“Manarchist” is a term that has been used among english-speaking anarchists to label male anarchists who display oppressive patriarchal behaviours. A manarchist may be explicitly anti-feminist, at one end of the spectrum, or conversely, believe himself to be feminist while his actions and words perpetuate the objectification, ridicule and/or disregarding of women and their views.

Anarchist groups are often dominated by young heterosexual white males; officially sanctioned/upheld oppression may be the only form of oppression they have really experienced, leading them to overlook that which occurs in their own relationships. Furthermore, anarchist ideals and rejection of “authority” may attract men on account of the macho or illegal aspects of activism, rather than (or, more commonly, as well as) commitment to equal dignity and freedom for all. On the other hand, these aspects are accepted as important and necessary by anarcha-feminists also. What defines a manarchist then must be an attitude.

It is not just wanting to do lockdowns, climb walls, fight the police, that makes you a manarchist – but being guilty of regarding these things as more important. Being sectarian, dogmatic, more-anarchist-than-thou. Glorifying those things that you are perhaps more capable of. Thinking that these things make you more cool, more radical, or more worthy of being heard than any other.

This, of course, applies to anyone, and to any activity, not just to male anarchists with a tendency to romanticize violent confrontation with the state. The task of anarchists must be to build new ways of relating to each other, outside of capitalist contracts or patriarchal control or religious dogma. Anarchism begins at home.

  • I use the term differently, myself. I use it non-pejoratively, just to refer to male anarchists who demonstrate traditionally “masculine” traits – even if they are very aware of the potential for unwitting oppression of others by them.

    Those kinds of manarchists are kindof sweet.

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