Tag Archive: anarcha-feminism

Against Carceral Feminism

“Prison Blueprints.” Remeike Forbes / Jacobin

From Jacobin / By Victoria Law

Relying on state violence to curb domestic violence only ends up harming the most marginalized women.

Cherie Williams, a thirty-five-year-old African-American woman in the Bronx, just wanted to protect herself from her abusive boyfriend. So she called the cops. But although New York requires police to make an arrest when responding to domestic violence calls, the officers did not leave their car. When Williams demanded their badge numbers, the police handcuffed her, drove her to a deserted parking lot, and beat her, breaking her nose, spleen, and jaw. They then left her on the ground.

“They told me if they saw me on the street, that they would kill me,” Williams later testified.

The year was 1999. It was a half-decade after the passage of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), which deployed more police and introduced more punitive sentencing in an attempt to reduce domestic violence. Many of the feminists who had lobbied for the passage of VAWA remained silent about Williams and countless other women whose 911 calls resulted in more violence. Often white, well-heeled feminists, their legislative accomplishment did little to stem violence against less affluent, more marginalized women like Williams.

This carceral variant of feminism continues to be the predominant form. While its adherents would likely reject the descriptor, carceral feminism describes an approach that sees increased policing, prosecution, and imprisonment as the primary solution to violence against women.

This stance does not acknowledge that police are often purveyors of violence and that prisons are always sites of violence. Carceral feminism ignores the ways in which race, class, gender identity, and immigration status leave certain women more vulnerable to violence and that greater criminalization often places these same women at risk of state violence. (more…)

The Ex-Worker #28: Anarcha-Feminism, Part II

dont-try-to-break-us-well-explode-bFrom Crimethinc.

Back in Episode 26, theEx-Worker shared a panorama of dramatic stories from the lives and struggles of 19th and early 20th century anarchist women… but we didn’t focus much on their ideas. In the second episode of our three-part series on anarcha-feminism, we return our focus to the first generations of rebels who brought together anarchist and feminist currents, this time to explore their distinctive revolutionary visions. We survey the context of early revolutionary and feminist ideas, and the distinct perspectives of early anarcha-feminists on marriage, sexuality, economic and bodily autonomy, suffrage, revolutionary sexism, and strategies for women’s emancipation. The Chopping Block discusses Free Women of Spain, Martha Ackelsberg’s classic study of the Spanish anarchist women’s group Mujeres Libres. Listeners weigh in on sports, a special guest contributor offers a correction about indigenous resistance to fracking, and we begin a fascinating conversation on solidarity actions and anonymity amidst the news, event announcements, statements from political prisoners, and more.

Trigger warning: This episode includes a few passing references to sexual or domestic violence: nothing too graphic, but we wanted to give all of you a heads up. The references appear at 11:40, 35:50, 41:25, 1:04:50, and 1:33:44.

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