November 27, 2010
For your viewing pleasure. It's sure to upset some, and empower others. Enjoy!
And as usual, email us with any thoughts, comments, hate-mail or questions: lunariapress[at]gmail[dot]com.
April 21, 1921
(translated from Italian in 2010)
May the wisdom of rotten idiots not sneer nor the idiotic chastity of decent young ladies be scandalized.
I am a precocious adolescent who, after a long journey through the phosphorescent labyrinths of the most terrifying depths, climbed back up to the peak to sing the proud and sacrilegious song of my still young and oh so free life in the sun.
Someone told me: “You will be a woman, then a wife, then a mother!…”
I answered like this, with a question: What do woman, wife and mother mean? I won’t tell you what they said in response. I only know that when I think about it, I laugh, yes, I still laugh. Love understood as a mission!? The woman as wife and mother? No, no, no! I will not be a wife; I will not be a mother! My revolt cannot stop halfway or make mistakes. My revolt even casts its darts – beyond the family – against nature. I don’t want to be a wife; I don’t want to be a mother. No, no, no!
Yesterday, I stripped naked before the mirror and looked at myself for a long time. I saw my body of flesh wrapped in a shadow of light that quivered slightly. I don’t quite know why, but I adored myself….
The turgid breasts rose proudly from the chest, a treasure of creamy whiteness. My smooth, round belly gave me the impression that it was something that had been shaped from the finest ivory by the miraculous hands of a godlike artist. I had loosened the blonde ringlets of my hair over the curved smoothness of my shoulders and lightly circled my moist-lidded eyes with violent and black. The down that crowned the lower concavity of my belly looked like a golden wing on the sacred spine of heavenly angels. My red mouth appeared to be a ripe pomegranate opened to the yellow caress of the sun.
I approached the mirror and voluptuously kissed my reflected lips.
I don’t know if I have ever in my life desired anything with more intensity than, yesterday evening, when I desired to be a man so that I myself could lay the white virgin body, which the mystery in the clear mirror had shown me, down on the bed.
But the idea of intercourse brought forth another idea in me. Every cause has an effect.
I lay down on the bed. My temples throbbed. The blood boiled in my veins. Perhaps I was delirious…
I know that I had my eyes closed and only saw darkness. But amidst the darkness I saw another mirror. The mirror of the imagination, which showed reality. I looked at myself. I saw my fine, round, varnished belly fearfully swollen, with a symmetrical black-yellow line that gave me the clammy impression of a small grass snake stretched out on a sack full of bulky, withered grass.
Then, I also saw my superb, white breasts gone flabby and shriveled… I was a mother!
A hateful brat greedily sucked my blood , spoiled my youth, mercilessly destroyed my divine beauty that I had hoped would be immortal.
Yesterday evening’s desire has passed, but the nightmare remains.
Mother… What does it all mean? Giving children to the species, more slaves to society, more derelicts to sorrow.
… Mother… Wife….
Are these then the aims of love?
Ah, the old sorcery of morality, the old lies of this old humanity.
No, I will never be anyone’s wife; I will never give any children to the species. Never!
Life is pain. Humanity is a lie. Anyone who accepts perpetuating the species is an enemy of pure beauty.
Humanity is a race that must FADE AWAY!
Individualism must kill society, pleasure must strangle pain. Let weeping and pain die, drowned in a final orgy of joy. Give yourself to the mad joy of living, you who love life, you who love the end.
Why should the future matter? What does the species matter to you?
Come on, you who have discovered yourselves, let’s make the world a feast. Let’s make life a twilight orgy of love. For those that come from the depths of the social lie where the roots of human pain cling, joy must be an end and the end the highest aim.
I don’t want to have a child that spoils my beauty and withers my youth.
I don’t want to have a family that constrains my freedom. I don’t want an insipid, jealous and brutal husband who, as payment for a piece of bread, prevents the lyrical flights of the spirit through the most divine and wicked follies of lust and voluptuousness that multiple love affairs give to the flesh.
I don’t love husbands and perhaps not even lovers.
I love pleasure and love.
But love is a flower that germinates on men’s lips.
When I approach their lips to gather the perverse flower of love, I will do it for my love alone.
Loving the other is always needless and sometimes stupid.
It is enough to love oneself. It is enough to know how to love oneself. And I will know how to love myself so much, oh so much!
I will love myself naked in front of the mirror in the evening. I will adore myself naked in the bathtub in the morning. I will intoxicate myself naked in the arms of lovers.
Humanity walks the paths of pain in order to perpetuate itself. I walk the paths of pleasure because I seek the end.
I walk toward the east; I walk toward the west. I want to walk over the paths of the world gathering the flowers of love, joy and freedom.
I love black and flesh-colored stockings. White or red silk panties. Shoes of rubber and refined material. Baths in scented vinegar water, perfume from Cotty and bouquets of roses.
I want to walk over the paths of the world gathering the flowers of love, joy and freedom.
I will break off the fronds of lime trees; I will gather hydrangea sprays, wisteria clusters and oleander flowers to prepare the perfumed bed of my love.
And I will be the lover of vagabonds and thieves. And I will be the ideal of poets.
Because I don’t want to give anything to the fatherland, to the species and to humanity.
I want to get drunk at the fountain of pleasure, lust and voluptuousness. I want to be completely consumed on love’s pyre.
I don’t want to be a mother; I don’t want to be a wife. No, no, no!
Perfumed beds, lover’s kisses and the music of mad violins. Song and dance.
I know. You will call me a madwoman and a pervert. You will call me a wh…
But these are old and powerless names that no longer affect me.
I am the precocious adolescent who, after wandering in the most terrifying chasms of the depths, climbs back up to the peak to sing the sacrilegious song of my free life in the sun.
A life of beauty and strength, a life of art and love, surging with godlike sin, gushing in the sacred oasis of voluptuousness.
Enough now with epileptic frenzies of the spirit.
Nothing belongs to pagan beauty more than my young body.
Oh, love flies off with me…
October 14, 2010
Two essays on identity, oppression, and social war.
By Peter Gelderloos
There is a line that divides many people whose struggles I respect. I won't name this line or define either camp, to avoid entrenching them, and I don't know of any fair definitions that have been put forward by any of those involved in this antagonism. Most of us are familiar with the strawmen that litter this battlefield, though. Those on one side are guilty of “identity politics,” those on the other are “privileged.”
In some cases I think the different practices can complement each other, each having their own shortcomings. But in other cases they are merely different; I know of people on either side who seem to me to have a complete revolutionary practice, with its own particular advantages, but no failing that could be addressed by the other side. Simultaneously, there are those on both sides who I do not consider allies. Among those who speak of social war are some who want a homogenous front that struggles only for freedom in the abstract, who stifle any talk of oppressions they do not personally experience. And among those who speak of privilege and oppression are some who are just politicians and guilt-mongerers.
Between those who speak of privilege and oppression, and those who speak of social war, I come largely from the former, and now find myself closer to the latter. While I want to direct these criticisms in multiple directions, I don't want to create a false balance between two fictive positions. I hope these criticisms aid not in the development of a better anarchist practice, a peace or synthesis between those who have not seen eye to eye, but in the development of better anarchist practices that need not ever come to terms.
However, recognizing that we'll never all agree on anything, and this is good, I want to argue nonetheless that a needed common ground is an understanding and embrace of social war. I'm afraid that those who speak of oppression without acknowledging the war we are a part of, not as metaphor but as a real and current practice, will only succeed in turning a battlefield into a garden, decorating this cemetery of a society with flowers and accessibility ramps. I don't care to argue that one side or another is necessarily more correct, only that revolution becomes impossible not when we enter into the current historical era but when we start believing in civil society and stop noticing that the guns are pointed at us too.
by Adeline Lionheart
United States prisons and jails are currently housing more than 170,000 mothers. Approximately 2,000 babies are born to mothers in prison each year. In a world where millions are sent to death camps [prisons] and the only solutions that most people on the outside propose are modifications to these death camps, what are those of us who still possess our hearts and spines to do? Defiant Hearts advocates the utter annihilation of prisons, the destruction of capitalism, and the overthrow of civilization.
Supporting underground and independent midwives; making midwifery care accessible to all; redefining criminality; creating alliances in and outside prison walls; and identifying prison reformists/sympathizers as enemies who wish to recuperate us: all are decent places to start in our work to eradicate the prison industrial complex, as well as necessary steps to creating truly self-reliant communities, empowered women, and autonomous families.
August 1, 2010
July 4, 2010
Bonnano explores feminism from a revolutionary perspective emphasizing on the importance of feminism for efforts in repelling chauvinistic compulsions, but also acknowledging certain contradictions that feminism can carry.
"If they place themselves before the mass as women alone, they cannot fail to discriminate between two distinct groups of different sex within the mass. In this way ‘all women’ come to have a revolutionary potential, which remains to be seen. In the same way, all workers become part of an hypothetical revolutionary potential, even policemen, judges, politicians, Mafiosi. Of course, starting from a quantitative logic this solution is very convenient, makes the woman feel strong, makes her part of a ‘great mass of sisters’, but certainly doesn’t take her towards liberation."
"That said, we are not trying to suggest that women should ‘soften up’ the violent charge that is exploding within them as they take consciousness of the double exploitation they suffer, in order to enter ‘purified’ into the ‘revolutionary movement’. . . And against the rage of women it will not be easy for power to find an accommodating solution."
May 8, 2010
“I found myself drawn back to the humanism of anarchism as I recoiled against the often blind anger of feminism.”
Brown uses certain terminology and definitions that I would not have personally chosen to represent my thoughts; such as her referring to the “adherents” of anarchism. However, she articulates her weariness and critiques clearly with an emphasis on liberal feminism lacking a vital opposition to domination as a whole within the many veins of contemporary feminist theories. Coming from different experiences and upbringings, this is a weariness that I share. Without an anti-authoritarian perspective, “liberation” of our own individual identities is not only unachievable, but also provides a wider range of those in positions that are inherently dominant over others. The redistribution of this essay is an expression of my own interest in steering clear from the feminist identity and is an attempt to propose a discussion with those who choose to reside within it.
April 28, 2010
April 1, 2010
The Ukrainian anarchist Maria Nikiforova played a prominent role in the Russian Revolutions of 1917 and the subsequent Civil War as an organizer, military commander, and terrorist. A revolutionary from the age of 16, she was on trial for her life on four separate occasions under three different regimes and was sentenced to death twice. Her exploits became the stuff of folklore. But she was ‘blacklisted’ by official historians and her story was lost for generations.
March 31, 2010
Witches, Midwives and Nurses explains how the American medical profession came to be dominated by rich, white men, while Complaints and Disorders addresses the effects of this domination.
Barbara Ehrenreich &
The suppression of female healers by the medical establishment was a political struggle, first, in that it is part of the history of sex struggle in general. The status of women healers has risen and fallen with the status of women. When women healers were attacked, they were attacked as Women; when they fought back, they fought back in solidarity will all women.
It is a political struggle, second, in that it was part of a class struggle. Women healers were people’s doctors, and their medicine was part of a people’s subculture. To this very day women’s medical practice has thrived in the midst of rebellious lower class movements which have struggled to be free from the established authorities. Male professionals, on the other hand, served the ruling class – both medically and politically. Their interests have been advanced by the universities, the philanthropic foundations and the law. They owe their victory – not so much to their own efforts – but to the intervention of the ruling class the served.
This pamphlet represents a beginning of the research which will have to be done to recapture our history as health workers. It is a fragmentary account, assembled from sources which were usually sketchy and often biased, by women who are in no sense “professional” historians. We confined ourselves to western history, since the institutions we confront today are the products of western civilization. We are far from being able to represent a complete chronological history. Instead, we looked at two separate, important phases in the male takeover of health care: the suppression of witches in medieval Europe, and the rise of the male medical profession in 19th century America.
To know our history is to begin to see how to take up the struggle again!
March 23, 2010
Born in Warsaw in 1899, as a schoolgirl she became interested in anarchism. She said that her mother used to hide her shoes so that she could not attend meetings, which were then illegal in Poland. Finally she ran away to her sister in London where she earned her living at the sewing machine.
Working in the sweatshops of the East End she became active in the Yiddish-speaking anarchist movement that flourished at that time. When the Russian revolution broke out in 1917 the overwhelming majority of Russian male Jewish anarchists returned home. Many of those women whose husbands and lovers died at the hands of the Tsarists or the Bolsheviks, remained in England. The Jewish (in the sense of neither racial or religious but Yiddish-speaking) anarchist movement gradually dwindled and ended with Leah's death in January.
Leah, however, had made her own way to Russia. Upon arrival she saw the reality of Bolshevik rule and was not impressed. As a working woman she could see the effects of their dictatorship in a way that visiting intellectuals could not. Before leaving Moscow she attended Kropotkin's funeral, the last permitted anarchist demonstration until the collapse of Stalinism. (In a great display of self-discipline all of the anarchist political prisoners who were paroled for the funeral returned to jail, in the hope that the Bolsheviks would give parole to others in the future).
Leah traveled south to the Ukraine and joined the anarchist Revolutionary Insurrectionary Army led by Nestor Makhno. The Ukranian anarchists fought Tsarism, foreign intervention and then the Bolshevik dictatorship. Though she did not actually fight (some women who could ride horseback did) she joined the train that followed the army and prepared clothes and food for the orphans and strays they picked up everywhere.
When they were defeated in 1921 she got out of the country by changing her nationality through a marriage of convenience to a German anarchist. They did not meet again. She made her way to Paris and then back to London. There she acquired British citizenship by another marriage of convenience, this time to a derelict ex-serviceman who was paid £10 for his services. They did not see each other until many years later Leah received an official communication that he was in a geriatric hospital. She used to visit him with presents of tobacco.
Before World War II she travelled to Poland and Palestine, working her way to both places. In Palestine she organized a federation of anarchists. One surprise was meeting her old friend Paula Green, who had been pressured into marriage in Russia, so had chosen an atheist zionist with whom she was in love. Paula knew he was active in Labor politics but thought it impossible that he would ever be in government as he thought her ideas impossible.
Green changed his name to Ben Gurion and became the first prime minister of Israel. His wife did not leave him but she never once took part in any public functions with him. She remained a still believing, if passive, anarchist.
When Leah returned to London at the end of 1935 she helped raise money for the German sailors who organized an anti-Nazi resistance group in the 1930s. She also did tremendous work for the Spanish anarchist movement when the civil war broke out.
Leah was a member of a working group of immigrant anarchist women in Holborn ever since 1939. How, with the confusion of tongues - broken English, Yiddish, Polish, French, Catalan, Spanish, Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot - they understood each other was a mystery to many. But they managed.
Leah had to give up work when her eyesight went after an operation. She was completely blind in one eye thereafter and increasingly so in the other. She used her free time to help the movement she had given her life to. In the 1960s she smuggled arms into Spain for the fighters who had continued resisting the Franco regime since 1939. The Catalans, who are prone to giving nicknames, christened her "la yaya Makhnowista" (the Makhnovist granny).
Her last years were sad. Not only were all her family and her early friends dead, there was nobody left with whom she could talk in her own language. But she never gave up. She still supported anarchist meetings and always attended the annual London Anarchist Bookfair when her health permitted.
Our movement has been built by working women and men like Leah. It is right that we do not forget their contribution.
March 3, 2010
Barbara Ehrenreich &
Our motivation to write this pamphlet comes out of our own experiences as women, as health care consumers, and as activists in the women’s health movement. In writing this, we have tried to see beyond our own experiences (and anger) and to understand medical sexism as a social force helping to shape the options and social roles of all women. Our approach is largely historical. In the first sections of this pamphlet we attempt to describe medicine’s contribution to the sexist ideology and sexual oppression in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries (approximately 1865 to 1920 though a few important medical books were written earlier). We chose to begin with this period because it witnessed a pronounced shift from a religious to a bio-medical rationale for sexism, as well as the formation of the medical profession as we know it – a male elite with a legal monopoly over medicine practice. We feel that this period provides a perspective essential for understanding our relation to the modern medical system. In the last two sections we attempt to apply that perspective to our present situation and the issues that concern us today.
While the book provides great insight into these organizations and individuals, MacDonald is by no means sympathetic to the causes of those she is interviewing and writing about. Her interest in these groups extends only to the role of these women and their relationship to violence: whether or not women are more brutal, more committed, and more dangerous than their male counterparts. She explores the idea that women have a greater capacity for violence because of their biology: they give life, and are therefore more able to take it; and that patriarchal relations makes women tougher because they feel that they have more to prove, that they can be equally, if not more, violent and brutal than men.
In printing “Among the Women of the ETA” out intention was to take a look at one instance of women in militant struggle. We are not really concerned with the struggle of the ETA, nor any other nationalist movement. What was appreciated about this particular interview was that the women didn't seem to dwell on the fact that being women made them different than their male counterparts but seemed to embrace the idea that they were equal, both as individuals and as comrades, but were willing to discuss that differences that did exist and analyze how that affected their struggle. Many of the texts out there about women in militant roles written by anarchists are about the same few people or groups or have the same perceptive and bias – which is what makes this zine interesting, it's different. And while the ETA is not anarchistic, many of the tactics that they discussed in the interview are things that some anarchist embrace -- clandestine action, bombings, attacks on police and judges, etc. And as such we found these women's thoughts relevant.
In this pamphlet there is an interview with members of the Red Zora and a brief look into Direct Action and the Wimmin's Fire Brigade.
“....We are women between the ages of 20 and 51. Some of us sell our labour, some of us take what we need, and others are “parasites” on the welfare state. Some have children, some don’t. Some women are lesbians, others love men. We buy in disgusting supermarkets, we live in ugly houses, we like going for walks or to the cinema, the theatre or the disco. We have parties and we cultivate idleness. And of course we live with the contradictions that many things we want to do can’t be done spontaneously. But after successful actions we have great fun.”
-Member of the Red Zora