So I won't have to look allover for it again
Valour towards their enemies and love towards their wives, are the two heads of his discourse, never failing in the close, to put them in mind, that 'tis their wives who provide them their drink warm and well seasoned. -- Montaigne

They admit it.
"The question of whether or not to sell ourselves to men is a false one: The real question is how to sell ourselves in the way that is least destructive to ourselves and our sisters. Prostitutes don't need our condescension. What they need is our alliance. And we need theirs."
The New Our Bodies, Ourselves, Boston Women's Health Collective, p 113

I found the quote, above, at a pro-life website: In the past, the association with pro-lifers would have bothered me, but she's just quoting from a publication and I'm interpreting that quote. What it says to me is that women who are in favor of allowing women to continue to be prostituted around the globe readily admit that it is "destructive." They want to minimize that destruction, but they state it like the obvious fact that it is -- IT IS DESTRUCTIVE. I've explained in previous posts, and others have done so as well, the harm that prostitution does to its victims. All I want to say now is that it is absolutely hypocritical for anyone to call herself a feminist while promoting a practice that is destructive to women -- especially when they readily admit that it is destructive!

There is so much we can't see. The visible light spectrum is very limiting
It may be impossible to really have gender equality. If we're all part of the manifesting thoughts of a being who is offspring of only half of the God/Goddess creator or originator (or simply, original consciousness -- that which always has been and always will be), then we're doomed to imbalance.

What the next year will look like, realistically
There are so many things I'd like to do, or think I'd like to do, but I need to think about what is actually do-able in the next year or so. We're moving to NH. I'll still be in school through the middle of June.

January -- Move into our new apartment; Winter Quarter begins, 1 or 2 classes, lab assistant for food analysis; sustainability project with Brenda; submission for competition
February -- Still in school, still assisting, competition; sustainability project with Brenda
March -- same stuff
April -- Spring Quarter, 1 class, and an internship, competition still going on? Work on resume; prepare for career fair
May -- same stuff
June -- Finish sustainability project, finish internship, graduate
July -- find a job
August -- start working, hopefully
September -- work, actually have fun and socialize; help Mom with her business
October -- have a Halloween party
November -- keep working and recover from party
December -- 2nd wedding anniversary

Buy a house; keep working; start working on FNB, paramornal research, feminist stuff, etc.

Okay, this turned out to be pretty boring to lay this out, but it made me realize that I really will not have any time for stuff outside of school.

Major breakthrough
My eyes are puffy today from crying yesterday and the day before, but I've come through it and I can finally be happy. Unsure how to phrase it, I'd been searching for information on feelings of insecurity. Finally, I stumbled upon an article about how feelings of fear and anger can surface in response to being loved. Instead of being able to accept the love and give love back, the belief that one is unlovable will lead to negative feelings of anguish and hostility. I was insecure and building up walls. I didn't believe that I deserved love. I believed that if I just got everything perfect, then I could be loved -- when I'm more fit, when I have a job, when I have breast implants, when my nails are painted perfectly, when I'm not so hungry, when I'm not so full, when I remember everyone's birthday and stop drinking too much at holiday/family get togethers . . .

So, I recognized what was going on in my mind. I admitted that the anger was fear and then I felt the fear and let it wash over me. I felt the sadness of having been afraid for so long. I accepted that I was afraid to love and didn't know how to give love. I let that fear be. But, I also recognized the fact, which has been proven to me every day for nearly eight years, that Ryan loves me. Whether I accept it or love him back or do anything, or think anything. I know he loves me because it's so fucking obvious! I'd have to be blind, nay, not blind, but dead! not to recognize that his love for me is a fact. Finally, I was able to really believe in his love -- in the strength and power of it. My fear diminished and my love grew with my trust in him.

subject/object relationship
I've mentioned this before -- When I was listening to KPFK one day, I heard a gay man talking about homosexual relationships vs hetersexual relationships. He said that in a relationship between a man and a woman, the man is the subject and the woman is the object, but when two men are together, it is a subject/subject relationship instead of a subject/object relationship. At the time, that sounded plausible, but now I tend to disagree. When adult gay men pursue young men and teenage boys sexually, the existing power dynamic resulting from age difference automatically sets up the relationship as hierarchical, inequal, and, therefore, subject/object, where the boy is the object, the other, and seen as "less than." The adult male proceeds to use the boy as a sexual object the same a way a heterosexual male would use a woman. Perhaps equality is impossible in sexual relationships. As my ex so elequently put it: "who is fucking whom?"

private vs public
I've got a chicken & egg problem.... sort of. Basically, if conditions were better (greater socio-economic equality, abolishing poverty, improving public education), then the personal lives of individuals would improve because they would have resources they could use to become emotionally stable, mentally well, psychologically healthy, good partners in their relationships, good parents for their children. I've read about the positive improvements in developing nations where girls have been given access to education that they previously lacked. I've written about it before -- the educated girls did not marry so young and chose to have fewer children. Support from society gave these girls the power to have better lives for themselves and their family, and also empowered them to give back to their communities and continue improvements.

So, it seems pretty simple, right? Individual liberty and well-being are the direct result of socio-economic equality and the establishment of basic rights such as a right to education and basic care, like birth control. Change the system, and the people change with it.

Great, so let's change the system. The flaw with that idea is that people have to do things individually and collectively in order to change the system and everyone is so emotionally/psychologically damaged that we can't get our shit together. I honestly think I could have done a lot more to improve my community, my country, and the world if I hadn't had such a rough, crazy-making childhood. How many people would be taking better care of themselves and each other if they hadn't been raised in an emotionally and/or physically abusive environment? Abuse takes place in private. Public institutions do not seem to be able to protect people from their abusive families. So much suffering comes from this, especially since being middle or upper class will not automatically protect a person from being the victim of abuse from a family member. Children get abused at home, go to public school, where no one is able to detect their victimhood, and then they have to go home again to their private hell.

I want to change the world and bring down capitalism and all the other isms that go with it, but I also need to acknoledge my own personal, private emotional struggles. I can't give of myself until I am whole. I think this is true for so many people. How can we start a revolution when we are struggling just to live and heal and be sane?

Here is an example: women in the sex industry. The majority of them were sexually abused as children. How are they going to stand up for their rights (the right to not be raped or beaten at "work", or the right to not be sex objects) when they are already emotionally damaged, and their psychological state is influencing their choices. In fact, these women may not be mentally/emotionally well enough to be able to make choices that will promote their health and well-being. This isn't just about sex work, though. I'm saying that anyone who has been abused as a child is more likely to put up with mistreatment, abuse, and denial of their rights. They are less capable of advocating for themselves because of the prior abuse. If girls weren't abused, they would be less willing to submit to abuse in their adult lives.

solar utopia
I was thinking about what I said about paper plates. Honestly, I think we could be getting so much clean energy from the sun and we could just use paper plates all the time b/c the paper could be recycled, the water used in the process could be filtered, the power could come from solar panels, and people could work in the paper plate factory.

Okay, I know that sounds kind of horrible, but obviously, in this SOLAR-TOPIA, there would be no traffic, the factories would have windows and nice views . . . or, fuck it! why not just have robots make the damn plates and clean, etc. That is not even far fetched. If a machine can give a blow job, I bet one could be made that could scrub the tub. Technology could free us from drudgery. To some extent, it has. We have dish washers, we don't churn butter . . . etc. Is capitalism holding us back because it's more profitable to the billionaire class to keep us in this technologically retarded condition. Sure, we have cell phones, etc., but the basic mode of living in developed countries has stagnated during the last 75 years.

So, anyway... in the land of SOLAR-TOPIA, much of the worst work would be done by robots and the rest would be done in pleasant conditions, and full-time employment would be no more than 20 per week. Part-time would be 10. As I've mentioned, I'm fond of the novel Looking Backward. For now S-T is going to borrow his economic system, for the most part. One difference, though, is that, except for in hospitals and other homes for those who need care, there would be no professional service industry and no entertainment industry (which is basically a service, after all). No massage, no waiter/waitress, no actor/actress no prostitutes -- no one serving one another except out of need (caring for the sick, old, young, etc.) or love/unencumbered desire. In other words, the personal serving of each other would no longer be coerced by the need for money, resources, or any other material benefits. People would sing, cook for each other, and have sex for free, for the joy of it without the pollution of money & capitalism. Without perfect freedom, people are obligated to do things to survive, or are tempted to do things out of insecurity and greed, that will be harmful to their psychological well-being. In SOLAR-TOPIA, everyone would be free from this harm.

So, perhaps the difference between "labor" and "productive labor" is that producing material goods in a factory is rather like collective-craftsmenship . . . obviously, there are huge differences between factory work and carpentry or whatever, but there is dignity in making useful things. Working as a chef or a maid is historically related to aristocracy and their servants. Types of work have never been equal and workers will never have guaranteed rights because the nature of certain kinds of work is inherently abusive.

housework is work
I've been reading Red Feminism by Kate Weigand. She talks about Mary Inman's analysis of housework, which the Communist Party did not consider to be "productive labor." I'll admit right now that I don't know enough about these terms and the communist theories to understand the difference between labor and productive labor. Isn't it all considered work? Back in the day, in the 1930's and '40's, there were a lot more factory jobs, so maybe productive labor refers specifically to that. Maybe there was a distinction from the beginning between productive labor and service jobs, like waitressing, customer service, or whatever. Regardless of those old commie definitions, I think that work is work. It's your time and energy, you're not doing it for fun, you're doing it to live, and those are the basic qualities that define working or having a job (at least, that's my personal definition). So, I agree with Inman: housework is work. You're not washing the dishes for fun -- you're doing it because you have to. If you have enough money, you can hire a maid who will do it for you. Or you can go out to eat and someone who works there will wash your dish when you're done eating off of it. So, yeah, it's work. Even if a woman (or a man, or a child) is washing their own dishes in their own home and not getting paid, the act of washing is work because it is being done as a basic necessity of life, it takes time, energy, and it's not fun. I guess you could throw out your dishes and just use paper plates, but that is wasteful. Would communists have women stop washing dishes in favor of working at a paper plate factory? Obviously, making paper plates is "productive labor." But, why do we need all this productivity? We have enough or too much of so maney things. Taking care of the things (like ceramic dishes) is valuable labor because it helps to save resources (there is water involved, but we could be recycling water, so that it wouldn't be such a problem). I'm sure I'm not the first person to propose that housework should be compensated. The dichotemy b/w housework and work that is done outside the home was created by the industrial revolution. When most people farmed, lots of people worked at home because your farm is your home and your source of income. Not to mention the fact that many women have worked outside the home and participated in productive labor since the dawn of mankind. It is only the delusional notions held by upper class, white people that have led to an acceptance of the idea that there is any such thing as housework or women's work that could be meaningfully differentiated from the "productive labor" of men. There seems to be a common conflation of housework and "gathering" performed in hunter-gatherer societies. Men go out and hunt, women stay at home and gather. But, that doesn't even make any sense -- women were the ones bringing home most of the calories and they didn't accomplish that by confining themselves to a hut. Men may have traveled farther from base camp when they went hunting, but the physical distance is irrelevant. The point is, their contributions to survival were equally valuable. An even more distorted notion is "men hunt, women nest." What the fuck is nesting? That's what birds do -- female and male birds.

Anyway... time to take my meds...

probably said this before
When I first started working as a stripper, a guy I knew (a friend of a friend) asked me if I felt like I was disrespected at strip clubs and treated like a sexual object. I said yes, of course. He wanted to know why I would do it, even though I was treated that way. I told him what I thought should have been obvious: I was already treated like a sexual object every day. Why not just accept it and try to make some money in the process? It seemed so reasonable at the time, but now I just wonder how I could have been so numb. How could I treat my body in such a cold, calculating way? And there I go, referring to my body . . . "my body" . . . like it was some THING . . . like my purse or my spatula! How could I treat myself in such a cruel, unfeeling way? I had already been primed by patriarchy and capitalism to fulfill my role, to submit, and to work actively to convince myself that I liked it.


Log in

No account? Create an account