Wow. As someone who identifies strongly with, and values the various movements for societal/psychiatric change I’m part of – I’d like to thank Sera for raising this. It’s a thorny issue – as I think some of the comments have shown – and it’s really easy just to leave it to other groups to engage with. I can get how some people here might think ‘surely this is a distraction … we need to stand together in order to fight psychiatric oppression and the very real crap that people who are part of the ‘mental health ‘ system go through every day. I’ve heard people say (not necessarily on here, but in the outer non-MIA world) that we just need to focus on what’s important. BUT – and this is an important BUT – I think it’s important that we don’t cover over the cracks in our own movements, agencies and organisations for the ‘greater good’. We’re all part of a wider society that is saturated with various forms of oppression, inequality and privilege (class, the colour of our skin, education, gender, sexual orientation, diagnosis …..). It’s part of our daily lives and I can’t see how any of us can be 100% unaffected by the context we live in. I’m affected, even in ways that I don’t fully understand. I think it’s really important that we can discuss these difficult issues openly so we can learn from them and not simply replay the crap that happens in society as if it’s just the way things are. This isn’t about judging any one harshly, but it is about thinking about why we accept certain things and certain forms of behaviour. Everything we do has a root, and even those men who have been predatory in the movement have reasons for acting in this way. The point is that they need spaces to reflect on this, deal with it and – importantly – stop it. Unless we – whatever gender we identify with – are able to recognise when stuff like this happens, set limits and expectations – how can it change? If we belong to a group or a movement, it is our movement and I think we can each play a part in nurturing it and helping it grow. There are lots of other areas of inequality in the world and in our movements – talking about the experience of women in this movement does not make others invalid or less important. Neither does it mean that women can’t ever abuse or hurt men. Sera didn’t say this – and it’s a really cheap shot that can stop those with a minority voice from speaking out. Instead, maybe we as a movement should be curious about the experience of women and take an honest look at ourselves and the way we acts as groups. I’m doing some thinking after reading this … I am sure others are too. I have bucketloads of privilege from lots of areas … but I’m still a women and that has had a particular impact on my experience of society, the psychiatric system and the survivor movement. It’s good to explore this and think where we go from here. Lets keep talking about this – on and off MIA. THANK YOU!