Accountability & Consent

Accounting For Ourselves

accounting for ourselves

“Accounting for Ourselves: Breaking the Impasse Around Assault and Abuse in Anarchist Scenes” is a very good analysis of the impasse that seems to exist within the anarchist space around assault and abuse. Starting from where we are at now with a thoughtful discussion of the limits and failures of accountability processes, the zine presents an insightful account of where we are at and where the problems exist. In many cases, the criticisms are very insightful, even if the conclusions aren’t always the most comforting. In response to the current impasse, the zine presents some possible new directions including survivor-led vigilantism, prevention through gender-based organizing, prioritizing conflict resolution, and a concept of “concentric circles of affinity.” This is a very good zine that should ideally encourage a lot of substantive discussion.

Ask First!

Ask First!: Resources for Supporters, Survivors, and Perpetrators of Sexual Assault is a collection of resources dealing with the topic of assault and abuse. It explores consent, the dynamics of abuse, how to be a responsible partner, how to support survivors, resources for survivors, and resources for perpetrators.

Betrayal

betrayal zine cover

Betrayal: A Critical Analysis of Rape Culture in Anarchist Subcultures analyzes the ways in which rape takes place, is talked about, and is dealt with in anarchist subcultures. It looks at how anarchists often seek to “silence” discussion of rape by limiting it and/or preventing it and how those who do take the risk to talk about rape are often attacked and ostracized. There is also a critique of “accountability processes” and how they are often applied. Betrayal is a very critical zine to be sure, but it offers a lot for those who wish to move in new directions.

DIY Guide to Preventing Sexual Assault

This is a four-panel pamphlet (it prints best on legal size paper) that provides a short guide to preventing sexual assault. It’s targeted primarily at the punk and/or anarchist subculture, but provides important information regardless of subcultural affiliation. Topics covered include defining sexual assault, alcohol and sexual assault, how to watch out for yourself and your friends, what to do if you or a friend are sexually assaulted, and how to help a survivor. It’s an excellent short introductory pamphlet for handing out at punk shows, having at venues, when tabling, or wherever else it seems needed.

How To Put Together Your Own Consent Workshop

The title of this zine, How To Put Together Your Own Participatory, Community-specific, Radical Consent Workshop, is pretty straightforward and a great description of the zine’s contents. In addition to the general theme of how to put together a workshop on consent, the zine also provides tips on facilitation, space and accessibility, and additional resources. The bulk of the zine is an outline with ideas on what to say, activities to do, and materials to include.

If a Man Commits Rape...

If a Man Commits Rape in Newtown and No One Knows How to Deal with it.. Then Did it Ever Really Happen? is a zine that explores what happens when rape happens in a radical/anarchist community (in this case, Sydney, Australia, although the patterns are similar almost everywhere). It covers the author/survivor’s experience, the response of the “community” in Sydney, and uses this to share valuable lessons and insights about the importance of helping survivors and addressing rape within radical communities. It includes helpful ideas for how communities should respond to allegations of rape, how communities should help survivors, dealing with rape apologists, outing rapists, and more.

Learning Good Consent

Learning Good Consent zine cover

This is a very good zine on the topic of consent and should be required reading for everyone. It covers tons of important information: how we define consent, identifying abusive behavior, consent in different types of relationships, how consent interacts with gender, and shares stories of consent in relationships. There is also an extensive “resources” list at the end for those who want to learn more.

Let's Talk About Consent Baby

Let's Talk About Consent Baby zine cover

Let’s Talk About Consent is a short introduction to the topic of consent and how it functions/should function in the context of relationships. The zine opens with a series of questions about consent designed to get people thinking about consent. From there, the zine presents Antioch College’s “Sexual Offense Prevention Policy,” an excerpt from Our Bodies, Ourselves on communicating about sex, and lastly an article from Rolling Thunder called “We are all Survivors, We are All Perpetrators.”

Let's Talk Consent

This is a tri-fold pamphlet that explains the basic concepts of consent. It includes how we define “no,” a series of questions to ask yourself and about consent and your understanding of it, and suggested ways of asking for consent. It’s an excellent pamphlet to distribute when tabling, at anarchist spaces, at punk shows, or wherever it might be needed. It’s a good introduction to the topic and includes suggestions for further reading.

Let's Talk: Feminist Communication...

With the full sub-title “Feminist Communication for Radicalizing Sex, Consent, & Interpersonal Dynamics,” “Let’s Talk” is a helpful zine exploring the connections between feminist communication, consent, interpersonal dynamics, and healing from abuse. Its focus on how we communicate with each other makes it worth reading, even for those already familiar with concepts of consent. It’s written in an engaging way and includes valuable information on gendered differences in communication, communicating boundaries and triggers, and consent. There’s also a number of activities aimed an encouraging further discussion and reflection.

 

Strategies for Survivors

This is a one page zine/pamphlet put together by the Philly Survivor Support Collective that offers suggestions for survivors and communities dealing with sexual assault. Specifically, it is about setting goals for what you’d like to accomplish and what healing could look like in a survivor’s life and in their community.

The Broken Teapot

The Broken Teapot (2nd Edition) is a collection of five essays that explore the limitations of current anarchist models of “accountability” in situations of rape and abuse. The zine raises a number of important questions regarding the “accountability processes” that have been developed over the past ten or so years to deal with these issues within the anarchist space. It’s an important piece to consider when thinking about how “broken” we all are.

This is the updated “2nd Edition” with reflections from the author.

We Are All Survivors, We Are All Perpetrators / What To Do When...

This short zine combines two excellent resources on sexual assault: the article “We Are All Survivors, We Are All Perpetrators” from the Crimethinc publication Rolling Thunder and a piece titled “What To Do When Someone Tells You That You Violated Their Boundaries, Made Them Feel Uncomfortable, Or Committed Assault (A Start).” Both offer important ideas for beginning discussions about sexual assault from a perspective that brings the issue into the open rather than keeping it hidden in the shadows.

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