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Ya gotta put yer back into it…

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I don’t usually ask for help.

I know, I know…we are all smarter together than we are one at a time. we are stronger, we are more efficient…we have more fun. Humans, after all, are pack animals. the way to freedom, as philosophers Hannah Arendt and Simone DeBeauvior  recognized and wrote about–was to act in solidarity with others in the public space of appearance (Arendt); and to work for the freedom of others (Beauvior). Even men wrote about that–if you have a little freedom, use it in service of those who have less (Bourdieu–that is not a precise quotation); and Hegel, too, or was that Heidegger? I always get them confused. but then Heidegger gave up and joined the Nazis to save his own skin. he got scared.How do we work for the freedom of others when we’re frightened? It’s easier than if we’re thoughtless. We can’t just go along without thinking. we’ll never evolve then.

We can’t achieve freedom all by ourselves. We need each other. NEED. even if we don’t want each other, even if other people bug us, even if they’re annoying and wretched and a bit smelly from time to time (i was in the gym today doing deadlifts and some guy–they were all guys around–let out a fart. I nearly fucking died. eeeewwww)–our humanity, our survival, our freedom–depends upon the freedom, humanity and survival of others.

I don’t have to hang out with poisonous people. But I do have to ask for help when i need it. and i have to reach out my hand to others who need my help. this sounds impossible and idealistic.

But … Radical Feminism has functioned in that way (more or less) for decades. we let each other down, and we are bedazzled by the stuff the man offers us to stop thinking, and we make all kinds of mistakes. But it is well known, everywhere you go, you will hear versions of this true thing:

“Women will save your ass”

so…yesterday I asked for help. I’ve been invaded by new roommates, little six-legged ones with long antennae, who carry their eggs on their backs…yes. Cockroaches.

It’s a minor miracle that I have not been visited by Los Cucarachas before this. I’m messy, which means dust and food bits collect in dark corners, and there’s paper galore around here, and they love books, too. I know that for every one that i see there are a whole bunch lurking about the corners.

damn. so, encouraged by Joanna, I broke down and asked for help. I e-mailed women that I know (women who do not have young children, and who might have some spare time, and who have told me that they love me…) and I asked for help to excavate my cluttered little apartment.

I promised lots of strong coffee and good food, and i’m anticipating, too, that we will have some really interesting conversations and maybe even plan some incendiary actions against the patriarchy.bunch of smart women get together, anything can happen. and it was lovely too, to read the responses to my plaintive plea for assistance. I’m embarrassed by the way i keep house–it is not a place of hospitality, though it certainly has potential…

but my friends all replied with loving kindness, and reassurances that all will be well. my girlfriend said, “this might be your bottom, you know, this might be the moment when you begin to turn it over, and find another way”.

I sure hope so. I don’t want to be one of those crazy ladies with a house full of moldy boxes full of paper and trinkets, piled up on either side of a narrow path from bed to coffeemaker to bathroom…i could SO see that happening if i don’t get myself in hand soon….

On my gratitude list for this week (this LIFE, really) are the women who are my friends.

First, my apartment, THEN we’ll take the patriarchy. It’s a thinly disguised insurrection planning party, really…

About easilyriled

My mom was Edith, my dad was John. I have a brother, who is Shawn. I have many friends and allies and mentors in my life. I'm white, over-educated, working in a field for which I am not yet trained, messy, funny, smart, lesbian, feminist "Not the fun kind", as Andrea Dworkin said. But I, like the feminists I hang with, ARE fun. Radical feminism will be the roots of our shared liberation. Rejection of sex-stereotypes (gender) and male domination will give us wings.

2 responses »

  1. Well, Riled, let me say this – one of my very favourite people in the whole world (my ex) had and may still have this exact cluttering difficulty. It is one of the most spiritual things I can ever do to ask for help. So, for those about to clean, I salute you!
    P.S. I love that when I Googled “easily riled” your blog is the first thing to come up; apparently you have cornered that market.

    • Ah, Fiona, thanks for lookin’ me up. I will pass your salutations on to the gang comin’ over. it’s political, too, asking for help. a way to strengthen alliances and find our common ground. xo erin


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