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Saturday, October 9, 2010

why i'm a feminist-anarchist (1999)

dear brothers and sisters in the struggle:
let me be upfront about my own motivations and perspective. i came to anarchism out of feminism because it seemed obvious to me that anarchist practice and theory offered answers/solutions to exploitation and oppression. my own experiences of sexual exploitation cannot be seperated from my class position (i'm a dirt poor single mother, with two young kids - one of whom is autistic), i've been sexually preyed upon because of that intersection of gender/class (for example; when i was working in a small coffee shop several years ago, by the owners brother- who had already gotten several young women fired for complaining about his meandering hands- i was lucky that i had two other part-time jobs and could afford to quit) at the time that this occurred i was married to a very popular and well-liked man who took my paycheques, locked me in the house and punished me for drinking too much milk when i was pregnant. - he blamed me for the sexual harrassment i suffered from the owner's bro.
i cannot understand my own situation without considering both my gender and my class position. don't ask me to try.
my experiences allow me to relate to others who are exploited because of their own specific 'identity'. i use my rage to understand and resist the patriarchal, racist, capitalism which is currently our common enemy. this is not a white man's revolution...i thought we were struggling to end ALL exploitation. if anarchists wish to create a mass-based revolutionary movement we'll have to make room for people of all kinds and that means incorporating 'identity politics' into our analyses and actions. as a white woman i've had to struggle to educate myself about racial oppression (the current economics of which serve capitalism) and to understand/accept 'white priviledge'.
although such identity-based analyses have been and will continue to be used to divide the lower classes that does not mean they should be rejected as a 'liberal' plot.
on the contrary we must make every effort to ensure that our movement encourages multi-faceted understandings of oppression and exploitation so that;
1. our understanding will be clearer of the ways in which states and capital utilise gender-race as tools,
2. we will focus our scarce resources on projects which will help real people now and encourage them to join with us, and
3. we do not offend and/or drive away allies because we refuse to listen when they are attempting to explain HOW THEY EXPERIENCE EXPLOITATION and HOW THEY WISH TO FIGHT BACK.
for peace and solidarity,
'if it don't stop rape, its not my revolution'


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