In Episode 26, we shared a panorama of dramatic stories from the lives and struggles of 19th and early 20th century anarchist women... but we didn't focus much on their ideas. In the second episode of our three-part series on anarcha-feminism, the Ex-Worker returns to the first generations of rebels who brought together anarchist and feminist currents, this time to explore their distinctive revolutionary visions. We survey the context of early revolutionary and feminist ideas, and the distinct perspectives of early anarcha-feminists on marriage, sexuality, economic and bodily autonomy, suffrage, revolutionary sexism, and strategies for women's emancipation. The Chopping Block discusses Free Women of Spain, the classic study of the Spanish anarcha-feminist group Mujeres Libres. Listeners weigh in on sports, a special guest contributor offers a correction about indigenous resistance to fracking, and we begin a fascinating conversation on solidarity actions and anonymity amidst the news, event announcements, statements from political prisoners, and more.
Notes and Links
Trigger warning: This episode includes a few passing references to sexual or domestic violence: nothing too graphic, but we wanted to give all of you a heads up. The references appear at 11:40, 35:50, 41:25, 1:04:50, and 1:33:44. Incidentally, we’re sympathetic to the zine “Betrayal”’s critical discussion of trigger warnings (page 2, “Disclaimer”); still, we’d prefer to err on the side of being careful.
Listeners have requested a table of contents with time stamps for easier navigation in the long episodes. So here it is!
The Hot Wire [1:52]
Discussion of Anonymity and Solidarity Actions [14:38]
Listener Feedback [20:51]
Main Feature: Critiques and Visions of Early Anarcha-Feminists [29:18]
The Chopping Block: Free Women of Spain review [1:19:23]
Next Week’s News [1:30:20]
Citations from our discussion of early anarcha-feminist ideology:
Voltairine de Cleyre: we cited her essays “The Economic Relations of Sex”, Sex Slavery, “The Woman Question”, and “Those Who Marry Do Ill”. You can learn more about her from the website voltairine.org; books of her writings and about her life include The Voltairine de Cleyre Reader on AK Press, Gates of Freedom: Voltairine de Cleyre and the Revolution of the Mind, by Eugenia DeLamotte; and Exquisite Rebel: The Essays of Voltairine De Cleyre – Anarchist, Feminist, Genius.
Emma Goldman: we drew on her essays “Marriage and Love”, “The Traffic in Women”, “The Hypocrisy of Puritanism”, “Woman Suffrage”, and “The Tragedy of Women’s Emancipation”. You might also be interested to listen to a podcast talk given by Clare Hemmings called “Sexual Politics and Revolution: Emma Goldman’s Passion”.
About La Voz De La Mujer, see No Gods, No Bosses, No Husbands: Anarchist Feminism in Nineteenth-Century Argentina by Maxine Molyneux.
About Chinese anarcha-feminist He Zhen, see Peter Zarrow’s article on He Zhen and Anarcha-Feminism in China and his book Anarchism and Chinese Political Culture.
We also drew on In Their Time: A History of Feminism in Western Society, by Marlene LeGates; No Turning Back: The History of Feminism and the Future of Women, by Estelle Freedman; Anarchy!: An Anthology of Emma Goldman’s Mother Earth; Louise Michel’s autobiography The Red Virgin; Vindication of the Rights of Woman by Mary Wollstonecraft; Anarchist Women: 1870–1920 by Margaret Marsh; Carolyn Ashbaugh’s biography Lucy Parsons: American Revolutionary; Joseph Dejacque’s “On the Human Being, Male and Female”; and Black Flag Boricuas by Kirwin Shaffer.
Public statement from Brian “Jacob” Church of the NATO 3, from which we read an excerpt.
Statement from the Bogota, Columbia-based anarcho-syndicalist Libertarian Student Union on the death of their comrade Sergio.
After the Hot Wire, we discussed questions of anonymity, legibility and solidarity; we referenced the interview with Amelie and Fallon from our friends at The Final Straw radio show. Amelie and Fallon, along with another comrade named Carlos - collectively known as the 5e3) have been imprisoned in Mexico since January of 2013, facing charges of incindiary attacks on a Nissan dealership and the ministry of communication and transportation building in Mexico City. Information about their case can be found in English here.
We also referenced the exchanges between the Conspiracy Cells of Fire and anonymous comrades around the claiming of actions – the debates are lengthy, but well worth reading. “Letter to the Anarchist Galaxy” , “Do not say that we are few… just say that we are determined” , "Anonymity” and “Let’s become dangerous… for the diffusion of the Black International” , and “Appendix to an Aborted Debate on Anonymity and Attack” .
We also referred to the pamphlet Revolutionary Solidarity with an essay by Daniele Carmignani.
For links to the sources of our Hot Wire news items, and events mentioned on Next Week’s News, look through the full transcript.
Leonard Peltier #89637–132
USP Coleman I
Post Office Box 1033
Coleman, Florida 33521
(out on bail, but in our thoughts)
Brian “Jacob” Church M44717
PO Box 999
Pinckneyville, IL 62274
Address envelope to Brian, letter to Jacob