Voltairine de Cleyre cover

photo credits: Wikimedia Commons

Voltairine de Cleyre

American anarchist writer and feminist

1866   -   1912

country of citizenship: United States of America
language of expression: English
occupation: writer, poet, essayist, journalist, feminist, anarchist, peace activist, philosopher

Voltairine de Cleyre (November 17, 1866 – June 20, 1912) was an American anarchist known for being a prolific writer and speaker who opposed state power, the capitalism she saw as interconnected with it, and marriage, and the domination of religion over sexuality and women's lives. She is often characterized as a major early feminist because of her views.Born and raised in small towns in Michigan and schooled in a Sarnia, Ontario Catholic convent, de Cleyre began her activist career in the freethought movement. She was initially drawn to individualist anarchism, but evolved through mutualism to what she called anarchism without adjectives, prioritizing a stateless society without the use of force above all else. She was a contemporary of Emma Goldman, with whom she maintained a relationship of respectful disagreement on many issues. Many of her essays were collected in the Selected Works of Voltairine de Cleyre, published posthumously in 1914 by Goldman's magazine Mother Earth.
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