Family Abolition: M.E. O'Brien and Eman Abdelhadi

M.E. O'Brien and Eman Abdelhadi will discuss M.E. O'Brien's new book Family Abolition at Pilsen Community Books. For some of us, the family is a source of love and support. But for many others, the family is a place of private horror, coercion and personal domination. In capitalist society, the private family carries the impossible demands of interpersonal care and social reproductive labor. Can we imagine a different future? In Family Abolition, author M.E. O'Brien uncovers the history of struggles to create radical alternatives to the private family. O'Brien traces the changing family politics of racial capitalism in the industrial cities of Europe and in the slave plantations and settler frontier of North America, explaining the rise and fall of the housewife-based family form. From early Marxists to Black and queer insurrectionists to today's mass protest movements, O'Brien finds revolutionaries seeking better ways of loving, caring, and living. Family Abolition takes us through the past and present of family politics into a speculative future of the commune, imagining how care could be organized in a free society. M.E. O'Brien is a Brooklyn-based psychotherapist and author whose work focuses on issues related to social justice and transformative justice, particularly in the context of family systems. Family Abolition calls for a radical reimagining of these social structures and relationships where the family system is abolished and replaced with more equitable and just forms of communities of care. She argues for the development of new models of kinship, which are rooted in principles of mutual aid and solidarity rather than hierarchical power structures. Eman Abdelhadi is an academic, activist, and artist based in Chicago, IL. Her research as faculty at the University of Chicago focuses on gender differences in the community trajectories of Muslim Americans. Abdelhadi has also spent many years organizing. She has been involved in the movement for Palestinian liberation, Black Lives Matter, counter-surveillance and abolitionism, Marxist feminist mobilization, and workplace struggles. She is currently co-coordinating the Muslim Alliance for Gender and Sexual Diversity, a national organization that supports and builds community by and for Queer Muslims. Abdelhadi maintains an active, creative practice that includes performance art and essay and poetry writing. Her writing has appeared in Jacobin, Muftah, and other publications. She is the co-author with M.E. O'Brien of Everything and Everyone.