely realistic, and we need to get it right. If we rush it and get it wrong it will be far harder to change. We have less than three weeks to get it right, but if we get bogged down on, in my view false, allegations of institutional sexism than we will lose the focus on constructive proposals to deal with this issue fairly and most importantly effectively.

We should look at why some activist groups have more women activists than others and is there a common trend that encourages women to get involved in these groups than others.
We should also recognise that perhaps outreach to groups would also result in more women becoming contributors and getting involved in the running of the site. (perhaps a deliberate outreach to women activists)
I know its being dealt with but I believe the aggressiveness that is pervasive on some threads and sometimes on the editorial list is a barrier to participation from all newcomers and maybe that has resulted in the pool of females being small.

These are a small number of things I believe need to be discussed. However there are obviously lots more. What I am sick of is ridiculous allegations being thrown around left right and centre, be they of accusing people of mental illness, of institutional sexism, or of people being misrepresented in what they post. It is a disincentive for all people to get involved and it is a waste of people's time and energy. Let's get constructive and get the problem's sorted.

author by readerpublication date Wed Sep 20, 2006 15:47Report this post to the editors

PAT C Do you want Anthony to quit do you want Redjade to quit to want Eammon to quit all been editors for years? maybe you and iosaf should take a break from your years of pisstaking too.

author by Anthony - One of Indymedia Ireland Editorial Group (personal capacity)publication date Wed Sep 20, 2006 15:47Report this post to the editors

I’ve only briefly scanned this article since last night and I see that it has already turned into a haven for unsubstantiated allegations. It was agreed at the meeting that editorial guidelines would be applied to this article the same as any others so that it remained a useful and constructive article for discussing proposals for the next meeting. However some editors feel that it’s too difficult a job to do this fairly and impartially and it looks like this article will also be a free-for-all resulting in the article no longer serving the agreed purpose for which it was posted.

Pat continually (six times so far) publishes the allegation that Chekov said that those "who oppose the Collective are mentally ill". Chekov said that "some people are mentally ill". I have a good idea who he was referring to at the time but I'll post on that later. Unlike some people I have to work during the day and my lunch break is short enough as it is.

Pat also thinks that the argument that all the editors are white Irish means the editorial group is institutionally racist isn’t comparable. While 0 out of 11 is indeed a damning statistic, institutional sexism is just one of other possible reasons why this is the case as discussed at the meeting. I also think it would be useful if they defined what they exactly they mean by Institutional Sexism and how it applies to the running Indymedia. There’s not much sense in discussing an issue unless we’re clear what we mean by the terms being used.

The absence of women editors is the only solid evidence put forward so far as proof that there is institutional sexism among the collective. I still have to fully read that other mad article so I apologies if I missed out on relevant information that was posted there. Given time enough, I intend to do a proper search through that article as well as the archives of the editorial list for all mention of sexism as some contributors have posted comments that deserve a good response. (I think the subject deserves an article in itself.) Personally, I abhor all discrimination based on irrelevant characteristics such as gender, sexuality, skin colour, etc.

Pat is using the absence of women as a club with which to beat the editors over the head with because he has other disagreements with the collective. He also keeps throwing out the idea of a mediator from a trade union but has put no thought into how any such mediation would work. Aside from personal disagreements between different people, I can't see who would actually sit down with whom and what exactly they would seek to accomplish together. From what I can tell, all parties would like to see active competent women editors and there's no disagreement about that. There’s no point in making vague proposals without fleshing them out to a useful degree and including some specifics.

"spittle flecked hidings of my comments"? - I’m just not going to respond to that one.

Finally, I think contributions to articles such as this would be far more useful if all contributors were to use the same identifier / pseudonym. It does make things more confusing when readers don’t know the background of people posting comments.

It took me over half an hour to type this comment - and I’m still not completely happy with how I’ve expressed myself but I need to eat. I’m sure that in the last 30 minutes, there have been plenty more comments posted but I’m going to post this as it is regardless (publish and be damned). Unfortunately, I’m not the fastest person in the world at composing my thoughts and typing them out so that my posts are coherent and unambiguous.

author by pat cpublication date Wed Sep 20, 2006 16:00Report this post to the editors

"PAT C Do you want Anthony to quit"

no. He isnt the longest serving editor. i just think hes been a bit biased in hiding comments. hes also unwilling to accept that Institutional Sexism exists in Indy. Well we'll have to agree to differ on that.

As for Chekovs comments, its there in black and white. I dont know what process Anthony will use to figure out who Chekov was really referring to.

"do you want Redjade to quit"

no. I dont think he was there from the start.

" to want Eammon to quit all been editors for years?"

Eamonn has stepped down. He decided it was time for rotation.

" maybe you and iosaf should take a break from your years of pisstaking too."

Thank you for that insightfull analysis of my contribution to Indymedia.

author by seedotpublication date Wed Sep 20, 2006 16:07Report this post to the editors

I really don't think anybody has said that there is not a problem with the fact there are no women editors - in fact the lack of female involvement generally has been bemoaned since Indymedia ireland started. As pointed out, the meeting last week had six females (5 women and 1 girl to be precise) which also doesn't reflect gender balance - especially considering three of the 6 females had been invited / brought along.

I think Indy has a problem with accepting anybody new at the moment - for a whole range of reasons (many structural, some cultural) and think that this process is designed not to deny these but rather to seek routes through them. I really don't get how PatC's proposals for TU mediation would work (and have discussed this idea with some TU people), look forward to seeing Chris' proposals and think it would be great if a Cork group was formed. (I doubt if I will be able to realistically offer any support in this).

But I also think the focus on the editors - as opposed to making media - is a big part of the problem. How many of the newswire stories were written by women? How many comments on this thread are by women? How many women will be at the Dublin Indymedia Collective meeting? How many women wrote or tested or designed the software?

12 - 0 is bad - there are no two ways about it. but the other percentages are just as bad - and there are no institutional blocks on any of these activities (cultural blocks are of course possible and need to be dealt with)

author by seedotpublication date Wed Sep 20, 2006 16:15Report this post to the editors

"PAT C Do you want Anthony to quit"

no. He isnt the longest serving editor.

- so who are you proposing step down? I will do so prior to the meeting - i would like to be involved in discussions around the meeting but will not exercise an editorial vote at the meeting if this has any relevance (to be decided). As far as i know the other longest serving editorial password has not been mentioned in any of this discussion - he just uses the password for feature layout (more or less all I've done in the last year).

But this does not seem to be about rotation - who are you suggesting steps down?

(btw none of the longest serving editors - or people who were at founding meetings and have been editors since the role was invented - are members of the WSM. I believe that there is one WSM member who was at some of those meetings and much later became an editor. they also weren't in the WSM at the time and are mainly involved in feature preparation).

author by Andrew - WSM - personal capacitypublication date Wed Sep 20, 2006 16:25Report this post to the editors

redjade My comments were directed at 'The truth' (who may or may not be an editor I don't know - can I suggest that editors identify themselves as such even if posting under other names.). He has since responded to suggest that I have misrepresented his argument - I don't think I have although I may have misunderstood it. Actually I think we probablyjust have a different approach to the problem. Likewise I make no comment on what may already be in progress in terms of encouraging women, just on what the public perception of that is and should be.

I'd also be very careful of approaching the point where you dismiss arguments because they sound like what someone else might say. I've talked about these threads with a number of people and the've said that an unfortunate result of who is making particular arguments and how they are being made is that it makes it easy to throw out the baby with the bathwater.

Antony

I think you dismiss the idea of institutional sexism far too easy in writing "The absence of women editors is the only solid evidence put forward so far as proof that there is institutional sexism among the collective".

The probability of the current gender division is the same proability that if you take a coin from your pocket and toss it 12 times in a row it will come up heads every one of those 12 times. I actually went off and found someone who can do the maths on that and they tell me that you would expect to find that result 24 times in one hundred thousand set of tosses. Or in other words the odds of the current gendar ratio arriving by chance is 0.024%.

This very small number is not the same as zero but it is so close to zero to suggest that a sensible starting point would be to assume that there is a problem.

Now as I understand it the whole point of 'institutional' analysis is so say 'look you may not have a policy that delibretly discriminates, indeed you may find discrimination abhorrent but something in your practise is causing a problem despite your good intentions.' It's also useful as it allows us to assume good intentions rather than going off on a a hunt for the mysoginist editor.

The problem I see with a lot of the contributions, and what sucked me in, is a tendency to wrap up a neat little package of the methods of discussion, the destructive behaviour of individuals, the good intentions of the editors, the difficult of finding solutions and present it all as 'there is nothing to see here'. Saturdays meeting was good beause the structure of it allowed us to unpick these things - its a pity that the value of having done this seems to be getting lost again.

author by The Truth is out therepublication date Wed Sep 20, 2006 16:34Report this post to the editors

Just to clarify I am not an editor and I never have been. I amn't posting under my real name because I am in work. I am quite open to admitting that I could be wrong but I still disagree with the allegations of institutional sexism. I disagree with Andrew's using of a 50:50 ratio as that ratio doesn't exist amongst the indymedia users, something which needs to be radically addressed. However I am giving up on this argument as we are being bogged down on it and we need to be thinking up of concrete proposals rather than arguing in circles.

author by pat cpublication date Wed Sep 20, 2006 16:38Report this post to the editors

I certainly have nothing against the WSM and you are mistaken if you think this is about any quarrel with them. It is possible to admire an organisation without thinking that all of their members are living saints.

I think its time for some men to step down. AFIAA Chekov has been there from the start but I might be wrong on that. But in any case, Anarchists believe in rotating posts, so he should welcome the opportunity to step down.

I've also made it clear that I dont believe Robbie is fit to be an editor. He has blocked Paula G on rather dubious grounds. One of these grounds was on the basis of internet access; he has now admitted that he has his own technical problems in that area. Imho he has a history of biased editing; including the hiding of comments which respond to his own.

If any other long standing editors feel it is time to go then so be it. Rotation ,makes for a healthy organisation.

author by redjadepublication date Wed Sep 20, 2006 16:44Report this post to the editors

pat c, in other words - you have nothing positive to offer other than demands that people leave.

Nothing structual proposed - no organising volunteered for - no contributions of work or media making and no offer of teaching classes.

nothing.

I think this exercise has so far shown itself to be a waste of time.

author by seedotpublication date Wed Sep 20, 2006 16:46Report this post to the editors

Ant said:
It was agreed at the meeting that editorial guidelines would be applied to this article the same as any others so that it remained a useful and constructive article for discussing proposals for the next meeting. However some editors feel that it’s too difficult a job to do this fairly and impartially and it looks like this article will also be a free-for-all resulting in the article no longer serving the agreed purpose for which it was posted.

Actually Ant i would have to disagree here. It was agreed that the specific guideline about editorial comment would be suspended for this thread. There was a proposal that the guideline about BBChat would also be relaxed - which was defeated I think (the meeting was breaking up at that point). Also, by saying that "some editors feel that it’s too difficult a job to do this fairly and impartially " does not represent the full range of opinions on this matter - personally i am all for a free for all on this matter. Let the weight of your arguments contribute, not your password.

PatC - nope Chekov isn't one of the longest standing. Also Robbie is the newest - so your rotation thing doesn't really stand up - its more about specific editors. the problem with rotation can be seen from the front page - imho it has suffered enormously from the loss of one of the finest sub editors operating in ireland - who made huge contributions to the success of the indymedia site and has yet to be fully replaced.

author by pat cpublication date Wed Sep 20, 2006 16:48Report this post to the editors

Surely its healthy for an organistion to have a turnover of those who hold posts of responsibility? Otherwise you end up with a self perpetuating elite who see any criticism as the work of mentally ill enemies.

I have made a proposal regarding getting outside assistance in dealing with Indymedias Institutional Sexism but the Male Editors do not even accept that such Institutional Sexism exists.

Crisis? What Crisis?

author by seedotpublication date Wed Sep 20, 2006 17:04Report this post to the editors

Andrew

I accept your points but refute your maths. If the selection was from a pool of possible divided 50/50 then 0.5 to the power of 12 (i.e. 0.024%). But if we look at the last meeting, the ratio has never risen above 25/75 and is usually less than this (we complained at the early meetings that we had 2 regular female attendees and about 20 male - 1 of those females was an editor as previously stated).

Even using the 25% female participation we get 3.16% percentage that we will have an all male collective. If we use the more realistic 10% female participation we get a 28% chance you will have all male editors (which is actually not true - i would estimate that in 5 years there has been about 25 editors - 1 of whom was female)

This all proves that stats are fairly meaningless a lot of the time - but that we were of course going to have cultural and possibly institutional problems in an organisation which has ALWAYS seen male participation outweigh female by at least 3 to 1 if not much larger.

But all us men will have a big row about it and solve this problem - won't we ;-). Alternatively we could work with female media makers to make the changes they need in the organisation.

author by Miriampublication date Wed Sep 20, 2006 17:30Report this post to the editors

I have put my proposal on the editorial list - if it has not arrived there yet then presumably the list server is delayed

I am surprised by your response to the proposal. Is Indymedia.ie a national newswire and if so are the Dublin collective interested in building connections with other contributors outside Dublin? If this is not the case then of course potential contributor involvement in Cork will not be of interest to you and we will have to do our own thing. But even there, I was hoping that there would be a certain amount of goodwill and support available for a Cork-based collective.

Yes, I realise that editors would have to volunteer to come to Cork. I am volunteering the organisational work that would go in to preparing for the meeting. I thought the collective were concerned with making opportunities for wider involvement. The relevance of my post to the points discussed in the minutes are that I am a woman, I live in Cork and I am trying to do something constructive towards building participation in the site and contributing beyond writing.

author by Andrewpublication date Wed Sep 20, 2006 17:36Report this post to the editors

Maths isn't my strong point but of course seedot is right. If instead of taking the gender componet of the general population as a base we take some other one the result will come out different and may well prove that there is no problem at all. Thats the most common problem with statistics you can often ensure you prove what you want to by controlling what it is you measure in the first place.

The problem I see though is that it is impossible to have a conversation about how to move forwards until there is agreement on whether or not you need to move forward in the first place. At this point I'll butt out.

author by stuartpublication date Wed Sep 20, 2006 18:38Report this post to the editors

I am (or used to be) a statistician and in my opinion, for what it is worth, the maths presented so far are irrelevant. You have one constituency claiming systematic bias that might or might not be malicious and you have another constituency claiming such bias is unsubstantiated. The statistics don't help either constituency. There is no policy in place and there is no evidence that the complaint has been addressed. A transparent process would require the complaint in full and the response in full, plus whatever opinions are aired in a comments section. But not here - this is wasteful.

I could give you what I think an independent mediator would say, although I am sure you all know it, and nobody would like it.

author by whatpublication date Wed Sep 20, 2006 19:30Report this post to the editors

What do you think an independent mediator would say Stuart?

author by Dave Dpublication date Wed Sep 20, 2006 21:49Report this post to the editors

I was just going to contribute one point but I've just thought of a second so I'll start with that. I've just scanned the above it struck me one thing is missing. Some positive vibes about Indymedia. Truth is a lot of people put a lot of time into Indymedia without getting much thanks for it. I'm not just thinking about Editors but everybody who contributes and makes Indymedia a (mostly) interesting read. I feel it'd be no harm to pause for two secs, take a deep breadth and say...yeah, it's pretty good, well done gang. Thats not to say the issues above, personal and structural, aren't important and tricky and need to be dealt with but let's give ourselves a break too!

The other thing is I'll like to support the point mentioned above to "print a small document to publicise the site to outreach to other groups" and in fact I'd go further. I think the direction of strenghtening links with local groups is an important way to go. What's going on in local groups is really the lifeblood of Indymedia. Anything which strenghtens those links will be good for Indymedia.

author by IMCistapublication date Wed Sep 20, 2006 23:30Report this post to the editors

I am really saddened to see this thread so long and bitter, but it has been good to see some misunderstandings become points of understanding between members of the collective. I won't rehash some of the things that have already been said, but what seems odd to me is this heirarchical way of running an Indymedia. Why are editors being territorial about sharing work? Don't you have systems in place to deal with editors who go against Editorial Policy? Is it some kind of life-long badge of honor to be an editor or something? Why isn't anyone talking about skill sharing? How hard would it be to have an editor come over and show them around the computer, show them the general idea about how html works, etc. I don't know how Oscaillt works, but if it's anything like sf-active, the tech stuff is secondary compared to the general running of the site- you've got over ten editors, for crying out loud... how much can there be to do? It seems like this tech thing is really being used in a weird way, which makes it a very dubious excuse for having a 25:1 ratio of men to women. And judging from the way Miriam and others are being treated by both men and women, it's very plain that intelligent women with their own ideas are not welcome to participate in the collective.

Also, what does "unmanageables" mean? From whose point of view is Miriam and others considered unmanageable? Are women in existence to be "managed"?

author by Astropublication date Thu Sep 21, 2006 00:38author email astrogirlpink at yahoo dot com dot auauthor address Outer SpaceReport this post to the editors

Stop this whingeing please!

Girls - guys run the world because they are bigger, tougher and fight harder and meaner. Get over it.

If you want to beat them at their game, you have to fight SMARTER using your superior verbal skills and emotional/psychological tactics.

Fight men using emotional warfare, works every time and has them ducking for cover.

Enough already of feminist whinings.

Love,

Astro the reformed feminist

xoxox

author by seedotpublication date Thu Sep 21, 2006 00:57Report this post to the editors

as a poi IMCista, the unmanageables is the self designation of a loose collective of women activists who reached back to the foundation of our state and reclaimed quite a powerful form of female political mobilisation. All my humble opinion, but they're good people. A search on the site will bring you to some media about them.

Andrew - of course there's an issue and an attempt to move forward. It says so in the original article and the fact the meetings and this discussion are taking place are a sign of that. Whether the invitation is taken up or not is a different matter. I think many people are putting the effort into achieving consensus on a way forward - how radical or wide this consensus will be remains to be seen.

I think this is a great website DaveD. It got lucky with some early stories and with some great contributors and became very visible and successfull very quickly. Because of the tehcnical set up it scaled quickly in terms of hosting and technical resources could focus on software. But the absence of other open left wing web fora in Ireland meant it very quickly experienced a huge amount of traffic both posting and reading. The people volunteering were dragged into moderation and highlighting roles that took up significant amount of time of a significant amount of people who worked on the editorial list. They divised collective procedures to edit the website, keep it fresh and hosting debate while trying to meet the demands of the readership.

For five years the site stayed completely independent, non-commercial and produced stories that formed part of the wider media landscape. The choice was made in 2002 to be media by activists rather than media for activists. It was really good at this.

But it would have been a different beast if if it had been media for activists. Maybe now 200,000 people read it, its time to reclaim the independent media centre and go - right, we have a website, what next? Move forward but also outwards and don't get so hung up on who lays out this website.

Can I propose that indymedia volunteers from outside ireland could be involved in the mediation process that this brand has chosen to undergo with itself.

author by DIpublication date Thu Sep 21, 2006 07:41Report this post to the editors

You cannot control billions of people with tanks in the streets and soldiers at the door. You can only do it by divide and rule - and by programming the mass consciousness (public opinion) into believing that what you want to do is a good idea or the only option.

Related Link: http://www.mindcontrolforums.com/pro-freedom.co.uk/psyc....html
author by padraicpublication date Thu Sep 21, 2006 10:35Report this post to the editors

seedot said: "Can I propose that indymedia volunteers from outside ireland could be involved in the mediation process that this brand has chosen to undergo with itself."

But proposals are supposed to go on the imc list..... : ')

And to be honest thats a vaguer proposal than Pat C's - you sketched out even less detail.

author by Chris Murray - .publication date Thu Sep 21, 2006 11:05Report this post to the editors

are involved already and have been for quite some time. There will be an online meeting next week
which will address negative trolling of women activists and put forward strategies for dealing with them. we have also asked them to aid in formulating proposals for the meeting:
(based on experience of working in small groups in a cyber environment)
will update in the early days of next week.

author by seedotpublication date Thu Sep 21, 2006 11:07Report this post to the editors

prompt conversation.

I am thinking around seeking a chair / facilitator for the meeting who has experience of indymedia from outside ireland but looking for feedback in general before I formalise the proposals and send to the imc-ireland list.

Alternatively i may propose that all editors must submit to purity tests administered by the global indymedia elite in their special facilities prior to ascending to the dizzy heights of editorship. I obviously won't be talking about that here where non-technocrats could catch wind of it.

author by Miriampublication date Thu Sep 21, 2006 11:17Report this post to the editors

Seedot

You often make this argument:

'don't get so hung up on who lays out this website'

We wouldnt be so hung up on it if it didnt entail as much control over what gets done and how it gets done. And we wouldnt be so hung up if the editorial group were not so rigid and exclusive about who gets to share this work with them.

You make out like the editorial role is incidental, nothing to it but drudgery on the one hand but are vehement ab out insisting on a whole raft of technical and other prequalifiers as essential when it comes to the point. I am not trying to be discourteous or rude to you here - just pointing out what I see as a major inconsistency in your argument.

The other factor is that the rules which are evolving for appointing editors have so far excluded 2 or 3 of the 2 or 3 women who had come forward over the last year or so. Thats a 100% exclusion rate over that period fror the women whatever figures or statistics we might want to play around with. The fear of 'tokenism' is a red herring. We are not 'token' women, we are real women - as good and as bad as any of you men and right now we are the women you have got. The impression I have is that there is a not so subtle feeling that runs 'yeah, sure we'd like some women, but Christ almighty, not these ones!'

What follows is not intended as an attack, OK? It is a genuine exspression of the issue as I see it in the hope that it will help you to see it from a womans' perspective. You all ask for evidence of sexism and when it is pointed out to you by a woman, you dismiss it. You seem to believe that you as male editors will be the ones to decide what is and what is not sexism. I have referred to the noticeable readiness to be angry and dismissive with women at times (no, not always) as examples, the patronising tones that are frequently used on us and the tendency to ignore the ideas and suggestions of women. Witness what has happened to my suggestions re the meeting in Cork . The first time I proposed it last January it was more or less ignored - certainly not taken up. When I revived the suggestion here on this thread I had a virtual slap on the wrist from James for not exspressing it as a proposal and posting it to this thread. When I pointed out to him that I had already done that - no response. Then I put it into a proposal for the second time as James asked, and I had another virtual slap on the wrist from Padraic who seemed to think I was demanding effort from people without appreciating that I was asking for voluntary effort and who appeared to overlook completely the worth/merit of the suggestion itslef. He then told me that I shouldnt have posted it here but on the ed list (which Id already said I had done) and then criticised the relevance of the proposal to this discussion, for good measure. He also appeared to overlook completely the voluntary effort I was offering to put in myself. My experience with this Cork Meeting proposal is a classic example of subtle, institutionalised sexism, imo. A failure to see the worth of what the woman is saying coupled with dismissiveness and irritability. My proposal is not regarded as important. I'll wager that if this suggestion was coming from Chekov, Risible, you or any of the men - there would have been several responses to it already. Indeed the meeting would probably have taken place last March as originally suggested. Pat meanwhile on this thread alone has had a lot of editorial effort devoted to arguing with him about what he is saying. Im not saying those discussions are less important but there is an imbalance in the consideration paid to him as compared to my proposal. Institutionalised sexism. Not conscious or intended, but sexism even so. Women the world over will describe identical experiences when trying to be heard as minority among a group of men - especially when there is an imbalance of power over those women as is the case here.

Re Mentally Ill/Pat C

I think it is disingenous to argue that the specific targeting of the 'mentally ill' as a group worthy of consideration in that post is innocent. From among all the possibilites, why choose that particular one? The behaviour of us all is at times not very good. But I would move on from that if I were you pat - tempers were running high all round during those few days and a lot of atypical stuff got said. People will form their own view in any case.

I dont think it is fair to say that Pat is trying to drag this website down. He is arguing points of principle - as only Pat does :-)

Equally Pat, I have to say I think you are doing Robbie wrong to keep repeating the accusations you make about him - its very clear you are not right in what you are saying and your acknowledgement of your mistake over Chris's anonymous post was noticeably less than gracious at the time - yet you had given Robbie unjustified hell about it.

author by pat cpublication date Thu Sep 21, 2006 11:24Report this post to the editors

"Equally Pat, I have to say I think you are doing Robbie wrong to keep repeating the accusations you make about him - its very clear you are not right in what you are saying and your acknowledgement of your mistake over Chris's anonymous post was noticeably less than gracious at the time - yet you had given Robbie unjustified hell about it."

I accept that I was wrong in thinking that Robbie was posting as mOuse. But he had accientally posted using that name and then re-edited the name to Robbie S. So I had grounds for suspecting that he was indeed mOuse.

However IMHO he unfairly hid comments which disagreed with his point of view in the Preston debate. He hid comments directly responding to his own comments and he continued to do so even after other editors said that such action on the part of an editor was inappropriate.

Taking that into consideration along with his blocking of Paula G, I am merely stating that IMHO he is not fit to be an editor.

author by mOuse - .,publication date Thu Sep 21, 2006 11:43Report this post to the editors

do I have to apologise for mOuse.
There was crime in the preston story.(anon, therefore a good idea)
I was ill.
white noise wrecks my head.
the druid had been stalking me.(in my mailbox, on ed lists and on the newswire)
oi!!!!

and I was in westport on a family holiday to recover from the druid, with twice weekly access to internet.
jesus.

author by Miriampublication date Thu Sep 21, 2006 11:48Report this post to the editors

Im not suggesting you have to apologise for using mOuse. Its not about that at all. Pat thought it was Robbie and you cant be responsible for Pat's mistake, now can you?

author by Paul Baynespublication date Thu Sep 21, 2006 11:52Report this post to the editors

Three points:
Two in response to Miriam’s contributions and a third more general request.

First of all, regarding Miriam’s proposal of a meeting in Cork:
I think this is an excellent idea. It would probably generate a lot of media activism from the locality and is a very positive and practical suggestion. I don’t think this needs formal editorial approval – just do it.

Ideally yes – some editors should attend. However, don’t be hamstrung if no editors are available. Do it anyway. You say eds would be needed for tech advice and general background, but while this would be helpful, I don’t think it would be essential. As seedot said above:
“The focus on the editors - as opposed to making media - is a big part of the problem”
A meeting could be “editor supported” without having editors present.

Re: your more recent post, of course it is important who the editors are. If people feel disenfranchised or feel that the editors are “rigid and exclusive about who gets to share this work”, then there is an issue. But don’t get bogged down in the issue, and don’t let it stop you from going ahead with a meeting.
________________
Secondly, with regards to the idea of a second website:
I think that’s fair enough if you want to go ahead with it. But I have my doubts – not because I think that this site would be threatened, but because there is enough social fragmentation in capitalist society already, and we really need to be finding common ground rather than splintering off into different projects.

There will always be a diversity of opinion, but if there are to be practical solutions to issues, we need to put our differences aside and find common ground as the basis for these solutions. It would be premature to abandon ship – I don’t think we’ve hit the brick wall just yet…
________________
Thirdly, and most importantly, I would ask for some more goodwill towards the editors. The editors have put a lot of work and effort into the site (me less than most) and I don’t think it’s too much to ask that they be shown a little goodwill. In some quarters, there seems to be a lack of faith in the editors’ willingness to widen the circle and to involve women. I would ask that people have some faith.

The lack of female participation has been raised and articulated – now we need a little breathing room to deal with the issue. This requires some trust and some patience. A core point was made earlier in this discussion by Seedot:
“Indy has a problem with accepting anybody new at the moment - for a whole range of reasons (many structural, some cultural)”
A debate has been going on for some time now about clarifying the role of an editor, and the process by which an editor is appointed. This whole debate about sexism in the editorial collective has opened up at the same time as these more general issues are being clarified.

I am not saying that only the editors have a role to play in dealing with the issue, and that everyone else should step back. I am only saying that the editors should be allowed to play their part without being harangued.

I am NOT saying people should stop being critical. I hope that people (most prominently Pat C, Chris, Miriam, iosaf) continue to contribute constructive suggestions for improvement. However, in my view it is essential that they offer this criticism on the basis of some kind of common ground. The practical reality is that any changes that are made will happen as a collaboration between all of those involved in this debate. So we better start searching for that common ground on which to base this collaboration.

To use a specific example of what I mean:
I feel that Pat C’s continued reiteration of the ‘mentally ill’ comment by Chekov has been an unhelpful diversion. I have no quarrel with Pat, and am not trying to have a go at him in particular. In fact, I’m grateful to him for his passion for the indymedia project, his general critical presence, and his habit of notifying editors of posts that breach guidelines etc. However, the manner in which this issue has been continually raised has been unproductive. My purpose is not to say that his criticism is or is not valid. But the criticism has been clearly articulated, and people can now make up their own minds about it.
I do feel that Anthony is correct when he says that:
“Pat is using the absence of women as a club with which to beat the editors over the head”
instead of making the criticism and allowing some time and breathing space for matters to be rectified.

Finally, I want to acknowledge, as an editor, that I believe that there IS a problem with the lack of female editors. No qualification, no buts.

As far as I am concerned, there is common ground here across the board, but it has largely become invisible and the differences and arguments have been brought into relief. I would appeal to people to show some goodwill and find some common ground so that we can resolve these issues.

We're all passionate about what indymedia should be, but let's try not to get divisive.

author by pat cpublication date Thu Sep 21, 2006 12:03Report this post to the editors

" feel that Pat C’s continued reiteration of the ‘mentally ill’ comment by Chekov has been an unhelpful diversion."

Well Chekov wrote it and he wrote it in the context of disagreeing with Indy "dissidents". So who else do you think he was referring to? Chekov could withdraw those comments.

I will refrain from menmtioning it further unless someone else starts spinning about it.

"I do feel that Anthony is correct when he says that:
“Pat is using the absence of women as a club with which to beat the editors over the head”instead of making the criticism and allowing some time and breathing space for matters to be rectified."

But Paul, editors keep on denying that there is any Institutional Sexism. They also mostly diss the ideas I suggested for a outside mediator. It should be remembered that I am not an editor. I have never been in a position to block or approve a female editor.

I have made my point on that and will let the editors get on with the job.

author by seedotpublication date Thu Sep 21, 2006 12:29Report this post to the editors

This website is not Indymedia. I agree there are issues with the way this website is run and that these should (and I think to an extent are) being addressed.

But it is not the be all and end all of the independent media project in ireland and what it could be.

I would echo the frustration you found when attempting to hold a meeting in Cork. If you go back to the lists for January 2004 when I first suggested organising a media centre for mayday that year, the silence is deafening - even though I was male and an editor. When you spend 2 or more hours a day moderating a website, it can be annoying when someone says this also means you have to attend meetings to plan a media centre or travel to Cork to give classes - because you are indymedia. the standard response is - well so are you - you do it. Rude and abrupt yes - but I don't think it is sexist (this does not mean it isn't sexist and doesn't mean I think there is no sexism at play in this whole mess).

Miriam you are a very strong writer and advocate for the causes you are engaged in. indymedia ireland has consistently rebuffed efforts by people to get involved over the last few years - partly because the only way to be truely, fully involved was to partake in a v. high volume mailing list, understand 5 years of procedures and protocols and then, tentatively, start to undertake editorial actions. To change a small bit of content on a website.

I am not saying it doesn't matter how the website is laid out - stay quiet and let your betters do their work.

I am saying being an editor has become way too important in the minds of both the editors and the other participants in indymedia - which is why I am stepping down although I still enjoy laying out features for the site.

PatC & m0use - i think this argument is a good example of how something that could be resolved in 5 minutes face time can rumble on for months and cause loads of bad blood on the internet. As much as anything we all need to communicate a bit better and be less ready to jump to anger.

author by Miriampublication date Thu Sep 21, 2006 13:21Report this post to the editors

"As much as anything we all need to communicate a bit better and be less ready to jump to anger."

Aint that the truth. I think there is a strong case to be made for putting aside differences that have not been reconciled after a cooling off period and proactively and positively re-engaging with people on other matters.

I know some eyes will roll heavenward when I say this but there is some good sense in it, imo. The Quakers are a group who run exclusively on consensus and they are quietly some of the most potent and effective activists anywhere in the world. The core belief and lifelong struggle is to discover what is referred to as 'that of God in everyone' -to focus your effort on finding the thing you can agree with rather than the stuff you cant. Tony Benn is a Quaker and he was howled at with derision when he went to visit Saddam Hussein before the Iraqi invasion to ask him whether he really had links with Al Qaeda. The answer he came back with was, 'No, we are not linked to AQ, we appalud what they are about but we were not involved in 9/11.' Turns out to have been the truth. The Quakers call it 'speaking truth to power' and I think that is a great definition for what we are trying to do here on this site. And if me and others have been speaking truth to the power that is the editors, then that is all that was intended.

But Paul is right - there is at the moment less goodwill going towards the editors than there ought to be from some of us. It's not intentional so much as defensive, but its a much needed reminder to watch out for it too. Feeling aggrieved is not a justification for it.

author by redjadepublication date Thu Sep 21, 2006 16:07Report this post to the editors

Oh what a laugh!

Miriam now condescendingly preaches to us about Quakers.

Above Miriam, again, will not acknowledge the truth that two men have also been rejected/delayed from becoming editors (during the recent period when all editor appointments have ceased). Funny how she and others keep 'forgetting' that small fact, but that would collide with their conspiracy theories, wouldn't it?

And now she preaches to us about Consensus! Oh my....

What Miriam also 'forgets' is that there were editors like myself who once did support and advocate for her to become an editor. check out the archives, its all in there

Two things led me to withdraw my support for Miriam:
1) She obviously cannot get along with anyone that disagrees with her (probably this is now but it wasn't many months ago)
2) I realised that she hadn't a clue what the Indymedia Consensus Process was! Or even what Consensus is! Even after being on the Indy Edit list for months herself and participating in Indymedia and with 'the boys' she never bothered to educate herself.

For me, it was not that she didn't know - that like HTML, Oscailt etc can be learned - it was her incuriousity that made me decide I would not want her to be editor.

And here we are, after god knows how many months later, Miriam lectures us all about the Quakers and Consensus.

incredible.

author by Deirdre Clancy - Personal capacitypublication date Thu Sep 21, 2006 16:07Report this post to the editors

I was at the meeting, more because I was encouraged to go by one of the editors than because I wanted to go. I was very put off the thought by the nature of the previous thread announcing the meeting. I didn't find that the most vocal of those who were criticising Indymedia (in particuar, criticising the editors) were constructive. It is a pity, because I am certain some of these people have strengths and insights that would be very useful if they could only put them across in such as way as not to alienate many of the rest of us. As a feminist, I also didn't want to somehow identify myself with that type of rhetoric when it related to gender, as it seemed more about venting than changing things. In my experience, this type of thing usually happens within both activism and voluntary organisations when people are using these settings to work through their own problems and the residue of previous experiences, rather than issues in relation to the organisation/activist group at issue. I do think there was a lot of projection going on in relation to the editors and their perceived power, to the point where things got totally out of proportion. Overall, I felt a lot of that thread was superfluous.

However, I was pleasantly surprised by the meeting itself. Largely due to the strong facilitation, it was very constructive, and although nothing was actually decided, I do think it went a small way towards creating a more balanced version in people's minds of what has been going on here. With the gender issue, I think I am undecided about what is happening (in relation to the lack of female editors). Although several of the editors have pointed out, correctly, that women can get involved in other ways, I don't think that is really addressing the issue. Editors of this site make content decisions, so the lack of women in that role is important. Therefore, I think Andrew's initial point that it is better to start by assuming there is a problem is a good one, even if the statistic doesn't stand up. The question of what that problem consists of is another day's work. Certainly, as someone who has known a couple of the editors through activism for a few years, I can categorically say that I can't see sexism at an individual level being the issue here. These people have repeatedly bemoaned the lack of female involvement to me and to anyone who will listen. They have encouraged me and other women to get involved on the IMC list (I was too snowed under in the last three years to make much of a contribution to the list). There is no doubt in my mind this is a genuine concern for several of the editors, if not all of them (I don't know all of them, so I can't say).

The lack of women in (what we call) activism is really a huge contributing factor here. For example, there has been about 10 men for every woman at any of the anti-war meetings I have been at in the last few weeks (and these are just public meetings, they don't even require work on the part of the people attending). I don't have the energy right now to go too deeply into the ins and outs of why this is, though I do have thoughts on it (studies have shown that women are more likely to oppose war on principle, so it's definitely a problem with activism itself and its inability to draw women in). I also think that a lot of the good female activists are taken up with women's groups and feminist concerns. Various of the feminist groups I've come across would regard their struggles as more widespread than just equal rights for first-world women. Their concerns would range from war to economic imperialism to the metaphysical roots of women's subordinate role in society, etc., etc., depending on the group. However, there seems to be very little interaction between women's groups and the anti-war movement, for example. Personally, I have encountered opposition from individuals in the anti-war movement in efforts to draw in women's groups. Conversely, when I helped organise a forum on women in activism, the attendance of women was still very low, and the gender balance 50:50 at events where you'd expect women to predominate. So I did stop listening at that point when certain women I knew complained about the lack of visible women in activism, because many of these women didn't bother attending this forum that they'd expressed a desire for (and which I advertised to them repeatedly). I guess what I am saying is, the problem is very complex and deep, and as a long-standing feminist I would say it is a long-term, incremental project the unravel it, rather than something that has quick-fix solutions.

Having said all of that, while I do agree that to some degree, the ratio in Indymedia mirrors that within certain strands of activism (the strands that tend to use Indymedia), it is not the full story and I do think there are certain things that can be done to get more women involved. While I think it is definitely the case that there are women who've applied to be editors who just weren't suitable, and that it would be meaningless tokenism to bring them in just because they're women, I do think something must be done to address the consensus requirement, where one person can essentially block admittance of a person, woman or man, who all the other editors think is suitable. Consensus is lovely in theory, but in certain situations it just doesn't work.

I will, however, add to this that I do know that help has been given to a couple of women who expressed an interest but didn't know the technical ins and outs, to the point of calling to their houses and giving them phone tutorials, etc. The will exists on the part of the editors to encourage women's involvement, and the fact that these particular people didn't turn out to have the type of editorial judgment that was required (and they didn't) is neither here nor there - far more men have been refused admittance too for similar reasons.

I think it's important to end by echoing what Dave D. said - a lot of people put a lot of work into the running of Indymedia. Some put in four-five hours a day of voluntary work in order to provide an effective way for activists to communicate with each other and the wider world. They have built Indymedia.ie from nothing into a vital, widely used resource, which has broken several stories in advance of the corporate media. They should be applauded for it and encouraged to keep going with it. Please stop bombarding them with personalised critcisms and demanding they resign; activism needs them. Well done all on the great job you're doing.

author by pat cpublication date Thu Sep 21, 2006 17:04Report this post to the editors

1. "Please stop bombarding them with personalised critcisms and demanding they resign; activism needs them."

Maybe if the editors quit referring to their opponents as "mentally ill" and "enemies" then I would stop posting criticisms which you percieve to be personal attacks. I would also point out that the powers the editors possess are very real rather than pereceived. Some of them will use that power to hide posts which they disagree with. Others wont. As Seedot observed, ones contribution to the debate on this thread should depend on the power of your argument; not on whether you have an editors password.

I have given particular reasons as to why Robbie should resign. If you know of any reasons as to why the woman he blocked should not be an editor then please let us know, here. As for Chekov, hes been around for a long while. Anarchists believe in rotation of posts, he should welcome the opportunity to step down. (If he had suggested that you should be excluded from these debates or that you were mentally ill, you might have a different opinion of him.)

2. I think the main problem with Indymedia is one of Institutional Sexism, a problem which editors will not accept exists. This is so reminiscent of fights which took place in the Trade Union movement with men being unwilling to accept that structures were sexist or needed to change. Here are some links to reports and case studies regarding Institutional Sexism.

Equal participation of women and men in decision-making processes, with particular emphasis on political participation and leadership
http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/egm/eql-men/docs/BP.1%...22%22

‘The Many Faces of Eve’: Women’s Groups, Diversity and Democracy in British Unions
http://users.wbs.ac.uk/cms_attachment_handler.cfm?f=f48...22%22

ONE MORE LAST WORKING CLASS HERO:
A CULTURAL AUDIT OF THE UK FIRE SERVICE

http://www.fitting-in.com/baigent.pdf#search=%22%22inst...22%22

author by James Rpublication date Thu Sep 21, 2006 17:27Report this post to the editors

Then I put it into a proposal for the second time as James asked, and I had another virtual slap on the wrist from Padraic who seemed to think I was demanding effort from people without appreciating that I was asking for voluntary effort and who appeared to overlook completely the worth/merit of the suggestion itslef

My god I am losing sanity reading this thread again. A constant point that has been hammered home throughout this thread is that 'YOU ARE INDYMEDIA.' Echoing Jesus at the last meeting Robbie said 'where ever two or more gather in the name of the IMC then that is Indymedia.' There's absolutely no need for you to seek approval from editors or a Dublin meeting for a Cork meeting, you can organise it off your own back. There's plenty of good Indymedia readers in Cork, there's a good bookshop collective and autonomous zone in the CAZ I suggest you work with them on the meeting instead of being dependent on people based in Dublin. Please stop ignoring the constant refrain of 'you are indymedia, do what you will' and seeking constant approval from editors. As Redjade points out, the spirit of the project is DIY.

author by readerpublication date Thu Sep 21, 2006 17:44Report this post to the editors

https://212.18.240.237/view/Local/IndymediaIreland

* What is Indymedia Ireland
* Guide for new users
* Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
* Getting Involved
* Working Mailing Lists
* Structure of Indymedia Ireland
* Guide to Publishing photos
* Guide to Filters Topics and Regions
* Guide to creating features (and Basic HTML)
* How To Be A Newswire Editor
* Following the Editorial Process
* Types of Editors
* Anonymity On Indymedia Ireland

* Editorial Guidelines
* Procedures for Editors
* Process for creating features
* Guidelines for Indymedia Journalists
* Procedure for Appealing Deletions?
* Privacy Policy
* Disclaimer
* Email Protocol for Formal Proposals

author by James Rpublication date Thu Sep 21, 2006 17:59Report this post to the editors

Proposal: Link the wiki document (https://212.18.240.237/view/Local/IndymediaIreland) to the documents side bar under the title 'users guide.'

Discussion: Obvious really, the feature done on this a while ago was great (http://www.indymedia.ie/newswire.php?story_id=68510) so it should be easy to find the info. I'd suggest eventually moving all the documentation over as static pages here.

author by sovietpoppublication date Thu Sep 21, 2006 18:11Report this post to the editors

I pretty agree with everything you've said. I also believe there is a problem with respect to womens involvment in activism in general. It is a complicated problem and one that we haven't managed to solve.

I'm not that happy with the contributions from James R and redjade that seem to argue that if you just let people know that they don't have to get approval or permission to do anything, that in itself will increase peoples participation. Yes it might help, but it is not unreasonable for an outsider to assume that there is a hidden hierarachy or clique that runs things - this is how most of society opperates after all. Jo Freemans 'Tyranny of Structureness' is worth reading on this - you can find it by googling.

Furthermore, even if you have pointed out that indymedia is different, many people lack the confidence or experience to do the things they would like to do. Those with experience and confidence need to recognise that, and do more than say 'you are free to do what you like' - if you are serious about getting more women involved, I think you'll have to seek them out, encourage them, support them, give them assistance, talk to them. I feel this probably needs to be done more in 'real-life' spaces, as well as in 'virtual-spaces'.

Over all, a good start would be if people tried to consider how being exluded is experienced.
From there we could try and identify barriers that might exist.
And then we can look for strategies that might overcome these barriers.

author by Miriampublication date Thu Sep 21, 2006 18:12Report this post to the editors

"The will exists on the part of the editors to encourage women's involvement, and the fact that these particular people didn't turn out to have the type of editorial judgment that was required (and they didn't) is neither here nor there - far more men have been refused admittance too for similar reasons."

There is a lot of unhelpful judgmentalism in that statement. There are only 2 or 3 women to whom you can be referring and although, in fact, I didnt apply to be an editor (I was proposed) I have to assume that you are referring to me, for one. I cant speak for the other women but statements like the one you have made above need to be understood for what they are - subjective opinion and not statements of fact. Exactly what editorial judgment are you referring to and, with alll due respect, by what authority do you declare so absolutely whether people have the appropriate qualities or not? If you mean people should possess a certain personality type, then of course the whole thing is ludicrous anyway.

If we are talking about welcoming committed people with whatever strengths and weaknesses they may possess as individuals and working with them, difficult though that may be, then the scenario you are depicting begins to look exclusive and elitist. The whole point of Indymedia is that it is supposed to be the media of all-comers (bar fascists & racists etc). This is a situation where personal dislike should definitely not be a factor. The unspoken assumption in what you write is that had you had more time to devote to it, you would yourself have been an ideal choice :-) At least that's how it comes over to this unsuitable, lacking-in-editorial-judgment woman! For what its worth I think you lack empathy with the position that some of the women here have been in. And again, there is no such thing as a 'token' woman. We are real women - not token women - as capable as you are, whether you realise that or not. And all of us were, as you put it, 'refused admittance' in a manner which appears to be at odds with IMC ethos.

I agree with you about the block - the thing which has angered me most of all. Some of the men here weighed into support the block being used against me - I believe because my personality doesnt conform to what they can stomach in a woman. But in Paula's case it is just one man against an able, committed and contributing woman - and a woman moreover who has not given them any gyp at all on the editorial list :-).

Seedot

In describing the difficulty I have had with the Cork meeting thing, I didnt mean that other people have not been ignored at times. It is just that a lot of my proposals and requests appear to have been ignored. That is not the case with you or any other man except possibly poor old Dunk. And the history of the response to me on this thread alone is clear evidence of a certain dismissiveness which I dont deserve when making a positive suggestion. I dont want to revive antagonism - just to be able to point to what I see as insitutional sexism in operation so it can be looked at calmly. There seems to be a weird sort of agreement that there probably is some problem with attitudes towards women but a horror of finding any actual examples of it. But unless you do that the problem will never really be identified and resolved. To me the sexism is very obvious in many instances. I am happy to point it out, if that is wanted on this thread. If not, then maybe I could put some stuff together in advance of the next meeting for discussion - in a constructive way - and only with mediation! Thanks for your kind remarks about my pieces.

author by Deirdre Clancy - Personal capacitypublication date Thu Sep 21, 2006 18:24Report this post to the editors

Personally, I think the editors of this site have been pretty measured in their comments, given what they've had to deal with in the last while. I have read comments by Chekov you refer to, where mental illness was mentioned, and you have consistently taken it out of context. It was included in a list of hypothetical reasons why it might be a good idea not to rise to those who were flaming the mailing list. Granted, the use of language was unfortunate. But I know the feeling myself of being bombarded with disproportionate, angry abuse, and feeling the need to respond in a measured way, because it seems as if the person has lost control could just get worse if I don't control my responses. I think this is what Chekov meant. It was an unfortunate choice of words, not to mention the fact that it perpetuates a stereotype of sufferers of mental illness, most of whom are actually functional members of society and of sound judgment 99% of the time, and who if anything, often make an extra effort to be measured and competent because of the negative stereotypes that are out there (I worked as a volunteer counsellor for a few years in this area). I don't think it's really mental illness he was referring to, but inability to control one's emotions, including those of anger. People often confuse the two, unfortunately. You extrapolated from this unfortunate use of language that Chekov was comparable to Stalin, and should resign lest he start institutionalising those who criticised Indymedia. This is the type of thing I feel is unconstructive. While you come across as someone who has a lot to offer in terms of experience and activist know-how, you are not helping your own argument or anybody else's by this lack of proportion.

Aside from this, I do not want to get into any individual issues you have with any of the editors. I have already stated I do not agree with the consensus requirement for new editors because I think it will invariably militate against positive change. However, you must allow for the fact that people will disagree with you, without attacking them personally and demanding their resignation.

author by Malarkeypublication date Thu Sep 21, 2006 18:26Report this post to the editors

There seems to be a weird sort of agreement that there probably is some problem with attitudes towards women but a horror of finding any actual examples of it.

Maybe. Just maybe. In a remote corner of the vast universe of possibilities there ARE no examples of it? Certainly you and no one else on any of the long threads have provided one. Could it be that there IS discrimination against you? Discrimination based on your inability to work with other people? A fair and reasonable discrimination as opposed to an unfair one based upon your gender.

Having never met you I have no idea if you are male, female or some blend. Having never met you I'm also absolutely certain that I want to continue that happy state of being.

The only sexism that I can see on the editorial lists comes from two people. The first is you when you insult Elaine and PaulaG specifically on the basis of their gender. The second is from Iosaf who while pretending to be an editor insulted a female contributor with a "joke". (Something that you defended afterwards).

Finally it seems plainly obvious that your complaint is simply that all the editors are men. A completely sexist line of attack. Quaker my eye!

author by pat cpublication date Thu Sep 21, 2006 18:34Report this post to the editors

Well who are you? Are you one person? Do you believe that Institutional Sexism exists anywhere in the world?

"The only sexism that I can see on the editorial lists comes from two people. The first is you when you insult Elaine and PaulaG specifically on the basis of their gender."

Dont know what you mean there. Paula G was blocked from becoming an editor.

I didnt block Paula

Iosaf didnt block Paula

Chris didnt block Paula

Miriam didnt block Paula

Indymedia Editor Robbie Sinnott blocked Paula from becoming an editor.

12 male editors, 0 female editors. Ah, sure you would have to be Mentally ill to think there was anything sexist about that.

author by padraicpublication date Thu Sep 21, 2006 18:48Report this post to the editors

Pat,

do you actually think that none of the editors see the current gender balance as a problem?

Padraic

author by Malarkeypublication date Thu Sep 21, 2006 19:20Report this post to the editors

Pat, the only two examples of sexism come from direct attacks on the basis of the gender of Elaine and PaulaG by Miriam (two widely separated incidents so it's indicative of an underlying behaviour characteristic). Someone actually posted her attacks back on one of the other threads. The other example comes from Iosaf's baiting of a woman who apparently posted to the editorial list with a query. (One of his little jokes. He likes them.)

The editors can believe that the gender imbalance is institutional sexism if they want. I don't and I have the same amount of desire to tell you who I am as I do to meet Miriam. I can only surmise that your sudden wild enthusiasm for correcting gender imbalance has arisen as a result of having been caught out sock-puppeting to yourself and a desire to refocus the attention away from yourself. Still, at least you're finding a healthy outlet. Or is it? I wonder how many SP/SWP/Anarchist threads were made up mostly of your own contributions?

All that Miriam can point to as sexism, which she alleges constantly, is that there are no women on the editorial collective. (Although there apparently have been women in the past).

On the contrary it can clearly be pointed out that she has made vicious sexist assaults on women trying to become involved in that collective.

It is pretty obvious that her modus operandi is to make big accusations and then not back them up. It's also pretty obvious that she's a rotten sexist through and through herself and is willing to use people's gender as a means to belittle them and deprive them of their voice.

I'm off to do some shaking and quivering and then will consense with my many selves. I wasn't going to post this because I have nothing constructive and specific to say but then I saw everyone else posting so I thought I'd get in on the act. I hope someone else sorts all this out for me and makes some decisions for me. I'll be complaining about it all later.

Byeeeee!

author by Miriampublication date Thu Sep 21, 2006 19:57Report this post to the editors

You say I have not given examples and yet I have repeatedly given examples - not least on this thread earlier ,of how I perceive subtle institutional sexism in operation. You're not reading the thread thoroughly. I dont want to make any antagonism here - I just want to discuss the issue. I feel as though you want to intimidate me and others into not raising the issue at all - of making it a law that we cant say we see sexism when we do. You accuse me of being 'vicious' yet look at how offensive you are being about us. I should not have been so angry with those other women but I still stand by the basic points I made to them. And what is the point of saying all that stuff about whether you want to meet us or not? Im sure we dont really mind about that and if it is your intention to belittle us, then how helpful is that to anyone or to this collective? I think I recognise this editor and have to say I think his intervention is possibly a deliberate spoiler. There was a reasonable exchange of ideas in some places - suggest we ignore this type of interjection and carry on with those editors and others who were at least engaging with the issue. Don't be provoked by it.

author by iosaf .:. ipsiphipublication date Thu Sep 21, 2006 20:04Report this post to the editors

As we approach the 5th year of the site, those of us who have been contributing - material - time - images - articles - technical skills - money - new innovations such as radio files etc..,
regardless of how long we've been "on the wagon" we see new issues come to the fore. On the subject of "sexism", I note with interest the thoughts offered before the meeting & since - especially in these comments. After consistent suggestions by users of the site which at times verged on lobbying - we saw created a "gender & sexuality" section. I volunteered to trawl through the back articles & suggest articles which could be resectioned. Most had been published in "rights & freedoms". At end I only suggested moving one which being my myself I felt I could move. [ http://www.indymedia.ie/article/74121 ] And then I stopped wanting to move trhings. I put a comment at the bottom of the first article on our newswire. The first notice on this site. Gender balance & representation was not an issue at first. So it can't be described as "institutional". But the site & its users have grown. 2 key figures have left. I'm pleased that in these 5 years almost all of the suggestions I've made have been followed up on after a period of democratic discussion & almost all have been implemented.

As we all read & digest these comments & parse the minutes & perhaps remember the conflicts & arguments of the past months:

I'd only like to add one thing. We have over the last 5 years sadly seen a two tier environment develop. Problems & hurdles which were unimaginable or foreseeable 5 years ago came along. 5 years is for many in "collective organisation" circles too long to allow people occupy the same role. One reason I'm very keen that the WSM people are paid attention to.

But I think quite a few solutions are emerging. & that includes the encouragement of new lists, sites & collectives representing all the Irish indymedia people wherever they log on from. Let's continue!

author by Deirdre Clancy - Personal capacitypublication date Thu Sep 21, 2006 20:06Report this post to the editors

I am going to respond once to Miriam, against my better judgment in a way, because I don't really know whether it's worthwhile to engage with the wild leaps of logic displayed in her response. I never actually had any thoughts on whether I would be suitable in any capacity in Indymedia except as user, because it just wasn't an issue for me. I have had too much to do. Therefore, the "implication" you read into what I say is totally absent, and it is probably what you wish to read yourself. It is a leap of logic to reach that conclusion from what I said, but this doesn't surprise me particularly, based on my reading of some of the correspondences you have participated in.

As it happens, though, I don't think you would have been appropriate as an editor. There are plenty of women who would be, but I don't think you're one of them. This is because you appear to be incapable of detaching yourself when somebody disagrees with you - you regard it as a personal attack rather than a disagreement on a point of fact or principle. Rather than respond to the person's argument, you attack them in response to the imaginary personal attack you perceived to have taken place. You have made some atrocious comments to women who have disagreed with you, including that they were only opposing your arguments to impress the men, as if they were incapable of independent thought. I don't think this type of interaction is sustainable on a mailing list, especially a mailing list consisting of people who are trying to get a job done. And yes, to me it suggests a lack of ability to make sound judgments on content, based on the guidelines as opposed to what you think of the person posting at any given time.

You have written some very good articles that have rightly been featurised. Unfortunately, your wild allegations about people don't do much to help morale of those trying to run the site.

I now await the stream of invective and wild allegation in response to my opinion...

author by iosafpublication date Thu Sep 21, 2006 20:59Report this post to the editors

I realise a few people engaged in this process at both tiers of how indymedia ireland is presently organised think the four of us are a cosy little gang. But a quick look at what we've written about, how we've written & what we say either on this site or on the lists shows we are very different. Quite a few times our arguments amongst ourselves have been deleted with just cause so far each up others' noses did we manage to get. But what unites us is a wish to join with others in facilitating more indymedia in Ireland. A second, third, fourth node & a mutual respect & cyber friendship which ought emerge after so much time sharing the media. Each one starting with the basic template (where indeed this site started as every indymedia site did). & each site & group evolves differently. I'm very liberal in that I think the continental european approach of minimal editing & maximum background noise works well. But I don't think it would have worked in Ireland 5 years ago. We now have more readers than the Irish Independent & Irish Times put together. We as writers & contributors exert a very real influence on the political & social opinions & perhaps more importantly attitudes of a key age group not only in Ireland but in Europe. I think the worst effect of the last 5 years and the "two tier" phenomona is that all too often those with editorial privelage were seen as a block too. There was a wish not to air differences between that small group in public. As so possibly why criticism is now being blamed on "the gang of 4". It concerns me how many people seem to think (perhaps like Deirdre in the comment just above) that the "constitution" of indymedia ireland devalued their contribution. As if the only achievement was to become one of those with the privelage to move HTML around, propose a feature, write it and put their name on it & of course be allowed read all the hidden or deleted comments. We can't foster that insecurity. We can not allow ourselves to continue with the "two tier" falacy. There are individuals in the collective who are experts in their field. They are the people whose comments & thoughts I want to read ( no matter how emotionally put or badly written ). The role of dissent ought be as valued as the role of dalek. So at end don't think of a "gang of 4" out to get the "gang of 14".
I hope we develop new lists (for Dublin & for the other regions). i hope we continue to bring in the diasporia not just in the USA & not just relying on Dubliners on holidays on the Ryanair routes to remind us that Ireland is a very small place in a very peculiar relationship with globalisation, anglosaxon hegemony & world affairs. I hope that acts to encourage other nationalities and ethnic groups to use this site too & tell us about the new Irish people as much as the cities and countries they left behind.
Everyone is welcome to contribute to setting up new indymedia collectives for the Irish "geographical & cultural" space. I suggest we use the indymedia ireland general list rather than the editorial list for such discussions. After all at present the general list is hardly used.

Now I'm going to stay quiet & read what everyone else has to say.
Peer response. Peer review. Mutual respect. & mutual worth!
We are the Media.

author by blaapublication date Thu Sep 21, 2006 21:05Report this post to the editors

You've been encouraging people who you yourself must have doubts about to start up a new site just because of your need to stir shit rather then because its a productive thing to do.

author by iopublication date Thu Sep 21, 2006 21:24Report this post to the editors

but simply thats not true. after 5 years more sites are organic development. Look around the global network at the nodes which started more than 4 years ago. They all have organically developed & seen close co-operation with other sites. it's not "splitting" it's growing and will not mean anyone doesn't continue to contribute to the national site, that will be up to them. more sites means more activists, more debate, & thus more social movements. Is not one of the problems with Ireland centralisation? in 2003 was I shit stirring to call our lack of iunput from the poorest counties of Ireland the "offally question"? Is it shit-stirring now to point out that in 5 years not one conrtibution has come from Fermanagh. Which borders the poorest Irish counties (either side of the border). If they're not answering the call of a dublin collective or "national site" maybe they'll involve with one for their region?

Now that is the last addition from me. Take it to the list! (indymedia ireland general list)

author by Miriampublication date Thu Sep 21, 2006 21:29Report this post to the editors

All you say really is that you dont like me very much. Thats ok so far as it goes but really, when it comes to streams of invective...

I have alluded to the well observed phenomenon of other women, previously unengaged in the discussion about sexism ,coming out of the woodwork to defend men against the possibility that they might be being sexist. I was rude and angry in the way that I did it, in some instances, and I regret that, but it is relevant that you and others have never had any contact with me as an acitivist , privately or otherwise in the context of Indymedia, that you do not know - could not know - what my experience of it has been. And yet you feel you are an authority on whether or not how I describe my experience is right or wrong and an authority on whether or not other women would have been suitable as editors. I dont want to be antagonistic towards you -but clearly you feel quite angry at me yourself and I am defending myself against your charges here - not the other way around.

Deirdre, you dont know me and the fact is I actually dont fit the persona you are intent on painting. Im sorry about that - there is no need for antagonism between us at all. Your first observation of me was at the height of a heated debate and the impression you formed then may well be understandable. That is unfortunate but there is a bit more to me and everybody else here than what is evident in these discussions. Allow us all that much at least. I dont want to fight with you and I am not going to.

author by writerpublication date Thu Sep 21, 2006 22:30Report this post to the editors

"I volunteered to trawl through the back articles & suggest articles which could be resectioned. Most had been published in "rights & freedoms". At end I only suggested moving one which being my myself I felt I could move. [ http://www.indymedia.ie/article/74121 ] And then I stopped wanting to move trhings."

The endless sorrow of Indymedia
People complain to editors
Editors ask for suggestions
Suggestions are given
Editors ask for a hand implementing them
Person making the suggestion buggers off

author by seedotpublication date Fri Sep 22, 2006 00:06Report this post to the editors

thinking that the next indymedia group should be really alternative and radical and set up a website.

Independent Media Centres have made radio and television, they have connected the most remote and improbable places to the internet, they have taken over buildings both temporarily and permanent.

tbh o as if Joe, the last thing i would bother doing to further indymedia would be to set up another website. Maybe you can lobby for a type or category that has a seperate editorial principle (possible in the software right now could have its own editors - users can choose whether and how to see it, if anybody got an oscail guru on their side ;-) . (doesn't describe me).

But if someone wanted to start again, cool.

Do you go to rw meetings in bcn? how functional / large / creative are they? It would be good to hear other ways of being indymedia.

author by Paul Baynespublication date Fri Sep 22, 2006 01:31Report this post to the editors

Miriam, Deirdre did not say she disliked you.

On my reading:
- She said she felt your response to her comments was not logical.

- She said she felt you were not suitable to become an editor.

- She said you were a good writer.

Yes, what she said was largely negative, but that is perfectly valid. She made criticisms of you, just as you have been making criticisms. She raised substantive points and I felt that what she said was absolutely fair. Whether I agree or not is beside the point - you and I have corresponded previously about your editorship, so there's no need to go over it here.

But she did not say she disliked you - this is a misinterpretation or a distortion of what she said, in my personal opinion.

author by Robynpublication date Fri Sep 22, 2006 07:16author email peacefulwarriorprincess at yahoo dot com dot auauthor address AustraliaReport this post to the editors

I see this issue has become very polarised.

I don't understand why decisions to accept or reject people as editors has been linked to sexism.

Or should we have a token female on the editorial team?

Part of being an editor is retaining a calm and rational distance from issues and clearly weighing up each side to the story and effectively negotiating whilst respecting everyone's opinion.

People who rave on and on about how they didn't get somewhere just because of their gender, without perhaps considering that they weren't the right person for the job - are perhaps displaying to the whole list that the editorial team made the right decision.

I do however think that personal attacks such as labelling someone 'mentally ill' are extremely unjustifiable, and if an editor did this, their editorship should come under severe questioning.

I am a female and haven't experienced any sexism on this list as yet. Perhaps I should apply to join the editorial team to test out the theory that all the sexism lives there.

Happy to discuss with anyone further, please drop me an email.

cheers,

Robyn

author by pat cpublication date Fri Sep 22, 2006 10:54Report this post to the editors

"Pat,

do you actually think that none of the editors see the current gender balance as a problem?

Padraic"

No. Thats not what I wrote. I think that you do not accept that Institutional Sexism exists in Indymedia. I know that you want to see women editors, but I thnk a lot has to change including the idea of a 3 month apprenticeship. Ideally women editors should be appointed at the second meeting. There is no reason why Paula couldnt be made an editor straight away.

author by pat cpublication date Fri Sep 22, 2006 11:08Report this post to the editors

"I can only surmise that your sudden wild enthusiasm for correcting gender imbalance has arisen as a result of having been caught out sock-puppeting to yourself and a desire to refocus the attention away from yourself."

If you care to check back through the lists you will observe that I was raising the issue of Institutional Sexism a long while back. None of the editors have suggested that it is a recent preoccupation of mine.

As for sock-puppetery, perhaps the editors would release the full logs from last week then we can see who was really who on both sides.

"I wonder how many SP/SWP/Anarchist threads were made up mostly of your own contributions?"

You are now trying to introduce another red herring to divert attention away from the editors and Institutional Sexism. You might check back to see how many threads Badman stirred up wiith the SP/SWP.

"All that Miriam can point to as sexism, which she alleges constantly, is that there are no women on the editorial collective. (Although there apparently have been women in the past)."

There was one woman editor in the past. Up to a couple of weks ago there were 15 male & 0 female editors. Now there are 12 male & 0 female editors.

QUESTION authority

author by pat cpublication date Fri Sep 22, 2006 11:31Report this post to the editors

"Personally, I think the editors of this site have been pretty measured in their comments, given what they've had to deal with in the last while."

You are really determined to stay on their good side. I;m sure that you will soon be an editor.

" I have read comments by Chekov you refer to, where mental illness was mentioned, and you have consistently taken it out of context. It was included in a list of hypothetical reasons why it might be a good idea not to rise to those who were flaming the mailing list. "

For a start you accept that Chekov was correct and that we were flaming the mailing list. Are you on this list? Have you gone back through the posts? If not, then you are in no position to make a judge ment unless you make a leap of faith.

Lets make an analogy:

Michael McDowell writes a long tirade about the Ploughshares 5; at the end of this he tags on a comment that: "some people are mentally ill".

Would you presume:

1. He meant some people in society are mentally ill.

2. The Ploughshares 5 are mentally ill.

What would you think?

Now can you understand why I believe that Chekov meant that we dissidents are mentally ill?

"You extrapolated from this unfortunate use of language that Chekov was comparable to Stalin, and should resign lest he start institutionalising those who criticised Indymedia. "

You havent even read what I wrote or you dont understand it. That was a response to Chekovs comments where he said that Iosaf, Miriam, Chris & I should be excluded from debates between the 2 meetings.

The institutions I am referring to is Institutional Sexism. Look it up or follow some of those links I posted.

"While you come across as someone who has a lot to offer in terms of experience and activist know-how, you are not helping your own argument or anybody else's by this lack of proportion."

And you come across as patronising and partisan .

"However, you must allow for the fact that people will disagree with you, without attacking them personally and demanding their resignation."

What is personal in pointing out that Robbie has blocked a female editor (for no rational reason) and that Robbie imho has a history of biased editing? That same editor has described me as an enemy and demanded that I be barred from this site. Why dont you criticise his personal attacks on me?

Chekov has been around for a long while. Anarchists believe in rotating posts of responsibility. He should welcome the opportunity to step down. He has described me as being mentally ill and wants to bar me from discussions. If that happened to you, even you might respond in kind.

author by Stuartpublication date Fri Sep 22, 2006 11:45Report this post to the editors

I do however think that personal attacks such as labelling someone 'mentally ill' are extremely unjustifiable

I previously listed some language from the debate above that I consider to be an affront to dignity (sanity rating, playpen, brainwashed, foaming ("man hating" :) radical feminist one issue people, ladies, systemic paranoia, brain-dead, mentally ill, a couple of flakes and cranks, boys club, playing to the boys, pathethic ramblings, sane editors, spoiled children syndrome, unhinged). And not just an affront to the target of the remark, but to anyone affected by mental illness, etc.

I have no idea if the attitudes expressed and implied in such language have affected decision-making processes, but a process to address inappropriate invective could take complaints out of what is supposedly an editorial discussion and allow time for reflection. Any media organisation or educational insitution could source a suitable policy (indeed it is a legal requirement in an Irish workplace)

author by Miriampublication date Fri Sep 22, 2006 12:33Report this post to the editors

I realise that Deirdre has sided with the popular characterisation of me within this small collective, who are aggrieved with me for raising the issue of sexism and alleging it in certain instances - who see it as a distraction from the main purpose and some form of personal crusade in order to gain entry to the editorial grouping. Mediation needs to be fair Paul and it would be good to recognise that my motives are not what some people around here insist on telling me they are. I am not saying that you have necessarily interpreted my concerns that way - I dont know - just that quite a few people have taken that idea up and its plain wrong. We are mired in that characterisation to such an extent that the issue of sexism itself - how it can be subtle - unitended - is not being discussed. I keep trying to get back to that objective discussion but am constantly side-tracked into having to defend myself against unfounded and unfair allegations.

To look at some of the issues. Here are some male and female stereotypes:

MEN
'Calm and rational'
Reasoned debaters
'Robust' Arguers

WOMEN
Ranters and Ravers
Irrational/hysterical
Agressive & Shrill

All of those stereotypes have been deployed in this ongoing discussion at one time or another.

When a man is aggreived, we dont question the fact of him displaying his anger up to a point. When a woman does it, it goes against her if she responds naturally i.e. is obviously angry - as it has done against me and others here. Whatever cause she may have, she is nevertheless expected to stifle natural but 'unladylike' responses. These are the sorts of issue that the men here ought to consider, in my opinion. The genesis of my argument with the collective over this began last year when I posted a perfectly good natured critique of what I thought were a few problems with the way the site worked. It was friendly and well intentioned and I honestly thought it would be welcomed for what it was - an expression of interest in making the site better. I had written lots of pieces and tried to help out as best I could from limited experience. I was sure people understood I meant well. In response I got back a rude and sarcastic missive which was totally uncalled for, in its tone. This was before you became an editor, I think. I was stunned by it. It was provoking and I was provoked, no two ways. When I registered my anger about it in return, however, I was dismayed that so few, if any, seemed to recognise the genuine reason I had for feeling provoked - they only saw my anger - the consequence of the way I had been treated - and seemed to focus exclusively on that, while not a word was said about the real reason I had for being provoked in the first place. To put it simplistically, I got hit over the head and seemed to be regarded as misbehaving for hitting right back. And that is how it has gone from time to time ever since - with each instance of my anger being regarded in isolation from the way I have been treated and increasing sense of being misunderstood on both sides. Sure, my reaction was not the best one, but the way I was treated in the first instance was equally not right. Ignore the actual example I am giving here and focus on the principles. Im not asking you to decide who is right or wrong - to arrive at any verdict.

ts as if as a woman, you must have a suitably 'lady-like' personality for the men here to feel comfortable with you. Thats an issue for all the women involved. Since that first experience I have noticed other forms of sexism - there is nothing unusual or exceptional about it - its everywhere but the curious thing is that, of all the groups that I would have thought would be equal to taking the possibility of sexism on the chin, the reaction has been one of near apoplexy!!! 'Who, us? Sexist? Impossible!!!' Eventually I felt effectively pushed out (not actually pushed out) and went for advice to IMC Women global list and other places for help where the feeling that the emperor really was not wearing clothes was confirmed to me in a very supportive and understanding way. Of all the characteristic responses to women within IMC collectives who are not as aware of sexism as they might be, I have certainly fallen prey to one of their defining characteristics: pathologising the woman who raises the issue sexism.

Chris is arranging an online forum for a discussion amongst the IMC Ireland women, and in deference to the real purpose of this thread (which I tried very hard to adhere to until Malarkey and Deridre came along) I wont respond to any more personal criticism here. The intention of the group is to articulate issues like the one I have expressed here and bring them to the next meeting to see how they could be taken forward co-operatively.

author by readerpublication date Fri Sep 22, 2006 14:32Report this post to the editors

Thing is Miriam you _did_ have an arguement with a robust argurer, so you see how we can't distinguish that from sexism.

author by pat cpublication date Fri Sep 22, 2006 14:48Report this post to the editors

I've done some more searching and the articles I list here can be found along with others at the link below. Hope they are of some interest.

pat c

Gender, Communication, and Cyberspace

Articles, research papers, and reports that focus on gender, communication, and internet issues.

Cross-Gender Communication in Cyberspace
Gladys We
A graduate research paper that analyzes the effect of computer mediated comunication (CMC) on communication across gender.

Gender Differences in Communication: An Intercultural Experience
Becky Michele Mulvaney
Argues that cross-gender communication qualifies as a form of intercultural communication and offers advice on how to develop effective intercultural communication skills when speaking across genders.

Gender Issues in Computer Networking
Leslie Regan Shade
Discusses some of the key issues and controversies that have arisen regarding gender and computer networking, including participation of women in computer science and networking, social interactions, and pornography.

Gender Issues in Online Communications
Hoai-An Truong, Gail Williams, Judi Clark, Anna Couey
Article by Hoai-An Truong, Gail Williams, Judi Clark and Anna Couey in conjunction with members of the Bay Area Women in Telecommunications Group (Version Number 4.2, 1993). This essay discusses how gender "follows" women into on-line communities and sets a tone for their interactions online. BAWIT focuses on key issues in this situation and suggests possible solutions.
Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity

Sex and the Cybergirl
Julie Petersen
Article which discusses the sexual advances and pornographic comments that barrage women who enter live chat rooms.

Women's Access to On-Line Discussions about Feminism
Ellen Balka
Suggests that the success of appropriating computer networks for feminist organizing in the future will reflect the extent to which women's access to computer networks is addressed by future users.

What Do Women Really Want (Online, That Is)?
Rosalind Resnick
The May 1994 issue of Interactive Publishing Alert contains the results of a new IPA survey that analyzes women's online usage patterns and preferences and what this means for electronic publishers.

Related Link: http://feminism.eserver.org/gender/cyberspace/
author by Miriampublication date Fri Sep 22, 2006 22:24Report this post to the editors

And I had a robust argument right back - but my side of that argument was caricatured entirely differently from my male counterpart's.

author by aoibheann - -publication date Sat Sep 23, 2006 00:00Report this post to the editors


hi,
i'm a (female) videographer and photographer who has over the past 4 years worked closely with many of the (male) indymedia editors who have been mentioned -and in some cases slandered- on this thread. i have NOT ONCE experienced sexism from any of them, either individually or from the collective -and have never felt that my gender has impacted on the way my suggestions were accpeted or negated in indymedia meetings, or on email lists. ideas or suggestions from any of us present at the meetings have always been debated pretty fairly and then either accepted and worked through because of their merit or debated and discarded for practical reasons.
if i had thought it otherwise you can bet that you would have heard the cry of 'discrimination' long before any of the seeds of this thread even began.
its really unfortunate that the media, video, photography and computer tekkie worlds both within activism and without are still poorly balanced in terms of gender (and race, and class etc). this is changing, what is more unfortuate though is the high risk of this imbalance -it becomes way too easy for minority groups or individuals to yell discrimation when they are not selected for a task or job based on their merit or skills.

because of the extremely high quantity of comments threaded on the irish site (in comparison to most of the other indymedia sites around the world) i think that the work the irish indymedia editors have to do is pretty tough going, its hugely time consuming and it definately takes a fair bit of specialised diplomacy and restraint to not jump to the bait of every bored troll out in cyberspace. the editorial collective needs to operate openly, yes; but the editorial collective also needs to operate on mutual trust and mutual cooperation and i think that the editorial collective have every right to be fussy on who they choose to work with.

author by Deirdre Clancy - Personal Capacitypublication date Sat Sep 23, 2006 00:16Report this post to the editors

Pat and Miriam, I will just say that I have no vested interest in this debate - except as an activist who doesn't want Indymedia to be undermined because it is a useful, well-run resource. I have read occasionally the IMC list to get an understanding of how it works, and read it prior to the meeting on Saturday. I think the work the editors are doing is, at present, probably the most unrewarding work possible in activism and think I would rather be put in a room with a group of Young PDs than do it. Therefore, I have also no vested interest in keeping on anybody's "good side". This is a motive both Miriam and Pat C. have attributed to people who disagree with them. I don't actually perceive the editors of Indymedia to be as omnipotent or powerful as either of them appear to, despite their good work. My own motives in this, as a relative outsider to the issues, are to say what the debates have looked like to me as an outsider looking in. Not as an outsider to Indymedia - I am a user of it - but as an outsider to the debates that have taken place.

It's totally impossible to engage with a situation where any criticism is interpreted as sexism. I do not dislike Miriam herself because I don't know her on a personal level - I just dislike the lack of netiquette displayed, though I do like her storytelling abilities as evidenced by her feature articles. Miriam could be a lovely person to have a pint with, for all I know, but that's not actually relevant to the discussion. My comments on protocol have nothing to do with gender. I would question this lack of net protocol in anyone, regardless of what chromosones they were born with. I think there are vendettas here with both that go beyond the actual issues being brought up, and into rather strange territory.

I don't even know why I bother explaining all of this. It will no doubt be misinterpreted yet again.

author by Miriampublication date Sat Sep 23, 2006 12:58Report this post to the editors

Well Deirdre, the fact is that you have bothered and so here we are! There seems to be a misunderstanding - it's objectively irrelevant to either of us whether you like me or not. I'm not being rude - all I meant was that your posts come across to me as beeing rooted more in personal dislike than other things. I dont question your committment to Indymedia, though.

We are not undermining Indymedia by making constructive criticims. I have done just as much as anyone, and more than a lot, to contribute, support and promote Indymedia since I first discovered it. I'm still doing what I can. Pat and I (and Iosaf and Chris) are experiencing what many others have experienced before us - an incredibly defensive and personalised response which is aimed almost exclusively at pathologising the person making the constructive criticism - and 'proving' their unsuitability for anything other than peripheral involvement. You've walked right into that role, in my opinion. The collective generally takes criticism too personally and I dont think your contribution to this discussion is helping that problem. Whatever may be true about my complaint about sexism, I make the charge as a matter of conviction - nothing else. It's hardly making me popular, now is it? So lets stop questioning each others motives, OK? I have met several activists who were formerly very supportive towards Indymedia but who have given up on it because of its defensiveness. This includes environmentalists, anti-war people, socialists and others. That's Indymedia's natural constituency and yet it is beginning to have a bit of a reputation among those people. It doesnt actually deserve that reputation in terms of its content and editorial guidelines but it surely does in terms of some of its personal interaction with people. All criticism is called abuse. Remember the editors are not the only people volunteering lots of work for Indymedia. Your post implies - possibly unintentionally - that the work of the editors is more important than the work of writers and contributors. But we are each pointless without the other and we are all putting in a lot of voluntary hard work. The existing heirarchy is at odds with IMC ethos, the whole point of which is to be inclusive - bar fascism, racism, sexism and other forms of outright oppression. 'Indymedia Editors Urgently Wanted - Only nice people like us should apply' is what comes over.

author by pat cpublication date Sat Sep 23, 2006 15:13Report this post to the editors

Might I first ask why you use personal capacity? You are posting under your own name and do not mention an organisation.

"Pat and Miriam, I will just say that I have no vested interest in this debate - except as an activist who doesn't want Indymedia to be undermined because it is a useful, well-run resource."

I am a long time poster on indy and I am making what I believe to be appropriate compliants about whats going on.

"I have read occasionally the IMC list to get an understanding of how it works, and read it prior to the meeting on Saturday. "

Maybe you should gain a broader understanding of it before you diss long standing contributors.

"It's totally impossible to engage with a situation where any criticism is interpreted as sexism. "

Now you are misrepresenting those who disagree with you.

" I think there are vendettas here with both that go beyond the actual issues being brought up, and into rather strange territory."

Why do you think this? Did someone tell you this? What are these vendettas"

"I don't even know why I bother explaining all of this. It will no doubt be misinterpreted yet again"

I just wonder why you are introducing red herrings.

author by Buriedpublication date Sat Sep 23, 2006 15:53Report this post to the editors

Hello indygang,

A week or so ago I subscribed to your mailing lists ,I think, You know, the one where you get emailed all the editorial actions?

Well, I logged in yesterday for the first time since and lo and behold I had 400 emails or the like. Yikes , Help...How do I switch off this madness?

Please help me before I am buried alive. Im too young to die.

author by Frankpublication date Sat Sep 23, 2006 16:18Report this post to the editors

Just read the whole debate and wanted to comment - First off - I am a regular indymedia reader and admire/am grateful for a great site and the hard work of the editors and writers - imo Ireland suffers one of Europe's most corrupt and inept governments and most complacent/bought medias - and the need for indymedia as one of the few alternative voices cant be understimated.

So sad therefore to see the potential of the site damaged by the current 'sexism' issue. While the meeting in Dublin has clearly set out the stall of the current collective to look more honestly at itself on this front, the core problem seems unaddressed.

Here is a male clique (sorry guys I cant see how else to describe it) unable to actually share responsibility for the editing of the site with 'women' . It reminds me of arguments put forward by the white south african leaders who defended apartheid by saying, frequently, that black people were just not capable of governing themselves. Sharing power means just that - coming to terms with the fact that others will be just as capable of adding to or replacing what you do yourselves, but perhaps differently.

Worse, I think, is the argument that women have to be excluded because technically challenged. Even if true, who decided that editors can only contribute by being computer experts . Were newsparers edited by type setters? No - editorial responsibilities fall to those who have some vision for the content and purpose of the publication. Is that a male preserve? - course not. Cant we have a variety of editors who reflect all of the needs of the site, including editing, wrting, pr, techy stuff etc ?

On a similar point, indymedia ireland is surely a voice for those in the country who are angry and ashamed of current politics and want a place to voice that - shouldnt the editorial team therefore reflect some of the diversity of that large group across gender, geographical, age and class divisions. Sure, you cant just recruit overnight, but what we have here are women actively being rejected as editors for reasons which really dont stack up to much, and for faults exhibited just as obviously in the current male team. Come on guys, whats really going on here? Double standards, glass ceilings, goal posts moving, pots calling kettles etc etc etc.

Next up, the obvious statistical problem, 12 male top 0 female editors is overwhelming. There is a problem of sexist bias, no doubt about it. But those who observe that (Pat c, Chris, Iosaf, Miriam etc) are then characterised negatively not for what they say but for who they are. As it says in the rules above, play the ball not the player - how about applying that to some of the very personal remarks by redjade for example in the threads above. Shooting the messenger seems to be the name of the game. The isusue then gets conveniently buried, and the commenter feels attacked and loses heart, as many have obviously done.

Look, I wanted to comment positively here - I do see the beginnings of a resolution to this debate, but cant the weapons be put down and the glaring problem of a lack of inclusivity on the editorial team be acknowledged with out defensiveness or personal atatcks?. The world would not fall apart if the editorial team admitted and adrssed the problem in a full and open debate as has clearly been started. In fact, lets face it, the world would actully be a better place for just that.

Finally, an amazing suggestion - make Paula and Miriam editors immediately - guess what - problem solved, indymedia more inclusive, argument over, everyone happy, no-one dies! What about it????

author by readerpublication date Sat Sep 23, 2006 16:45Report this post to the editors

Here is a male clique (sorry guys I cant see how else to describe it) unable to actually share responsibility for the editing of the site with 'women' .

author by Deirdre Clancy - Personal Capacitypublication date Sat Sep 23, 2006 22:52Report this post to the editors

“it's objectively irrelevant to either of us whether you like me or not”

Uh, yes, that’s the point I was making in my previous post. If you had read it properly you would see that it says exactly that. I was responding to your original allegations that my criticisms were due to personal dislike, which they weren’t.

“The collective generally takes criticism too personally and I dont think your contribution to this discussion is helping that problem.”

Actually, from what I’ve read of the mailing list, taking criticism personally has been something that you have done consistently. I am contributing because I think these issues are pretty serious and need to be hashed out. I thought I would put my head above the parapet and give an opinion – I have every right to do this. Whether you find it unhelpful is not my concern. I suspect if I agreed wholeheartedly with everything you said you would think differently.

“Whatever may be true about my complaint about sexism, I make the charge as a matter of conviction - nothing else. It's hardly making me popular, now is it? So lets stop questioning each others motives, OK?”

I acknowledge that you believe that you are being criticised purely for reasons of sexism. I have already stated that I think Indymedia should start out by assuming there is a problem, with no female editors among the collective. But that doesn’t mean I have to support each and every argument put forth and the manner in which it is put forth. It also doesn’t mean that I should agree with everything someone says just because they are a woman, and that I am sexist if I don’t. I agree with you that there is a problem, but I don’t agree with you on the every detail relating to the nature of that problem. Part of being a feminist, I would have thought, is respecting differences of opinion among women, as opposed to thinking those who disagree with your particular viewpoint are automatically sexist or trying to impress men, etc. Your lack of willingness to acknowledge that people may disagree with you for their own genuine reasons that do not include sexism is part of what makes me think there is a vendetta going on here.

“that the work of the editors is more important than the work of writers and contributors.”

Again, you ignore what I said in my last post, where I stated that I didn’t regard the editors as omnipotent, and I don’t. Indymedia couldn’t exist without the contributors.

I do agree with Frank that 12 male editors to 0 female is a serious problem, and that we should start from that assumption, and I do agree that women are not inherently less technically able and that this should not be cited as a reason for the lack of female editors (I’m amazed that it was, actually). But I also think it is wrong to say that certain people are being attacked for who they are, rather than what they say. Having read through archives of previous debates that have taken place on the list, and read through many flame wars, I believe a lot of the exasperation expressed toward the people in question is based on what they say and especially the manner in which they say it. There have, for example, been instances where the editors were accused of things they didn’t do. When it was pointed out that the accusers were wrong, the accusers just attacked them even more, despite the evidence that their allegations were unfounded being there in black and white. In a situation like that, most of us would eat our words and say, ‘Sorry, I was wrong’. We all make mistakes. The issue is that a lot of the allegations against the collective have pretty overblown if you look at the actual historical evidence.

That is not to say that there isn’t a problem – we should assume that there is, and that it should be remedied. I don’t think it gets remedied by flaming and demanding resignations. I can say also that I know several women who see a problem in Indymedia in respect of the lack of women involved, but who don’t want to get in on the debate because they don’t wish to be associated with those who are most vocal at the moment on the issue.

Pat, I put "personal capacity" because I am speaking on my own behalf here. That is usually why people put "personal capacity".

author by Record Keeperpublication date Sat Sep 23, 2006 23:19Report this post to the editors

I do agree that women are not inherently less technically able and that this should not be cited as a reason for the lack of female editors (I’m amazed that it was, actually)

It should be pointed out that this idea was asserted by the very people that are insisting that they are the victims of sexism and was explicitly denied by many editors. This can be proven by examining the mailing lists.

It should also be pointed out that the only attacks made on the basis of gender have been by Miriam and Iosaf. This too can be proven by examining the mailing lists.

author by Miriampublication date Sun Sep 24, 2006 07:03Report this post to the editors

It is complete and possibly wilful distortion at this stage to claim that what I have said is that women are inherently less technically able than men. I have responded to this idiotic charge about a million times already. What I have said is that women are less exposed to opportunities for learning technical matters and, through stereotypical gender models, actively discouraged from learning and participating in work of this sort. The IMC globabl womens group - a proactively feminist group and experienced feminist media researchers have all identified this exact phenomenon. I have also argued, that there ought not to be an obligation on women to learn technical subjects if they dont want to - if they personally feel they are not good at it or prefer to do other things and that this should not be any bar to equal participation. This is absolutely not to say that any woman who wants to do that work is less capable but the educational and other stereotyping has - and this is a fact - resulted in a huge gender imbalance in tech contributions from IMC women the world o ver. It has also resulted in an exaggerated attribution of worth to the tech input by the men - very evident in the 'tech barrier' as one editor has described it, that is insisted on here. Women are turned off technical subjects and made to feel that they are not good at them. That however does not and should not mean that there is any gap in terms of what they can offer. The gendered maleness of technical subjects acts against men too. Equally and oppositely they are discouraged from participation in other sorts of work which women do.

To accuse me of sexism for pointing these facts out is plain absurd and it demonstrates perfectly how some people on this male dominated collective are singlularly failing to understand what sexism actually is.

And who are you to decide what is or is not technical?. HTML is technical. Use of the internet is a technical matter in many respects - from computer configuration to user conventions. All that has to be gone through before you can send a single email. All you show is your contempt for the difficulties that others might face from within a different perspective or experience to your own. Technical arrogance and insititutinal sexism, right there folks.

author by Robynpublication date Sun Sep 24, 2006 08:45author email peacefulwarriorprincess at yahoo dot com dot auauthor address South AustraliaReport this post to the editors

Dear everyone,

Is there perhaps a document outlining the roles and responsiblities of an IndyMedia editor and the personal skills and attributes that are desirable?

Perhaps assessment against such a document might assist in any perceptions of bias. This approach is pretty typical in the corporate world.

Then perhaps the unsuccessful applicants can be given gentle and supportive feedback on areas that the current editors believe they need to concentrate on improving.

Is there an informal apprenticeship scheme where aspiring editors can demonstrate their learning and growing competence by their posting of articles and responses to comments? Grooming a person with a strong desire to become an editor under the mentorship of an existing editor seems a good way to smooth out the hurt feelings that we have now.

Hell, I might even apply for this scheme myself, that's if you would accept a darned foreigner! I am planning a trip to Ireland from November to January and would love an opportunity to visit the fine folks I read on this list.

Just my 5 cents worth anyhow. I personally think Indymedia Ireland shits all over the other Indymedia's I have been to up until now, and l repeat

I HAVE NOT SEEN ANY SEXISM ON INDYMEDIA IRELAND!!

I have seen occasional nastiness and low blows and illegal diagnoses of mental illness, but no sexism. And I am pretty good at picking it up when it does exist. Absence of females in decision making positions does not automatically equal sexism.

People are welcome to contact me by my email if they wish to discuss further. I have counselling qualifications & experience on a suicide prevention hotline and experience as a mediator, so feel I might be able to offer my services to help sort out this misunderstanding to a peaceful and harmonious conclusion for all.

cheers

Robyn

Related Link: http://www.myspace.com/moltengold
author by Miriampublication date Sun Sep 24, 2006 09:47Report this post to the editors

"Uh, yes, that’s the point I was making in my previous post. If you had read it properly you would see that it says exactly that. I was responding to your original allegations that my criticisms were due to personal dislike, which they weren’t."

Uh, yes, and if you had read my posts properly you would see that what I am saying is that I dont mind whether you like me or not. Nevertheless, what comes over, despite all you say, in my opinion, is that this is more a matter of personal dislike for you where I am concerned - despite the analytical argot that you use to disguise it. You are of course also making separate observations about Indymedia some of which I agree with and others of which I dont. No problem. Its good to hear from you AFAIAC.

Actually, from what I’ve read of the mailing list, taking criticism personally has been something that you have done consistently.

There is that personal dislike coming through again. You avoid what I am saying by turning it back on the personal. I am concerned about institutional defensiveness. I have frequently stated that bar a couple of people, I think the men on this collective are good people who do not intend to be anything other than supportive and encouraging. But I think they have a problem with subtle sexism and with constructive criticism which has affected a number of people negatively including me. This does not make them ogres or horrible people, but it is needlessly alienating some of us. I am by no means the first person to say these things and probably wont be the last. The point is to ask them if they would consdier standing back and looking at the situation from this other perspective. This thread is an attempt to do just that, so we are getting somewhere, in theory. But judging from remarks on the editorial list, these threads are just a gesture - the editors appear to resent them and deride the discussion here in fairly dismisive terms.

You have had a very different relationship to this collective to the one I have had. You know many /some of the editors reasonably well. Bar one meeting and about three phonecalls, my interaction is all on the net. So I dont get the warm fuzzy thing so many of you have up there from bumping into each other by the by. When I met two of the editors, I had a pleasant 2 or 3 hours chewing the Indymedia cud with them. No doubt if I were able to do more of that, things might be different . But the fact is that by its very nature, we are more a a virtual community than a physical one. Indymedia can ill afford to put the emphasis on the personal contact for that reason. It has to evolve into something that is mindful of the difficulties non-Dublin based people (most of us?)experience. The 'virtual' experience tends to pick out more starkly both what is working well and what is not. In all of my interaction with Indymedia I have acknowledged both.

I am contributing because I think these issues are pretty serious and need to be hashed out. I thought I would put my head above the parapet and give an opinion – I have every right to do this. Whether you find it unhelpful is not my concern. I suspect if I agreed wholeheartedly with everything you said you would think differently.

You gave your opinion of me and my position just as I am doing to you. Maybe we will get somewhere eventually.

I acknowledge that you believe that you are being criticised purely for reasons of sexism. I have already stated that I think Indymedia should start out by assuming there is a problem, with no female editors among the collective.

On that much we are agreed, except to say that I have also been criticised on other grounds - quite justifiably at times - and have tried to take those criticisms into account. Everybody on the collective has had that at one time or another.

But that doesn’t mean I have to support each and every argument put forth and the manner in which it is put forth. It also doesn’t mean that I should agree with everything someone says just because they are a woman, and that I am sexist if I don’t.

And I have never argued that shoud be your approach either - its not a matter of agreeing with everything the other person says. Thats an impossibility. But you cannot know what my experience of working with this collective has been and that puts you in a weaker position when you come to pass judgment on my experiences. Whether you intended it or not, your first post on this thread, in my opinion, read like the pronouncement of a supreme court judge. You didnt offer opinions, you stated the case in many isntances, as if your opinion was a matter of fact - e.g. 'and they were not' - as if you would know, definitively.

I agree with you that there is a problem, but I don’t agree with you on the every detail relating to the nature of that problem. Part of being a feminist, I would have thought, is respecting differences of opinion among women, as opposed to thinking those who disagree with your particular viewpoint are automatically sexist or trying to impress men, etc. Your lack of willingness to acknowledge that people may disagree with you for their own genuine reasons that do not include sexism is part of what makes me think there is a vendetta going on here.

Again you misconsture what I have been saying. What staggers me is the lack of empathy from women who have rushed to the defense of Indymedia as if, by alleging sexism (which you acknowledge must be a problem somewhere, somehow) I was committing some sort of murder on the collective. Has it not occurred to you that I might actually know what I am talking about - that there is in fact no mystery at all about where the sexism lies, that I am actually pointing to it very clearly and that I am being battered on all sides (no this is not a martyrdom complex - just a fact) and that I could use a little help here? Im not out to undermine anything. In the last week alone, despite this awful experience on these threads, I have contributed about 4 pieces to Indymedia. Two of them took about a week between them to write. Is that hurting anyone here? Would you not have the courtesy to respect that I understand my personal experience of this collective better than you? So where are you Deirdre? Chris has been a friend despite the fact our interpretation of feminism is vastly different and that we dont agree on her interpretation of all her experiences of the collective, either. Its not a problem - but the sexist dismissiveness, the subtle double standards, the stereotypical expectation of what we should be like as a women - these are a problem for us all and we could use your help with that. But these stranger (to me) women, however, seem to think that by pointing to their knowledge of the men as jolly nice chaps who wouldnt hurt a fly etc etc, the sexism charge is disproved. And without any personal knowledge of me you have joined in the sexist caricaturing of me as shrill and single-minded, and as having another agenda - of being personally motivated. (You have retracted that last accusation at least).

Again, you ignore what I said in my last post, where I stated that I didn’t regard the editors as omnipotent, and I don’t. Indymedia couldn’t exist without the contributors.

Despite that, the import of what you say, in my opinion, is the opposite. You appear fundamentally to see your role in this debate as being to defend the editors, all your conlcusions carefullyt come round to that. Your frame of reference is one of those who criticise (bad) and those who are criticised (good). You throw a sop to reasonableness by conceeding there probably is sexism but refuse the difficult and thankless work of pointing out actual instances of it. What use is that to us? Consider, Deirdre, if there is sexism, which of the people involved are likely to be the first to feel it? It is going to be the women, of course, particularly when it is not deliberate sexism. I dont ask you to agree with me on all points, but the least you could do is to say, 'this woman believes there is sexism here and its important not to villify her for saying so. The chances are she will at least be right in part.' The same debate was had about racism where ethnic communities had to fight long and hard to be acknowledged as the experts on racism. They were tired of well meaing white social workery types, who no matter how sensitised to the problem they had become, could never have a fraction of the insight of the person experiencing the racism. The same principle should apply here. You have not worked with Indymedia even fractionally as closely as I have during the last year or more. At the moment it is exclusively the men who are defining the sexism, while other women are handing that power over to them because they are nice guys, in their comparatively peripheral experience of working with them on day to day editorial work. It's not a coincidence that I was rejected and that I am a woman. Its not a coincidence that Paula was rejected and she is a woman. We were both rejected by a collective which was beating its brow about needing women. Yes, Rejade, two other men were rejected during that period, but other men were equally appointed on extraordinarily unequal terms. And one of the first actions of one of those men was to bar the second woman nominated within weeks of becoming an editor himself. And none of the men will take him to task about that. Some have expressed their opposition to the block on Paula but nobody has taken it up as an urgent matter of unequal treatment. All of the effort, masses of it, has gone instead into justifying her barring with screeds of stuff about what the process for appointing editors should be, with an eye to the retrospective view of what has happened. I.e. dressing it up to look as if it was all kosher. And you are helping that fudge along, albeit unintentionally. This is not at all a personal comment on Paul Baynes, but he had as little experience of editorial work as either Paula or I before he was approved. Eamonn Crudden acknowledges that the same was true of him and has argued strenuously for the approval of the women proposed.

I do agree with Frank that 12 male editors to 0 female is a serious problem, and that we should start from that assumption, and I do agree that women are not inherently less technically able and that this should not be cited as a reason for the lack of female editors (I’m amazed that it was, actually).

Nobody said that - certainly not me. See earlier post to Record Keeper.

Having read through archives of previous debates that have taken place on the list, and read through many flame wars, I believe a lot of the exasperation expressed toward the people in question is based on what they say and especially the manner in which they say it.

Absolutely. But the critical thing is that it happens on both 'sides'. There has been unnecessary and unhelpfula aggresion in both directions. In fact one of the editors has defended the need for agressive list management, providing alink to a website where all the men agree that that is the best way to do things. 'You may not like it, Miriam, but that is the way it is' is how the aggression was justified to me. And yet I see lists all over IMC where the exact opposite is the case. It is the collective themselves, more than anyone else, who have determined the preferred tone of debate with their critics.

There have, for example, been instances where the editors were accused of things they didn’t do. When it was pointed out that the accusers were wrong, the accusers just attacked them even more, despite the evidence that their allegations were unfounded being there in black and white. In a situation like that, most of us would eat our words and say, ‘Sorry, I was wrong’. We all make mistakes.

Yes I agree that has happened too - but equally non eidtors have been wrongly accused and there are precious few acknowledgements.

The issue is that a lot of the allegations against the collective have pretty overblown if you look at the actual historical evidence.

I would have to disagree - some have, some have not and again, it has cut both ways

That is not to say that there isn’t a problem – we should assume that there is, and that it should be remedied.

So respect those of us who think we have found it - join with us in resolving it constructively which is all anyone ever wanted to do.

I don’t think it gets remedied by flaming and demanding resignations.

You are misunderstanding what has been said. There is a principle of editor rotation throughout the IMC network which has been noticeably disregarded on this collective. Had it been observed there is a strong possibility that this situation would be less acrimonious. As it stands, the collective have been so protective of their group that there is an unhealthy concentration of expertise among too few people who are now by default essential to the running of the site, in some respects. IMC have wanted to avoied that exact situation from occurring and collectives are expected to put measures in place to prevent it from happening.

I can say also that I know several women who see a problem in Indymedia in respect of the lack of women involved, but who don’t want to get in on the debate because they don’t wish to be associated with those who are most vocal at the moment on the issue.

What are they afraid of associating with, exactly? Why do you think the issue of gender/sexism is up for discussion at all? Because us women kept quiet and waited for the men to do it? And for what is worth, we all know several women who share the exact opposite perspective: that they cannot join in because they will be treated like I have been by men and women alike. I have already posted the views of an experienced feminist media academic who sees what has happened to me here as a text book example of sexism IMC style. I have not edited or doctored the evidence in any way - the editorial archive is fully at her disposal as it has been for other supportive women.

author by Miriampublication date Sun Sep 24, 2006 11:46Report this post to the editors

Oh what a laugh!

Miriam now condescendingly preaches to us about Quakers.

Rejade, have a look at your post again. As an example of condescening, preaching and sneering it would be hard to beat.

Above Miriam, again, will not acknowledge the truth that two men have also been rejected/delayed from becoming editors (during the recent period when all editor appointments have ceased). Funny how she and others keep 'forgetting' that small fact, but that would collide with their conspiracy theories, wouldn't it?

And if you paid attention you would know that I have several times referred to the rejection of a couple of men. It is the ratio of male approvals to female approvals that concerns me, the period of time in which it happened, the inequality as between the women and other men editors who were approved, and the specific grounds given for blocking. Funny how you keep 'forgetting' these small facts.

And now she preaches to us about Consensus! Oh my....

I did not 'preach' - that is your own inferiority complex and highly developed sense of hostility towards me showing through. If I was a Muslim would you use my relgious references against me in such a biggotted and sneering way? You are, as some might say, merely 'venting' and 'projecting'.

What Miriam also 'forgets' is that there were editors like myself who once did support and advocate for her to become an editor. check out the archives, its all in there

Two things led me to withdraw my support for Miriam:
1) She obviously cannot get along with anyone that disagrees with her (probably this is now but it wasn't many months ago)

That is inaccurate to the point of dishonesty. The vast majority of decisions taken against my point of view within the collective have not resulted in any argument or debate. You are stereotyping my response to a particular issue (sexism - which has taken up much list discussion) and dishonestly projecting it onto all of my interaction with Indymedia. By definition where there is agreement and harmony there will be fewer posts. But the number of issues on which I have disagreed with people are far fewer than otherwise. I have obviously disappointed you in some way that I was not aware of at the time but clearly you are seriously mistaken in what you were thinking. Your post is more hard evidence of the personal caricaturing that has been used to deflect my concern about sexism. Is it any wonder that I grow impatient with that at times? You deny me any genuine motives in this matter. So what makes you so sure you are a better person? That you are well motivated and that I am not? It is you who is being superior - you who is suspicious and who is ingoring the substantial evidence of the real effort I have put into this matter.

2) I realised that she hadn't a clue what the Indymedia Consensus Process was! Or even what Consensus is! Even after being on the Indy Edit list for months herself and participating in Indymedia and with 'the boys' she never bothered to educate herself.

Wrong Redjade. I understand well enough what consensus is and have participated in a consensus based faith system for 15 years. Im as familiar as you are with the pitfalls associated with it. If you werent so busy sneering you might realise how arrogant your post is in its presumption. You think you know it all, but actually you dont. You insist on confusing your personal interpretation of consensus as the only valid one. The indymedia collective is not one of consensus as it currently operates. It is a two-tier heirarchy. In so far as it tries to run on consensus, it seriously lacks even basic safeguards against abuse of power or position in some instances. The only aspect of it that appears to run smoothly is where it is applied to managing contributions - what to featurise e.g. but again that is exclusively within the approved editorial collective. There is no consensus where committed contributors are not even allowed a vote. The editorial block is crudely used and it has been the cause of all this trouble, imo. So please dont you lecture me again about consensus.

For me, it was not that she didn't know - that like HTML, Oscailt etc can be learned - it was her incuriousity that made me decide I would not want her to be editor.

Dear God. What on earth are you basing that assertion on? It is completely inaccurate. My lack of curiosity! That would explain why I have several times asked fror tech training/help to get to know whats involved, the most recent request having been made to two editors whom I met with in Dublin earlier in the summer, neither of whom would or could commit to providing it. That would be why I had even before that arranged a date to go to Dublin for a training session with one of the editors. You know why that didnt happen? The offer of training was withdrawn when Risilbe blocked me. I was given to understand that if I was not going to be allowed to be an editor it would not be necessary for me to train up. In other words my curiosity was rejected. (But wtiness too how that POV has been turned in exactly the opposite direction when the furore over blocking Paula arose subsequently. Then, it was said that prior training and experience would be essential - even though no such rule had been applied to other male editors - and tha lack of prior tech experience would be a good reason for blocking. How inconsistent and unfair is that!) That would be why I had training on video inputs from another editor who came to Cork for an afternoon, specially. I havent been able to use that training since because I dont have a video camera. That would be why Anthony spent an hour or more on the phone helping me to learn how to post photographs. That would be why I have several times enquired about the proposed tech workshops which do not seem to have materialised and have asked if one could be held in Cork. That would be why I have taught myself basic html to lay out my articles better. I dont appear to have a particular aptitude for tech stuff and find it mind-bogglingly confusing - the acronmyms and the lingo which all techies use is a nightmare. I have put several proposals to IMC Global women's list about training for non tech literate women. You simply do not know what you are talking about. I have a family to look after and other commitments - it is not easy finding time for everything that might be done. In the circumstances, however, I defy you to show me how I could possibly have been more curious. And despite that there is also the small matter that I have written approximately 50 articles for Indymedia and posted hundreds of news items and info as commentary. I have to keep repeating this until it goes in, it seems. I have promoted Indymedia among many activists in my area. I have asked for technical support for a Cork open day but been told its unnecessary and I should do it alone - wtf else do you want from me?

And here I am, after all this effort, being sneered at by redjade for daring to have an opinon about conensus and being accused of lack of curiosity.

Incredible

author by redjadepublication date Sun Sep 24, 2006 13:00Report this post to the editors

Miriam wins. Her war of attrition has succeeded.
not to mention that my browser almost crashes trying to download this page

I am tired of this thread, I am tired of having my words (and others') twisted and stretched to be used to show how big that chip on her shoulder really is. Any disagreement turns into a screaming match, interpreted as sexism, compared to racism and apartheid, and I can see Godwin's Law being applied soon. Goal posts shift as one argument is lost and another argument is begun, definitions of words change to suit the accuser and defenders of the defenders are smeared.

Enough!

Before the approaching deadline I do plan on making a couple more comments about the need for media making as the central purpose of this site and how its internal democracy and structure needs to focus on that first and foremost.

But I will save that rant for another day. The purpose of this thread was to discuss what structurally can be done to improve indymedia.ie - go all the way back up 146 comments up. Since then there's been mostly heat and little light.

There is a process underway to resolving the actual issues raised. The issues are real and are and will be dealt with - the Indymedia world should not revolve around a couple individuals' personalities and psychological needs.

In my opinion, it is obvious that anything practical cannot be discussed on this thread.

Miriam's war of attrition has succeeded.

author by Frankpublication date Sun Sep 24, 2006 17:02Report this post to the editors

I agree with redjade that something practical needs to come from this discussion, and maybe it has. What I see though is that the retrogressive steps happen when personal abuse and name calling take over from the debate in hand, and sorry redjade but you are just as guilty of that as anyone else. To add to the cliches I listed above, isnt this a case where Miriam, Pat, Chris and Iosaf are concerned, of shooting the messenger because the news (that there is a problem with women becoming editors) is unpopular.

Maybe I'm wrong, but the debate almost seems to have got to the point where people agree (reluctantly) with what Miriam has to say, but they sure as hell resent her for saying it to the point that the wagons have circled against her no matter what.

As above - can't we put the personal insults aside and just talk about the issues. If I had a criticism of indymedia ireland it is that, great site that it is, it has a culture of slagging and personal attacks and criticism voiced very accusingly on the threads, which seems unnecessarily hostile. Could that be debated and some rules set?

What seems a pity is that the current editors are genuine (sorry if I seemed to accuse above) in wanting to resolve these issues but we are locked into the past. The chief culprit imo is the editor block sytem - thinking back, what if Risible hadnt (alone) blocked Miriam as editor before the real shots started being fired. What if Robbie S hadnt (alone) blocked Paula as editor, compounding the problem of apparent sexism in choosing editors.

Here's an idea - Robbie, how about admitting that you got this one badly wrong???

My suggestion, if any one wants it ,is that there is a complete truce, no name calling, mutual respect on all sides, drop old assumptions and resentments, playing the ball and a good hard look at:

removing single editor blocks

rules of engagement to discourage personal attacks on the threads

wider definition of who can edit and what skills an editor needs

rules of conflict and mediation to manage disputes

return to first principles of what the site is for and about

trying out some women editors

author by underneaththebridgepublication date Sun Sep 24, 2006 17:18Report this post to the editors

"removing single editor blocks"

This has been suggested.

"rules of engagement to discourage personal attacks on the threads"

These are in place, they are viewable here.

http://indymedia.ie/editorial

"wider definition of who can edit and what skills an editor needs"

Yes, this has been suggested and ignored for the purposes of this debate. It was the need for such a discussion that led Robbie to block Paula as has been so willfully forgotten. It's a mistake to not clarify what editors do, it leads to a situation we have now where they are seen as al important.

"rules of conflict and mediation to manage disputes"

Any ideas?

"return to first principles of what the site is for and about"

What are these exactly? IMC Ireland is doing quite well in terms of adhering to the principles of unity. Sometimes I can't help but feel that the loose and fluffy 'imc ethos' is a stick to beat each other with. Your version of an IMC might be a space for every nutter in the world to spout off on and mine might be to prioritise local and orginal contributers over global spam and cut and pastes. Take a look around the network and take your pick of fave sites.

author by Deirdre Clancy - Personal Capacitypublication date Sun Sep 24, 2006 18:23Report this post to the editors

"Miriam wins. Her war of attrition has succeeded.

I am tired of this thread, I am tired of having my words (and others') twisted and stretched to be used to show how big that chip on her shoulder really is. Any disagreement turns into a screaming match, interpreted as sexism, compared to racism and apartheid, and I can see Godwin's Law being applied soon. Goal posts shift as one argument is lost and another argument is begun, definitions of words change to suit the accuser and defenders of the defenders are smeared."

I will just give a concrete example of the above, so that Frank might think about his allegation that people are resentful of Miriam because she is some sort of messenger of truth, screaming in the wilderness. It is the posting immediately beneath my last one, in which Miriam alleges I accused her of saying that women were inherently less technically able. I was actually referring to something written in the minutes of the meeting this thread refers to, and was responding to a posting from Frank when I brought that issue up. It was nothing to do with Miriam, and this was very clear from my posting.

I gave that example to illustrate the fact that Miriam has a habit of finding slights where none actually exist. There is, indeed, ongoing misinterpretation and moving of goalposts going on. How is it possible to have a meaningful discussion in this context? I just can't associate myself with that, no matter how strongly I may feel about getting women into the Indymedia collective, and I do feel strongly that this is a problem that should be resolved. It is just plain wrong that people resent Miriam because she is the messenger. I know of several people who have queried the lack of women editors and made a case for changing this in recent times, who can argue in a way that avoids the wilful misrepresentations and misinterpretations that seem to occur when she is involved in a discussion.

I have no vested interest in invalidating Miriam's observations; I am an Indymedia user and nothing more. It would reassure me to know - as a user - there were some women on the collective, and I hope that happens soon. Some of Miriam's observations are true. Several, however, are just wildly, wildly off the mark.

author by Frankpublication date Mon Sep 25, 2006 01:32Report this post to the editors

Just briefly in response to underneaththebridge (and deirdre)

The issue of single editor blocks has been opened as a debate yes, but not concluded - hope to see indymedia ireland agree to drop this imo destructive anomaly soon

the editorial guidelines are clear , yes, but do not specifically address the tone and personal nature of much debate that goes on - including for example Deirdre's own contribution above which devotes four paragraphs to (effectively) 'why I think Miriam is not to be liked or trusted' and none to what Miriam or anyone else has actually said, or the issues raised in the debate in the original post.

"wider definition of who can edit and what skills an editor needs"

Is it credible to interpret Robbie's block on Paula as motivated solely by a need for discussion of this issue? - how then have other editors been appointed - was the discussion concluded and Paula somehow forgotten about, or singled out for exclusion under some new rules? What I intended to suggest was to broaden the definition of an editor to include, for example, a photographer like Paula or a writer like Miriam - not just technical experts, necessary and rightly respected though they are, but editors bringing diverse skills and viewpoints (and gender) to the task of editing the various aspects of Indymedia Ireland.

'rules of conflict...' need to be defined by the editorial and wider group imo, not imposed from outside by me or others - glad to contribute when that time comes

"return to first principles of what the site is for and about"

I dont agree that the imc ethos is fluffy and that no consensus could evolve. Actively preventing the site becoming 'a space for every nutter in the world to spout off on' is my aim just as much as (I assume) yours. But there is no conflict in wanting that to wanting, for example, women to be editors, or for contributors to refrain from making negative personal remarks in response to arguments they disagree with.

To 'prioritise local and orginal contributers over global spam and cut and pastes' is also on my list - again, why suggest a connection between that and a call to end the dogfighting and to value the contributions made by, for example, Pat c, Chris Miriam and Paula. First principles which say that we should have a more diverse editorial team inclusive of women, photographers or writers for example, does not mean lets inlude 'every nutter in the world' - I dont have much difficutly telling the difference - why assume anyone else does?

author by Curiouspublication date Mon Sep 25, 2006 02:37Report this post to the editors

Frank, what do you understand to be the IMC ethos and how "consensus" is supposed to operate? In what sense is "consensus" practiced and how when it doesn't involve the ability of a minority to not be dictated to by the tyranny of the majority?

When you talk about Robbie's block, are you aware that he invoked the block after a complete refusal on the part of the other editors and of the nominated editor to provide clarification on a number of questions (which IMHO is what consensus is supposed to be about: finding common ground by exploring issues thoroughly and being honest and open about problems)?

Your posts suggest both a curious familiarity (with certain details) and lack of attention to (most of the) evidence about what the actual history and actions of the collective have been.

The suggestion that Robbie's block was personal, vindictive or anything other than straighforward is unsupported by the available facts.

The only available facts are:
1) Iosaf makes sexist jokes on the list giving rise to the impression that his behaviour is condoned
2) Miriam makes sexist attacks on any woman that opposes her and accuses any man that opposes her of sexism
3) There are no women on the editorial collective
4) Risible opposed Miriam. Other editors later opposed Miriam
5) Robbie opposed PaulaG after trying to start the consensus process

That's it.

Anything else is supposition.

When you make vast, sweeping statements about "the IMC ethos" and "anomalies" you remind me very much of other participants in this debate. Participants that never supply data or references to back up their assertions.

How many IMC collective are male only? Of those that have women what are the proportions on gender lines? What about the proportions of people of color? What about the proportions of transgendered people? What about the proportions of disabled people? Which collectives practice which decision making processes? How big are IMC collectives in general? Which collectives have imploded and what decision making processes were they using?

There are lots of big opinions being offered but no support for any of these opinions.

author by Paradoxpublication date Mon Sep 25, 2006 02:48Report this post to the editors

"It is complete and possibly wilful distortion at this stage to claim that what I have said is that women are inherently less technically able than men"
-Miram Cotton
Sun Sep 24, 2006 06:03

"Women are turned off technical subjects"
-Miram Cotton
Sun Sep 24, 2006 06:03

The above is a paradox and a simple one.

Miram has spent so much time ranting about the collective's sexism she coukd probably we writing code around now.

It seems she alongside Pat are more interested in destructive agressive criticim than actually pushing the collective forward they've wasted so much of the organisations energy rebutting the non existant claim of sexism that its burnt out contributing members of the collective.

Ban Miriam and Pat from the editorial lists, I'm all for free speech but not for a soul who tries to destroy organisations with their abuse.

author by pat cpublication date Mon Sep 25, 2006 11:12Report this post to the editors

"It seems she alongside Pat are more interested in destructive agressive criticim than actually pushing the collective forward they've wasted so much of the organisations energy rebutting the non existant claim of sexism that its burnt out contributing members of the collective."

How is it destructive and aggressive to point out that all of the Indy editors are male?

If a Trade Union, Credit Union or Community Group had an all male management committee then it would righty be seen as a disgrace. Why cant people acknowledge that Institutional Sexism exists in Indymedia.ie?

"Ban Miriam and Pat from the editorial lists, I'm all for free speech but not for a soul who tries to destroy organisations with their abuse."

So its abuse to ask questions and to point out that all of the editors are male. You are all for free speech except when you disagree with whats being said.

QUESTION authority

author by Robynpublication date Mon Sep 25, 2006 19:46author email peacefulwarriorprincess at yahoo dot com dot auReport this post to the editors


Would this same person make allegations of sexism if all Indymedia editors were female?

I didn't think so.

Whining feminists - shut up already.

Prove your worth by posting articles and writing comments.

Your whingeings here are only dragging the rest of this excellent service down to your level.

Grow up. If you want to fight me, go right ahead. I am a girl and I am batting on the boy's team.

Join me or fuck off.

I vote that people dont bother with this thread anymore and leave the feminists whingeing and whining to themselves as that is what they seem to like best.

author by redbreastpublication date Mon Sep 25, 2006 19:53Report this post to the editors

The only articles you write are to do with Tara and the Vincent Salafia site.
I suggest that you contact your local IMC in Oz and write for them, or submit
an article here. The women on this site come from many disciplines and fields
and have many gifts. Again, you write like a man.

brings a whole new meaning to the peacefulwarriorprincess theorem!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

author by pat cpublication date Mon Sep 25, 2006 20:02Report this post to the editors

I suspect Robyns virulence has something to do with her application to become an editor.

Well Robyn, I'm a man, but I'm batting for the womens team.

"Join me or fuck off."

So the only place for women is on the mens team and if they dont join you there thay should fuck off.

author by Miriampublication date Mon Sep 25, 2006 20:34Report this post to the editors

"Women are turned off technical subjects"
-Miram Cotton
Sun Sep 24, 2006 06:03

Yes they are! AGAIN - women are discouraged, socialised, and otherwise coerced into gender specific roles from an early age (as are men) - that results in the manifest consequence that women are not proportionally represented in computing/technical trades/professions. They are socialised into regarding the 'caring' professions as their natural base, for example. Witness the make up of the editorial collective! You dont need to scratch your heads and wonder why that is - you are doing it to us yourselves! My claim is NOT in any way a claim that women are constitutionally UNABLE to do those things. I am describing a consequence of sexism in education - not justifying it or making any statement about the ability of women to do those things - other than that OF COURSE women are equal to it given equal encouragement and opportunity - or sheer personal determination. How simple a point this is! Women are underrepresented in activist circles because again - so few people can handle a bolshy assertive woman prepared to take on the fight...Those qualities are admired - preferred - in men, but in women its still too much to handle even for lots of socialist/anarchist/left-wing, politically correct/supposedly switched on men! Women are made to feel nervous about asserting themselves. They are made to feel disapproved of in an extremely personalised and vicious way. Florence Nightingales need only apply. Fuck that. Here I am - one of you - I am not the enemy. Do I spam the website? Do I post fascist abusive comments, do I do nothing but criticse without making effort? What? What is it? I disagreed with one of the collective's heroes and was prepared to argue the disagreement forcefully. Thats it, really. Seome people here seem to think there is some disticntion between Miriam the writer and Miriam the Indymedia collectivist. There is no distinction. Im as rational and well-motivated in either circumstance.

This is a sorry situation. I am forced to use myself as an example to illustrate what I truly believe is a serious problem. That is giving an understandable impression that I am only in this argument for myself. This is no war of attrition but an argument of principle. Suppose I make this easier for people by saying dont ever propose or make me an editor. With that out of the way, maybe we can make some progress.

Frank:

I dont think that making me or Paula an editor in order to get rid of the argument is a good idea. If Paula is made an editor without any acknowledgement of the mistakes involved in preventing her from being an editor in the first place, then nothing at all is solved. That would genuinely be the worst sort of tokenism. A patronising sop to quiet the difficult ladies, but business to carry on as usual.

author by underneaththebrdigepublication date Mon Sep 25, 2006 21:00Report this post to the editors

"Paradox - 'Face it Miriam, you are a bitch'"

Miriam, you clearly take nothing any body else says on board. Both Redjade and Deirdre have described a feeling that you just take their words and twist them. Now look at this. Putting stuff in other people's very mouth.

author by sock puppet (too intimidated by M to use my own name, sorry)publication date Mon Sep 25, 2006 23:00Report this post to the editors

Miriam: "Fuck that. Here I am - one of you - I am not the enemy. Do I spam the website? Do I post fascist abusive comments, do I do nothing but criticse without making effort? What? What is it? I disagreed with one of the collective's heroes and was prepared to argue the disagreement forcefully. Thats it, really."

Your impersonation of a minor and posting her personal details including phone number up on the internet, and your subsequent near-refusal to apologise to her mother, claiming that you were just doing what was best for her, sealed it for me. Your carpet bombing of the lists whenever you have a dispute is completely out of order and has solved nothing, ever - here we are six? nine? months later where you are still complaining about your argument with RIsible when you yourself admitted much later in the case that you were wrong to defend someone who was attacking the site, only after you read the indywatch site - which people asked you to do weeks beforehand so you could understand who it was that was being talked about.

You also are posting way too much on this thread and drowning out other people who may wish to contribute - it may not be spam but if it was a real world discussion where one person out of many talked for 25% to 33% of the time, the facilitator would tell them to wait their turn and let other people speak. I think people, esp. the editors, are well aware of your feelings and the real world meetings are an attempt to sort out the problems raised by these postings.

It would be good to see an IMC base in Cork but people in Dublin cannot do that. You are welcome to attend the meeting in Dublin, and I'd say there would be money available for your bus fare and/or childcare expenses if you wished. At the moment with the regional imbalance it is impractical for 20+ people to travel down to Cork to accomodate 1 person (I know of no others in Cork who are interested in imc.ie). If you want to come to the meeting, it will solve many more problems than continually posting responses to this thread. I expect you will respond to the first paragraph above in a similar fashion but this is the first and last contribution from me on this thread, I intend to make it to the meeting where disagreements can be discussed in a dignified, calm, and human manner. I really hope you can make it along and not spend so much time on this thread, I think it would be a positive development.

author by Frankpublication date Mon Sep 25, 2006 23:24Report this post to the editors

Curious

'consensus is supposed to be about: finding common ground by exploring issues thoroughly and being honest and open about problems'

I agree. For what it is worth, I find common ground with much of what you say, and agree that consensus as you define it is the way forward for this issue.

My disagreement is about what you call 'vast sweeping statements' or 'big opinions' beyond the known facts - there is a problem with the gender balance of the editorial list and blocks on women editors have been divisive, fact, but fixing the problem surely means us looking for answers outside the circular aguments and limited facts rehearsed ad infinitum already. You can characterise broad thinking as 'sweeping' etc just as I might characterise your approach as 'rule bound' or 'pedantic' (which I dont). I agree with you that unsupported statements are generally not a productive way of arguing a point. But we are dealing here imo with many more facts than you list, and with ideas which cant all be quantified neatly - there is room surely for a variety of approaches provided they are honest, respectful and reasonable - isnt that what consensus is about?

(Incidentally, I may well be mistaken in some of my assumptions, I dont follow the lists that often - so no, I am not some other contributor reincarnated. Also , I didnt intend to imply (if I did) that Robbie was acting vindictively- I have no reason to suppose he was )

The consensus view, as minuted, has already advanced the accepted facts beyond your list . To quote, for example, the original minutes of the meeting of 16th Sept. there is already agreement that:

'There should be positive discrimination for women aimed at involving more in both aspects. There is a perception that imc.ie is a closed shop and even if that isn't true, positive steps should be taken to ensure that it isn't'.

'To reconsider the system whereby one editor can block anybody from becoming an editor. This could be abused in a rogue fashion, to prevent appropriate people from becoming editors on the grounds of sex, race, affiliation etc'.

So what are we waiting for??

author by Padraic - 1 of indymedia.ie editorspublication date Tue Sep 26, 2006 00:08Report this post to the editors

Frank said:

"The consensus view, as minuted, has already advanced the accepted facts beyond your list . To quote, for example, the original minutes of the meeting of 16th Sept. there is already agreement that:

'There should be positive discrimination for women aimed at involving more in both aspects. There is a perception that imc.ie is a closed shop and even if that isn't true, positive steps should be taken to ensure that it isn't' "

Hi Frank,

You'll need to take a second look at those minutes. It was basically a brainstorming session. There was no consensus sought or expressed on any of the poits you list.

Padraic

author by Curiouspublication date Tue Sep 26, 2006 01:11Report this post to the editors

consensus as you define it is the way forward for this issue.

Sorry if I gave the mistaken impression of defining consensus. That wasn't my intention. If I were defining consensus I'd probably point you to wikipedia, to indymedia's own documentation and to what proponents like Chuck0 and critics like Michael Albert say. Formal definitions specifically addresses what happens when there are blocks. If, as you say in your earlier posts, you are against the idea of a block then you are against the common understanding of what decision making by consensus is about. It became a core value for indymedia because the people initiating the network were mostly small groups engaged in direct action using a spokescouncil structure and it seemed natural and effective to them.

My disagreement is about what you call 'vast sweeping statements' or 'big opinions' beyond the known facts

To be frank, I'm sure that is your problem. I'd like you, and all the other people that claim that indymedia.ie has an "abnormal" decision making process to prove by referencing specific examples and general trends within all the collectives exactly what the normality is within the network. I am impressed by the confidence with which you make these judgements and am sure they are made on a factual basis. I await your knowlege eagerly.

There was a list of questions I put to you above which I feel it would be prudent for anyone contemplating change to be able to provide the answers to in a comprehensive and clear manner. Given your confident assertions earlier about the need for change I am equally confident that you can provide the answers to those questions.

fixing the problem surely means us looking for answers outside the circular aguments and limited facts rehearsed ad infinitum already.
But you have surely referenced facts outside of those that have been presented? I have the distinct impression that you are arguing for a new way of doing things which is grounded in solid experience among other IMC setups. I'd like you to state those facts. It would be frankly helpful.

there is room surely for a variety of approaches provided they are honest, respectful and reasonable - isnt that what consensus is about?

I always thought it was about achieving an actual action plan in a manner that provides for individuals not to be easily swamped by majorities and for those individuals to be booted from the consensus group if they have ideas that are just completely out of whack with everyone else and insist on using their block. It's not a magic means of squaring the circle of debate. It's a practical and fairly bloody-minded way of making people either get on with it or get out. It may be complete rubbish and there are lots of strong critiques of it. It seems to work well in small groups of like minded people. I believe it could be practical if participants were willing to be fairly quick to get rid of disruptors. If participants aren't willing to do that then majority voting is as good as anything else but introduces a whole whack of other problems.

author by Robynpublication date Tue Sep 26, 2006 01:15author email peacefulwarriorprincess at yahoo dot com dot auauthor address Dublin from early NovemberReport this post to the editors

I apologise to all the women on this list, especially those who identify as feminist.

My comments were way out of line and I regret any pain caused.

My point was - that Indymedia already has a team of editors, and I do not understand why women don't want to work cooperatively with men. What do women here really want? A new editorship consisting entirely of wimmin? Or are the feminists happy to work in conjunction with the men.

What would make the unhappy women on here happy? Would having one token woman on the team be acceptable? Even if her skills were inferior to a man that was rejected to allow her elevation?

Apologies again.

Kind regards,
Robyn

p.s. Actually I have changed my mind about working towards being an editor, I am happy just reading and commenting PLUS I am coming to live in Dublin from early November so I hope you will allow me to stay on this list.

author by Ciaronpublication date Tue Sep 26, 2006 01:46Report this post to the editors

...use the cultural relativist defence, "Forgive me, I'm Australian". It's kind of worked for me for over four years here!

And remember always apologise, never ask permission!

author by pat cpublication date Wed Oct 04, 2006 12:50Report this post to the editors

This is not tongue in cheek. There appears to be an unwillingness on the part of the Indymedia Editors to accept that Institutional Sexism exists within the Indymedia.ie Collective. This despite the fact that all 12 existing editors are male.

One of the editors is stepping down before next Saturdays meeting so that leaves 11 editors. And thats what will come out of the meeting, 11 male editors and zero female editors. There will be a promise that there might some female editors in the future after they have served an apprenticeship. (How many of the existing editors had to serve an apprenticeship?)

Effectively, nothing will have changed. Some mindsets have to be decommissioned here because imho it is a disgrace that there are no female editors in Indymedia.ie and it will be an even greater disgrace if next Saturdays meeting concludes with 11 male editors in office including one who blocked a woman from becoming editor for no rational reason.

What is the way forward here? Minds need to change. Perhaps the RAG Collective or the Unmanageables would organise a Consciousness Raising Session for the Indy Editors to help them to comphrehend the reality of Institutional Sexism.

So thats my humble proposition. over to RAG & the Unmans.

author by Chrispublication date Wed Oct 04, 2006 13:45Report this post to the editors

We have other engagements on Saturday 7th October and won't be attending the meeting.

(That is- the 'we' who discussed indy.ie at the Unmanageable meeting of sunday October 1st)

I explained why I would not be attending on the contact sheet-being opposed as I am
to censorship in indy.ie.

Since the issue of women eds has been ongoing a year- has any outreach been done to familiarise
one single woman with the tech-given that the dialogue is not working.

author by pat cpublication date Wed Oct 04, 2006 16:48Report this post to the editors

Women who have been blocked as editors could make complaints to the Equality Authority. The authority would robustly investigate any such complaints against Indymedia.ie.

See below about time limits and complaint procedures. If you are making a complaint then do so swiftly

Time limits for making a complaint

The Equal Status Act provides that a complaint must be made within six months of the last incident of discrimination. The date on which a complaint is made is taken as the date on which the Tribunal receives a completed complaint form. (Form ES.3) or a complaint made through appropriate alternative arrangements agreed with the Tribunal. The Director has the power under the Act to extend the time for making a complaint. The complainant must apply for an extension. The Director may extend the time limit from 6 to a maximum of 12 months of the last incident complained of. However, she will only do so if she is satisfied that exceptional circumstances prevented the case being referred and if she thinks it is just and equitable to extend the time.

Address: The Equality Tribunal

3, Clonmel Street

Dublin 2

Ireland

Locall: 1890 34 44 24

Telephone: +353 1 4774100

Fax: +353 1 4774141

Email: info at equalitytribunal.ie

Website: www.equalitytribunal.ie

author by MWpublication date Wed Oct 04, 2006 18:06Report this post to the editors

PatC,
Perhaps you are a little confused. The Equality Authority and the Equality Tribunal are two separate bodies.

author by pat cpublication date Wed Oct 04, 2006 18:09Report this post to the editors

You are right. I mentioned the Equality Tribunal in the title and gave details for contacting it. I mistakenly referred to the Equality Authority in the first sentence.

author by Fred Johnstonpublication date Mon Oct 23, 2006 21:02author email sylfredcar at iolfree dot ieauthor phone 087.2178138Report this post to the editors

Perhaps I missed it; but there's an elephant in the Indymedia room. Do any of the above contributors accept that Indymedia's permitting anonymous or psuedonymous comments and posts is a major contributing factor to abuse of the site? Do away with anonymity, for once and for all. Have contributors or comment-writers be responsible for what they post. It is clear that personal attacks , ad hominem criticisms, if you like, are second-nature to people who may feel inadequate in terms of their ability to come face-to-face with issues under their own identities; who have not matured towards decent discussion of events outside their own heads. As I know personally, these attacks can range from the childish to vitriolic, be they directed at me or at projects with which I am involved; and Indymedia holds up its hands and declares it can do nothing to prevent them because it does not log posts or comments!!! I still find it hard to believe that Indymedia does not know who these attackers - the 'Aoife'-'John'-'Daithi' Axis Of Piffle, for instance - really are. Anonymity and the use of pseudonyms should be dropped. The chaff would soon vanish.

author by john smithpublication date Mon Oct 23, 2006 22:00Report this post to the editors

Well Fred,

If you baned 'noms des plumes' people would just make up names like John Smith or even Fred Johnston. There is just no way you could ever verify the true identities of contributors. The web just ain't like that.

In any case, all chat-lines accept anonymous contributions. People feel more at ease to express their views when they can be assured that they are safe from the attentions of some crank or fanatic who might track them down in the phone-book if they gave up the protection of their pseudonom.

In any event, you are missing the point. Indymedia has an editorial policy which is supposed to edit out personally abusive comment. Unfortunately, Indymedia is inclined to tolerate personal abuse when it emanates from it's own little golden-circle. People like the anonymous Emma/RAR and Caoimhe can call people with whom they disagree names such as racists and gobshites with impunity. Non-abusive and discursive responses to these people are regularly flicked. This is censorship of content, corrupt (as are all 'golden circles), and an abuse of the Indymedia.com philosophy.

What is interesting is that most response on the Indymedia web-site is representative, not of the Trots of the SWP and its various sub-groups, but of the mainstream majority viewpoint. This, and not the 'straw-man' of supposed extreme right-wing nutters, is what is really pissing you off.

author by Fred Johnstonpublication date Mon Oct 23, 2006 23:06author email sylfredcar at iolfree dot ieauthor phone 087.2178138Report this post to the editors

Dear 'John Smith' - My telephone number is 087.2178138. Call and it will be me on the end, not someone else. Because I am not afraid actually to HAVE views, I tend to want to stand over them. Silly, of course, to be ethical in this age. You are advocating anonymity for people who want a licence to abuse. A secret society, in other words. Interesting. You seem to detest Indymedia, too. I don't. I think it's editorial committee or whatever it wishes to call itself can be arrogant - hiding too behind anonymity - and perhaps they do indulge, as you say, in censorship. Being anonymous, you can do anything. Indymedia as a concept is a very good one. Tolerance of anonymity is what reduces a possibly decent news forum to what you essentially describe as a chat-room. Indymedia, interestingly, has threatened to put me in a 'category' because I ask questions; no 'category', however, for those who abuse the trust of the site and post childish and abusive and personally insulting comments, Indymedia pleading that they cannot do anything about it. Indymedia, very sadly, seems to permit its site to be used for personal gurdges and spites to be played out. It has not, in my view, provided a decent answer to this conundrum.

author by Michrelle Clarke - Social Justice and inclusionpublication date Tue Oct 24, 2006 00:35Report this post to the editors

Fred Johnston.

Delighted to see your entry in the myriad of confusion emanating from the September Indymedia meeting.

There appears to be a Dawn Raid by those who use foul langage, belittlement, maybe even sabotage (one of my articles mysteriously went walk about and when I asked I ended up with vicious abuse from a founder of Indymedia.........direct to my home email.

Dawn raids in Corporate Finance are about takeovers of mainly monopolies.....

Is there an elitist monopoly forming in Indymedia?

Do people not understand the value of Freedom of the Press and the danger of power driven eccentric egos with their own agenda.

Do people realise that our papers are 80% content driven by one power magnet.......similar to other countries.......Beware.....

The Privacy Bill lurks, the US tangle with Indymedia and raids.........why do we jeopardise a form of communication that has a most positive grassroots input......

Fred, thanks for your last communication with me re. the writer Comyn.

Let us get sense

Refer: Eviction in Dublin 4 and scroll to KT Walsh reply.

Michelle

author by Interestedpublication date Tue Oct 24, 2006 01:12Report this post to the editors

I ask because you have a very similar writing style. I apologise if you aren't, but Chris Murray has a propensity to use a lot of different sock puppets (e.g. she posted above as "Jesus"). It's funny because she makes a big deal about being open and transparent and then stoops to that sort of thing. So, are you the same person?

author by c.publication date Tue Oct 24, 2006 01:22Report this post to the editors

The one that holds all these open meetings and requires you to read all this material about how it is run and that posts everything it dos to publically available archives?

They sound like the real power that we need to focus on.Forget the Bilderbergs or the lizards who inhabit our leaders, forget the church and the state and the employers and the developers - lets infiltrate the golden circle.

I have a cunning plan.

There are these working groups formed - people work in them and make media.They create an alternative news source because they think it should be done. Lets join one of them. Lets pretend that we are people concerned about making better media - report on things, take photos, write intros. Then, once we've got the trust of the golden circle, lets take over the world.

What d'ya reckon john - is the plan too mad?

Maybe if we made media about everybody else except the golden circle they would wither away and become like all the other demons we raise before us - powerless at their core, when alone.

Don't hate the media, be the media.

author by PaddyKpublication date Tue Oct 24, 2006 02:17Report this post to the editors

Why does not Indymedia introduce a voluntary registration?

Those who wish to be amorphous can morph .

author by Fred Johnstonpublication date Tue Oct 24, 2006 04:06author email sylfredcar at iolfree dot ieauthor phone 087.2178138Report this post to the editors

It would be a great pity if an otherwise noble idea like Indymedia were to be taken over by pettiness and secrecy masquerading as open 'journalism'. I spent a lot of years in professional journalism and, frankly, am disgusted by some of the arrogant e-mail replies I've received from Indymedia 'journalists'. They permit abuse, vicious, nasty and bordering on the slanderous - and protest that they cannot trace it, which is rubbish. I used my middle names, 'Walter Patrick,' on one single occasion to post news without drawing attention from some demented obsessives in Galway; now the Demented Ones are using that name to post abuse or snide remarks. Indymedia has been informed. Yet I know they won't warn these guys (or individual) off. I've been warned by friends with more patience than I have not to use Indymedia at all. They seem to delight in people being abused, even stalked, online.

author by john smithpublication date Tue Oct 24, 2006 12:10Report this post to the editors

Well Fred,

You are a braver person than me, but perhaps not a wiser one.

On the substantive issue:

Indymedia should be a forum for views that do not get an airing in the established (commercial) media. It should however be tolerant of responses which are diverse and critical - provided those views and responses are not personally abusive or obscene.

I worry when you refer to 'serious comment'. Sometimes the best and most effective response is irony, ridicule and humour. These latter weapons are particularly effective in response to the often pompous humourless ideologues of the far fringes of the right and left. Satire has a lone and noble tradition in the arsenal of critical free-speech.

It is significant that it is just such satire which is most likely to get flicked by the Indymedia censors when one of the 'golden circle' is one the receiving end.

Indymedia, so so quick to pillory th O'Reilly and Murdock hacks and organs for censorship, its equally hypocritical and guilty of arbitrary censorship of ideas critical, not of the ideals of Indymedia.com, but of the Chosen Few. An open debate on Indymedia censorship is long overdue.

author by Fred Joihnstonpublication date Tue Oct 24, 2006 12:46author email sylfredcar at iolfree dot ieauthor phone 091.526915Report this post to the editors

There's sense in what you say, John, and I am sorry to think that Indymedia dump some posts or comments they don't agree with.

One of the problems about the business of cyber-stalking or other electronic intimidation is that the party being stalked often knows more than he or she can legally publish about what, and who, may lie behind the grubby - and cowardly - business. The stalker(s) often play on this. This is, naturally, frustrating. It is possible - by examining similar phrasing, language texture, and repetition in topics - to reasonably conjecture that, psuedonyms or no, certain messages originate from the same source. The general tone is to degrade, discredit, politically or otherwise - to whittle away at credibility. And to get the victim's attention.

None of this will be solved until Indymedia take a hand in helping to solve it. They cannot wash their hands of it.

author by deepthroatpublication date Tue Oct 24, 2006 13:01Report this post to the editors

Indeed, people often do know more than they can legally publish. That's why they use pseudonyms

author by Bored with Moanerspublication date Tue Oct 24, 2006 15:01Report this post to the editors

It would be better for everyone concerned it seems (and indeed in keeping with the DIY ethos of Indymedia) if those that have their own vision of how things should work would go and start their own site which allows authentication of usernames and yet magically avoids tracking users, which avoids "censorship" and yet at the same time disallows denigration of the people posting above.

Seriously, it's a free world, anyone can be the media. You could call yourselves Indymedia-FredJohnston or Indymedia-ChrisMurray.

At this stage your hanging around, disrupting is clear confirmation that you are just parasites that want to freeload on the work of others. No one is forcing you to use this medium, in fact the site maintainers will give you the code so that you can run your own site.

Good bye.

author by Fred Johnstonpublication date Sat Nov 25, 2006 15:13author email sylfredcar at iolfree dot ieReport this post to the editors

As I read over this, it is interesting to note that Indymedia's conferring did not include any examination of (1) the use of pseudonymous authorship, nor (2) their own guideline warning that criticism of Indymedia's editorial policy will not be published; even though - as I point up in the current issue of Hot Press - both components detract from any legitimacy the site might wish to accrue.

author by reqpublication date Sat Nov 25, 2006 17:41Report this post to the editors

Read about the history of indymedia back from Seattle on go read the oaxaca site perhaps and then come back and tell us why you think the anonymous posts are allowed and indymedia and criticism of imc is done on-list not on a newssite.

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