The Anti-Exploits of Men Against Sexism
"Only by rooting out internalized sexism would men treat one another with respect."
Anti-Exploits of Men Against Sexism by Ed Mead, Revolutionary Rumors PRESS
This zine is stunningly insightful. Mead points out what I have never heard before - that men hating men is based on sexism. In the Californian prison dubbed "Concrete Mama" during the 1970s, Mead fought successfully against prison sexism and rape culture.
Words as insults such as "sissy" or "whore" are applied to men just as easily as they are to women, and it is their association with women and a submissive or lower status that lends weight to the male hierarchy. Rape and sexual slavery among men is based on sexism. So long as men think of women as property to be bought, traded, sold and exploited, they will continue to disrespect women, but will also subjugate other men with the same oppressive tactics.
Steps for Change
Mead's method of combatting prison violence was primarily through organization. At first he gathered with just a couple of other inmates who had sympathetic goals. Later, they formed a committee. They received endorsement from an outside organization with a reputation. From there they divided into sub-committees and invited speakers to contribute ideas and input.
Mead was the chair for the subcommittee Men Against Sexism.
"The idea was that, in abusing one another, men used sexist concepts such as equating openness with weakness. They insulted one another with misogynistic epithets: 'bitch,' 'cunt,' 'pussy'."
Next came consciousness raising. They created a newsletter. They gathered to watch progressive documentaries. They hosted progressive visitors to discuss ideas and share their experience.
Under duress when they were philosophically attacked for their ideas, they did not try to mainstream, they expressed themselves to their fullest and stood up for their ideals.
After some time, they began fundraising, then reached out politically to legislators with letter campaigns. This led to media attention, which gave them bargaining power with the prison administration.