Women’s day and the struggle of every day: María Galindo

A feminist-anarchist voice from the “South”: María Galinda and the critique of “Women’s Day” …

Continue reading

Posted in Commentary | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

A strike against/beyond borders: The march 8 feminist strike in spain

This year’s call for a global women’s strike to mark the 8th of March women’s day was expressed in protests throughout the world.  But it found no greater resonance than in spain.

Continue reading

Posted in Commentary, News blog | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

In solidarity with Pablo Hasél

In solidarity with the rapper Pablo Hasél, and all of the other dissidents fined, arrested, imprisoned and tortured by the spanish state.

Continue reading

Posted in News blog | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Reading events in italy with infoaut

As italians are called upon to vote in a change of the guard, we share a reflection from the alternative media collective infoaut.org, on the increasingly violent institutional politics that is put into practice against the country’s social movements …
Continue reading

Posted in Commentary, News blog | Tagged , | Leave a comment

For March 8, women’s day: Queering anarchism, queering feminism

Feminism is often trapped in reified forms of female-feminine identity, appealing to state authorities for the recognition and protection of women’s rights (when rights must be taken-created, not asked for), affirming a female “nature” against an ambient, violent misogyny, demanding women’s access to the means of wealth production and to social goods, and the like.  However important all of these have been, and continue to be, in the the everyday lives of women, is incontestable, such demands and goals fall short of a more radical questioning of patriarchy and its overlapping relations with other types and levels of oppressive hierarchies.

To close (but only momentarily) our brief walk through anarchism’s engagement with women’s oppression, on this, the occasion of the 8th of March, international women’s day, we share a short text that seeks to question gender identity and gender politics altogether, a text that aims to queer feminism and anarchism.

Continue reading

Posted in Commentary | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

For March 8, women’s day: Carol Ehrlich’s Socialism, Anarchism, and Feminism

Carol Ehrlich’s Socialism, Anarchism, and Feminism was first published as Research Group One Report 26 by Research Group One, 2743 Maryland Avenue, Baltimore, Md 21218, USA, in January ’77, and ran to a second printing. It will appear in the anthology Reinventing Anarchy: What anarchists are thinking these days to be published by Routledge, Kegan & Paul, London, in Spring ’79. An abridged version of Socialism, Anarchism and Feminism appeared in the American feminist magazine Second Wave Vol. 5, No. 1. (infoshop.org)

If the essay has aged, it has as old wine.  However different our time is, or not, there is still much to be learned from her reflection.

Continue reading

Posted in Commentary | 1 Comment

For March 8, women’s day: Lucia Sanchez Saornil and the struggle against patriarchy

From the birth of the Church, out of the womb of Fear and the fatherhood of Ignorance, it has taught the inferiority of woman. In one form or another through the various mythical legends of the various mythical creeds, runs the undercurrent of the behef in the fall of man through the persuasion of woman, her subjective condition as punishment, her natural vileness, total depravity, etc.; and from the days of Adam until now the Christian Church, with which we live specially to deal, has made Woman the excuse, the scapegoat for the evil deeds of man. So thoroughly has this idea permeated Society that number”, of those who have utterly repudiated the Church, are nevertheless soaked in this stupefying narcotic to true morality. So pickled is the male creation with the vinegar of Authoritarianism, that even those who have gone further and repudiated tire State still cling to the god, Society as it is, still hug the old theological idea that they are to be “heads of the family” — to that wonderful formula “of simple proportion” that “Man is the lead of the Woman even as Christ is the head of the Church.” No longer than a week since, an Anarchist (?) said to me, “I will be boss in my own house” — a “Communist-Anarchist,” if you please, who doesn’t beheve in “my house.” About a year ago a noted libertarian speaker said, in my presence, that his sister, who possessed a fine voice and had joined a concert troupe, should “stay at home with her children; that is her place.” The old Church idea! This man was a Socialist, and since an Anarchist; yet his highest idea for woman was serfhood to husband and children, in the present mockery called “home.” Stay at Ironic, ye malcontents! Be patient, obedient, submissive! Darn our socks, mend our shirts, wash our dishes, get our meals, wait on us and mind the children! Your fine voices are not to delight the public nor yourselves; your inventive genius is not to work, your fine art taste is not to be Cultivated, your business facilities are not to be developed; you made the great mistake of being born with them, suffer for your folly! You are women, therefore housekeepers, servants, waiters, and child’s nurses!


Voltairine de Cleyre, Sex Slavery

I said that we had the notions of womanhood and of motherhood set beside each other, but I was wrong; we already have something worse: the notion of motherhood overshadowing that of womanhood, the function annihilating the individual.

It might be said that down through the ages the male world has wavered, in its dealings with woman, between the two extreme notions of whore and mother, from the abject to the sublime without stopping at the strictly human: woman. Woman as an individual, as a rational, thoughtful, autonomous individual…

The mother is the product of the male backlash against the whore that every woman represents to him. It is the deification of the uterus that hosted him.

Lucia Sanchez Saornil


That men who claim to be desirous of social revolution often fail to see beyond there own personal “male-centred and sexist” experience is perhaps today no longer surprising.  The critique of this debility however took time to develop in anti-capitalist movements, including among anarchists.  If Voltairine de Cleyre was among the earliest in the tradition to see the limits of the “male anarchist”, spain’s Mujeres Libres confronted the issue directly, though not always successfully, as Martha A. Ackelsberg‘s work on the organisation teaches us.

In an article by Lucia Sanchez Saornil (posted at libcom.org and presented below), one of the co-founders of Mujeres Libres, we are offered direct testimony of the sexist attitudes of men in the Spanish anarchist movement and of the need for any radical anti-capitalist movement to address directly and uniquely the issue of patriarchy.

Lucia Sanchez Saornil (1895-1970) was a Spanish poet, writer and anarchist feminist. She was active in the CNT but critical of the sexist attitudes of many male Spanish anarchists. She helped found the anarchist feminist group, Mujeres Libres, in April 1936, a confederal organization of Spanish anarchist women that played an important role in the Spanish Revolution and Civil War (1936-1939). The following excerpts are taken from her article, “The Woman Question in Our Ranks,” originally published in the CNT paper, Solidaridad Obrera, September-October 1935 (reprinted in “Mujeres Libres” España, 1936-1939, Barcelona: Tusquets, 1976, ed. Mary Nash). The translation is by Paul Sharkey. Introductory note by Robert Graham, and this text taken from Volume One of Anarchism: A Documentary History of Libertarian Ideas, From Anarchy to Anarchism (300CE-1939).

Continue reading

Posted in Commentary | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

For March 8, women’s day: Mujeres Libres

Cowards don’t make history; and the women of Mujeres Libres (Free Women) were no cowards. Courageous enough to create revolutionary change in their daily lives, these women mobilized over 20,000 women into an organized network during the Spanish Revolution, to strive for community, education, and equality for women and the emancipation of all. Militants in the anarcho-syndicalist CNT union, Mujeres Libres struggled against fascism, the State, and reaction; and the less than supportive attitudes and concerns of their male comrades. (libcom.org)

We share below an essay by Martha A. Ackelsberg “‘Separate and equal’?: Mujeres Libres and anarchist strategy for women’s emancipation” (Feminist Studies, 1985, 11 (1), pp. 63 – 83), which examines the critical role of Mujeres Libres both historically, in the context of the spanish revolution, as well as in relation to anarchism and women’s emancipation from patriarchy. (libcom.org)

Continue reading

Posted in Commentary | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

For March 8, women’s day: Voltairine de Cleyre and the anarchy of life

I Am

I am! The ages on the ages roll:
And what I am, I was, and I shall be:
By slow growth filling higher Destiny,
And widening, ever, to the widening Goal.
I am the Stone that slept; down deep in me
That old, old sleep has left its centurine trace;
I am the plant that dreamed; and lo! still see
The dream-life dwelling on the Human Face.
I slept, I dreamed, I wakened: I am Man!
The hut grows Palaces; the depths breed light;
Still on! Forms pass; but Form yields kinglier Might!
The singer, dying where his song began,
In Me yet lives; and yet again shall he
Unseal the lips of greater songs To Be;
For mine the thousand tongues of Immortality.

Voltairine de Cleyre, January, 1892


Sometimes I dream of this social change. I get a streak of faith in Evolution, and the good in man. I paint a gradual slipping out of the now, to that beautiful then, where there are neither kings, presidents, landlords, national bankers, stockbrokers, railroad magnates, patentright monopolists, or tax and title collectors; where there are no over-stocked markets or hungry children, idle counters and naked creatures, splendor and misery, waste and need. I am told this is farfetched idealism, to paint this happy, povertyless, crimeless, diseaseless world; I have been told I “ought to be behind the bars” for it.

Remarks of that kind rather destroy the white streak of faith. I lose confidence in the slipping process, and am forced to believe that the rulers of the earth are sowing a fearful wind, to reap a most terrible whirlwind. When I look at this poor, bleeding, wounded World, this world that has suffered so long, struggled so much, been scourged so fiercely, thorn-pierced so deeply, crucified so cruelly, I can only shake my head and remember:

The giant is blind, but he’s thinking: and his locks are growing, fast.

Voltairine de Cleyre, The Economic Tendency of Freethought, 1887


Anarchism means freedom to the soul as to the body,— in every aspiration, every growth.

Voltairine de Cleyre, Anarchism, 1901


A reflection, born of the writings of Voltairine de Cleyre …

Continue reading

Posted in Commentary | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Alejandro de Acosta: Anarchy as thinking in which anything goes

Whatever becoming anarchist entails, it is ultimately neither the subject of a pedagogy nor the object of an ideology. One can’t say that anarchist philosophy is merely a decision concerning the concepts, theories, intuitions, books, and thinkers that are to be taught. Anarchy can’t be taught!

… our objects and subjects, our gestures and postures, our languages and sign systems, our acoustic and visual images. So many impulsive investments wearing so many masks, ever more carnivalesque, of an anarchic history in which anything goes.

Alejandro de Acosta

Reflections on pedagogy quickly spill over into spaces of politics.  And the inverse is equally true.  Following on our posting of Alejandro de Acosta’s essay That Teaching is Impossible: How to Live Now or Never, we share a further study by him, this time reflecting on anarchism more broadly.

Continue reading

Posted in Commentary | Tagged , | Leave a comment