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Our Cultural Vulva
Welcome to Hotel Satire where we teach gals how to be the passive twits they were born to be.
Except that right now we are in deep crisis and have suspended all gal training classeseven the ever- popular Doormat 101. Why? Well, part of being a gal is to discuss how to shop, when to shop, where to shop, how often to shop, etc. For us, shopping is a healthy reminder of our dependence on our husbands (or other males) hard- earned money. It is a time to fight other gals, tooth and manicured nail, for that coveted sale item. It is a reminder that we, as gals, are limited to two basic topics: consumer items and more consumer items.
Now, it turns out, shopping means something entirely different. According to Naomi Woolf, in an article on the Internet, Shopping is a feminist issue. Not only that, according to Naomi, every time we gals go shopping we are participating in the sorority, or sisterhood. Yikes. Isnt sisterhood a code word for lesbian? This is terrible. If we shop, were in the sisterhood; if we dont shop were not true gals.
In this same article, titled Anti- Consumerism Equals Anti-Wo- manism, Naomi tells us that misogynist anti-globalization activists are trying to keep gals from shopping or, as she puts it, Green stormtroopers are destroying womens last safe inner space, their cultural vulva. What the heck is a vulva? Okay, we dont want to know. At Hotel Satire, the less gals know about their bodies, or anything else, the better. Not knowing these things means we can spend large amounts of time in dependent interactions with male experts who know all about our bodies, thank goodness.
Naomi says shopping is the one time contemporary women are allowed to indulge in the activities men take for granted: socializing, networking, negotiating and refashioning the Self. Its not about buying consumer goods, any more than the boys fishing trips or bowling leagues are about catching fish or knocking down pins.
WHAT? Its not? We thought our hubbies fishing trips were about catching fish since they never seem to do any negotiating, much less actual talking.
Plus, why does this make it a feminist issue? We thought feminism was about freeing gals from their passive twittedness and domestic appendagery. You mean its really about networking and socializing and negotiating, and refashioning the Self? That would make a heck of a lot of things feminist activities, wouldn't it? What about when men shop together, for example? What does that make them?
Says Naomi, Just look at women shopping, really shopping: youll see the depth of feeling with which they consult each other, the way conversation slips easily back and forth like the loom of a shuttle knitting Penelopes web. Uh, okay. So feminism is depth of feeling while shopping and also consulting each other? Where is this Naomi gal shopping? We can't remember any shopping experiences where Penelopes web would have come to mind, whatever the hell that isand we dont want to know. Its probably a sisterhood menstrual reference of some kind.
What about, as Naomi writes, Men wielding clubs, smashing female images draped in clothing too subtle for them to price, indulging in a Green version of urban assault. Except for the Green part, these guys seem perfect prospects for husbands, son-in-laws, etc. Even closer to our Hotel agenda, Naomi describes the passivity of the female collaborators who hang back, doing their best to look like their male Alpha-wolf leaders in deliberately unflattering hairstyles and cast-off biker and soldier garments. The sheer unattractiveness of these victims style is itself the best evidence for the benefits of shoppingbenefits these women have chosen to forgo.
Uh, wow. So not shopping equals being unattractive and therefore not feminist, as well as not entering the cultural vulva that is Bloomingdales and Macys.
Naomi concludes anti-Consumerism is misogyny. To hate shopping and all of its representatives is to hate women. Yikes, loving to shop (and loving the companies that provide stuff to shop for) means we are sisters, but not shopping means hating gals, which is one of the things we teach here at the Hotel. What are we to do?
Also, if we dont shop, then male purveyors of far darker, more sinister fashionsthe burka, the veil, and the miniskirtwill take over. What?!
At Hotel Satire we support any clothing that make us look like irrelevant appendages or comatose twits, which the above mentioned items often do. Agghhhh. We dont know who we are.
But theres more. We were perusing our hubbys copy of Time Magazine (October 13) trying to find the fashion section (not for feminist shopping purposes, but to keep us involved in 24-hour mindless activity), when the Travelogue page caught our eye. It was all about the frisky First Lady winning hearts and minds in France and Russia. What?! The response to her trip was heady, enthusiastic. Why? Because Mrs. Bush spoke in the gentle, feminist language that U.N. types favor.
Whoa. Whats going on herethe First Lady described by using the dreaded Fs: frisky and feminist? The UN as favoring feminist language?! Our heads are spinning. Further, At times she even sounded a bit like Hillary Clinton, saying that learning empowers women to ask questions, to understand their rights and to make their own decisions. Noooooo, not Hillary again! Laura, honey, stop it. Didnt you learn anything from hubby Georges naked aggression in Iran? Iraq? Iowa? Idaho? Iceland? Whatever.
We cant go on. Most of the Hotel gals have run screaming from the room. If you cant count on your First Lady to concern herself solely with the care and feeding of hubbie, kids, and the family pet, what can you count on?
Theres one glimmer of hope for the gals. Naomi says, Shopping is about choice. And choice is what women demand.... Shopping is a human righta womans right! So to avoid the sisterhood-as-shopping trap we can shop alone and refuse to choose, maybe even join the anti-globalist female collaborators as they passively watch their men's naked aggression...or will that make us activists or deluded or confused or sisters or twits or what!?
Z Magazine Archive
CUBAN 5 - From May 30 to June 5, supporters of the Cuban 5 will gather in Washington DC to raise awareness about the case and to demand a humanitarian solution that will allow the return of these men to their homeland.
Contact: email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org.
BIKES - Bikes Not Bombs is holding its 24th annual Bike- A-Thon and Green Roots Festival in Boston, MA on June 3, with several bike rides, music, exhibitors, and more.
Contact: Bikes Not Bombs, 284 Amory St., Jamaica Plain, MA 02130; 617-522-0222; mailbikesnotbombs.org; www.bikesnotbombs.org.
LEFT FORUM - The 2013 Left Forum will be held June 7-9, at Pace University in NYC.
Contact: 365 Fifth Avenue, CUNY Graduate Center, Sociology Dept., New York, NY 10016; http://www.leftforum.org/.
VEGAN FEST - Mad City Vegan Fest will be held in Madison, WI, June 8. The annual event features food, speakers, and exhibitors.
Contact: 122 State Street, Suite 405 B, Madison, WI 53701; email@example.com; http://veganfest.org/.
ADC CONFERENCE - The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) holds its annual conference June 13-16 in Washington, DC, with panel discussions and workshops.
Contact: 1990 M Street, Suite 610, Washington, DC, 20036; 202-244-2990; convention @adc. org http://convention.adc.org/.
CUBA/SOCIALISM - A Cuban-North American Dialog on Socialist Renewal and Global Capitalist Crisis will be held in Havana, Cuba, June 16-30. There will be a 5-day Seminar at the University of Havana, plus visits to a co-op and educational and medical institutions.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.globaljustice center.org/.
NETROOTS - The 8th Annual Netroots Nation conference will take place June 20-23 in San Jose, CA. The event features panels, trainings, networking, screenings, and keynotes.
Contact: 164 Robles Way, #276, Vallejo, CA 94591; email@example.com; http://www.netrootsnation.org/.
MEDIA - The 15th annual Allied Media Conference will be held June 20-23, in Detroit.
Contact: 4126 Third Street, Detroit, MI 48201; http://alliedmedia.org/.
GRASSROOTS - The United We Stand Festival will be hosted by Free & Equal, June 22 in Little Rock, Arkansas. The festival aims to reform the electoral process in the U.S.
LITERACY - The National Association for Media Literacy Education (NAMLE) will hold its conference July 12-13 in Los Angeles.
Contact: 10 Laurel Hill Drive, Cherry Hill, NJ 08003; http://namle.net/conference/.
IWW - The North American Work People’s College will take place July 12-16 at Mesaba Co-op Park in northern Minnesota. The event will bring together Wobblies from across the continent to learn skills and build one big union.
PEACESTOCK - On July 13, the 11th Annual Peacestock will take place at Windbeam Farm in Hager City, WI. The event is a mixture of music, speakers, and community for peace. Sponsored by Veterans for Peace.
Contact: Bill Habedank, 1913 Grandview Ave., Red Wing, MN 55066; 651-388-7733; firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www. peacestockvfp.org.
LA RAZA - The annual National Council of La Raza (NCLR) Conference is scheduled for July 18-19 in New Orleans, with workshops, presentations, and panel discussions.
Contact: NCLR Headquarters Office, Raul Yzaguirre Building, 1126 16th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20036; 202-785-1670; www.nclr.org.
ACTIVIST CAMP - Youth Empowered Action (YEA) Camp will have sessions in July and August in Ben Lomond, CA; Portland, OR; Charlton, MA. YEA Camp is designed for activists 12-17 years old who want to make a difference.
Contact: email@example.com; http://yeacamp.org/.