AF3IRM Asunder: A Rift in AF3IRM Signals the Strengthening of the Women’s Movement

By Comrade Zabala (He/Him)

AF3IRM, a prominent feminist organization with chapters across occupied New Afrika, Aztlán, and Hawai’i, has been hemorrhaging on-the-ground leaders and organizers since the announcement came from Esperanza Fonseca via Instagram that 30+ members would be renouncing their affiliation. This number increased by half the day after the announcement and the split was sealed as the correctness of the new Interim Revolutionary Feminist Committee was evident. The For The People movement wishes to join the chorus of revolutionary organizations (RMC, RSG, CincyCommunists et al.) offering solidarity as the nascent organization takes this important principled stance against revision and towards a proletarian feminist future.

Af3irm has been decried from the Left in the past for its liberal and anti-woman stances, such as alleged former member Purple Rose who wrote in 2020 that Af3irm was squashing two-line struggle and prevented a democratic forum for the community it was supposed to be serving. While I don’t agree with the political stance taken in the article, it is important that we do not squash dissent and treat the masses as ignorant children to be looked after or coddled. Af3irm-Hawai’i did respond to this criticism with an article, in which they call into question the legitimacy of Purple Rose’s credibility as well as refuting the idea that they support “carceral feminism”. Regardless of their accuracy, a commandist approach to debate is not a healthy, nor revolutionary way to agreement. Particularly when it comes to serious concerns about sexual misconduct of leadership, which Fonseca asserts was rampant. In the Rev Fem Interim Committee article they explain who Martin Manteca is and the relationship to power that defined his ability to prey on multiple non-men in Af3irm and in the organizing spaces. They write, 

“Our NEC [National Executive Council] Chair has been in a long-term partnership with Martin Manteca who is an accused sexual harasser, abuser, and union buster. Manteca has been accused of sexual harassment in 16 separate depositions. He was also a catalyst that pushed one of our members into full-time prostitution after firing her upon starting her gender transition. And, at least one buddy in Los Angeles did not want to stay with the organization upon finding out who The NEC Chair’s partner is.

These class enemies are harbored and sponsored by the very so-called feminist leadership that expects women to place their trust in them as allies! This shows that the patriarchal labor aristocrats who make a six-figure salary are not on the same team as the lumpen queer sex workers they seek to direct/control.

We say all that to say this, the split was a long time coming and Af3irm has outlived its usefulness to the women’s movement which requires a firm proletarian feminist hand in the rising struggle against the patriarchal imperialist class. The new Revolutionary Feminist Interim Committee has a lot to teach the broader communist movement on the crucial importance of feminist ideology as a weapon that sorts true friends from enemies in sheep’s wool. The fascists and their pseudo-counterparts lodged in our circles fail when challenged to support non-men in any meaningful or principled way. Proletarian feminism is their weakness and it is our strength, it is the weapon of the people, if we have the courage to use it.

Revolutionary Salute to the Revolutionary Feminist Interim Committee!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s