Content note: this post discusses rape and rape apologism
Another woman has come forward with an account of her experience of sexual violence within the SWP, and how the disputes committee handled it. My heart goes out to her, as it does to all of the survivors.
Once again, I am filled with rage that this organisation with its inbuilt mechanisms for avoiding accountability for sexual violence continues to exist. I am fucking furious that people continue to be members of the SWP. Once again, I must state that I will never organise with them, or any of their front groups. This is both in accordance with the survivor’s wishes, and is also very much in accordance with my own personal feeling. I want to see them hollowed out and rotting then burned atop a pyre of their own shitty, shitty newspapers.
I will never organise with the SWP, and if you care a jot about sexual violence and its location within a broader liberation struggle, neither should you.
In a way, it is easy to see how the SWP found themselves in this position, and how easily something similar could happen within any radical circle. The ingredients are all there. We were all born and raised into a system wherein even those of us who are not cops absorbed a hell of a lot of cop lies about rape. That the survivor is possibly making it up and it requires investigation. That rape allegations will ruin a man’s life, and therefore ought to be investigated thoroughly. That there must have been some reason, some mitigating factor that made this happen: was the survivor drunk, or giving mixed signals, for example? That evidence is required to conclude the investigations. That the survivor doesn’t know best about what will begin the process of healing, it is a decision for someone else to make.
These lies and myths are ingrained. They are why so many of us will not go to the police, but they are also why so many of us would not report our rapes to our own friends.
These lies and myths need unlearning as a matter of urgency. For things to get better they can be and they must be. They need to be as forgotten as the charred skeleton of the SWP. All of this can happen again if we do not tear the rot out at the roots and let go of these rape apologist beliefs.
So kill the SWP inside your head. Identify which of these beliefs you have swallowed, and unlearn and undo them. Make sure you will not be another disputes committee. Challenge these beliefs in your community. Make sure your community is not just another SWP.
And remember the wishes of the survivor. Do not organise with rape apologists.