I am in Amsterdam and seem to be alienating some folks. It could be that I am shrill and reactive because I haven't slept in 30 hours. Or maybe I have a point. Or both.
If I see video footage, a lot of clips shown for over an hour, and the footage is of the revolution, I want to know who is there and who is not. Why are there women in the first video but not in the other 10? Where were the women? Were they not out there throwing stones?
There could be good answers: no, they were not throwing stones; they were elsewhere. And then an explanation would follow. But if the question is dismissed as biased or unfair, then there is no chance for an answer. If the answer is 'these videos are a slice,' even as the slice is presented as representative, then the question is lost, diminished, and so is the opportunity to know where the women are.
Last year in London I saw an activist film, a kinda semi-fictional, semi-post-apocalyptic film that drew from footage of activists in the UK. The weird thing about the film: in the UK after the apocalypse, all the brown and black people are gone. Everyone is white. That is, the footage was of white people. What happened to everybody else? I think it's important to ask that question.
As I was muttering, a guy next to me (white, British), said that the videos we saw were like all revolutionary videos or videos of radical conflict--it's just men. I said that wasn't what I remembered--clips and images from '68, for example, have men and women. I mentioned Paris. He said, well, of course, they were communists.
Another reason, just in case someone needed one, to be communist: we already know that women and men are equal, fighting and struggling as part of the same collective.