Communication Breakdown

Hello all.

I know, it’s been a long time. What can I say, the world’s gone to shit, and somehow my rage at the daily news left me howling but without words. Honestly, the Kavanaugh hearings and subsequent confirmation did me in.

I’ve stayed on Twitter though, and that’s what prompted this post. A funny thing happened to me today. Funny-strange, not funny ha-ha. As a woman of a certain age, I’m used to a certain level of invisibility. Sometimes it’s frustrating, but there are other aspects to it that are kind of…pleasant. Peaceful. But I’ve been particularly enraged these past days as the US states have ramped up their attacks on women through abortion restrictions and plans to criminalize women. Note that I’m not, however, surprised. So when I logged on Twitter this morning, I saw #Lysistrata and #sexstrike trending. Yeah…no. Sure, I understand the idea behind it, and it seems clever–after all, it’s all about sex, and sex gets attention and sells, right? No. I tweeted my opposition to the idea, and offered an alternative, #spendingstrike, and lo and behold my little invisible tweet blew up. I don’t know that it falls under the going viral category, but considering I usually interact with the same little group of ten people or so, maaaaybe twenty if it’s a Big Thing, finding a tweet of mine with 1000 likes, over 200 retweets, and lots of comments is a big deal. Kind of nerve wracking, in a holy shit my phone is going to spontaneously combust from vibrating so much kind of way. I also had to locate and use the block button, because I was noticed by trolls. A nuisance, that, but meh. They’ll forget I existed by midnight.

You know what does feel like a big deal? How many people don’t seem to understand the point–why the whole sex strike thing is not a great idea in this day and age. Why maybe showing our fury and frustration about being told by other people what we can or can’t do with our bodies by telling each other what we can/can’t do with our bodies isn’t…logical. How maybe the idea of sex as a tool/weapon reinforces the whole patriarchy thing. That it reinforces that it’s “natural” (excuse me while I puke) for men to want sex and women not too. How it reinforces the falsehood that women are only valuable as sexual objects &/or incubating capabilities. How it reinforces the idea that only *certain* women (yanno, the straight, cis, childbearing age ones) are valuable, only certain women can take a stand against barbaric rules that threaten all of us. How it ignores the fact that most of these threatened and threatening male Republican lawmakers & voters are mostly having sex with threatened and threatening self-hating Republican women. Did I puke already this paragraph? I know, a nauseating concept, but it is reality, and for a hippy I’m quite the realist.

I’m not going to really talk about abortion or sex or babies here, because those aren’t the point, not of this post and not of these laws. This is about women and power and fear.

I have this idea that’s been floating in my head for a while now. What does make a difference? What gets attention? Money, of course. So I thought of a hashtag, #spendingstrike and posted my idea. What if all the non self-hating women didn’t make any purchases for a week? Women, collectively, spend a lot of money, power a significant portion of our economy. I’m not looking for anyone to hurt themselves or anyone else, so it would have to planned well in advance. We’d have to go into it knowing that a percentage wouldn’t participate because they do hate themselves enough to believe they should die before having a D&C, even if and when the fetus is not viable &/or they’ll die without the D&C. Fine, they’re zealots, brainwashed, whatever you want to say, no point wasting time and energy arguing with them. Another slice of women won’t participate because life is fucking hard and it’s all they can do to get through each day, they aren’t screwing around on Twitter; they’re either working or sleeping or taking care of their families or trying to find somewhere to sleep for the night. That still leaves a whole lot of us. A whole lot of dollars not spent.

Think about it. No purchases for a week. No grocery shopping, no cars, no phones, no Metrocard. If planned for it could happen. Some people saw my hashtag and tweets, and misconstrued them, thinking I meant women shouldn’t go to work for a day (or a week, whatever). No. Again, I’m not looking to hurt anyone, and a lot of women don’t have the luxury of saying they won’t go to work because Hear Me Roar, their bosses would respond with Don’t Come Back. I’m not looking to hurt any one industry, or the people of any one area, with a prolonged strike. It isn’t about deprivation. Choosing deprivation is again a luxury that many don’t have, and these laws will hurt just about all of us–the exception, of course, being the uber wealthy who will be able to afford to go wherever they want/need for safe health care, and hey, if they do get arrested because some judge doesn’t believe they didn’t cause their own miscarriage, they can afford great lawyers. It’s about getting attention–yeah, yeah, I seem to be confused about the whole attention whore thing–and making a point. THE point, that they may not value our rights or our lives, but I’m quite certain they value our money. Congress has the power of the purse. Guess what? We do too.

8 comments

    1. It’s a great song, I agree. I can’t help it, I’m old, when I was thinking of what song to put with this, raging woman sent me right back to Patti Smith 🙂

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  1. The Kavanaugh hearings did me in, too. Ugh, ugh, ugh. Little did we know, huh?

    This latest onslaught on women and their right to choose is alarming as in, holy effing SHIT alarming. The backslide this country is experiencing since 45…no, before 45. There will always be those who see women as vessels, as unable to make their own decisions, as ‘less than’ or ‘not as smart as’ or . . . you get my drift.

    But the right to determine what happens to one’s own body is a right we all need to fight for, with tooth and nail and voice and yes, with our wallets. Because once we lose that right–once our health and well-being are dictated by others–‘Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness’ no longer hold for over 50% of this country’s population. As long as the far right, religious zealots, and/or privileged/wealthy/politically powerful legislate power and influence over those who don’t have, or don’t *believe* they have, that power, politics will prevail. It already has, in Georgia now, Mississippi, Kentucky, Ohio… ( https://www.thecut.com/2019/05/which-states-have-passed-six-week-abortion-bans.html )

    #sexstrike was inspired, perhaps, and certainly gained Twitter buzz for a day, but it’s wrong on so many levels; you so eloquently addressed some of those, Mrs Fringe. So much more logical and effective would be a national #spendingstrike. Money talks. And as you note, women in this country hold a hell of a lot of purse strings.

    As with casting their votes, women need to own that truth, too. And then, act on it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It feels too new to too many of us. The GOP has been playing a long game and I fear there’s no way for us to catch up.

      Women in this country were never fully equal, they never passed the ERA, and like for so much else that we’re watching, it turns out we didn’t have anywhere near the protections we thought. Gentleman’s Agreement doesn’t work well when it’s conmen shaking hands. :/

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