This zine explores the politics, practices, and histories of fascism and militant resistance with an emphasis on gender. It examines the gendered dimensions of contemporary far-right movements and anti-fascist struggles; presents a history of women’s participation in anti-fascist resistance in the twentieth century; and considers the challenges and possibilities for developing an explicitly feminist anti-fascism.
Anti-Fascism Against Machismo: Gender, Politics, and the Struggle Against Fascism
While it values these activities, an anti-fascism that is rooted in militancy rather than machismo knows that violence is not appropriate in all situations, and the habit of narrowly focusing on physical confrontations is detrimental to our movements. Fighting isn’t winning; there’s a lot more to it than that. Even in the example of street violence, there’s more to it than just fighting. There’s a lot of background work involved, including intelligence gathering, neighbourhood organizing, logistical planning, and legal/prison support. This work, which is usually feminized, is as valuable as the confrontational activities it supports. It’s just that one type of work isn’t particularly sexy and is perpetually undervalued, while the other one is ex- citing and easily glorified. A feminist anti-fascism does it all and values it all; it knows that the unglamorous and boring work plays a quintessential part in struggle. Of related importance, an anti-fascism rooted in militancy considers both the qualitative and quantitative sides of struggle. This means it isn’t just concerned with how many fascist rallies it shuts down, but also with the subjective experience and the personal development of those involved. Ideally, people are learning skills, developing confidence, and becoming a more capable revolutionary. Beyond the immediate benefits, these developments will be helpful for the other struggles moving forward. The infrastructure and abilities we build, and the resources we develop, should be part of and put to use by broader struggles. Our anti-fascist organizing should be grounded in revolutionary politics, in pushing for a vision of collective liberation, meaningful autonomy, and end- less possibility. The problems we face are so much bigger than the question of fascism, and our aspirations should be so much more than this limited struggle.
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