Alive & Blogging (& Ranting)

First, a quick update: Thank you to those of you who left comments regarding the layout on the other site, especially those of you, like greenconsciousness, who commented on the ability to leave comments. (heh) I have adjusted the comment settings here, so you should be able to leave comments now without signing up for a wordpress account. Users will still have to have a comment approved previously before future comments will show up. Sorry about that, but I have trolls and at least one stalker from Maine (probably two, actually) who just can’t resist showing up every few days, so concerned is he with what goes on here at P&L.  I know, pathetic ain’t it?

Anyway, I’m considering taking the plunge and getting that women-centric, post-partisan community blog started in order to facilitate activism in the fourth wave. For those who are unfamiliar with the concept, a community blog is a blog with a front page (like this one) that also allows user contributions in the form of diaries. It is like a blog and a forum mixed. Alegre’s Corner is an example of a community blog, as are DailyKos and MyDD. It is a useful socialization tool because it can help people build confidence in their ideas as they build their reputation in the community via their own contributions. It also allows for ideas to come from any level of participation. Community blogging works as a tool of activism, too. This is an undeniable fact in light of this last election.

If you think this is an idea you could participate in, please post a comment in support of the idea. If I do it, it will require minor funding right away, and I don’t want to waste money I don’t have on something no one will even use. If you’ve never seen a community blog, please check out the link to Alegre’s above and come back and tell us what you think. DailyKos and MyDD both had a lot of influence during this election, and I think now is the time to start that process for women, so we will be ready next time. We want to have infrastructure in place.

All that said, about the missing women’s history post I promised last week: Continue reading

Happy Thanksgiving! Please Pass the Reparations!

reparations-can_webIf it seems like I worship at the feet of Dr. Violet Socks, that’s because I do. In my opinion, she is the most genuine, honest, together feminist blogging that I am aware of. This week she has some posts up about food and sewing that have spawned some seriously interesting discussion about the nature of these activities, about the division of labor, and about a topic close to my own heart, the history of that division.

That cooking, cleaning, and clothing have been the 3 Cs that dominate the entire history of womanhood is a fact so immune to challenge that it is hardly even mentioned, except as a mumble under the breath of some female engaging in a particularly grueling aspect of one of those activities. This isolated cry into an apathetic world has no effect. The spouse and the children never jump up and offer to assume that task from then on. No, they respond in similar fashion across the land, which is to say they dig their heads deeper into their necks and hold their breath until it passes. Of course it always passes.

Occasionally we are given the opportunity to raise our voices in chorus, but we rarely take the opportunity. Today millions of women will slave away in hot kitchens, creating gluttonous meals that are the antithesis of health. Those meals will be consumed in a matter of minutes, after which the buffet will be left for people to graze while still more women, or often the same women, trudge back into that kitchen to clean up the mess. Kitchens will ring with a chorus of complaints, but the audience will be in another room, or napping on the couch.

One of the other fantastic ideas Dr.Socks has is a “no taxation without representation” strategy:

My taxes are going to pay the salaries of men who think I’m an inferior being just because I have two X chromosomes. Maybe if I were a man I’d be smart enough to figure out why that makes sense.

So: maybe a tax protest. Maybe that’s what we should all do. All us stupid bitches who aren’t shit, I mean.

All those women in kitchens should join us, or at least talk about it today. Raise the haka, I say. Turn up the heat a bit, so to speak, and make then dig their necks in deeper.

Here’s another idea: reparations. A creative accountant could come up with stunning numbers just using current data. How much is $0.77 on the dollar multiplied by the total pay of American woman? What then is the total amount of the gap? Times how many years? Yes, we’ll need different algorithms for previous years. I’d like to see the total number of wage disparity added up since the Equal Pay Act was passed in 1963. This doesn’t even account for centuries of unpaid labor.

Or how about this: what is the value of today’s labor? Let’s take just the cooking. A certain restaurant chain here in town is offering to cook Thanksgiving dinners  that feed up to 6 for $79.95, so let’s say the value of a cooked Thanksgiving meal is $79.95. That’s conservative, considering I live in an area of the country that has very low prices compared to other places. Now, according to the University of Illinois, Americans eat 45,000,000 turkeys each Thanksgiving. Multiply that by $79.95 and you get 3.6 trillion dollars. I’ll assume that 90% of Thanksgiving meals are still prepared by women, so the reparation we should receive from today alone is over 3.2 trillion dollars, minus the cost of supplies.

That’s what we’re worth today alone: 3.2 trillion dollars. What women are doing today they are generally doing for free, but if they were in business, they’d make a killing. Might I suggest that therein lies the problem of our progress?

What’s Your Opinion of the New Layout?

I’ve been toying with the idea of changing the focus and format of the blog along with the URL. As regular readers know, this blog was started at the end the primary season and much of P&L’s focus has been on the election. Now that the election is over, it’s time to refocus.

P&L’s goals have always included the desire to see women unify as a super-constituency, something they have been unable or unwilling to do for some time now for a variety of reasons. Now is the time. Now women across the land understand what they didn’t before: that sexism hurts all women, and prevents our full participation in humanity. That must change and some are ready and willing. I intend to through my lot in with theirs, bringing my skills to bear in that effort. As has been discussed her at P&L many times, knowledge of women’s history is a crucial part of that process. To that end, P&L will start a weekly series called Women’s History Wednesdays (beginning this coming Wednesday), wherein readers will learn about some part of American women’s history.

Now P&L wants YOUR opinion. A mirror site of Peacocks and Lilies has been set up, this one with a different layout. P&L might migrate over there with the new post on Wednesday. What do you think of that? The new site can be found here.  Please check it out and offer your opinion in the poll posted there. Thanks!

Still Out

Picture of coveted Naughty Monkey Quickie heels posted in honor of Dr. Isis, a new favorite at P&L, thanks to Blue Lyon. Annabelle has never spent more than $40 on a pair of shoes, but she is deeply in love with this pair, on sale at $75, so she may have to take the plunge and buy them for herselfe for X-mas.

Picture of coveted Naughty Monkey Quickie heels posted in honor of Dr. Isis, a new favorite at P&L, thanks to Blue Lyon. Anna Belle has never spent more than $40 on a pair of shoes, but she is deeply in love with this pair, on sale at $75, so she may have to take the plunge and buy them for herself for X-mas.

I’m still out, and busy as ever. Looks like I will be until Wednesday, at least. No matter, those last two essays needed the space to be absorbed. Sorry for getting all heavy on you. It had to be done. Purge and purge and purge, always the miscreant purge. Heh. Yes, I am a sick fuck for twisting Whitman like that, for those of you who get that. Anyway, I might pop in for a quick post or two about developing news before Wednesday, but I won’t have the time to produce anything substantial, if I even had the energy to do so after the last two essays. In the meantime, I thought I’d leave you with this poem I wrote about my daughter a couple of years ago. It’s a little sentimental, but we could all use something sweet these days.

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I Was a Five-Year-old Stripper

Alright, enough talk of addressing this issue of male fantasy, and time to do it. Weeks ago I promised an essay on male fantasy centered around the topic of dining. It seemed an apt metaphor. All the components are there-taste, appetite, satisfaction. I wanted to write it around this fantastic essay I read on Rage Against The Man-chine (one of my new favorite unapologetically feminist blogs) about something called nyotaimori, which, as the wiki explains, is the art of eating sushi or sashimi off a nude female. Yeah, you read that right-women are now platters upon which food is served.

This is just one example of male fantasy ejaculating itself into the world. I discussed the idea of male fantasy a bit before in Blog Roundup: Truth and Misogyny Edition. As I said then:

As long as men dominate the camera, and let’s face it, they do, we will be getting this kind of bullshit. Watch any sporting event on TV. The game itself is played be men, generally to a crowd that is disproportionately male. But watch who the camera comes back to time and time again during the down times. Women with big tits and slender waists, often dressed provocatively. The camera almost never lingers over the aged grandma, who’s most likely been a season ticket holder for a decade or more, or some ugly guy with a uni-brow. No, at almost every single televised event I’ve ever seen, the camera linger on women the camera guy would like to fuck. And that’s the way it will be, cameras and media feeding male privilege and fantasy to the masses, as long as we continue to take it.

Let me tell you another story, one from my own personal past, which will both mortify you and, I think, really bring the point home. This is the story I’ve been running from telling, the truth I am afraid to speak. It has to be told. I still can’t believe it myself, even though I was there and “helped create” the situation.

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I first tackled this subject in my post Dreams From Our Mothers. In Dreams I expressed frustration because of the unique position Obama is in to elevate disempowered women—namely mothers of biracial children—to a position of value and recognition in this society. Anyone with close biracial relatives knows what I’m talking about. America has seen a change taking place because those whoring white women went out and mated with black men. A quiet revolution has taken place right in America’s living rooms as one prejudiced heart after another fell to the allure of infancy and kinship.

Fantastic. Now how about a little credit for that, huh? How about a little recognition for just what was accomplished here? How about we have a discussion about what it cost these women? Do you think this revolution was free?

But that wasn’t my real complaint. What really pisses me off most about that book is that it is a case study in latent misogyny. Here’s what I said then in More on Dreams:

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