Anarchism and feminism
chapterposted on 07.10.2015, 12:45 by Ruth KinnaRuth Kinna
This chapter examines anarchist feminism as a politics that has emerged through critical engagements with both anarchism and non-anarchist feminisms. As a current within anarchism, anarchist feminism is rightly linked to the writing of leading anarchist women, typically neglected in anarchist canons. Yet in different historical moments anarchist feminism has emerged as a critique of feminism as well as an assessment of anarchist movement practices and principles. The argument is that contemporary anarchist feminism is contextualized by a powerful historical narrative which has both marginalized anarchism within feminism and described feminism’s intersection with anarchism as a transformative moment. This narrative is described by a wave theory which stresses the successive disruptions of feminism, each building on the earlier disturbance to advance a modified politics. The first section gives an account of feminist wave theory, to show how the boundaries of feminism have been constructed in ways that are neglectful of, if not antithetical to, anarchism. It then sketches two anarchist responses to wave theory, showing how activists have sought to find tools within anarchism to develop anarchist feminism or, alternatively, turned to feminism for anarchism’s re-invention as an anarchist feminist politics. The final two sections examine the impact of wave narratives on contemporary anarchist feminisms and consider what the writings of prominent anarchist women contribute to anarchist feminist thinking.
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