Read this stuff... or you'll always be stuck in the rut you're in right now.
[or just jump to the latest update]

The Anarcha-feminist Manifesto -- This manifesto was created by a collective of French anarchist women.  It describes how capitalism and patriarchy oppress women.  It puts forward a list of requirements for a society that would approach sexual equality.  It also demands that sexist oppression be fought along with class oppression, because one battle cannot take priority over the other, and we cannot fight classist oppression without fighting all other forms of oppression as well.

Anarchism and Other Essays by Emma Goldman --  Emma Goldman is probably the most famous anarchist that has ever lived, female or male.  She is the most read, most quoted, and most cited anarchist today.  When she was alive in the earlier part of the 20th century, she fought for workers' rights, for access to birth control, and against the U.S. government, both while she lived here and after she was deported.  This book is a collection of her "greatest hits" essays.  It demonstrates women's pivotal roles in the anarchist movement throughout history.  I'm about to commit anarchist blasphemy here, but I wasn't too psyched about her essays.  I am a fact nerd, and I feel as though a rather significant portion of her essays were unsubstantiated fluff.  My mother has read her autobiography and was thrilled with it.  The autobiography was written later in her life, and Mom says that Goldman's changed some of her opinions since writing the essays.  In my opinion (and Mom's, too), her opinions have changed for the better.

For radicals -- because rape happens in our community by someone -- This essay was posted on various anarchist listservs and on the Independent Media Center webpage.  It was written by an anonymous anarchist woman who was raped by an anarchist man in her community.  She discusses her feelings about it and the hell she faces as a survivor living in an anarchist community with her rapist.  She does not feel comfortable telling most people in her community about it, because she knows that  she will not be believed and that they will interogate her and attempt to deal with her "accusations" in a way they see fit -- not the way she sees fit.  This anonymous essay was the only way she felt safe to express her feelings.

Oppression in Anarchist Communities by Ophelia's Angry Ghost -- This essay identifies many common tactics anarchists (often inadvertently) use to silence and attack women who attempt to challenge sexist oppression and violence in their communities.  The author uses examples from her own life and experiences to support her statements.  She clearly shows how sexist oppression paralyzes women activists who challenge the status quo of anarchist communities.

"Oppression" by Marilyn Frye from The Political Reality: Essays in Feminist Theory -- In this article, Frye defines "oppression" as "the living on one's life is confined and shaped by forces and barriers which are not accidental or occasional and hence avoidable, but are systematically related to each other in such a way as to catch one between and among them and restrict or penalize motion in any direction."  She clears up the misconception that "sexism [or racism or heterosexism, etc.] oppresses everyone."  She says that although men may feel constrained or inconvenienced by sexism sometimes, they are not oppressed in the way that women are.  Frye also defines and explains other words that are all-too-familiar to women:  the "cage of oppression" and the "double-bind."  She also makes it clear that even though most men do not make it a priority or even a hobby to intentionally oppress women, all men benefit from the oppression of women, whereas women do not benefit from their own oppression.

"Compulsory Heterosexuality and Lesbian Existence" by Adrienne Rich from Blood, Bread, and Poetry: Selected Prose 1979-1985 -- Rich identifies heterosexuality "as a political institution which disempowers women."  She explains how compulsory heterosexuality requires all of us to conform to our respective gender roles as much as possible -- and when we fail to meet the expectations of our gender, we are punished.  She explains that these gender roles serve to set men as the oppressors and women as the oppressed.  Rich's article also encourages people in heterosexual relationships (both sexual and non-sexual) to examine their interactions (both sexual and non-sexual) and look at them from a different perspective.  She claims that if we look at our heterosexual interactions and compare them to interactions that are perceived by society as being bad or unhealthy (i.e. domestic violence, rape, etc.), we will notice shocking similarities that we wouldn't have noticed otherwise, because compulsory heterosexuality convinces us that these interactions (i.e. coerced sex, forced sex, hitting, yelling, etc.) are normal and healthy in an average heterosexual relationship.

Sexism in the Anarchist Movement by Angela Beallor -- In this article, Beallor asserts that sexism in anarchist communities and the anarchist movement is caused by anarchists' socialization -- we have spent our entire lives in a patriarchal society, so sexism has been ingrained in our minds.  It will require a lot of work on all of our parts (both men and women) to challenge the patriarchy in ourselves and our comrades.  Beallor makes a few suggestions about ways to empower women, such as a political study group.  She also suggests that we set up structures in our communities so that the entire community can deal with sexism and violence, instead of forcing all of the pressure of "dealing with it" on women by demanding that sexism and violence remain "private matters."  However, she doesn't suggest any concrete structures herself; she merely identifies the need for them.

The "Are You a Manarchist" Questionaire and the "Femmafesto" -- The "manarchist" questionaire contains 60 questions for men to challenge and question their manarchist, patriarchal tendencies.  There is no scoring -- everyone needs to work on their sexism.   Questions are about activism, sexual/romantic relationships, friendships, beauty standards, domestic/household questions, children and childcare, along with some general and miscellaneous questions.  The Femmafesto contains a long list of demands from women in the community that issued the femmafesto and the questionarre.  The demands are general and could easily be adopted by any community.  The attitude of the femmafesto is clear in the first line:  "that's right, deal with it!"  The women demand that men step out of their comfort zones and deal with sexist oppression, because, as women, we don't have that privileged choice, and screw you for guilting us into feeling bad for you and the "difficult position" you we put you in when you can't decide whether or not to be our allies, and screw you for not recongizing and respecting the difficult position you put us in simply because we're women.  NOTE:  This was taken out of circulation by the people who created it, so you won't find it here and you shouldn't find it anywhere.

Consequence: Beyond Resisting Rape by Loolwa Khazzoom -- Khazzoom believes that, for the most part, it is not effective to ignore verbal or physical or mental harrassment by men, nor is it effective to verbally reproach them.  She steps outside of what is considered acceptable feminine/feminist behavior and advocates physical violence against men as a means of stopping their sexist, sometime violent behavior.  In her book, she gives examples of when she has used assault to deal with men who have violated her, be it verbally, physically, or mentally.  However, Khazzoom doesn't believe that physical violence and self defense are the only means of combatting sexism, nor does she believe that those methods alone will rid the earth of patriarchy and violence against women.  She also offers other things women can do to empower ourselves and connect with each other: discussion groups, group art projects/endevours, research, writing, self defense classes, underground railways for women escaping abuse or escaping the law after fighting back, etc.  Warning:  there's one part where she thinks it's empowering for a group of Israeli women to almost get into a street brawl with some Palestinian folks and she thinks it's great when they yell something along the lines of, "Get away from here!  This is not Allah's land, this is [Jewish god's] land!"  I couldn't find the exact quote.

"Real Feminists Don't Get Raped and Other Fairy Tales" by t-bone kneegrabber -- kneegrabber begins her article with a fictional, yet all-too-familiar, story about a woman who becomes ostracized by her anarchist community because she confronted an anarchist man who raped her.  kneegrabber then goes on to describe common reactions to accusations of violence (perpetrated by anarchist men) against women, and explains why many of them are flawed or downright messed up, counterproductive, and hurtful.  She then describes her proposal for a skeleton structure of steps to deal with violent/abusive activists.  This article was printed in The Defenestrator , Clamor Magazine , and Onward Anarchist Newspaper .  None of them have her article online.  I'll ask around and see any of those publications plan on putting it online, and if not, well, I'll do it myself.

"Prioritizing Kids in the Anarchist Community" by amberraekelly --
This an article by an anarchist mom.  She talks about being a parent in an anarchist community -- what it's like, what she hates, what she wants and needs from her community to be a good parent to her daughter.

Cunt
by Inga Muscio -- I love this book!  It gets a little upsetting at times, but the overwhelming majority of the book is guarunteed to uplift your cunt!  It's all about getting to know your cunt and what it does, loving your cunt, taking care of your cunt, and protecting your cunt from illness and mean people.  I have a huge crush on Inga Muscio and her cunt.

Defining Anarchism: The relationship between “anarchist culture” and anarchism
 by Soliman Lawrence.  This article originally appeared in the Defenestrator .  He argues that "Anarchism is being held hostage by a definitive “anarchist culture.” In the upheaval of the globalization age, anarchism provides a particularly critical critique to understanding the connection between the state and capitalism and, therefore, a real potential for the radical transformation of society... Unlike its past, contemporary anarchism exists almost entirely within the counter culture scene. Anarchism is now being defined by these counter cultures and is taking on its own unique kind of xenophobia, parochialism, and mistrust toward 'normal people.'"  I absolutely love this article and I think it's imperative that every anarchist who's interested in a global, inclusive, populat anarchist movement read it.

Killing the Black Body by Dorothy Roberts - This is a really good book.  Best one I've read in a while.  It's about how Black women's bodies, specifically their reproduction, has been controlled by dominant groups from the moment they set foot in this country.  From slavery up to "Mississippi apendectomies" to Norplant and the Dep shot to prosecuting pregnant drug users to in vitro fertilization.  Implicit in her book is the argument that because oppressive control of Black women's reproduction is so ingrained in the culture and the laws, some really radical changes are necessary to fix it.  There's no band-aid solutions here.


Woman on the Edge of Time by Marge Piercy - This is a utopian novel written in the 60's.  A Latina in modern-day capitalist hell can travel in time.  She travels between two future outcomes:  the first is this crazy capitalist hell where the women all look like Barbies (all disproportionate and whatnot), the farmland's all gone to hell so the people eat dirt and sawdust, the air is thick with black nastiness, and the society is so economically stratified that you literally have people living in big castles in the sky while the proles live on the ground in the filth.  The other world is an anarchist upotia.  Aside from the pro-biotech spin (hey, she was writing in the 60's and couldn't have forseen biotech evilness), I think it's a pretty neat representation of what I think an anarchist world might look like.  In the book, the two worlds are at war.  The utopian people tell the main character from our time that the world's future can either look like the capitalist hell or the anarchist utopia, and that she has to decide and fight for which one she wants back in her time.  How neat.






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Last updated 11/4/2002 when I should have been writing papers.  Lots of papers.
Added Killing the Black Body and Woman on the Edge of Time.

8/21/02: Added Defining Anarchism: The relationship between “anarchist culture” and anarchism


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