Anarchism and feminism have always been closely linked. Many outstanding feminists have also been anarchists, including the pioneering Mary Wollstonecraft (author of A Vindication of the Rights of Woman), the Communard Louise Michel, Voltairine de Cleyre and the tireless champion of women’s freedom, Emma Goldman (see her famous essays “The Traffic in Women”, “Woman Suffrage”, “The Tragedy of Woman’s Emancipation”, “Marriage and Love” and “Victims of Morality”, for example). Freedom, the world’s oldest anarchist newspaper, was founded by Charlotte Wilson in 1886. In addition, all the major anarchist thinkers (bar Proudhon) were supporters of women’s equality. The “Free Women” movement in Spain during the Spanish revolution is a classic example of women anarchists organising themselves to defend their basic freedoms and create a society based on women’s freedom and equality (see Free Women of Spain by Martha Ackelsberg for more details on this important organisation). Read more…

anarcha-feminism today


General Websites

Women’s Centers

  • la karakola
    A women-occupied social center in the center of Madrid


Dealing with sexism in our movement

in the news

historical anarchist women

Lucy Parsons (1853-1942)

Lucy Parsons

“Anarchism has but one infallible, unchangeable motto, ‘Freedom.’ Freedom to discover any truth, freedom to develop, to live naturally and fully.”

Commentary on Lucy Parsons
Lucy Parsons (1853-1942): The Life of an Anarchist Labor Organizer
Lucy Parsons: Woman of Will

Dr. Marie Equi (1872-1952)

Marie Equi

Radical Politics, Radical Love: The Life of Dr. Marie Equi
Lesbian anarchist and labor organizer
Radical Politics, Radical Love: The Life of Dr. Marie Equi
Gays in Labor Movement

Voltarine de Cleyre

Voltairine DeCleyre

Make no laws whatever concerning speech and speech will be free; so soon as you make a declaration on paper that speech shall be free, you will have a hundred lawyers proving that “freedom does not mean abuse, nor liberty license”; and they will define and define freedom out of existence. Let the guarantee of free speech be in every man’s determination to use it, and we shall have no need of paper declarations. On the other hand, so long as the people do not care to exercise their freedom, those who wish to tyrannize will do so; …
Voltairine de Cleyre — Anarchism and American Traditions

Voltairine de Cleyre, the Anarchist Tradition and the Political Challenges
Organizing for Radical Social Change: Voltairine de Cleyre and anarcha-feminism
Poetry of Voltairine de Cleyre
Anarchism and American Traditions by Voltairine De Cleyre
Voltairine de Cleyre by Sharon Presley
Voltairine de Cleyre — Anarchist without Adjectives by Sara Baas
Direct Action by Voltairine De Cleyre
Voltairine de Cleyre’s Biographical Information

Emma Goldman

Emma Goldman

Oscar Wilde defines a perfect personality as “one who develops under perfect conditions, who is not wounded, maimed, or in danger.” A perfect personality, then, is only possible in a state of society where man is free to choose the mode of work, the conditions of work, and the freedom to work. One to whom the making of a table, the building of a house, or the tilling of the soil, is what the painting is to the artist and the discovery to the scientist — the result of inspiration, of intense longing, and deep interest in work as a creative force.
Emma Goldman — “Anarchism: What It Really Stands For”

Collected Works
Anarchism and Other Essays
The Failure of Christianity
Living My Life
My Disillusionment In Russia
My Further Disillusionment In Russia
On Frick’s Assassination
On the shooting of Henry Clay Frick by Alexander Berkman
The Philosophy of Atheism
The Place of the Individual in Society
Political Persecution in Spain
A Sketch of Alexander Berkman
The Social Significance of the Modern Drama
The Unjust Treatment of Homosexuals
Writing about Emma Goldman
Emma Goldman in Exile review (1)
Emma Goldman in Exile review (2)
Anarchy in Interpretation: The Life of Emma Goldman
Additonal Resources on Emma Goldman
The Emma Goldman Papers (DL SunSITE)
Emma Goldman
Emma Goldman Archive

Women of Anarchist Spain

Anarchist women of revolutionary Spain

Free Women of Spain
Mujeres Libres
Women in the Spanish Revolution

“Her development, her freedom, her independence, must come from and through herself. First, by asserting herself as a personality, and not as a sex commodity. Second, by refusing the right of anyone over her body; by refusing to bear children, unless she wants them, by refusing to be a servant to God, the State, society, the husband, the family, etc., by making her life simpler, but deeper and richer. That is, by trying to learn the meaning and substance of life in all its complexities; by freeing herself from the fear of public opinion and public condemnation.”
Emma Goldman, Anarchism and Other Essays, p. 211