This statement was authored by the Seattle DSA Socialist Feminist Committee and approved by a vote from the general membership on December 5.
In light of ongoing revelations of sexual harassment and abuse in leftist spaces and in the world at large, Seattle DSA would like to make a public statement of solidarity with all victims of these oppressions. The left is not immune from the toxic reach of patriarchy and rape culture, and leftist spaces are not immune from hostility to those who challenge white cis male authority. In response, we would like to affirm our commitment to challenging and transforming that culture. Survivors: we hear you, we believe you, and we support you.
We make these statements of solidarity because we love and value our comrades who are survivors. Those of us who are survivors ourselves know firsthand the importance of creating an internal culture that is safe and welcoming to all. When we permit a culture of misogyny and abuse in our organizing spaces, we render them inhospitable to those in our communities who are most harmed by capitalism. We close ourselves off from their talent and organizing work.
Our struggle to overcome capitalism, patriarchy, and white supremacy is strengthened when we do the hard work of building solidarity, trust, and mutual support. Because patriarchy, racism, and capitalism are mutually constituted, we recognize that socialism cannot truly function if it doesn’t support women and engage a serious critique of patriarchy and other forms of institutionalized oppression. The struggle against capitalism loses nothing and gains everything by encompassing the struggles of women, survivors, people of color, the disabled, our LGBTQIA comrades, and all others who face systemic oppression.
As socialists, we are not strangers to the need for transformative change. The Seattle chapter of the DSA will work intentionally every day to create a culture that values the voices of women and all marginalized people. To start, we have committed to the following actions. This list will grow and evolve, but change starts here:
- Dedicated Harassment and Grievance Officers (HGOs) in accordance with DSA Resolution 33. These officers handle misconduct cases and are in attendance at every Seattle DSA event and meeting.
- An anonymous misconduct reporting form on our website.
- Our Slack Code of Conduct.
- Our socialist feminist committee created and delivered a presentation on patriarchy and socialist feminism to our general membership in December.
- We will offer continued workshops and training to educate our membership and strengthen our commitment to fighting all oppressions.