Jo Freeman’s seminal essay “The Tyranny of Structurelessness” put a name to the persistent problem that plagues decision makers in non-hierarchical . Title: The Tyranny of Structurelessness. Series: General and According to Jo Freeman, “This piece spread all over the world. Numerous people have edited. Structurelessness Jillian Báez WSQ: Women’s Studies Quarterly, Volume 41, Numbers 3 & 4, Fall/Winter , pp. (Article) Published by The.

Author: Kazigami Zolotaur
Country: Seychelles
Language: English (Spanish)
Genre: Environment
Published (Last): 15 July 2009
Pages: 103
PDF File Size: 19.99 Mb
ePub File Size: 4.96 Mb
ISBN: 884-4-35647-968-8
Downloads: 63951
Price: Free* [*Free Regsitration Required]
Uploader: Mikakree

As the movement has charged through time, marriage has become a less universal criterion for effective participation, but all informal elites establish standards by which only women who possess certain material or personal characteristics may join.

The Tyranny of Structurelessness

Retrieved from ” https: Though there is an understandable revulsion to many forms of structure, Freeman lays out why structure is needed and what it can help movements accomplish. For those groups which cannot find a local project to which to devote themselves, the mere act of staying together becomes the reason for their staying together.

They have different expectations about each other’s behavior and judge the results according to different criteria. Since the movement at large is just as Unstructured as most of feeeman constituent groups, it is similarly susceptible to indirect influence.

Knowing how to behave is itself not unimportant. Occasionally, the developed informal structure of the group coincides with an available need strructurelessness the group can fill in such a way as to give the appearance that an Unstructured group “works.

That is why formal structures of decision making are a boon to the overworked person. Lists with This Book.

The Tyranny Of Structurelessness by Jo Freeman

Those who are concerned with maintaining their influence will usually try to be responsible. The women the movement either turn in on themselves and their sisters or seek other alternatives of action. They will not be in such an easy position to institutionalize their power because ultimate decisions will be made by the group at large.

Information must be passed on to everyone, opinions checked, work divided up, and participation assured in the relevant gyranny. They can be and often are misused, but to reject them out of hand because they are misused is to deny ourselves the necessary tools to further development. It’s accurate down to the very same ideological justifications used to embrace structurelessness, and the exact individual problems that we ran into which prevented anything from getting done.

Affinity group Synthesis anarchism Platformism. Skip to main content.

During the years in which the women’s liberation movement has been taking shape, a great emphasis has been placed on what are called leaderless, structureless groups as the main — if not sole — organizational form of the movement. Who I should talk to, how to present my ideas, where to present them — all often have rules of which, within Mozilla, I was usually informed by friends on the inside — while occasionally I discovered the rules awkwardly, after grossly violating them.


By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. I am a fan of Jo Freeman’s article — but only if you keep in mind that the point of view of the essay is wanting the groups to be MORE egalitarian and non-hieararchical — if we use those terms, does it seem more like something we’d want open source development and community source projects to be?

People from widely different backgrounds may provide richness to a consciousness-raising group where each can learn from the others’ experience, but too great a diversity among members of a task-oriented group means only that they continually misunderstand each other.

Mackel rated it really liked it Aug 06, It also gives many people the opportunity to have responsibility for specific tasks and thereby to learn different skills. All it does is abdicate the right to demand that those who do exercise power and influence be responsible for it. But diffusion of ideas does not mean they free,an implemented; it only means they are talked about. Jun 19, Kelsey Breseman rated it really liked it.

But it is necessary for the “outs” to stay on good terms with the “ins. However, as Hilary Wainwright wrote in Z Magazine, Freejan described how “this apparent lack of structure too often disguised an informal, unacknowledged and unaccountable leadership that was all the more pernicious because its very existence was denied. stricturelessness

The Tyranny of Stuctureless

Women have been punished for being competent throughout most of human history; the movement does not need to repeat this process. Becoming Structured does not alter their operation much, though the institutionalization of the power structure does open it to formal challenge.

It goes without saying that the author is not, nor has she ever been, an anarchist. Published structurelesssness OR Books.

Return to Book Page.

Some of my best friends are linkspammers 2nd November, Geek Feminism Blog. Yvonne Hsieh rated it really liked it Nov 12, These friendship groups function as networks of communication outside any regular channels for such communication that may have been set up by a group. Insofar as they can be applied individually they may be acted on; insofar as they require coordinated political power to be implemented, they will not be.

So if one works full time or has a similar major commitment, it is usually impossible to join simply because there are not enough hours left to go to all the meetings and cultivate the personal relationship necessary to have a voice in the decision-making.


In any profession or organization these networks have created the “locker room” mentality and the “old school” ties which have effectively prevented women as a group as well as some men individually from having equal access to the sources of power or social reward. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. It early defined its main goal, and its main method, as consciousness-raising, and the “structureless” rap group was an excellent means to this end.

The press put them there and only the press can choose not to listen. I have personally and on many occasions been frustrated by the effect that the structure of government bureaucracies can have on new ideas. I referenced it at the time in a comment on the apparent belief by the Linden Labs folks and others that Second Life didn’t need any up-front formal governance, but rather that SL residents could and would just magically come up with some sort of resident-led governance structure on their own.

First, we need to recognize that while we all strive to be meritocratic when engaging and involving people we are often predisposed to those who act, talk and think like us. Tyraanny isn’t what I get from Freeman’s essay at all, what I get from it is that if you want to be egalitarian and non-hieararchical, merely having no formal structures is NOT sufficient to accomplish that goal.

They listen more attentively, and interrupt less; they repeat no other’s points and give in amiably; they tend to ignore or grapple with the “outs” whose approval is not necessary for making a decision.

Structurelessness, feminism and open: what open advocates can learn from second wave feminists

Conversely, if tasks are rotated too frequently the individual does not have time to learn her job well and acquire the sense of satisfaction of doing a good job. If perceived as a potential addition, one is “rushed” by the members of the informal structure and eventually either dropped or initiated.

Post was not sent – check your email addresses! The first official place of publication was in Vol.

Author: admin