Thursday, October 7, 2010

Fighting for equality, not presuming it

I've been doing a little reading about the historical anarchist feminist womans group The Mujeres Libres (Free Women) of Spain, in the hopes of writing something larger about the cross sections of womens autonomous organizing, feminism and revolutionary unionism. In doing so, I found this really great blog post on Property is Theft! about women and class struggle. The following is something that I thought was really important:

But one thing that is needed is a realisation, perhaps even acceptance. Of the fact that equality is only a given in a genuinely free society. Before that, and even within the structures of those groups struggling for that society, it needs to be fought for. Without compromise.
I think that in the IWW we've come to assume that because we are a revolutionary industrial union organization, that because our constitution says "IWW therefore actively opposes bigotry and discrimination on and off the job", that our organizing will be "feminist" and "progressive". It's become routine, banal.

Sadly, that's simply not the case, and by assuming that we have "equality" is a factor that adds to patriarchal inequality. One of the tasks of a group of revolutionary Syndicalist Feminist men is to recognize that even in our own supposedly revolutionary union that the society we live in, this patriarchal capitalist society, effects the power relations.

The Question for us then is what is the best way to fight for equaitly, the best way for men to "actively opposes bigotry and discrimination on and off the job" as well inside our union. Personally, it's something I'm still struggling to figure out, but I'm glad that I have righteous rebel men and woman by my side to walk with me down the path.

1 comment:

JRB said...

Me too.

You get at the heart of something that we understand intuitively when authority is imposed on us: the necessity of struggle.

This is obvious to me in the workplace, where I have a boss, but not always in relations where authority may be imposed on others via my action or inaction.

I think we have to struggle on behalf of an awareness of how others are being impacted. Creating a space where our friends and compatriots can at least be honest with us seems like a good first step!

Thanks for bringing in the anarcha-feminism. There isn't enough of it being discussed these days!