Anarchism is a political theory that seeks to create a society without political, economic or social hierarchies, where everybody shares and has enough to live a decent life. Anarchists wish to create a society based upon individual freedom, social equality and voluntary co-operation. Because anarchists aim to liberate themselves and to achieve liberation from all enforced hierarchies; anarchism is intrinsically feminist.
Unfortunately, no-one, including women, in a sexist, racist, homophobic society is immune from harbouring prejudiced ideas and behaviours. This means anarchist women have often experienced resistance when they as women pushed for real change. The insidiousness of patriarchal conditioning has meant anarchism has traditionally been male dominated, without enough analysis of gendered nature of power relations and hierarchy. Anarchafeminism seeks to address that.
Anarchafeminism views patriarchy as a manifestation of involuntary coercive hierarchy and see the state as an extension of patriarchy. Anarcha-feminism is intrinsically intersectional, being a movement towards gender liberation based on anarchist principles of collective action, direct action and mutual aid. We believe that the struggle against patriarchy is an essential part of class struggle, and the anarchist struggle against capitalism and the state. For anarcha-feminists, like myself, combating patriarchy is a key aspect of the struggle for freedom.
We are not interested in reformism and do not seek to petition the state to legislate for equality. Rather, we see patriarchy as institutional, imbedded in every formal and informal institution and power relation. For this reason, we seek to smash the state as the patriarchal, racist class system it is. Anarcha-feminism is, therefore, an anti-authoritarian, anti-hierarchical, anti-capitalist, anti-state way of addressing gender issues- and addressing other issues with a radical critique of patriarchy. And it is, in my view, a necessary component of the feminist struggle.