Is anarchism inherently feminist?

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Is anarchism inherently feminist?

I think it is. If you think of anarchism in terms or class struggle, opposition to the state, and the rejection of hierarchy and power relationships, then the rejection of patriarchy and the goal of  non-binary gender equity is very much a part of it. Anarcho-feminist Emma Goldman was one of the first anarchists to recognize and revile societies' insistence upon rigid, binary gender roles and was an early (and solitary) proponent of the concept of fluidity of gender and support for the rights of gays and lesbians.

In terms of contemporary anarcho-feminism, sexism, transphobia and patriarchy are viewed as an inequity of power relationships used as a tool of oppression by the state and the society it engenders. As an anarchist - whether you identify as male, female, neither or both - addressing the inequity of power relationships and critique of the state as based in power inequity and class stratification, it is no great leap to see patriarchy as the most glaring example of those inequities.

Does "manarchism" exist? Of course it does - the male rejection of feminist concerns and other sexist behaviors can be found in any ideologically-based movement for social change. However, in my experience manarchism is becoming a thing of the past, largely thanks to the educating work of anarcho-feminists and their sister eco-feminists. So yes, anarchism is inherently feminist, as it must be if it is true to itself. Is feminism inherently anarchist? Many would disagree but I believe it must be, for the same reasons anarchism is inherently feminist.

Basement Dweller

What is 'manarchism'?

Mr. Magoo

Among other things, I'm guessing it's the way that every time some anarchist sees fit to set fire to a trash can or smash a window, it's ALWAYS a dude.  But there's probably more that's probably not unrelated.


LOL guys.

Interesting Meg. It's going to take me a great deal of thought because while it may be feminist in theory, in practice it is not therefore it is no more inherently feminist than any other system.

Theory is great for challenging our minds to see things from a different perspective but it is not achievable on a significant scale in today's world. It's not something people want. Classes will probably always exist and it's not inherently wrong that they do. It is probably within our nature for there to be some sort of pecking order if only because of our varied personality types. The key is in how we manage the power relationships that are unlikely to go away. Democracy has made many advances and I have no doubt that there will be more.



Anarchism isn't just theory any more than feminism is. A great deal of the work done is in helping people with self-advocasy through workshops, panel discussions, etc. It can be as simple as helping a low income single parent deal with school administrators or assisting someone in working their way through a government bureaucracy, educating people to understand the value of their autonomy.

I'm not going to get into how deeply flawed our 'democratic' processes are, how the state - in our case Canada - actively dissuades people from participating in the democratic process, because that would be a discussion more appropriate to the Canadian Politics forum. The discussion I'm looking at is how feminism and anarchism share goals, values and objectives.

This being the feminist forum and all.

I'd also like to point out that anarchism isn't about vandalizing property or setting fire to shit. It's about radical participatory democracy, self-empowerment, a rejection of the mainstream systems of power that so clearly operate outside the best interests of the individual and the collective, rejection of hierarchy, and a whole lot of other things, through education, non-violent direct action, acts of civil disobedience and other forms of knowledge sharing and collective action against the state.