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.
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.
Trans (or transgender) is a term for people whose gender identity and gender expression are different from the sex assigned to them at birth. Trans people have a history of receiving bigoted responses from some sections of the left, of the lesbian and gay community and some strands of feminism. One attack on transgender people has been based on the idea that trans people, by “changing gender”, reinforce existing rigid gender roles. Moving across borders of perceived gender does not reinforce existing gender-roles, any more than migration across borders of nation states reinforces the system of nation states. Many trans people are actively involved in fighting current, sexist gender stereotypes.
Workers Solidarity Movement position paper on Queer Liberation as re-written at the October 2011 National Conference