Welcome to the Anti-Fascist Babe Club

Anti-Fascist Babe Club

On the 9th February 2017, I had an idea.

I’d been thinking a lot about communities – both online and offline – and it struck me that there were few places I could go to talk about activism. I don’t just mean the odd Twitter thread here or there, I mean really talk about activism. There was nowhere I could go to talk about how scared I was, how tired I was, how desperate I was to change the world. Nowhere to go for support AND practical ways to fight the terrifying rise of fascist and alt-right rhetoric and politics.

So on the 9th February 2017, I had an idea. I had an idea for the Anti-Fascist Babe Club.

While sat on the train for my morning commute, I scribbled down a rush of ideas and thoughts for the community I was so desperately seeking.

On 13th March 2017, the Anti-Fascist Babe Club officially launched.

‘But what is the Anti-Fascist Babe Club?!’ I hear you cry?

It is, quite simply, a community for anybody interested in politics, social justice, and activism. If you feel like the world is burning around you, the Anti-Fascist Babe Club is here to help you put it out, one drop of water at a time.

A mix of support in difficult times, practical ways we can fight the right, and a glimmer of hope, the Anti-Fascist Babe Club is a community for all activist types. Whether you want to be instrumental in getting Trump impeached, stop Brexit in its tracks, or just generally make the world a better place for marginalised people, the Anti-Fascist Babe Club is for you.

Practically, we are at present a Twitter community and a weekly newsletter. Our first newsletter will be going out next week – so make sure you sign up now to find out even more about the Anti-Fascist Babe Club! Soon, we’ll be launching weekly Twitter chats too so all you anti-fascist babes can have your say.

There’s lots of things I want for the Anti-Fascist Babe Club, eventually. A podcast interviewing other activists. A book club, to open us all up to new ideas. Real-life physical meetings to extend this community into the ‘real’ world. But most of all, I want it to be a thriving community of bright, smart, powerful people. People who are dedicated to changing the world. 

If this sounds like something you’d like to be a part of, then make sure you follow the Anti-Fascist Babe Club on Twitter and sign up for our weekly newsletter here!

And if that’s not enough to get you interested, here’s a snippet of our first newsletter.

Activists who have been around decades longer than I told me to hold onto my hope, because the disillusion would come. Black women who have been holding up and driving forward movements for centuries told me, with the kind of knowing that only centuries of systematic murder and oppression gives you, that I would get tired.

I didn’t believe them. Maybe it was my youth, that makes me feel like I can do anything. Maybe it was my white, middle-class privilege, which has meant i’ve never really had to fight like this before.

Whatever it was, I didn’t believe them. But now it’s March and the hope has faded. The adrenaline has worn off and the fatigue has set in.

And I have no idea how to change the world.

To read the full essay, subscribe to the newsletter today!

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6 Comments

  1. March 14, 2017 / 10:03

    I *love* this! It’s so needed, and I’ve been wanting something like this too.

    I’d be absolutely thrilled to get involved however I can.

    • Liv Woodward
      March 14, 2017 / 10:26

      Hi! I’m so glad you like the idea of this. I’m really excited to see what it brings. To start with you can help by signing up to the newsletter, following us on Twitter, and sharing with all your friends you think would be interested! I’ll also always be on the lookout for newsletter content, so whether you’ve got an article that you would like to share in the newsletter, a petition you think people should sign, or want to be a guest essayist for the newsletter, just Tweet using the hashtag #AntiFascistBabeClub!

  2. March 16, 2017 / 08:19

    This is such a good idea, I’m really excited! Just signed up for the newsletter 🙂 xx

    • Liv Woodward
      March 16, 2017 / 09:12

      Thank you so much! I’m super excited too!

  3. March 25, 2017 / 04:35

    Might I suggest considering that fascism can, and does, come from a variety of positions on the political spectrum, including the left sometimes, too, even today (perhaps more so with the potential for vehement and violent reactions to Trump and his ilk)?

    Fascism historically began as a centrist, nationalist movement, but today in America, one can argue that there are fascist elements of the populist movements in both the left and the right. Fascism is a form of socialism, so things like socialized medicine can be considered fascist leaning. Overall, it has become a little too fashionable these days to throw around terms like “fascist” and “Nazi” and “Hitler,” and incorrectly, too.

    I encourage you to make sure you’re being clear about what exactly it is you oppose, and to be careful with inflammatory, or “charged,” labels and their application. Not every political or societal thing you might be putting under the umbrella may actually qualify as fascism. There are arguably larger and more prevalent threats in the U.S. worth opposing than minority elements of true fascism in society.

    If it’s the right you’re against, that’s fine, but remember that the right is not innately synonymous with fascism. Also, the term “alt-right” is relatively new and ill-defined, like most political labels. On that note, I am neither a liberal democrat nor a conservative republican. I consider myself a proponent of reason and thought before, and sometimes in lieu of, action for action’s sake, sometimes called “do-something-ism.” I support individual liberty and the rule of law; I oppose tyranny and ham-fisted rule.

    Theoretically, a name such as the Freedom and Justice Babe Club (with a superheroine vibe to it?) might be more on target with your intentions and more broadly appealing to readers. Not sure. Regardless, it can be refreshing to people to see that you define your position by the values you support rather than those you’re against.

    Settling on meaningful political terms and names is a tricky proposition; it can be needlessly limiting. Confrontational labels often fall on deaf ears. If you’re open to the longer form conversation, you may find it useful to re-examine the naming of it as part of that conversation.

    All that said, best wishes with your efforts and on the journey of pursuing your passion and conscience.

    • March 25, 2017 / 09:43

      I dare say that the founder has given the entire endeavour a great deal of thought and most likely will not change the name but, nonetheless, I reserve the right to delve ever so slightly into a diagloue – in the democratic spirit, of course.

      I’s difficult to know where to begin but I will pick out a few of the more curious points made. Regarding the ‘Alt-Right’ movement and the severity and scale of fascism in the United States, I would have to disagree. It strikes me that the term isn’t necessarily “ill-defined” at all. Granted, Spencer’s own words are confused and contradictory. In one speech in Texas on 9th December 2016, (http://www.radixjournal.com/blog/2016/12/9/spencer-speaks-the-transcript) he said that “the Alt Right can’t be defined by something from the past”, but then proceeded to look back to “When [he] first started using that term, [in] was about mid-2008”, a time when he “knew that something was profoundly wrong with mainstream conservatism”:

      “I knew that we had to have a new starting point. I also knew that we needed to — this wasn’t a matter just of tweaking the Right, as it is — this was really the matter of a new beginning. Of a new starting point for conservatism in America. … So, in a way, George W. Bush was the founder of the Alt Right. He was at least the founder of the term, because I knew that we had to get away from that.”

      With this, and his belief that the mainstream conservative movement “became, in its way, a mirror reflection, a photographic negative, of the Soviet Union” – “an ideological nation”. Well firstly, if we take a few examples – being birthed from a revolution; civil war over slavery; Red Scares in the 1920s and late-1940s/50s; the concept of a “New World Order” proclaimed by Bush I – we see that the United States has *always* been an ideological nation. (As, indeed, are all nations; nationalism itself is ideological and that is the primary method of exercising control over a populace, along with for instance, a debtor’s economy and economic servitude.) The point is, Spencer is stating that the Alt-Right can’t be defined by something from the past” whilst simultaneously channelling a movement which was born from a perception very much rooted in the past. (He even goes o to quip about “the Left in the eighteenth century”) However, this makes the Alt-Right anything but “ill-defined”. For Spencer, it is nationalism and identity: “[B]y around 2010 … that new starting point was going to be identity”. (Forgive me, but this is worth quoting at length):

      “The most important thing about [race] is the people and the spirit. …

      “A lot of white people do not want to have a race. They say, “Oh, I’m just an individual. I’m just an American.” You have a race whether you like it or not. You’re part of a race whether you like it or not. When a Syrian refugee — so called — whether they’re from Syria or Africa or somewhere else in the middle east, when they enter Europe, they don’t look at anyone as “Oh, look, lookee there, this man, he’s Bavarian. Oh, he’s a Bavarian Catholic. Oh look, this guy must be from Ireland. Hmm, interesting. He’s Italian.” No, they don’t see that at all. They see us as white; they see us as white men. They see us as a race, and our enemy can see who we are whether we want to define ourselves as such or not. We are white.

      “So that [race] is the foundation of identity.

      [W]hat’s happening in the world […] isn’t just a great erasure of white people. It isn’t just an invasion of Europe, an invasion of the United States by the third world, it is ultimately the destruction of all peoples and all cultures around the globe.

      “That’s what America has become. We might not all be able to put it into those words, but we know that that is what America is becoming. It’s becoming an homogeneous consuming mass, and no one wants it.”

      “I’m not paranoid”, adds Spencer, “they’re just out to get me.” Bless his little historically-plantationed cotton socks.

      Anyway, the point of all this is simply to prove that we know very well what this movement is about. It’s founder has told us quite clearly. And with that in mind, we needn’t waste any more time defining it. We shall, as the Anti-Facsist Babe Club is trying to encourage, organise and challenge a movement and ideology we profoundly disagree with. Such a moment as the Alt-Right, with it’s racial prejudice, will of course, given the chance, that foster tyranny which you profess to oppose. Spencer is all about “speaking the truth about race, about people, about nations, about who we are”. Well, this speech, and the previous one which saw people sing heil, celebrate (“Heil”) Donald Trump, and Spencer very deliberately (and in an insidious, sneering tone) employ a German word, give us no slight insight into what this movement is about, where it seeks to go, and what we are facing.

      Gearing elements of the left, I would suggest that it would be more appropriate to describe dusk tendencies as totalitarian. This, I (perhaps incorrectly) presume is the essence you have in mind; the ‘crushing free speech’ in the name of ‘political correctness’, perhaps? On the histories of fascism, any decent-minded person who wasn’t seeking to undermine an agenda such as the AFBC would, as a point of honesty, point out that, much like how the Soviet Union was a world apart from genuine socialism; the fascism to which you refer is too a world apart from socialist ideals. Medicines is a disingenuous example; at its heart was intolerance, bigotry, supremacism, and murderous, extinctionist racism.

      That’s quite a enough for Saturday morning. All of this is simply to express some disagreement with your position, and absolute solidarity with the Anti-Facsist Babe Club.

      “Anti-Fascist” is unfortunately apt and entirely necessary.

      Have a pleasant weekend.

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