the tyranny of structurelessness

jo freeman

The earliest version of this article was given as a talk at a conference called by the Southern Female Rights Union, held in Beulah, Mississippi in May 1970. It was written up for Notes from the Third Year (1971), but the editors did not use it. It was then submitted to several movement publications, but only one asked permission to publish it; others did so without permission. The first official place of publication was in Vol. 2, No. 1 of The Second Wave (1972). This early version in movement publications was authored by Joreen. Different versions were published in the Berkeley Journal of Sociology, Vol. 17, 1972-73, pp. 151-165, and Ms. magazine, July 1973, pp. 76-78, 86-89, authored by Jo Freeman. This piece spread all over the world. Numerous people have edited, reprinted, cut, and translated “Tyranny” for magazines, books and web sites, usually without the permission or knowledge of the author.

The Empire Strikes Back: A Posttranssexual Manifesto

Sandy Stone

Frogs into Princesses

The verdant hills of Casablanca look down on homes and shops jammed chockablock against narrow, twisted streets filled with the odors of spices and dung. Casablanca is a very old city, passed over by Lawrence Durrell perhaps only by a geographical accident as the winepress of love. In the more modern quarter, located on a broad, sunny boulevard, is a building otherwise unremarkable except for a small brass nameplate that identifies it as the clinic of Dr. Georges Burou. It is predominantly devoted to obstetrics and gynecology, but for many years has maintained another reputation quite unknown to the stream of Moroccan women who pass through its rooms. 

The commons: Infrastructures for troubling times*

Lauren Berlant

“This essay comes from my forthcoming book, On the Inconvenience of Other People, which has three broad aims. The first is to provide a concept of structure for transitional times. All times are transitional. But at some crisis times like this one, politics is defined by a collectively held sense that a glitch has appeared in the reproduction of life. A glitch is an interruption within a transition, a troubled transmission. A glitch is also the revelation of an infrastructural failure. 1 The repair or replacement of broken infrastructure is, in this book’s argument, necessary for any form of sociality to extend itself: but my interest is in how that extension can be non-reproductive, generating a form from within brokenness beyond the exigencies of the current crisis, and alternatively to it too. But a few definitional problems arise from this observation. One is about what repair, or the beyond of glitch, looks like both generally and amid a catastrophe; the other is defining what kind of form of life an infrastructure is. These definitional questions are especially central to contemporary counternormative political struggle.”

Queer Precarity and the Myth of Gay Affluence

“The LGBT movement’s laser-focus on marriage equality propagates the myth of gay and lesbian affluence as political strategy, leaving aside any analysis of class or economic inequality or poverty—much less an analysis of capitalism. LGBT people are typically depicted as affluent consumers with high disposable incomes, yet this is hardly the norm. The majority of LGBT/Q people are poor or working class, female, and people of color, who struggle to get a job or hold onto one, to pay their rent and care for themselves and the people they love.1 Yet that reality remains unseen by mainstream LGBT activists and activists in allied movements, including the progressive and activist labor movements of which we are a part. The myth of LGBT affluence is particularly destructive for labor organizers because LGBT/Q people make up a disproportionately high number of the people in many low-wage sectors. It means that much of the labor movement never has to “see” who they are organizing or reaching. It renders queer class and race issues invisible or nonexistent in the movements in which we participate, leaving us more vulnerable in our jobs and workplaces, apartments, shelters, streets, and neighborhoods, targeted by homophobia and transphobia as it weaves throughout our lives. This myth allows both the LGBT and the labor movements to overlook the rising queer precariat.”

Queer Economies

Ladelle McWhorter

Queer defies categorization and resists preset developmental trajectories. Practices of queering identities emerged near the end of the twentieth century as ways of resisting normalizing networks of power/knowledge. But how effective are queer practices at resisting networks of power/knowledge (including disciplines) that are not primarily normalizing in their functioning? This essay raises that question in light of expanding neoliberal discourses and institutions which, in some quarters at least, themselves undermine normalized identities in favor of a proliferation of personal styles susceptible to governance through market forces. Special attention is given to Security, Territory, Population and The Birth of Biopolitics in this analysis.

The Age of Surveillance Capitalism

Shoshana Zuboff

Sur-veil-lance Cap-i-tal-ism, n.
1. A new economic order that claims human experience as free raw material for hidden commercial practices of extraction, prediction, and sales; 2. A parasitic economic logic in which the production of goods and services is subordinated to a new global architecture of behavioral modification; 3. A rogue mutation of capitalism marked by concentrations of wealth, knowledge, and power unprecedented in human history; 4. The foundational framework of a surveillance economy; 5. As significant a threat to human nature in the twenty-first century as industrial capitalism was to the natural world in the nineteenth and twentieth; 6. The origin of a new instrumentarian power that asserts dominance over society and presents startling challenges to market democracy; 7. A movement that aims to impose a new collective order based on total certainty; 8. An expropriation of critical human rights that is best understood as a coup from above: an overthrow of the people’s sovereignty.

Eric A. Stanley (Ed); Nat Smith (Ed); CeCe McDonald (Foreword)

Captive Genders was the first book of its kind. It remains the touchstone for studies of trans and gender-queer people in prison. It has been revamped to appeal to recent broadened interest. With a new Foreword by CeCe MacDonald and essay by Chelsea Manning.

Eric A. Stanley is a radical queer activist, outlaw academic, experimental filmmaker.
Nat Smith is a member of Trans/gender Variant in Prison Committee and an organizer with Critical Resistance.
CeCe McDonald was unjustly incarcerated after fatally stabbing a transphobic attacker in 2011. She was released in 2014 after serving nineteen months for second-degree manslaughter.

In 1996, poet Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha ran away from America with two backpacks and ended up in Canada, where she discovered queer anarchopunk love and revolution, yet remained haunted by the reasons she left home in the first place. This passionate and riveting memoir is a mixtape of dreams and nightmares, of immigration court lineups and queer South Asian dance nights; it reveals how a disabled queer woman of color and abuse survivor navigates the dirty river of the past and, as the subtitle suggests, “dreams her way home.”

“Impossible Desires examines a range of South Asian diasporic literature, film, and music in order to ask if we can imagine diaspora differently, apart from the biological, reproductive, oedipal logic that invariably forms the core of conventional formulations of diaspora. It does so by paying special attention to queer female subjectivity in the diaspora, as it is this particular positionality that forms a constitutive absence in both dominant nationalist and diasporic discourses. More surprisingly perhaps, and therefore worth interrogating closely, is the elision of queer female subjectivity within seemingly radical cultural and political diasporic projects that center a gay male or heterosexual feminist diasporic subject. Impossible Desires refuses to accede to the splitting of queerness from feminism that marks such projects. By making female subjectivity central to a queer diasporic project, it begins instead to conceptualize diaspora in ways that do not invariably replicate heteronormative and patriarchal structures of kinship and community.”