Letters to the Fifth Estate
Dear FE & Readers:
Some clarification of myself is needed here before too many people waste time making statements about me that are completely out of whack with who I am. (See Letters, FE #290, March 2, 1978).
First off, I’m not afraid of bruises, nor am I afraid of putting my life on the line. I’ve put my life on the line many times in the 25 years of it. I’ll do so again right here:
I can probably shoot straighter than any of you, I’ve had enough target practice. Shooting is quite easy for me, it’s a delicate yoga of balance, like giving birth. You just breathe deeply, center yourself, and squeeze. Building a small bomb is no more difficult than baking bread: And placing them is no more difficult than going to the supermarket. So what’s the big macho deal?
What can I say? For a woman to say it is necessary for us to build a home base at this time, to work together in our everyday lives, to live and love together as we struggle—is that to be scorned as “reformist?”
Must we be celibate and childless until that grandiose day when some underground cadre places a small bomb in the ladies’ room at the local PG&E and the entire infrastructure of fascism collapses?
You JIVE MOTHERFUCKERS! You tell me to kill my boss; you tell me to bomb empty corporate buildings—but I haven’t heard of you doing it lately. Voice your support for revolutionary violence with your actions and anonymous communiqués! What’s stopping you? Or are you merely police provocateurs?
I’m not afraid of violent demonstrations. I have attended every demonstration I was interested in and could get to since I first got my head beat at a civil rights demonstration when I was eleven. In my letter about the Seabrook action I was merely questioning the cutting of those fences being such a diversifying issue. I will fight unflinchingly and by any means necessary for the end of nuclear power plants. I just could not see why it was so important to cut those fences without cutting all fences.
And concerning wearing “armor-plated brassieres”: I’m shedding fascist, Leninist character structure (armor) as quickly as possible. I’ll attend the next anti-nuke demonstration stark naked and then I’ll cut all fences.
There is more to discuss than merely how bad-ass, witty, bored, and above-it-all we are human animals. We are not so one-dimensional that we feel only rage. I feel a huge range of emotions. To discuss the many elements of our lives is not to deny our rage towards “the system.”
As I write, I see that my little daughter has gotten into raw eggs and is smearing them all over the rug. My beautiful son Malik is watching a cop show on TV and being brainwashed by it. I intend to build a small community in which I can share my children with other people who love them, so I can have time to read and write and make revolution without neglecting them. What’s so weird about that?
Anyone care to help me? How ‘bout you, Rudy Perkins? How ‘bout you, Paula Zerzan? How ‘bout you, Marilyn? How ‘bout you, Hughthir White? Are you ready to “stop asking them to do a better job and start acting for ourselves”—right now? I need you. I’m the only adult in my cadre.
Lusting for the destruction of fascism in its totality & lusting for the reclamation of our instinctual passions
Dear Fifth Estate:
I must say that I am perplexed by the actions of the group that puts out Anarcha-Feminist Notes in England. In the January 1978 edition of the Fifth Estate [Bookstore Notes, FE #389] there is mention of a male FE subscriber who wrote them for a subscription, and was told “we do not take subscriptions...from men.”
Frankly, I find their posture bewildering. One should consider the fact that The Matriarchists, a newly formed feminist group in Brooklyn, accept and invite the participation and support of men. One should note that the group’s slogan is “we who nurture will govern.”
Elizabeth Shanklin, of The Matriarchists, has said that she would appreciate male literary contributions for their paper, especially articles focusing on male perspectives, working class interest in, or other relevant topics connected with the matriarchal movement. The Matriarchists plan on releasing pamphlets which will be directed to men, & workers, etc.
Truly, this is the sort of fraternal spirit that the comrades of Anarcha-Feminist Notes should be showing. Just as women are oppressed by sex roles, so are men. Both men and women will gain from the growth of the feminist movement.
I am distressed that a group like The Matriarchists, an apparently Marxian group that believes that “matriarchy is necessary for the withering away of the State” (Majority Report, Dec. 22, 1977), accepts and invites male input, and a self-declared anarchist group would segregate themselves from other anarchists. The spreading of anarcha-feminist ideas among the male working class is a duty which should not be renounced.
For a subscription to The Matriarchist, send $5 to The Foundation for Matriarchy, 306 Lafayette Ave., Brooklyn NY 11238. They also have position papers on matriarchy as well as a tee-shirt which says “The Answer is Matriarchy.”
For the Demise of Patriarchy,
Dear Fifth Estate:
Your vicious little apology for running a mention of the UK Anarchist-Feminist Newsletter (see FE, Jan. 24, 1978) indicates that your politics may well have “flipped and flopped from liberal to New Left to Maoist to anarchist to their current perspectives,” but have still to come to terms with feminism. Or do you want to subvert your spectacular analysis with everyday reaction.
In Struggle Yet Again!
Martin Gingell (who also happens to be a man)
Staff Note: Other than the fact that we find male feminists just a bit too pretentious, we were apologizing to a reader for suggesting to him a publication that turned out to have a policy of segregation in terms of who it would be sold to.
And anyway, why are you supporting a newsletter that you obviously haven’t read, since it’s not sold to men. Perhaps you are in reality an anti-segregationist and read the paper when everyone went off to sleep.
Lately there have been a lot of articles and letters about punk rock and the people involved, in all sorts of papers. The vast majority of what’s been written is from people who are outside looking in, trying to figure out what the fuck it all means.
Give up. It’s pointless. Unless you make the commitment to be involved you’ll get nowhere—real fast. We don’t feel we have to justify ourselfs to anyone else’s standards. We get called reactionary by commies, socialists, liberals and other idiot lefties. Fascists, conservatives, ministers and various straight people (real sheep) call us anarchists, hoodlums and decadents. All things to all people. Come check us out. But don’t judge us. We’ll just laugh or throw something.
The point is we are trying to do what we want on our own terms as much as possible. I want to fuck things up. That doesn’t mean every punk band agrees. Some want to sell records (there are always bad apples).
When we play I like to see chairs and tables broken; I like to see fights and lunacy and objects thrown around. That doesn’t mean every other band is after that kind of release.
We are not part of a brand new mold. Every time you or any other paper approaches us as a new movement or a coherent unit of sameness, the fight to resist is that much harder.
Fuck this and fuck that; I want some fun—NOW!
The End is Near (I wish)
Dear Fifth Estate:
I just now received my first issue of my subscription to the Fifth Estate along with a letter from you. I wish to thank you for my free subscription and for your concern for my well-being. Like you, I too hope that I’m not here long enough to get a renewal slip!
My job here at F.C.I. Milan is law clerk in the law library, for which I get paid a whopping $20 per month. I don’t mind the low pay though, because I really enjoy my work, which is assisting my fellow inmates in the litigation of their cases. So far (I’ve only been here for 2 months), I haven’t been successful in securing the freedom of any of my brothers, but I’m giving it one hell of a try.
I am going to put up a copy of your letter to me on the library wall so that others here will find out about your newspaper and Ammunition Books’ services for prisoners.
Ted Bratton No. 89834–132
Milan MI 48160
To The Fifth Estate:
Although Michael Tinkler does bring up an interesting consideration in his dispute with the Zerzans (see Letters, FE #290, March 2, 1978), does he really insist that animals as well as humans must attain class consciousness before beginning authentic revolt?
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