I've never believed the hype about indymedia (for good reason). I think that if you take a space and make it equally open to all then you don't get utopia; you get a replication of all the existing power imbalances in society (although in this particular case there are more chickens).
But even with this analysis I was shocked to see this article on the newswire. Well not the article itself - that's a standard rant about how drug prohibition is bad, but the image that accompanied it was astonishingly awful. It was a stereotypically sexy white woman, wearing a bikini and the tagline was "Marijuana: No Hangover, No Violence, No Carbs" I'm not even going to comment on the image itself - I'm sure anyone who reads this blog can guess my reaction, what I want to talk about in this post is what happened next.
So this sexist, objectifying image is posted to the indymedia news wire, and a whole lot of women (and a man) speak up and say "please take this down it's sexist and objectifying". The indymedia collective responds:
the ed collective is discussing this. if you want to email the editorial collective: imc-aotearoa-ed(at)lists.indymedia.orgCall me easily pissed off, but how can the editorial collective sign off 'solidarity' when they won't show any solidarity? Solidarity would mean taking that picture down, or taking it off the news-wire, or giving a fuck about the way women are treated as objects.
What is indymedia about, what is it trying to build, if an image whose only meaning is to make women feel shitty about themselves is acceptable? You can't change society for the better without women, but apparently Aotearoa indymedia has other priorities.