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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Anarchism: The relationship between “anarchist culture” and anarchism
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