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My experience is that ‘brocialists' don’t openly embrace patriarchy; they deny it’s a problem. Or they minimise it. They direct your attention elsewhere: you should be focusing on class. You’re being divisive. You’re just middle class (quelle horreur!). Or they attack a straw ‘feminism’ that is supposedly ‘bourgeois’ and has nothing to say about class or other axes of oppression. Or they just ignore it. To me that’s quite straightforward. Obviously it would be difficult, given their egalitarian commitments, to openly defend a gendered hierarchy; but their defensiveness about this issue suggests they associate a challenge to patriarchy with some sort of ‘loss’ for themselves. The question is, what do they have to lose?

—Richard Seymour[1]

Brocialists deny rape accusations, by Suzy X[2]
"Equality isn't an optional add-on, a side-issue to be dealt with after the revolution's over."[3]
An activist telling cissexists where to go.
A feminist meets a manarchist.

Brocialism and manarchism are umbrella terms for sexists within the radical left. Specifically used for those who believe that the creation of a socialist, Marxist, or anarchist system will inevitably bring about gender equality and that therefore no measures need to be taken other than the destruction of the hierarchy imposed by class.

Manarchists and brocialists are quintessentially anti-intersectional; they "have missed the ‘destroy patriarchy’ memo. They dominate spaces, manipulate women, and dismiss identity politics as ‘divisive’."[4] Typically, they are privilege-blind cishet white men, often significantly above the poverty line, e.g., Russell Brand,[1] who refuse to acknowledge oppression and privilege, intersectional or otherwise, outside of classism and socioeconomic status. In addition, manarchists and brocialists refuse to accept that within their own movement (as within society more broadly) there may be misogyny, from mansplaining to rape threats;[5] resorting instead to the No True Scotsman fallacy by accusing feminists and other critics that "they must be speaking to the wrong so-called 'socialists'."[6]

Complementing definitions

Wiktionary defines brocialist as:

a male socialist who downplays women's issues or displays a macho attitude.[7]

Word Spy defines it as:

A man who has progressive views, but who is also insensitive to women and dismissive of feminist issues.[8]

Origin of the term

The term "brocialist" was coined during internet debates on Reddit on the British Socialist Workers Party's (a Trotskyist party) cover-up of rape and sexual abuse allegations[3][9] by Benjamin Silverman, a blogger also known as "The Red Plebeian":

My starting point here is that I am in full agreement with the general Marxist and Socialist thesis that the unity of the working class through the overcoming of all its divisions of race, nationalities, genders, sexualities, religions and so on, to fight effectively against the ruling elite, is the goal. But it is the how which is the important part. How do you actually and effectively build that kind of working class unity. Cause you most certainly not do it by pretending that these real existing oppressions and privileges don’t exist. What oppressed person in their right mind would want to join and unite with others in a socialist or any other kind of organization that doesn’t acknowledge and treat their lived experiences of oppression with the utmost seriousness and a willingness to combat them.[10]


Even though the term is relatively recent, the ideology behind it is not.[11] It can be traced at least as far back as the 1930s:

Unfortunately, many anarchist men were dismissive of women’s concerns. Part of the reason that the Mujeres Libres saw a need for a separate women’s organization around the time of the Spanish Civil War was because "many anarchists treated the issue of women's subordination as, at best, secondary to the emancipation of workers, a problem that would be resolved 'on the morrow of the revolution'" (Ackelsberg 2005: 38). Unfortunately, in some contexts, this attitude isn't just a historical oddity, though it should be. And it was these kinds of assumptions that became an important theoretical backdrop for feminism's "Second Wave".[12]

See also

External links


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