if we had the collective passion and intention of the liberal feminist movement with the ideals of the radical feminist movement imagine how much we could’ve gotten done by now. instead we’ve accomplished what. lesbian now has no meaning and a racist dude is the face of Covergirl. Wow. Incredible. Empowering
“Queer” arose as a critique of the assumptions that underlie identity politics. These assumptions were that oppressed groups were well-defined, had clear borders, that all members of the oppressed group have common desires and needs, and that a small portion of that group could thus speak for the entirety of the group. However, queer liberation movements remaining rooted in identity politics have led us down the road of debating the precise boundaries of queer and arguing over whose concerns are legitimate, all the while pretending that we were not participating in identity politics.
By generalizing “the straights” as a coherent group that hegemonically oppresses “the queers,” and that the reason we don’t want to assimilate is because we don’t we like them, it becomes both too easy for us to ignore struggles that do not directly touch the entire queer community and to reduce anti-assimilation into nothing but a way to police the desires and identities of other queers.
We need to oppose the institution of state-sanctioned marriage because it strengthens the nuclear family as the consumptive and reproductive unit of capitalism, not because many straight people get married. Trying to invert the relationship hierarchy to shame people who are happy with a long-term relationship and shared household with a partner does not bring us a step closer to ending capitalism and ending oppression. If anti-assimilation is to be of any value, it needs to be founded on the idea that we want to destroy the current order and help build a better world, not keep ourselves separate from “the straights” because queers are somehow a well-defined group that do not find themselves as part of any other groups and can be kept apart from the rest of the world.
While an understanding of intersectionality helps us to understand that some queers face issues that other queers do not, intersectionality is not enough as it does not address the fact that the interests of bourgeois are in direct contradiction to the interests of the majority of queers and this conflict can only be resolved through furthering class struggle, and ultimately by social revolution. We also need to be wary of a politics that has us make alliances with the people in power rather than with members of other marganilized and exploited groups.
Gayge Operaista - Radical Queers and Class Struggle: A Match to be made. In: Queering Anarchism (2012) 119-121.
The reason why people think anarchists only want to break shit and hurt people is because all anarchist movements outside of insurrectionary tactics have been sterilized of mentions of anarchism, or are completely ignored. Some of these include:
Anarchists had a huge part in the labor movement and continue to fight for workers rights to this day.
Anarchists have been heavily involved in anti-war movements.
Anarchists have been heavily involved in movements against racism.
Anarchists have been heavily involved in the fight for the liberation of women and LGBT people.
Anarchists do a fuckload of community service in associations like Food Not Bombs, where we use perfectly good produce and other food that would otherwise be wasted by supermarkets to make meals and feed the community for free.
Anarchists put on music and film festivals.
Anarchists run animal shelters and take part in animal liberation movements.
Anarchists run healthcare, daycare, and other workers collectives.
Anarchists have legal support and fundraising organizations which reach out to people who have been incarcerated by the state, providing means of contact and for people to write letters to prisoners.
But y’all don’t hear about that, because maybe people would actually agree with us if they knew what we were actually about.
So I saw a post bringing awareness to bipolar disorder, and they had this image:
Why did they have to draw the fat person so… lumpy and gross looking? Was this really necessary? This really makes me uncomfortable. I don’t want to pick apart the post, but this is just gross. This isn’t what fat people look like, and there was no reason to draw us this way. -V