“This is pure action,” says reader reporter Michael N. About ten activists on Monday afternoon bought a ticket to – quite legally – to get to the South Tower of the Zurich Grossmünster. At about 50 meters but they unfurled a huge banner reading “Free Pussy Riot – Fuck Putin now.” Continue reading “PUSSY RIOT SUPPORTERS OCCUPY FRAUMÜNSTER TOWER IN ZURICH”
Serialization of ‘The Free’.. Ch 1..Smashing my Aquarium-
this is the first chapter of the Free.. Pleeez comment if you like it..or if you don’t!
I should’ve known what he was up to all right but I hadn’t a clue. It was easy enough to see what he fancied in her. That Janice was a real beauty. Besides being a stuck up bitch.
She used to have fellas queuing up to go out with her. I suppose we were a bit jealous. But sooner or later she’d tell all of them to drop dead. Which only spurred them on more, men being what they are. There were a whole gang of them in our school had their eye on Janice. Like a pack of randy dogs sniffing after her.
But my dad wasn’t one of them. When he took a fancy to Janice he swept her off her feet. You wouldn’t believe the nerve of the old bastard, and him married with four kids. Of which I, Linda, was the oldest, being about fifteen at the time.
Maybe I loved and feared him so much I was blind to his faults. But this time I couldn’t close my eyes.
It all began one day I was walking back to school after the dinner break. It’s a big wide road and windy, and the rain was beginning again. Rubbish and dust blowing. A few old vans and cars clattering by, and the wide road as grey as the sky.
Well, didn’t I come by the corner shop. There were a crowd of girls milling about and inside sheltering. It was half dark in there, the electricity was cut off again.
And there was stuck up Janice herself coming out, and she done up to the nines.
Looking down her snooty nose at our tatty uniforms.
Just because she worked in a fancy hairdresser’s.
Just at that moment didn’t a little car pull in by the shop.
Pulls up. And in hops Janice.
-‘Hey look at Janice going off with your dad!’- said Fiona from my class.
-‘You’re asking for a slapping.’- I warned.
There were girls pushing out of the shop. And I staring.
-‘I wonder does he pay her.’– said Beatrice, very loudly. -‘Look look!’-
-‘Shut your gob my father never would…’-
My dad and Janice were embracing in the car.
It couldn’t be. But it was.
Hot flushes started rushing up my body but I couldn’t stop staring.
And just before that air car hissed away,
didn’t she slip her elegant hands up his saggy cheeks,
a brown arm gliding snakelike round his stringy neck.
As she kissed him right on the mouth..
Rolling her big eyes back at us girls.
A big, wet, pouting, splash of a kiss in the mouth. And him responding.
She knew we were watching of course. And she was laughing!
The girls started squealing and cheering.
But I was ashamed and shocked. Hiding my scarlet face in my long fair hair.
Then they started to hoot and laugh at me.
So I took to my heels, and ran off down the street.
As the thunder clapped and it began to rain.
I’d never hear the end of it, I was mortified. It may not seem much to you, but such scandal would zoom round and round our area. Like a bee in a jar. I was in a state of shock, running the wrong way down that road.
I had the idea that my father was great. It’s true he did shout and roar and get drunk. But I was his own big girl.
It’s also true that he would always cuddle and pet me, and my mum would go mad. I used to hide my face in my hair and blush. Getting waves of panic if he didn’t stop.
Like what happened when Pado tried to dance touching me at the Clan Disco and I nearly choked.
I still believed my dada was the best. For me he’d always been the bee’s knees. In fact I didn’t dare doubt it
But now with just one jokey kiss, Janice had smashed the nice aquarium I lived in.
When I thought about my marvelous father now I felt quite queasy. So I stopped running and I walked. And I walked right round the block. Because I was afraid of arriving back at school early, of getting jeered and laughed at by the others.
I took it hard, my father getting off with Janice. And the whole of my youth took on a different light in a flash.
I arrived at the school gates before I knew it. And stopped. Afraid to go in and afraid to be late.
I hated that school, and I hated the gossiping girls. And for the first time I began to hate my dad.
One thing I was very good at was hating. I was a bad girl, a menace, and a mischief maker. I had I screamed and fought back since I was a baby. My brother was bad as well. If I got in a panic I would do anything. The worse the better! And as for my folks.. My mum and dad got on like an almighty riot.
I hated that Sister Bernadette and she hated me. I’d have to bite my tongue when she gave out stink, to stop myself getting up and throttling her!
Well my feet carried me through them big black gates all right. But I felt quite sick, and it seemed like my life was crashing down, like the thunder grumbling behind me. There was a big lump hurting my throat, and I was muttering to stop myself blubbering
When I got to the class it had already started, and the lights had come back on. I didn’t even bother knocking and walked straight in.
It was cold and grotty up there and it smelt bad.
There were ninety six girls and boys in our class, in theory. But lots were absent, or off doing Clan projects. The State couldn’t pay the teachers, and Sister Bernie had come back as a marvelous selfless volunteer.
-‘Excuse me please.‘- I shouted aggressively, heading for my seat.
Sister Bernadette glanced me daggers, flashing her ratlike eyes. She had Trishia Conners up reciting poetry at the time. That woman spotted that I was in bits from right up front, and she seized her chance.
-‘Next, Linda Moon.’– she announced happily.
Now one thing I was proud of was my memory, and I never forgot anything. That is if I bothered to look at it at all. But this day I stopped short. And my mind went blank with fright. It was stupid really, like everything in school. We learned off all this poetry without understanding a word of it.
Now instead of a line of lofty poetry I got flashes of my father spanking me. Sister Bernie prompted me. I said a line.
But I couldn’t come up with the next.
She used to come down with a ruler, and whack with the edge on the knuckles. They weren’t allowed to hit us of course, but wonderful Sister Bernie had come out of retirement to save our souls, and she was doing three classes in one. It was a rare treat for her to catch me and down she came.-‘Whack, whack.’– and me stammering and starting to cry.
-‘Again, again from the start.’-
And I had to start again, it was groaning brutal.
Well, I’m a lovely big girl for my age, as my dad always says. And Sister Bernie is a short shriveled woman. I made two of her.
And me coughing and sniveling and stopping, while the others were enjoying my terror. And now I was feeling sick. But I didn’t dare say it.
Then it happened, I can see it now. What a shocking horror.
I coughed once and ..whoosh.. like a bleeding yellow volcano.
I puked on poor Sister Bernie, on her hair and down her habit.
And a bit on Rosaleen and all over the desk. I was only after eating my dinner.
But why didn’t I just turn my head and miss her? I’m still not sure sure that I didn’t vomit on her on purpose.
Sister Bernie squawked and Rosaleen screeched and ran for the door. I was still sobbing and choking.
She had to half drag me out of the class. Even the big bad Clanners were dumb with horror.
I thought she might explode. Her face went purple red.
Bits of meat and potato in her hair and down her neck.
It was only after that I saw anything funny in it. But all the rest, excepting Rosaleen, thought it was brilliant. They used to jeer and sneer at –‘Sister Barf’- behind her back.
My cruel classmates put the mockers on her.
Sometimes I still feel guilty for vomiting on my teacher. And when I’m really bad I still need to be punished for it.
A wretched sinner who spewed vile puke on a retired nun.
They always have their hooks inside your head.
She marched me down the corridors to the sick room, I was shaking with shock, and she with fury. She sat me down in a chair, and began to clean herself off with paper towels. Giving me a roasting all the time.
-‘Get up off that chair Linda Moon.’– says she. But I wasn’t listening. –‘Get up you dirty little brat!’-
She went to give me a slap. But I turned my head at the same instant. And she hit me smack in the eye.
-‘Go to hell!’- I yelled, half blinded.
-‘Now we hear it’- she said –’Now we hear the filth coming out.’– She was spreading vomit down her face with a paper towel.
-‘You touch me again’- I said. –‘And I’ll break your horrible neck.‘-
-‘You’ll suffer for this,’– she spluttered. –’You and your thieving brother and your stupid whoring father. And get that idiot grin off your face, I’ll…’-
She was going to slap me again. But I lifted my arm. I had risen out of the chair before I knew it, brushing her blow aside.
She stepped back. Her face suddenly white, as I let fly a punch to her face. Hurting my hand on her solid bony nose.
I was hopping with pain -‘ow ow’- as I watched her totter.
Sister Bernadette fell back on her bottom.
I stood there staring, paralyzed and sucking my knuckles. And just watched, as she half crawled, half ran out of the room.
Gibbering threats and clutching her bleeding nose
Oh my god.. Maybe I’d murdered a saint!
I’m sorry I hit her. At least I’m sorry I hit her to defend the family name. Especially as she was telling the truth.
I did it because I’m bad down deep inside.
As I say, I just watched her go, dead calm, like in a dream, and I watched myself walk to the basin. Splash cold water on my face and my sore fist. Dabbing at a blotch on my grey skirt with a wet towel. Then walking through the open door. Down the dark paneled corridor. Out the front door, past the big board listing former Head Students.
My feet went crunch crunch down the graveled drive, like a zombie late for lunch. That’s how I react when I do something shocking. I never turned my head and no one followed. . Just as I was
coming to the door, hoping it would be open, I noticed that the entire iron gates had disappeared, what would they steal next!
I heard this shout from behind me. More like a bellow.
-‘Linda Moon come back here!’- The Headmistress yelled.
But I didn’t turn a hair, just kept walking…-‘Crunch, crunch.’-.. down the drive. Then again.
-‘Come back here this minute!’- she commanded. –‘Right now. Or you’ll be expelled from The School.’-
I felt the eyes of half the school, gawking down from the classrooms at my back. And I knew those kids were dying to giggle with glee.
Then a rush of joy flushed through me, feeling I’d done something good after all.
So I stooped and snatched up a bunch of the first precious yellow daffodils, which grew there under an oak tree, by the gates which weren’t there. I turned around.
Dancing and whirling, waving the flowers at the old grey building.
Till I was sure my yellow knickers showed.
White faces gaping at the windows..The head right out the door.
Then a hop and a skip, and around the corner laughing.
The black clouds were hanging, lower and heavier, and the hills had vanished.
My jacket was back in the school but why should I care.
I had the conviction right then that I’d left that school forever. Maybe I was right.
See I was born just too soon to go to the De-School, I’d never get to learn like the Clanners, doing projects they chose for themselves. …………. [glossary and clic ref 10 )
That school didn’t work. Even the teachers knew it. They were just putting in the hours and hadn’t been paid in months. Upset and all irate because their retirement scheme had crashed.
That school might close down soon at any rate.
It just didn’t click for most of us girls. And for messed up kids like me it was worst of all.
If they didn’t throw me out they’d have to drag me back roaring.
I stuffed the flowers in the bus stop bin, what a waste, and walked quickly up the road.
Glancing behind me and obsessing with my father.
Then I thought maybe I was wrong about him,
Wasn’t he always chatting up girls, and he was just giving Janice a lift, and what harm really. Of course. He was great.
Maybe he’d just kissed and cuddled him to start more nasty gossip.
And I swore revenge.
But I thought I might as well check up, Crafty bitch that I am. So I went into Devenney’s shop and looked up the Bottle Factory and Maxine’s Hair Salon in their phone book. They let me use the phone coz I said I was sick, and I tapped out the first number
-‘No, it’s Miss Martin’s afternoon off.’-
Then I rang the factory and, sure enough,
–’Sorry Mr. Moon takes a half day off on Tuesdays.’-
Well that was proof enough for me. But funny enough I felt better then, and pleased with myself. Thinking how I could trip him up and all, not that I would ever dare.
I pulled some leaves off a garden hedge and threw them up into the wind.
I’d like to say I couldn’t care two drops of diarrhea what he done. But that would be a sinful lie.
I thought I loved him then. He had me in his power, like a mouse being toyed with by a tom cat. Okay I I was a bit paranoid. Often imagining him behind me, and glancing back to check. .
And the nun, the girls, my brother, my mother, those skinhead Hoods.. All chanting in my head that I was bad.
A bad and dirty girl and guilty as sin.
I never dared think before that, about why I was so scared. Only now, walking glumly from that school, did the questions come.
Why did I have to provoke my dad? Why was I bad? Why was it me got caught copying? When everybody did it. Why did they have to pick on me?
Like a flock of hens, pecking an injured chick.
They’d reported me to my mother, who blackmailed me and finally sneaked to my dad anyway.
And why did my father enjoy so much punishing me? Slapping my bare bottom till it stung.
I was crossing the nearly deserted Bayford Road where you’re not allowed. The traffic lights were dead anyway, so why walk round?..
About the short skirts scandal, here’s the truth. Some Clanner girls changed our yukky medievall uniform.
They would pull up their skirts at the waist, under their regulation blue woollies. So they rode up high, round their sexy thighs. Instead of just drooping under their boring knees.
Provoking a ferocious scandal and a shocking rumpus in the school.
Of course who but Linda Moon was branded behind my back as a raging pervert. Contaminating pure girls, god help me, with thoughts of fornication.. Just coz they thought I was laughing at them, I mean, I never even had a boyfriend!
Killian Bate had said I was a slut, and he was the Supremo of the Young Hoods.
Through the blocks of flats and into our nice little street. I was arriving home at the wrong time and quite mixed up.
I had adored and feared my dad, if you know what I mean. I had to believe in him.
Because foir me the sun and the moon and all of the stars shone out of his arsehole.
I was lying to myself, that’s all, it was obvious now.
I’d done it for years but Janice changed all that.
With one big sexy kiss she gave my dad.
NEXT EPISODE HERE Serialization of ‘The Free’ Ch 2 child abuse. Linda Leaves Home
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Putin gives women 2 years jail for a song.. FREE PUSSY RIOT
The Pussy Riot three got 2 years each.
Nobody doubts this was on the orders of Vladimir Putin, allying himself again with fascistic, sexist corrupt religious bigots.
They have already done nearly six months.. just for singing a song!!
Let’s NEVER forget them, FREE PUSSY RIOT
- ‘Pussy Riot’ band members found guilty (aljazeera.com)
- Patriarch demands 7 years jail for Pussy riot (thefreeonline.wordpress.com)
- Members of Pussy Riot flee Russia (newstalk.ie)
- Pussy Riot: ‘we still burn with desire to take Putin’s monopoly on power’ (guardian.co.uk)
Pussy Riot and Madonna, branded sluts and therefore liars!
Do women who have had sex always tell lies? (Pussy Riot and Madonna)
Every now and again the rhetoric of patriarchal power reveals itself in a specially pernicious way .
Last week in Moscow, Madonna lent her voice to the growing international condemnation of the trial of members of the feminist performance art group, Pussy Riot.
During a concert she stripped off her shirt to reveal the group’s name emblazoned on her back, before donning a version of their trademark balaclava for a slow rendition of Like A Virgin. Continue reading “Pussy Riot and Madonna, branded sluts and therefore liars!”
Jailed Russian Rockers ‘Pussy Riot’ on Hunger Strike
latest shock news HERE .. Pussy riot get TWO YEARS JAIL http://www.bbc.co.uk/
Latest news Friday 17 Aug click here http:patriarch-demands-7-years-jail-for-pussy-riot/
latest news Friday 9 Pussy Riot Members Sent to Prison Coloniesth Aug click hereJailed Pussy Riot denounce totalitarian Putin.. verdict
Latest news Tues Oct 23rd Pussy Riot Members Sent to Prison Colonies
Jailed Russian Punk-Rockers ‘Pussy Riot’ Begin Hunger Strike (July 2012)
Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, a member of female punk band, “Pussy Riot”, reacts behind bars during a court hearing in Moscow July 4, 2012. REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin
Three members of Pussy Riot, the Russian feminist punk-rock band, began a hunger strike Wednesday after a Moscow court suddenly told them they must prepare their defense for trial by Monday.
Maria Alyokhina, Yakaterina Samutsevich and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova were taken into custody in March, after the group’s February performance of “Virgin Mary Put Putin Away,” an anti-Putin song, inside the Russian Orthodox Church’s main cathedral, asking the Virgin Mary to chase President Vladimir Putin out of power.
The three women were arrested over four months ago and have been held without bail on charges of criminal hooliganism — which carry a possible seven-year prison sentence. Two other female members of the band have avoided arrest thus far.
“I announce a hunger strike because it is unlawful,” said Tolokonnikova, wearing a T-shirt with the famous slogan of the Spanish Civil War, “No pasaran!” (“They shall not pass“), emblazoned across it.
“Until July 9 is not enough (time) for me. I think it is absolutely unlawful,” she said in the Tagansky district court.
“I am categorically against it and I announce a hunger strike,” Alekhina also said after the court delivered a separate ruling on her and another one on Samutsevich.
As the case generates media attention, activists all over the world are advocating for Pussy Riot’s release. Over 100 Russian cultural figures, including some known for pro-government views, have signed a letter calling for the release of the trio. “We see no legal basis or practical reason for the further isolation of these young women, who do not pose any real danger to society,” the letter said.
* * *
Video of Pussy Riot’s February 2012 performance inside the Russian Orthodox Church’s main cathedral which led to their arrests:
* * *
The Russian Orthodox Church has come in for criticism for not intervening in the case and calling for mercy. Instead, leading church figures have criticized the women. Thousands of Orthodox Christian worshipers have turned out in the Russian capital Moscow in April for a prayer to support the controversial Church in what it perceives to be an attack on its authority.
Al Jazeera’s Sue Turton reported on April 22, 2012 from the Russian capital:
* * *
Yekaterina Samutsevich, a member of the feminist punk-rock band, Pussy Riot, is escorted in a district court in Moscow. She and two other band members began a hunger strike Wednesday. They face up to seven years in prison on ‘hooliganism’ charges. (AP/Misha Japaridze)
Putin’s Pussy Problem
“Virgin Mary, Mother of God, put Putin away!
Рut Putin away! Put Putin away!”
The shining bronze-plated walls inside Moscow’s Cathedral of Christ the Saviour echoed with the raised voices of an acapelo choir of strident female voices on February 21 this year, suddenly and unexpectedly shattering the silence. The anonymous feminist punk band Pussy Riot had begun an impromptu performance of their protest song ‘Holy Shit!’
“Black robe, golden epaulettes
All parishioners crawl to bow
The phantom of liberty is in heaven
Gay-pride sent to Siberia in chains!”
Members of the group dressed in brightly-coloured slinky dresses danced wildly in front of the cathedral’s atlar, their faces masked in balaclavas, prostrating themselves and making the sign of the cross, running away and changing positions as church vergers approached and tried to prevent the performance. http:/
/www.youtube.com/watch?v=ALS92big4TY Eventually captured, the performers were firmly escorted out of the cathedral, the show over in less than five minutes.
The group said the performance, which came amid the biggest demonstrations against President Vladimir Putin’s rule since he first came to power in 2000, was a protest against the Head of the Orthodox Russian Church, Patriarch Gundyaev Kirill’s support for Putin in the run-up to the March 4 presidential elections.
“The head of the KGB, their chief saint,
Leads protesters to prison under escort
In order not to offend His Holiness
Women must give birth and love!”
Critics say church leaders are no more than Kremlin stooges and that Putin has used the church as a potent tool in his command structure, allowing it to amass vast riches in return for unquestioning support of his policies, and spiritual blessing for his leadership. The church consecrates new nuclear missiles as “Russia’s guardian angels” and urges young Russians to volunteer for military service in Chechnya – all the while enjoying hefty government donations and tax immunity. Earlier this year Kirill met with Putin and praised his two presidential terms as “God’s miracle.” In return, Putin said that “the state still owes much to the Church.”
“Patriarch Gundyaev believes in Putin
Bitch, better believe in God instead
The belt of the Virgin can’t replace mass-meetings
Mary, Mother of God, is with us in protest!”
Perhaps it’s not surprising less than two weeks after the ‘flash’ performance 3 members of Pussy Riot were arrested and charged with “hooliganism” under Article 213 of the Russian Criminal Code. They have been in detention since then awaiting trial. The criminal code defines hooliganism as “inciting hatred” with the “use of weapons” to create “public disorder.” If convicted, they face up to seven years in prison.
Patriarch Kirilli condemned Pussy Riot’s act as “blasphemous”, saying that the church was ‘under attack’ and that “the Devil has laughed at us.”
And Russian Orthodox church spokesman Vsevolod Chaplin said: “God condemns what they’ve done. I’m convinced that this sin will be punished in this life and the next, God revealed this to me just like he revealed the Gospels to the church. There’s only one way out: repentance.”
In reply Pussy Riot say their impromptu performance in the cathedral was’ a special prayer’ addressed to the mother of God “to give courage and power to send away King Herod and his servants, and then begin a new life according to human conscience.” They also accused the Patriarch of letting the church become “a tool in dirty electoral intrigues.”
“We knew what the political situation was but now we’re personally feeling the full force of Putin’s Kafkaesque machine,” they said. “The state’s policy is based on a minimum of critical thinking and on a maximum of spite, and a desire to get even with those who don’t please it.”
“The Church’s praise of rotten dictators
The cross-bearer procession of black limousines
A teacher-preacher will meet you at school
Go to class – bring him money!”
Amnesty International has declared the detained women as ‘prisoners of conscience’ and is demanding their release.
“The severity of the response of the Russian authorities – the detention on the serious criminal charge of hooliganism – would not be a justifiable response to the peaceful – if, to many, offensive – expression of their political beliefs,” they said.
“The activists left the Cathedral when requested to do so and caused no damage. The entire action lasted only a few minutes and caused only minimal disruption to those using the cathedral … Instead of prosecuting members of Pussy Riot for their political opinions criticizing the Russian government and some Church officials, the Russian authorities must recognize that their protest is protected by the right to freedom of expression, guaranteed in international human rights law.”
“Virgin Mary, Mother of God, become a feminist!
Two of the three young jailed feminists, Maria Alekhina, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Ekaterina Samucevich, are the mothers of small children. Investigators have threatened to terminate their parental rights. Free Pussy Riot demonstrations have sprung up throughout Europe and the United States demanding an aquittal of at least a fair trial.
Meanwhile, Pussy Riot is looking for new recruits.
“Always! Pussy Riot has to keep on expanding. That’s one of the reasons we choose to always wear balaclavas—new members can join the bunch and it does not really matter who takes part in the next act—there can be three of us or eight, like in our last gig on the Red Square, or even 15. Pussy Riot is a pulsating and growing body.”
“We often change names, balaclavas, dresses, and roles inside the groups. People drop out, new members join the group, and the lineup in each Pussy Riot’s guerilla performance can be entirely different.”
“We realized that this country needs a militant, punk-feminist street band that will rip through Moscow’s streets and squares, mobilize public energy against the evil crooks of the Putinist junta and enrich the Russian cultural and political opposition with themes that are important to us: gender and LGBT rights, problems of masculine conformity, absence of a daring political message on the musical and art scenes, and the domination of males in all areas of public discourse. There are loads of Pussy Riot fans in Russia’s protesting masses.”
“We have nothing to worry about, because if the repressive Putinist police crooks throw one of us in prison, five, ten, 15 more girls will put on colorful balaclavas and continue the fight against their symbols of power.”
“Do you know anyone who wants to come to Moscow, play illegal concerts, and help us fight Putin and Russian chauvinists? Or maybe they could start their own local Pussy Riot, if Russia is too cold and too far.”
Patriarch Kirilli said that the Pussy Riot performance in the cathedral “desecrated” the church.
“We will have no future if sacred shrines are desecrated, if this desecration is seen by some as virtue, as some proper expression of political protest, as some appropriate action or harmless joke,” he said.
Perhaps he should be reminded of the ‘hooligan’ Jesus and his act of desecration when he overthrew the tables of the Money changers and drove them out of the Temple in Jerusalem.
That man would have been proud of these protesting Pussies.
“Shit, shit, the Lord’s shit!
Shit, shit, the Lord’s shit!
Virgin Mary, Mother of God, put Putin away!
Рut Putin away! Put Putin away!”
Michael Dickinson can be contacted via his website – http://yabanji.tripod.com/
- Pussy Riot: State seeks three years jailSting, Madonna give support: Putin and Patriarch witch-hunt Pussy Riot‘God is punishing jailed Pussy Riot mothers’ says PatriarchFree Pussy Riot supporters hit Patriarch – Femen Kill Kirill
- Pussy Riot protest verdict due (bbc.co.uk)
- Pussy Riot found guilty of hooliganism (guardian.co.uk)
- Pussy Riot found guilty of hooliganism after performance in Moscow cathedral (independent.co.uk)
- Pussy Riot Members Sent to Prison Colonies (newser.com)
- Pussy Riot activists sent to secret harsh labor camps (boingboing.net)
- Pussy Riot member uses freedom to resume protests against Vladimir Putin (dokmz.wordpress.com)
Why I’m anarcha-feminist
From The F Word– by Natalie DzerinsDisclaimer: This article will discuss my personal feelings about anti-capitalism, anarcho-communism and their relationships with feminism (and other systems of oppression). Because of this, I will not be discussing the histories of the movements. If you wish to learn about these, the origins section on the wiki-page for anarcha-feminism will point you in the right direction.
When I was about seven years old, I asked my mother why everyone couldn’t just do what they were good at and share everything equally. This was my first foray into anti-capitalism, and my opinions haven’t changed much in the past fifteen years.It has always been very important to me to strive for social equality, and capitalism simply does not provide that. I could wax lyrical all day about the oppressive and unjust nature of the capitalist society, in which we are told that the only value of a human being lies in their ability to make profits for a CEO, but this is a feminist website, and I have a 700-word limit. So I will merely outline why I believe that capitalism is inherently anti-feminist and that the solution to smashing patriarchy will necessarily involve smashing capitalism.
It is in capitalism’s best interests to oppress women. The main reason for this is that by devaluing and denigrating 51% of the population as useless and inferior, it seems legitimate to pay them less, or to not pay them at all, for their work – no matter how good it may be for society. Childcare and housework are two prime examples of this. They are services essential to humankind, yet we expect women to a) be the sole or primary providers of these services and b) perform them for free as well as generating capital by holding down other jobs.
This is what is known as the “double burden” on women. In a truly equal society, not only would these roles be seen as suitable for everyone, they would be seen as equally important to other work. As it stands, “Women work two-thirds of the world’s working hours, produce half of the world’s food, but earn only 10% of the world’s income and own less than one percent of the world’s property” (Global Poverty Project).
Another way in which capitalism exploits women is by creating problems for them to worry about, then offering to sell them a solution. This usually takes the form of making women feel disgusted about their own natural bodies, and convincing them they must change – see pantyliners, douches and pretty much the entire make-up industry. If we smashed capitalism, we’d smash the need for people to sell us things by making us ashamed of who we are.
There are many more examples of this, but once again, I am writing a blog post, not a doctorate. So – why do I believe that once we have smashed capitalism, anarchism is the solution?
Honestly, it’s mainly because I don’t believe in anything else. Any hierarchical system of government or community, be it feudalism, the current parliamentary system or party-led communism will necessarily contain inequality. The needs of the few who make the decisions will outweigh the needs of the many who have decisions made for them. We can see this with the current coalition, whose members have both simultaneously claimed £35,000 on a “second home” when their first home is literally down the street and demonised people with severe disabilities wanting to live normal lives as “scroungers”. Four legs good, two legs better indeed.
However, people in the anarchist movement have been brought up in the same prejudiced, patriarchal societies as the most rabid capitalist, and that has to be overcome. Whether it’s women’s needs not being taken care of in an anarchist environment, or silencing women in group discussions, manarchism seems to constantly rear its ugly head, and we need a feminist movement-within-the-movement to counter it, and that movement-within-the-movement is anarcha-feminism.
So, that’s a very short version of why I am an anarcha-feminist. I’m not claiming to be 100% right, or to speak for all anarcha-feminists(!), but this is what I believe we need to do to create a fair, just and equal society for all.
For more on anti-capitalist feminism in the current UK climate, this article is a very worthwhile read.
Comments From You
k gallagher // Posted 24 January 2012 at 13:43
Brava! It’s so good to see anarcha-feminism getting a voice in the “Big Feminist Blogosphere!”
http://anarcha.org/ is another great resource for information 🙂
tom hulley // Posted 24 January 2012 at 19:22
What a refreshing article, thanks Natalie.
Long and shocking history of total repression of women
Caitlin Moran:the planet doesn’t need your babies
Dump Donald Trump.. top sexist hog
Pussy Riot and Madonna, branded sluts and therefore liars!
- ‘The Free’ now in print + free eBook (thefreeonline.wordpress.com)
- Between The Lines (edinburghanarchafeminist.noflag.org.uk)
- New feature – The poly-feminist manifesto: towards a feminist non-monogamy (thefword.org.uk)