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The Tyranny of Structurelessness

  • Title: The Tyranny of Structurelessness
  • Author: Jo Freeman
  • Format: essay
  • Website/Publication/Organization: The Second Wave
  • Year: 1972
  • Link: https://www.jofreeman.com/joreen/tyranny.htm
  • Description: "The Tyranny of Structurelessness" is an influential essay by American feminist Jo Freeman that concerns power relations within radical feminist collectives. The essay, inspired by Freeman's experiences in a 1960s women's liberation group, reflected on the feminist movement's experiments in resisting leadership hierarchy and structured division of labor. This lack of structure, Freeman writes, disguised an informal, unacknowledged, and unaccountable leadership and ensured its malefaction by denying its existence. As a solution, Freeman suggests formalizing the existing hierarchies in the group and subjecting them to democratic control.