Archive for the ‘anarchism’ Category

Remembering Why This Is Important

Last Thursday, I went to the monthly Anarkink meeting, and was dismayed to find only two other people: one a regular, the other a younger guy who was just visiting the area. I was frustrated at how many people have disappeared from the group, and as the three of us present started talking, I started to wonder why I was even bothering with this. Why try to keep a group going, I thought, if this is all it’s going to be?

Of course, a night like that isn’t what Anarkink isalways like; last month, our cane-making and -using workshop was incredibly fun and pretty well-attended. But there have been a few meetings like this over the past year, in which a few people end up sitting around a table without a lot to really talk about, with no real plan or purpose. It makes me doubt the necessity of the group, makes me think that there’s nothing to be gained by continuing it.

It turns out that the kid who was just visiting had come from Asheville, North Carolina, and he told us that some folks there had recently hosted a flogger-making workshop (using old bike tubes). We talked about different things happening all over the country — the recent anarchist play party that happened in Chicago, and the workshops/parties that folks organized at the Crimethinc convergence in Pittsburgh. As we closed up the infoshop, I apologized for the meeting not being more exciting or interesting; he told me how glad he was that he’d come out for it, to simply be in a space where people were even talking about this sort of thing, to simply know that something like this exists. It seemed that he had never really been public about his interest in BDSM, and had always been afraid, like I had been, like I continue to be, that others would judge and ostracize him (especially due to his involvement in a feminist collective).

And I realized, then, just how important this is — or can be, at least. Talking to him made me remember how I had felt after the first Anarkink meeting — that feeling that I wasn’t alone, the feeling that it was all worth it just to be sitting in a room with other people like me. Sure, it’s more fun when there’s a lot of people there, when we have some exciting workshop or crafty activity or a movie to watch. But sometimes, it’s just about three radical perverts sitting in a room together and knowing we’re not alone.

“Liberating Ourselves” Response Zine

I recently wrote about an anti-BDSM zine written by an anti-civ anarchist, and mentioned that I’d talked to someone who’s putting together a “response” zine. If you’d like to contribute to it — and folks who commented on that last post, this means you! — here’s the info:

I have began compiling a response to the zine “Liberating ourselves in the boudoir” by Usul the Blackfoot. If you are unfamiliar with this zine and want to get a copy so you can write a response, go here.

We are looking for essays, art, photos, a creative name for the response, and maybe some plans for DIY toys.

You can send your responses to kaleandglitter at riseup dot net, and we ask that you title your email Liberating Sex, and that everything be sent in by August 15th.

Also, I finally got around to putting my own print zine online. I compiled this from some of my favorite past blog posts and included a lengthy new essay as well. If you’d like to check it out, you can find it here.

Liberating Ourselves in the Boudoir

I’ve been struggling with a few long pieces that I’ve been writing. One of them is a response to a new zine called “Liberating Ourselves in the Boudoir: An Anarchist-Feminist Perspective against BDSM.” The author of this zine is an anti-civ anarchist, and his zine is just…well, I suppose you can read it.

Almost all of this zine simply rehashes the same old radfem arguments against BDSM that we’ve been hearing since the 80s, and it props up the same old straw man of the kinky person who loudly and constantly proclaims how liberatingBDSM is, how radical and world-changing. Where the radfems use “patriarchy” in their arguments, insert “civilization” instead. It’s really nothing new, and yet I feel compelled to challenge it, more so than if it were simply something posted on an anarchist website or in a comment on someone’s blog. This is someone who put a lot of time and effort into creating a finished work, edited and designed. This is a zine that might be picked up and carried by zine distros. This is a zine that a friend might find and read and consider a legitimate viewpoint.

To me, Usul’s arguments are completely specious and delusional — the entire thing is based on the faulty notion that BDSM is the norm among anarchists and radicals, and that we currently “[accept] BDSM as an inseparable aspect of human sexuality, as a universal presence in social spaces, as a given interest we all must have.” He writes about BDSM as if everyone in the anarchist scene thinks it’s totally cool, and he’s one of the very few people speaking out against it. I read this, and I think, “Really? Where do you live? Sounds like that’s where I should be…”

But then I start to wonder. I wonder if there are others who are disturbed by BDSM who don’t ever speak up because they’re afraid of coming off as oppressive or judgmental. I wonder how many people in my social circle would say the same thing — that they feel that acceptance of BDSM is the norm, and they feel uncomfortable about that. I wonder.

At any rate, I’ve talked to someone in Chicago who’s putting together an actual zine in response to this one, and I’m working on an essay that she might include in it. I’ll post it here when it’s done. In the meantime, I’d love to hear what other folks think of this zine, especially other kinky anarchists.