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Letter of support to Center for Women’s studies

After the election of the new executive director of Center for Women’s studies in Zagreb, Croatia, in the past few days we have witnessed a tide of antagonistic, unsubstantiated – and above all, sexist – attacks aimed both at the new director Dorotea Šušak, and the institution itself. [Attacks are based on the fact that she has in the past shared, on her personal social networks. tweets by J.K.Rowling, and those screenshots are now being used as an indisputable “proof” of transphobia.] These attacks are a part of the (now ubiquitous) campaign to silence and frighten women and feminists who object to misogynist and regressive ideologies and ideas.

We, as the organizations, groups and individuals signed below, strongly object to this kind of orchestrated attack on the Center for Women’s studies and their new director Dorotea Šušak. This campaign does not just disqualify and belittle all those brave women that have founded the Center in a historically difficult time, but also aims to take down the Center as an institution. As we live and work in the culture of discontinuity that not only denies credit to our predecessors, but also erases them entirely, we believe that this campaign also aims to deny the younger generations of women (and also men) access to feminist education in this space that was always a safe space for learning.

We believe that those who attack the Center and their new director in this way do not intend to have a democratic debate on the important feminist questions, but on the contrary, to silence the debate and the critical voices among it. We are witnessing the global trend of retribution over all those uncompromising women that question, both in theory and in practice, the status quo. These politics manifest through the endangerment of specifically women’s spaces and institutions, but also through the attacks aimed at individual women. We’ve watched as Michfest (that existed since 1976) was shut down, and as Vancouver Rape Relief was threatened, attacked and defunded. Above all, we reject the idea that the creation of women-only spaces and programmes is inherently transphobic.

This type of discreditation and belittlement of someone, based on their legitimate opinions stated on social networks, resembles more a tabloid-style harassment, intimidation and lynch, rather than an expression of disagreement. Given that the institutions like Center for Women’s studies everywhere, not only in Croatia, were founded on principles of freedom of speech and critical thought, this kind of unsubstantiated attack is not aimed only at the new director, but the institution itself. Undoubtedly, a political debate is important within our activist groups and academic spaces; however, boycott in this context does not offer a solution but attempts to suppress the debate at its beginning.

We, as the organizations, groups and individuals signed below, stand in solidarity with the Center for Women’s studies and their director Dorotea Šušak.

Organizations:

LasUsurpadoras, feministički kolektiv iz Beograda

Femrevolt

Ženska solidarnost

Lezbejska i gej solidarna mreža

Žene u crnom, Beograd

Revolucionarna socijalistička organizacija Marks21

Koalicja LGB, Polska

LGB Alliance Cymru

Merched Cymru

LGB Alliance

FEMilia, Slovakia

Women Speak Tasmania

Feminist Legal Clinic Inc.

Frente LGB Brasil

Women’s Action Group (Sth West VIC)

GetTheLoutUK

Spinifex Press Australia

Women’s Human Rights Campaign

Women’s Human Rights Campaign – Spain

Individual signatures:

Julie Bindel, journalist and author

Kajsa Ekis Ekman, author and journalist

Svenka Savić, profesorka emerita Univerziteta u Novom Sadu

Neva Tolle, Autonomna ženska kuća Zagreb

Ingeborg Kraus, psychologist and anti-prostitution advocate

Miranda Yardley, human rights activist

Liz Kelly, professor of sexualised violence

Melissa Farley, Prostitution Research & Education

Iza Palinska, women’s rights advocate and politician, Poland

Derrick Jensen, an American author, ecophilosopher, radical environmentalist, and anti-civilization advocate.

Robert Jensen, a former professor of journalism from the University of Texas at Austin.

Susan Griffin,  radical feminist philosopher, essayist and playwright

Stephany Seay, member Deep Green Resistance 

Simone Watson, director Nordic Model Australia Coalition

Cecilia Solana (Argentina, South America) 

Nikki Craft, ACLU Always Causing Legal Unrest

Mary Alice Miller

Anna Zobnina, European Network of Migrant Women 

Bronwyn Williams, retired lawyer/social worker

Dana Vitalosova, writer and feminist, Slovakia

Susana Pavlou, Mediterranean Institute of Gender Studies

Isla MacGregor, Free Speech Advocate

Anna Kerr, Principal Solicitor, Feminist Legal Clinic Inc.

Staša Zajović, aktivistkinja Žena u crnom

Ljupka Kovačević, Anima, Centar za žensko i mirovno obrazovanje, Kotor, Crna Gora

Viviane Morrigan BSc (Hons) MA (Hons) PhD, COAL (Coalition of Activist Lesbians), Australia

Monika Beatty, Manitoba

June Louise Ickringill, British Columbia, Canada

Donovan Cleckley

Rachel Moran, Dublin, Ireland

Michelle Uriarau, Co-Founder Women’s Action Group, Australia

Vera Litričin

Anna McCormack, Convenor, IWD Brisbane Meanjin

Taylor McGowan, QLD, Australia 

Judith Pattison, QLD, Australia

Stacey O’Brien

Elizabeth Carter

Daša Stevović

Miloš Urošević

Anđela Đokić

Katarina Vulić

Marija Stanković

Anđela Zubac

Aleksandra Vučković

Isidora Radovanović

Natalija Grujović

Anja Ilić

Jelena Lalatović

Sanja Kovačević

Srđan Atanasovski

Marina Radovanović

Katarina Tica

Diana Burolo

Gordana Subotić

Darija Sabadoš

Milica Tatomirović

Igor Ilić

Anja Radovanović

Jelena Sudar

Nina Radulović

Bobana Macanović

Matija Medenica

Maša Stojanović

Katarina Konstandinović

Margareta Bašaragin

Ana Brtka

Jelena Riznić

Dunja Paunović

Luka Bulaja

Jelena Jekić

Natalija Stevanović

Teodora Miladinović

Milica Fajčak

Nevena Cvetković

Sanja Pavlović

Mislav Hilc

Radmila Gujaničić

Ksenija Kordić

Višnja Pokorni

Tamara Ražov

Snježana Pavić

Mia Vodopija

Milena Milojević

Nađa Pavlica

Nikolina Zec, Osijek

Monika Jerič

Marijana Bijelić

Antonija Jurić

Hana Lilić Prodanović

Natalija Stefanović

Anđelija Vučurević, Novi Sad

Aleksandar Dolić

Cyber Wanderlust

Jeet Chahal, London

Stefanie Bode, Psychologist, WHRC Country contact Germany

Ivana Majkić

Jacqueline Langenbahn, Germany

Sabeth Blank, Germany

Dianne Landy. New Zealand

Phyllis Chesler, Emerita Professor, author

Janice Raymond, Professor Emerita, University of Massachusetts

Donna M. Hughes, Professor, University of Rhode Island, USA

Amparo Domingo, WHRC country contact for Spain.

Kathleen Barry,  Professor Emerita, feminist author and activist

Liane Timmermann

Renate Klein

Susan Hawthorne

5 replies on “Letter of support to Center for Women’s studies”

[…] Povodom izbora direktorke Centra za ženske studije u Zagrebu, i agresivne kampanje koja se vodi na društvenim mrežama u cilju diskreditacije, zastrašivanja i ućutkivanja nove direktorke, ali i institucije koja iza nje stoji, Lezbejska i gej solidarna mreža pridružuje se drugim organizacijama, grupama i individualnim potpisnicama/ima pisma podrške, koje je inicirala grupa Ženska solidarnost. LGSM stoji solidarno uz Doroteu Šušak i Centar za ženske studije u Zagrebu.To read in English, click here. […]

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