Anarchist Doulas Need A Secret Handshake

Describing oneself as an anarchist can evoke puzzled reactions…you know the look, when someone raises their eyebrows a bit and acts like they understand, when really they have no idea what you mean by the term ‘anarchism.’

In a world of raised eyebrows, it’s challenging to be ‘out’ as an anarchist doula or midwife.  And although our interests extend far beyond pregnancy & birth, the birth world is the cultural space that offers us the most opportunity to be immersed in reproductive health.  And the majority of the birth world is  NOT comprised of anarchists.


We need to know there are others out there.  We need to be able to support each other, or at the VERY least, know each other.

As doulas, midwives, and reproductive health advocates, our work supporting folks through the life cycle is a part of our anarchism, a part of our activism, a part of our worldview. It fits right in there with the principles of community, consensus, and autonomy that are at the core of anarchism as a lifestyle, a political philosophy, or whatever else it is to you.

If anybody can figure out how to make a circle-A sign with your hands, please let me know.

AND…consider joining the Anarchist Doulas, Midwives & Advocates group at the Full Spectrum Doula Network.  Hopefully no one will raise their eyebrows at us there.

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5 responses to “Anarchist Doulas Need A Secret Handshake

  1. I’m here! I seem to be on the radical end of anything I do.

  2. I think that’s one of the biggest problems with anarchism in general. Not that anarchism wouldn’t work or anything like that but the fact when you mention “anarchism” or “anarchy” in any context people doesn’t know what it is at all or know what it’s a slightly bit and just hate it. I don’t think anarchism needs any more secret handshakes or hides out I believe that “we” have to come out of the dark and show ourselves to the publiv so that the practice and ideology of anarchism might appeal to people in general. At least if we want any real big change in the world.

    But then. I’m a very pluralistic anarchist.

  3. I hear what you’re saying, and the post above is very definitely about a particular niche of the anarchist subculture. As birthworkers & reproductive health advocates, our work occurs in a certain context where the (A) word has the potential to be even more alienating than normal.

  4. Rad post. Just effing rad.

  5. With your left hand (LH), make a “C” with your thumb and index finger. Do a backwards “C” with your right hand (RH) and bring your hands together (best to hid one index finger behind the other so the circle isn’t too lumpy).

    Place your LH middle finger on the webbing btw your RH index and middle finger. Place your LH ring finger on you RH thumb.

    Curl your RH middle finger to the middle LH ring finger (hiding the first joint behind the RH middle finger).

    Tada! Cirle-A sign with your hands!

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