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What do anarchists think of feminism

–1 vote
Is feminism anything more than pure extremism, a danger to our freedom?
asked Nov 26 by curious bystander (510 points)

CB, if it's relevant to you, many people i know call what you're talking about part of call-out culture, which is a thing unto itself (it uses jargon from many tendencies including feminism, anarchism, leftism, etc but isn't limited to them), and it's extremely common online and apparently among young folks, it's inappropriate to limit it to any individual tendency, since it crosses boundaries at will.

vinegar: love that band name idea. i would wear the teeshirt!

dot, thank you.

edit to add: and a great big happy thank you to all of the thinkers and feelers putting work in into this topic for our liberation

Human, obviously relevant enough to me to bring it up and I stand by every word. If some people brand some others as whatever, when they may be completely innocent of that whatever, that is a form of Nazism in my thinking.

I have not said all feminists, only pointing out what I've read, what I've discussed with self proclaimed feminists, and this discussion especially is centred around the book Under Your Thumb. That is the context of the discussion really.

How can I possibly have any form of discussion without using the term the authors use to describe themselves? Some people here seem a little over sensitive on this subject, very strange when we're discussing anarchic matters and this book in particular is sending out an anti-freedom message loud and clear in the name of feminism.

Here's another example; Michael Gira, a founding member of the band The Swans was accused of raping Larkin Grimm, a musician he was working with. Here's a quote by the author of the piece in Under My Thumb: "My first response to reading Grimm’s Facebook post was fear. I tried to shake it off by asking what I had to be scared of. Was I worried about professional reprisal for promoting the work of an accused rapist, or scared of ridicule for not realising I’d been played by a manipulative man? These concerns didn’t deserve to be called fear. I told myself I wasn’t in any danger. I should instead feel shame at my weakness and complicity. And yet I could not dispel a physical, wordless dread that something was at my back, on my back, telling me, as it had so many times, that I was not safe and that it was my fault. So I was scared, and I was ashamed; and I knew that I could no longer subsume these feelings into music and sound."

The above is sad really, the guy wasn't proven to be a rapist, he was accused on Facebook. My initial reaction to any claim is indifference as I don't know, so why would I react.

To me that is troublesome as it is indicative of the mentality which is being spread via the book Under My Thumb. Guilty until proven innocent, and in Gira's case it doesn't appear that he was charged with rape nor tried in court.

Hence the use of Nazi, for that was their means of stigmatizing Jews, Gypsies, Anarchists, and anybody who they thought was unworthy of living.

Funkyanarchy, what I don't get is the identification with a group title if you do not want to be identified with that particular group; feminist, anarchist, etc. Seems strange to me to call yourself something which is recognized by others as a certain ideology or philosophy and yet make it a completely individual interpretation, and yet, call yourself by the group name. By doing that wouldn't they really be breaking away from say feminism?

As I wrote and as I've just said to Human, my reference is not to feminism as feminism, it's more about certain females who claim the title feminists. So I'm not "painting anybody with a broad brush" as such. Sure I've used generalizations, but that's the way I talk within a context as I'd have to continually back reference every sentence and that would be both laborious and tedious.

I love this "but hear this: not all feminists think all men are violent, predatory misogynists". Sounds like Mr Davidson.

I am aware of that, but some do too, and put it in print for all to see!

CB, women calling men misogynists or saying something that you don't like isn't remotely comparable to the nazism. That absurd comparison you used comes from Rush Limbaugh iirc, and is still used by like mra's and socially conservative folk, and some other right-winged groups. The ridiculous feminists are nazis comparison is meant to attack, degrade, discredit, and put women on the defensive for discussing something that folk that make such crappy comparisons don't understand or challenges their view.

If your question is based up this book you read, you should've put the name of the book in your question or mentioned it in some way. What do you mean by freedom, anyways?

There are different kinds of feminism as someone said above.

1 Answer

+1 vote

To answer your question, CB, I am most critical of the versions of feminism which elevate "Woman" to the status of a collective social category that seeks "representation" at the table of political power. So-called "First Wave" and "Second Wave" feminists tend more strongly in this direction, but I've seen a few self-professed "Third Wave" feminists fall into this tendency as well. In my experience, these are the sorts of feminists who are most likely to get caught up in the moralistic "privilege-checking" of "call-out culture."

Strictly speaking, I don't think that the various "waves" of feminism have any basis in reality, but the fact that some feminists feel the need to make such distinctions helps to illustrate the point that they aren't all unanimous about what "feminism" actually is. There are certain feminists that I think are completely out to lunch and others that I think have some genuinely interesting and worthwhile things to say. For instance, in her book Gender Trouble, Judith Butler (who many would classify as a Third Wave feminist) devotes herself to deconstructing "Woman" as a collective social category and, in stead, argues for recognizing each individual woman as unique unto herself. 

An interesting article on this subject is "Beyond Feminism, Beyond Gender," from Wolfi Landstreicher's Against The Logic of Submission series. You can listen to it here in audio format:

http://www.audioanarchy.org/submission/09-Beyond_Feminism.mp3

answered Nov 27 by Matt Dionysus (540 points)
if i had wanted to say female, then i would have said female.

md: what i found interesting was not how the category was defined (social, political, etc), but the fact that the description of the concept deconstructed from the category continued to use the category label ("woman") to supposedly refer to a unique individual. however a category may be defined, for me it is specifically the "unified set of desires, interests, and goals " that i find problematic. not to mention, of course, being in need of representation.

i largely agree with most of what you have said, i was just commenting on what i thought was an interesting use of words - assumedly by butler. i have known quite a few self-proclaimed "third wave" feminists, and every one of them is/was a dogmatic identity politician, even those i enjoy engaging with (including one of my sisters). yet i still don't paint all feminists with that brush.

i do think that anyone whose desire is "equality" - especially as defined by the systems of domination that control so much of the modern world - does not view a liberatory life the same way i do. my desire is to treat every individual and every interaction as unique, while of course using all my existing experience/knowledge/memory/intuition/etc and current observations to contextualize as best i can. i would never want to treat all individuals "equally", nor would i want them to treat me "equally" with everyone else. to me, "equality" either completely ignores context, or makes the context so broad as to be meaningless. for me, context is one of the primal aspects of individuals relating with each other.

funkyanarchy:

Without exception, I am in 100% agreement with everything you said. Completely, totally, and without reservation. If my choice of words was less than ideal, it was because I was deliberately "dumbing them down" for the benefit if the person who initially asked the question. I was trying to avoid muddying the waters of comprehension by introducing excessive nuance about the nature of individual subjectivity. If my words were less than totally faithful to Butler's argument, this is why.

"if i had wanted to say female, then i would have said female."

The phrase "non-male bodied/identified" just seems kind of clunky to me. What was your purpose in using it?

md: i have not read butler's work, so i have no idea how well your words conveyed her meaning, but i appreciate your clarification (and your reasoning).

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