On Fighting Patriarchy: Why Bros Falling Back Isn’t Enough

This is an analysis of “Bros Fall Back,” a zine which has become rather influential among the Philadelphia anarchist scene. While the critiques put forth in “Bros Fall Back” are aimed at the Philly punk scene, we also see them as touching on problems which are prevalent (albeit in very different forms) in the left, and in society as a whole, and we will consider them from this larger standpoint in this essay. Moreover, because the zine barely mentions race, the state, and capital (except in a very abstract and confusing way towards the end–“the politics of being cool”), we will not deal much with these other categories here, although we realize that patriarchy (which normative sexuality is the product of) cannot be overthrown without simultaneously overthrowing the material basis of those other three categories (this we are saving for a much longer, more in-depth piece which goes beyond the purposes of this one). Interpersonal politics are not a minor detail that can wait until after the revolution, and while we agree with the authors of “Bros Fall Back” on this, and on a number of other questions, (1) we disagree with the way that they conceptualize and attempt to challenge oppression and identity. Continue reading