Radical refusals: On the anarchist politics of women choosing asexuality

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46 Scopus citations


This article examines how women consciously choosing asexuality might inform both radical feminist politics and anarchic concepts of positive and negative liberty. By resituating some of the lesser-known narratives of the 1960s' and 1970s' radical feminist movement (e.g. Valerie Solanas' SCUM Manifesto and Boston's Cell 16 and No More Fun and Games), asexuality is shown to disrupt key intersections between sexuality and the state, particularly institutions that control reproduction, pleasure, and women's bodies. Using interview data with Cell 16 members, content analysis of early radical feminist writings, and theoretical and historical analyses of separatism, the piece argues that, by removing themselves from sexuality, women can take a more anarchic stance against the entire institution of sex, thereby working toward more nihilistic, anti-reproduction, anti-family goals that severely disrupt commonly held assumptions about sex, gender, and power.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)445-461
Number of pages17
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2010


  • Cell 16
  • Valerie Solanas
  • anarchy
  • asexuality
  • radical feminism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Anthropology


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