Ladybird and Fox vs. Anarchism

If you prefer to read text rather than squinting at an image, there’s a transcript at the bottom.

This image is a mash-up using ladybird and fox images by yurike11, licensed CC BY 3.0 and a halftone background by cdsgraphic.

Description and transcript

A cute cartoon ladybird and a cute cartoon fox have a conversation.

Ladybird: In theory, it seems that feminism and anarchism should perfectly complement each-other.

Fox: Indeed. As Lynne Farrow famously said: “Feminism practices what anarchism preaches.”

Ladybird: But bringing together the two ideologies doesn’t seem to work in practice.

Fox: ??

Ladybird: There’s this idea that you have to have read Marx and know the difference between a Maoist and a Stalinist.

Fox: Oh, right. Or between a Trotskyist and a Marxist-Leninist and a socialist.

Ladybird: And know the history of the IWW and the 2nd International. Or is it the 3rd? Or 1st? I always mix them up.

Fox: Don’t forget the Spanish Civil War 1936-1939.

Ladybird: Basically, a bunch of dead white dudes. What do those histories have to do with my life?

Fox: Not a whole heck of a lot. But what about more contemporary anarchist thinkers, such as Hardt and Negri?

Ladybird: Have you actually read Hardt? Or Negri?

Fox: No, I tried once, but it was such thick academese, I couldn’t make heads or tails of it.

Ladybird: And yet a lot of anarchists won’t even talk to you until you’ve read that stuff.

Fox: Yeah. It’s pretty frustrating.

Ladybird: But the worst thing is that a lot of leftists dismiss work on sexism or racism as “Identity politics”.

Fox: That’s a funny name for it. I would have called it “Anti-oppression politics”.

Ladybird: That’s because you think those kinds of oppression are real and important.

Fox: And anarchists don’t think that?!

Ladybird: Some do, but a lot of leftists think that the only “real” oppression is class oppression.

Fox: That seems like a pretty self-serving thing for a bunch of (predominantly) white guys to think.

Ladybird: Indeed.

Fox: Do these people know about Privilege? Have they read “The Invisible Knapsack”?

Ladybird: No, they don’t need to. You see, they already know all about anarchism.

Fox: (sadface)

Ladybird: Anarchism is a complete political theory that explains everything about the world.

Fox: Really?

Ladybird: No. But a lot of people think it is, and that means they don’t have to listen to anyone else.

Fox: (sadface)

Ladybird: As a result they do all the crappy things that people who’ve never read a Feminism 101 do.

Fox: like making sexist or homophobic jokes, or dominating the discussion without even noticing it?

Ladybird: Right. It’s impossible to even have a conversation.

Fox: That sucks.

Ladybird: And yet they have a lot of really progressive ideas about alternative economics and participatory democracy.

Fox: The irony is infuriating.

Ladybird: Yes it is, Fox, yes it is.

THE END.

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4 Comments on “Ladybird and Fox vs. Anarchism”

  1. E-R says:

    brilliant KM! I dont know much about anarchism, but i suspect that without state interference in peoples lives through law/policing to try to force equality into operation, patriarchy will be able to operate unobstructed unless it is gotten rid of entirely before the revolution? It will be every man for himself, and every woman for the nearest man- so it seems that anarchy will favour the already strong and dominant and result in a kind of social darwinism? what do you think and can you suggest any good books to read on anarchism?
    XX

  2. Veronica says:

    yes that rang true at several points for my experience! brilliance from the brilliant KM again!

  3. KM says:

    Aw thanks guys 🙂 E-R you made me realise I don’t know what book to suggest. Anarchism means ‘no rulers’ or ‘no state’ but there are lots of different ideas of how that could look in practice, the Wikipedia page on anarchism would be a good start. A lot of anarchists take inspiration from the Zapatistas – actually I’d read about Zapatistas first cos it’s really inspiring, and a lot of writing about anarchism tends to be dry and theoretical. With regard to the oppression of women, particularly abuse and harassment, I think the anarchist ideal would be some sort of transformative justice process based in the community rather than imposed from above. So for instance, instead of facing jail, abusers might be driven out of the community, or face some sort of long and arduous reconciliation process, decided by the victim and the community, with the threat of being outcast if they don’t comply. The concept of transformative justice has been pushed forward mainly by Black women’s groups who want to address violence in their communities, especially violence against women, but don’t want to engage with the violent and racist police/courts/prison system. There’s a bunch of fascinating links at http://www.feministe.us/blog/archives/2012/01/30/some-transformative-justice-links/. I don’t think Transformative Justice is usually talked about as being anarchist, but I think it’s pretty much a perfect example of how anarchism should work.

  4. autonomousradfem says:

    Hello,

    Unfortunately, anarchism and misogyny are entirely compatible. I hope you will allow me to direct your attention to our group’s involvement in a “‘Sex Work’ and Anarchy” panel at the Anarchist Bookfair ’09 (which was, to be honest, such a rotten experience, some of us have given up on the anarchist scene entirely).

    http://autonomousradicalfeminists.wordpress.com/2009/10/30/the-flaws-in-this-anarchist-response-to-prostitution/

    http://autonomousradicalfeminists.wordpress.com/2010/02/25/panel-talk-sex-work-from-an-anarchist-perspective-2/

    http://autonomousradicalfeminists.wordpress.com/2010/02/25/%E2%80%98sex-work%E2%80%99-and-anarchy-some-ideas%E2%80%A6/

    Thanks,
    AutonomousRadFem


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