As class-struggle anarchists dealing with the relations between gender, race and class, we must, in theory and practice, pick a path between two pitfalls. On one side is economic reductionism – the reduction of all political questions to the social relations of production – which erases the perspectives and struggles of women, queers and people of colour; submerges their voices within an overly generalised class narrative, in which the idealised Worker is implicitly white heterosexual and male; or consigns their struggles to a secondary importance compared to the “real struggle” of (economic) class against class. On the other is a stultifying and inward-looking liberal-idealist identity politics, concerned fetishistically with the identification of privilege and the self-regulation of individual oppressive behaviour to the (near) exclusion of organised struggle, which, while amplifying the voices of the marginalised, consigns them to an echo chamber where they can resonate harmlessly.
The Civil Partnership Bill was signed into law in July and the first civil registrations are expected early next year. The new legislation provides same-sex (and heterosexual) couples with ‘marriage-like benefits’ and can be seen as a move towards equality for LGBT (Lesbian, Gay Bisexual and Transsexual) people.
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Pride Celebrations have recently been seen all over the world, as a celebration of sexual diversity. It's worth remembering the history of Pride celebrations, of their origin in a homophobic and repressive culture, and their challenge to a world that refused to recognise sexual freedom. In this article, Paul McAndrew discusses the origins of Pride as a moment when the queer community in New York stood up and fought to be proud of their sexualities.
A critique of liberal conceptions of 'intersectionality' and an outline of an anarchist, class struggle approach.
1. The WSM Constitution’s core point of unity number 7 states:
“We actively oppose all manifestations of prejudice within the workers' movement and society in general and we work alongside those struggling against racism, sexism, [religious] sectarianism and homophobia as a priority. We see the success of a revolution and the successful elimination of these oppressions after the revolution being determined by the building of such struggles in the pre-revolutionary period. The methods of struggle that we promote are a preparation for the running of society along anarchist and communist lines after the revolution.”
Privilege and the theory around it is a significant topic of debate at the moment among those interested in radical social change. Touching on many issues dear to the hearts of anarchists, it is hard to avoid.(i) Yet, the two are not fitting together as well as they should and there is a sense of unease about this. (ii) Much of this is because privilege theory has emerged from US academic circles rather than anarchist ones and, ironically, has been co-opted to protect middle- class privileges. (iii) This is a situation in need of repair if we are to maintain our links with feminist, anti- racist and other struggles against oppression. If we are to create a mass movement capable of social change then it has to be able to engage with everyone in the first place.
Guest writer, Dónal O’Driscoll, contributes to the ongoing discussion on intersectionality and privilege theory.
A talk from the 2013 Anarchist Bookfair which will discuss emergent radical queer politics which resist assimilation and question the foundations of gender and sexual identity
For the third year in succession the Cork branch of the Workers Solidarity Movement participated in the Cork Pride Parade. Anarchists have been involved in Pride organising in Cork since its beginnings in the mid-noughties and have long seen Pride as both an important civic festival and an opportunity to connect with Cork's burgeoning LGBT community. Cork WSM also distributed a leaflet on Pride and its politics at the parade (see below). The parade was the culmination of a week of hectic activity and celebration by Cork's LGBT community across a number of venues and across a range of activities.
The WSM took part in Pride in Dublin over the weekend as part of the PINC! bloc. Below are a selection of images of the day captured by our photographers.
We've made a much larger collection available via the Pride 2012 album on the WSM Facebook page. The slideshow above is a smaller selection of these images pulled from our photographers Flickr account. Images made available under the Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike Creative Commons license.