How to spot a manarchist.
Manarchists: self-interested men anarchists who use their privilege in order to undermine the opinions and experiences of others. Usually perpetrated by the white/cis/hetero/middle-classs/Russell Group educated kind of man. We all know them, some who read this will be them.
5 ways to tell a manarchist:
Maybe you should just read a little more, yeah? I see your life experience, but I’m going to tell you that you’re wrong because I once read a thing by a rich white man that told me otherwise. It’s sweet and all that the oppression you face every day is important to your ideology but I read a book, so I win.
I won’t respond to that. If you criticise them, or anything that they have said/done, they will probably respond with something like ‘Look, I see where you’re coming from, I do, but I’m an anarchist, of course I care about patriarchy.’ Note the patronising tone. He’s a man, he knows better. Obviously.
You’re alienating me. As a white/cis/heterosexual man, I control everything, so it’s really important that you don’t alienate me. I determine the words that you use to refer to your oppression and I determine the tactics you use. You need me on side, okay?
There’s no such thing as community, accountability, or process. Also what’s safe space all about? It’s totally authoritarian. You don’t have the right to make sure your political spaces are free from dangerous people, and I have the right to say whatever I want because anarchy is totally about autonomism and I don’t know the difference between that and being an individualist so collective action and responsibility is really stupid lol.
We should totally be working towards post-genderism so you need to get over this feminism stuff. I don’t care if 1 billion women will be beaten or raped or harassed in their lifetimes because I don’t believe in gender. Now leave me alone so I can go and ignore the state of the world as it is some more.
Obviously, this is tongue-in-cheek, but manarchism is a serious issue. Women on the left are constantly hounded, undermined, and told to shut the hell up. Their experiences are ignored, and the ways in which we choose to organise are also ignored. Anarchism is about the destruction of hierarchies- this must also include the destruction of hierarchies based on gender and sex. Political spaces are almost always dominated by strong male characters; if you’re one of these ‘strong male characters’ maybe you should self-reflect a little, and take a step back. Maybe you should listen to your feminist allies. Maybe you should constantly be analysing whether you are perpetuating patriarchy, and if you are, stop it.
Any good anarchist collective must be hyper-aware of the needs of oppressed allies. Let oppressed collectives determine the language they use, the way their spaces are run, and exactly who is a threat to them. Our unpaid labour keeps capitalism ticking over. Rape keeps capitalism ticking over. Beauty standards keep capitalism ticking over. Sexual oppression keeps capitalism ticking over. The police abuse us, the government abuse us and corporations abuse us. We don’t need our ‘comrades’ to do it too. A little intersectionality would go a long way.
How to deal with a manarchist? bonfires, stabbings, kneecappings and scalpings are all recommended for the feminist vigilante gang.