Support C4SS with Lucinda Cisler’s “Abortion Law Repeal, Sort Of”

C4SS has teamed up with the Distro of the Libertarian Left. The Distro produces and distribute zines and booklets on anarchism, market anarchist theory, counter-economics, and other movements for liberation. For every copy of Lucinda Cisler’s “Abortion Law Repeal, Sort Of” that you purchase through the Distro, C4SS will receive a percentage. Support C4SS with Lucinda Cisler’s “Abortion Law Repeal, Sort Of“.

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“Abortion Law Repeal (sort of)” first appeared in the incredibly influential Women’s Liberation Movement anthology, Notes from the Second Year (May 1970), and then was reprinted, in condensed form, in the New Left movement magazine Ramparts (August 1970). It was later anthologized, in an even more condensed form, in DEAR SISTERS: Dispatches from the Wo­men’s Liberation Movement (2000). This text is based on the version that appears in Notes from the Second Year.

“One of the few things that everyone in the women’s movement seems to agree on is that we have to get rid of the abortion laws and make sure that any woman who wants an abortion can get one. We all recognize how basic this demand is. . . But just because it sounds so simple and obvious and is such a great point of unity, a lot of us haven’t really looked below the surface of the abortion fight and seen how complicated it may be to get what we want.

“In our disgust with the extreme oppression women experience under the present abortion laws, many of us are understandably tempted to accept insulting token changes that we would angrily shout down if they were offered to us in any other field of the struggle for women’s liberation. . . . These restrictions insult women in the same way the present ‘preservation-of-life’ laws do: they assume that we must be in a state of tutelage and cannot assume responsibility for our own acts. . . . There are many reasons why a woman might seek a late abortion. . . whatever her reasons, she belongs to herself and not to the state.

“All women are oppressed by the present abortion laws, by old-style ‘reforms,’ and by seductive new fake repeal bills and court decisions. But the possibility of fake repeal–if it becomes reality—is the most dangerous. It can buy off most middle class women and make them believe things have really changed, while it leaves poor women to suffer and keeps us all saddled with abortion laws for years to come. It is up to feminists to make the strongest and most precise demands. . . We will not accept insults and call them ‘steps in the right direction.’ . . .”

Lucinda Cisler is a libertarian feminist activist, and a leading force in the early years of the Women’s Liberation Movement. She was a member of New York Radical Women, NYC-NOW, East Coast Chair of NOW’s National Abortion Committee, and a founding member of New Yorkers for Abortion Law Repeal (NYALR), the National Association to Repeal Abortion Laws (NARAL), and the Association of Libertarian Feminists (ALF). She compiled and circulated a “legendary” movement biblio­graphy of works about women. The editors of Notes from the Second Year wrote that she “is the foremost expert on abortion in the feminist movement. For years she has fought tirelessly (and without pay) for women’s right to control their own bodies. She is also important in the movement for her excellent and comprehensive bibliography.”

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Abortion Law Repeal, Sort Of (1970)

“Abortion Law Repeal (sort of)” first appeared in the in­cred­ibly influential Women’s Liberation Movement anthology, Notes from the Second Year (May 1970), and then was reprinted, in condensed form, in the New Left movement magazine Ramparts (August 1970). It was … Continue reading

Support C4SS with Roderick T. Long’s “Beyond Patriarchy”

C4SS has teamed up with the Distro of the Libertarian Left. The Distro produces and distribute zines and booklets on anarchism, market anarchist theory, counter-economics, and other movements for liberation. For every copy of Roderick T. Long‘s “Beyond Patriarchy” that you purchase through the Distro, C4SS will receive a percentage. Support C4SS with Roderick T. Long‘s “Beyond Patriarchy“.

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$1.00 for the first copy. $0.60 for every additional copy.

“Historically, human families have often been oppressive and exploitative institutions, in a way that animal families do not seem to be. The purest example of this is the Roman family, in which the male head of household (the paterfamilias) was legally entitled to put his wife and children (even grown children) to death. This aspect of family relationships is called patriarchy (‘father-rule’), signifying the subordination of wives to husbands and of children to parents. Those who defend patriarchy as ‘natural’ often point to the animal kingdom as a model; but traditionally, parental authority and sexual inequality have been far more pronounced in human societies than in most animal societies. Recent political developments — springing in part from the libertarian urge to subordinate patriarchal authority to individual rights, and in part from the welfare-liberal urge to subordinate patriarchal authority to that of the state — have weakened the institution of patriarchy, but not eliminated it entirely. . . How might families in a truly free society develop beyond this patriarchal paradigm?

“The family is an institution of paramount value and importance, both in its own right and as a bulwark against the encroachments of the state. The family has often served as a sphere of oppression and exploitation, thanks to the tradition of patriarchy, in which women are unjustly subordinated to men, and children are unjustly subordinated to parents. The proper libertarian response to both concerns is to see how, consistent with our anti-interventionist principles, we can foster a family structure free of patriarchal influence. . . .”

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Beyond Patriarchy (1997)

“Historically, human families have often been oppressive and exploitative institutions, in a way that animal families do not seem to be. The purest example of this is the Roman family, in which the male head of household (the paterfamilias) was … Continue reading

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Songs of Struggle and Sorrow (1892-1902)

A voice rebellious, which should never cease… This chapbook is a new selection of poetry by Miriam Daniell, edited by the ALL Distro. The 34 poems in this collection were gathered from two main sources: her prolific contrib­utions to Benjamin … Continue reading

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The Knowledge Problem of Privilege (2013)

In this essay, Nathan Goodman (Center for a Stateless Society) discusses how the Knowledge Problems facing elites, “experts” or “representat­ives” recur not only in economics, but also in cultural conflicts over gender, disability, and other systems of structural social privilege. … Continue reading

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They Who Marry Do Ill (1908)

“The question now becomes: What is the growing ideal of human society, unconsciously indicated and un­con­scious­ly discerned and illuminated? By all the readings of progress, this indication appears to be the free individual; a society whose economic, political, social and … Continue reading

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Libertarian Feminism — Can This Marriage Be Saved? (2005)

The case for a radical libertarian feminism — a critique of the state and of patriarchy which understands both as parts of an interlocking system of oppression, and which draws on the insights of both radical libertarianism, and radical feminism, … Continue reading

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Woman vs. the Nation State (1991/2006)

Anti-authoritarian women know that putting an end to male personal, political and military violence will mean the rapid dissolution of the nation state system. … Anti-authoritarian women offer as an alternative to the nation state decentralized, non-violent communities joined only in a variety of voluntary … confederations.

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Women and the Invisible Fist (2008)

Because of … the way in which that pervasive, diffuse threat of violence constrains the liberty of women in everyday life to move and act and live as they want, libertarians and anarchists must recognize patriarchy as a system of violent political oppression older, no less invasive, and no less powerful, than the violence of the police state or the warfare state.