Anarchism can learn a lot from the feminist movement. In many respects it already has. Anarcha-feminists have developed analyses of patriarchy that link it to the state form. We have learned from the slogan that "the personal is political" (e.g. men who espouse equality between all genders should treat the women in their lives with dignity and respect). We have learned that no revolutionary project can be complete while men systematically dominate and exploit women; that socialism is a rather empty goal--even if it is "stateless"--if men's domination of women is left intact.
May 22nd offers an opportunity for many of us in Ireland to strike a blow against homophobia in voting for Marriage equality.
We find ourselves in Ireland facing a imminent referendum on marriage equality, which the hardline religious right are opposing as part of their program of maintaining multiple oppressions.
A No vote in that context would be disastrous, serving only to entrench homophobia. Therefore anarchists are campaigning for a Yes to Marriage Equality vote but beyond the need to ensure the referendum is not defeated this session of the 2015 Dublin Anarchist Bookfair asked what else needed to be said?
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.”
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.
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.
Last night (18 August) saw a protest against homophobic attack in Phoenix park take place at the Central Criminal Court at Parkgate street.
An important demonstration against homophobia takes place tonight in Dublin in the aftermath of a frightening mob attack on a Polish gay man in the Phoenix park at the end of last month. The protest will take place on the steps of the Parkgate street court complex because of its location close to the scene of the attack and because of the Garda disinterest in investigating it.
As the organisers of tonights protest explain “On 30th July 2016 a gay man was viciously attacked in Phoenix Park by a gang of over 10 young men. They made homophobic threats and insults, chased him, hit him with an iron bar and made him fear for his life by beating him and attempting to run him over in a car. He ran, screaming for help until he found someone and the gang finally fled. He was taken to hospital and treated for his injuries.
I had mixed feelings attending Pride, but mostly felt bewildered and pissed off. I was looking forward to this year's Pride for quite some time. It was my second ever Pride, and I came to march with the Radical Left Bloc, one of two radical blocs attending, which was organised by others. Like last year, I was shocked – somehow again – by the level of corporate infestation and toothlessness.
Here is an important question for everyone: what's the point of Pride? From being there, I know clearly that people's answers to this question vary hugely.
This is a personal account from a member who was recently subjected to a sexist, homophobic attack. This post mentions male violence, anti-choice mentality, and the toxicity of masculinity.
Toxic masculinity has been a trending topic of discussion lately with the case of Brock Turner who raped an unconscious woman and received a meagre 3 months in jail for his atrocious crime, and the homophobic Orlando shooting committed by Omar Mateen a week ago which claimed the lives of 49 people and injured over 50.