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Thursday, October 14, 2010

How comes that feminism practises what anarchism preaches or What is anarcho-feminism? (2004)

rough english translation from from an anarcha-feminist group in Croatia

Difficult question: That's why it's the best to start from the beginning. In the beginning of the story of anarcho feminism, anarchism and feminism were basically different expressions, although they were always a tight connection between them. (E.g. one of the oldest anarchist newspapers of the world "freedom", was founded by the woman and feminist Charlotte Wilson among others). In the end of the 19th and at the beginning of the 20th century feminist and anarchist were very active and noticed, for example
Mary Wollstonecraft, Lucy Parsons, Voltairine de Clayre and Emma Goldman, who made the connection between anarchism and feminism a very popular idea. Maybe they could even be called the pioneers of the fight for the freedom for women and by that for the society in general. In the 20th century the idea and the movement developed their ways of organising, especially independent groups. They are masked by decentralism, non-structure, non-dogmatism, refusing of one ideology or line and complete despise towards hierarchy as a structure inside the group but also inside the whole society.

    Such a way organising & acting stayed until today. Why were the anarchist ideas always so important for the feminist movement?
Anarchism is fighting in its bases with every kind of authorities and their authoritarian systems, also against the authority of the man over the woman and against patriarchy. Authoritarian systems consider the family as a base for their existence. This is what children, and especially female children, in this kind of system learn, from the father to the leader, from the boss to god, is to OBEY. Feminism is fighting against those dogmas of the patriarchy that has always been there, against the systematical domination of the man over the woman within all the structures of the society, against the culture of rape and against all the stereotypes of the woman life as a saint, mother or whore, woman as a sexual object or as a passive individual.
    Feminism is fighting for the equal rights of women and men, complete realisation of male and female potentials, and it's aiming to change the "man's world" towards a "world for all people", without caring about gender, age, race, sexual choice. Anarchism gives this opportunity to feminism. And this is the point where anarchism and feminism connect themselves to anarchofeminism. Anarchofeminism recognises patriarchy as the essential weapon of modern capitalistic and hierarchical society, which decides about human everyday life through institutions and family as one of the institutions. That is why I consider that anarchofeminism is a more complete solution than feminism alone, because it doesn't focus on changing situation for only women, but on changing for all people in society, like a total change in society. The problem of women as second (third?) citizens in society is not a separate problem but is part of the whole problematic society of non-equality and authoritarity. And non-equality among people, same as among women and men will exist as long as the relation of superior and inferior is rolled out. The system that still holds this fetish of female inferiority does this because most of all it hates when its authority is touched, when it is provocated. That characterises for all authorities, regardless if it is authority of masters over their slaves or men over women. Anyway the people escape from their cages with big free steps.
    Anarchofeminism is a challenge to this system for both women and men, but also a personal challenge in itself, after all the first necessary change is in oneself, and then around oneself. Human passion and need of freedom exists from the very beginning of human kind and the thing is not just in emancipation of women but in emancipation of
society, all people. We don't want to be able to do the same as men we want all together to be able to do much more.
And when we succeed, Anarchofeminism will reach its goal. It'll be free to erase itself.

From: http://www.zamirnet.hr/anfema/text_whatisanfem.htm

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