Anarchafeminism and Abolition


In the spirit of abolition and building a better world, we honor #Juneteenth today with the MACC Anarchist Feminist working group’s contribution to Public Seminar anarchafeminist manifesto.

Anarchafeminsm and Abolition

Anarchafeminism means abolition of the police and prisons. As anarchafeminists, we recognize that the prison-industrial complex is a project that extends beyond physical walls and permeates all of society. This antiblack, ableist, and gender- normative project maintains the sovereign state, and the sovereign sex. It upholds the dangerous view that a neutral arbiter of justice and rightful punitive measures exist in a system built upon racism, colonialism, and misogyny. The system is not broken. It is working exactly as intended – criminalizing black, brown, indigenous, feminized, and gender nonconforming bodies. Treating this violence as an exception, is ahistorical, dangerous, and limits possibilities for real transformation.

Reforms such as the ones proposed by the 8cantwait campaign, allow the state to appear as if it is responsive to demands for change, while leaving the same structures and systems intact. In contrast, the non-reformist reforms proposed by 8toabolition, offer one path forward that reduces the resources that go toward policing and prisons, and increases investments in communities.This is a step in the direction of an abolitionist vision, in which the carceral state, and all states are obsolete.

Gendered violence is foundational to the development of the state. However, the state’s pathological desire to control women’s bodies is exacerbated within the carceral state. Women are the fastest-growing prison population in the so-called United States. As male prison populations decrease in response to criminal justice reforms, women’s incarceration continues to grow at an all-time high. One in 18 Black women will be incarcerated in their/her lifetimes and 47% of Black transgender women will be incarcerated. Prisons are inherently spaces of violence and control for everyone, but women also experience sexual forms of violence and trauma during incarceration including rape, shackled births, and denial of necessary medical care. At least 1 in 4 women has had an incarcerated loved one, which contributes to decline in mental, emotional, and physical health. Incarceration of women and their loved ones is a burgeoning women’s health crisis.

We recognize that the carceral state was built to maintain a disciplined society, in which gender binaries and norms were policed. We stand against this political isolation, that maintains a binary and dominant gender by taking women and femmes away from their resources and support structures. In opposition, we build solidarity through walls and bars by supporting our incarcerated comrades with acts of care and mutual aid. Our political commitments of abolition, anarchism, and radical feminism break the chains of our oppressors and aim to create a world that renders the prison-industrial complex impossible.

Published on June 19, 2020

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