Sunday, April 19, 2009

Shop Till You DropOut

what men need:
food, shelter, clothes/suits, shoes, soap, razors, deodorant/aftershave/cologne, bowflex+muscles, fancy car, presents to bribe women for sex

what women need:
food, shelter, clothes, shoes, soap, pink razors, pink deodorant/perfume/bodyspray, accessories, jewelery, more shoes, more clothes, makeup, hair products, decorations, lingerie, "help" fixing stuff/building stuff, low-fat food/diet food , diet pills/books/drinks, new clothes to fit after the diet, maternity clothes, children's clothes, children's toys, children's food, magazines to tell us what we need, fancy car, fancy wedding, "feminine" "hygiene" products

everyone, and especially women, faces a barrage of advertising telling her what she "needs." for women, looking "ugly" or "masculine" equates to looking "unprofessional" and "unlikable." so our list of "needs" just gets longer. my face isn't going to fall off if i don't put makeup on it, but i won't have a job for long- few men spend this kind of time or money on face paint. if you need "specialty products," say for the average female body size, or the vast majority of human faces that aren't white, the expense grows.
thing is, women already make less money than men. in canada, we earn 76 cents, working full time, for every dollar earned by men. in hamilton, where i live, it's 62 cents. since women are more likely to work in low-paying service positions, they're less likely to have benefits. i can't imagine trying to live with a disability or a child without public health care. so why are we giving the little wealth we do have right back to the men we slave away to earn it from? hmm.. or maybe that was the plan all along. *if we can't have women working for free at home, why not have them work for free by taking all their money back at the mall?*

even for necessities, like food and clothes, north americans of this generation are an oddity. people in developing countries don't have the option of depending on grocery stores for food, and (assuming their land isn't grabbed up by north american corporations) they use generations of wisdom to produce their own food. similarly, women, even in developed countries, used to teach each other to knit, crochet and sew.

we are the only idiots around willing to sell our security for the "luxury" of being useless and dependant.

and it's not like it's hard to get what you do need for free. buildings being torn down provide an array of free building materials for the willing woman. thanks to a few hours work and a helpful friend, my back yard boasts a reworked trellis, a brick and flagstone patio, garden walls, a rosebush and firewood: all free.
and have you actually looked in a grocery store's dumpster? There's a metro near my helpful friend's house with half a dozen bins of nothing but fresh vegetables. grocery stores have discovered that it's cheaper to raise the price of their food, knowing that no one's going to stop eating and few of us have the time to provide for ourselves (you know, cause we spend our time working, so we can depend on grocery stores instead), than to mark down older products when new ones arrive. cause then nobody would pay for the marked up new stuff. so they throw it out. fresh, crisp, green red and orange veggies. loaves upon loaves of bread. cheese galore. while people starve on the streets, they toss food out the back door.
i take men's money for a living- and i keep it. i don't buy wads of bleached cotton to cram up my vag. i eat free food from dumpsters. i can and do make clothes.
more importantly: i have the income i need to guarantee that i will never have to choose between being a victim of violence and being homeless. i can take care of myself and my family. i do not depend on the market for survival. and i have a lot of free time.


Ebony Intuition said...

Great post, and yes your correct women in Canada get paid like crap, I know cause I live in Toronto.

Alienation said...

"everyone, and especially women, faces a barrage of advertising telling her what she "needs." for women, looking "ugly" or "masculine" equates to looking "unprofessional" and "unlikable."

Very true. However, no matter how much a black woman buys, she is still unapproachable and masculine. What I have noticed is that Black women have to be more well-dressed and look wealthy because in our community, the gender role is reversed and black men typically go after women who make much more than themselves (users). So if a black woman isn't lighter, she knows she has to put in much effort to look "on point" to snag a partner. Sort of how, maybe a white woman who is considered average has to put forth much more effort in being thinner or looking younger.

However, WOC simply do not get the beauty standard privilege that white women have globally. White women are deeply insecure because if they don't fit the beauty hierarchy, they lose privilege over other women. White women are obsessed with beauty, according to products. Because no matter what, WOC do not receive the beauty privilege that white women have, looking "closer to white women" (beauty) is what WOC around the world must have to get basic humanity and a little value. MOC in general want the "lightest" of every ethnicity in the planet because of the global white supremacist beauty standard.

Society lies to us all. It tells us the more we buy the more wealthy we are. We buy products roundaboutly because we think they give us access to power. It's actually just the opposite. Buying products weakens us. If money attributes to power, how can we have power from buying products that guarantees we have less to spend?

Great post!

uppitywhore said...

you're right!
as a ww with "frizzy" hair, i struggle to fit in to "professional" standards of style (crazy lady hair all over the place doesn't look businesslike, apparently). so i have to purchase products to make my "wild" hair "managable." i'm also supposed to buy makeup to hide my freckles and blemishes for a more "polished" look. straight hair, just like "white" skin is more profitable. these "imperfections" reflect the idealized whiteness that forms the standard of beauty. if black women were on top, my hair would be an asset.
similarly, my menstruation and moods are supposed to be "managed" so that i'm not "needy" or "dirty," and things like caring for children and seniors are left up to women, but not supposed to interfere with our work or relationships (or we risk losing paid hours, promotions and the financial security of a second income). all of that = $: for ibuprofen, padsntampons, prescription medications, child care, nursing etc.

Anarchist Jew said...

terrific post! I would love to grow my own more self-sufficient- we have lost so much basic info on how to live since industrialization. It horrifies me that i spend all day building things that don't even exist. I wonder what virtually creating has done to my soul. soul is the word of the day btw.

uppitywhore said...

your soul looks good to me. :)

i wish you had more options, though.