Dave Sim's blogandmail #184 (March 14th, 2007)
Fourteen Impossible Things to Believe Before Breakfast That Make You a Good Feminist
1. A mother who works a full-time job and delegates to strangers the raising of her children eight hours a day, five days a week does just as good a job as a mother who hand-rears her children full time.
2. It makes great sense for the government to pay 10 to 15,000 dollars a year to fund a daycare space for a child so its mother - who pays perhaps 2,000 dollars in taxes - can be a contributing member of society.
3. A woman's doctor has more of a valid claim to participate in the decision to abort a fetus than does the father of that fetus.
4. So long as a woman makes a decision after consulting with her doctor, she is incapable of making an unethical choice.
5. A car with two steering wheels, two gas pedals and two brakes drives more efficiently than a car with one steering wheel, one gas pedal and one brake which is why marriage should always be an equal partnership.
6. It is absolutely necessary for women to be allowed to join or participate fully in any gathering place for men, just as it is absolutely necessary that there be women only environments from which men are excluded.
7. Because it involves taking jobs away from men and giving them to women, affirmative action makes for a fairer and more just society.
8. It is important to have lower physical standards for women firepersons and women policepersons so that, one day, half of all firepersons and policepersons will be women, thus more effectively protecting the safety of the public.
9. Affirmative action at colleges and universities needs to be maintained now that more women than men are being enrolled, in order to keep from giving men an unfair advantage academically.
10. Having ensured that there is no environment for men where women don't belong (see no.6) it is important to have zero tolerance of any expression or action which any woman might regard as sexist to ensure greater freedom for everyone.
11. Only in a society which maintains a level of 95% of alimony and child support being paid by men to women can men and women be considered as equals.
12. An airline stewardess who earned $20,000 a year at the time that she married a baseball player earning $6 million a year is entitled, in the event of a divorce, to $3 million for each year of the marriage and probably more.
13. A man's opinions on how to rear and/or raise a child are invalid because he is not the child's mother. However, his financial obligation is greater because no woman gets pregnant by herself.
14. Disagreeing with any of these statements makes you anti-woman and/or a misogynist.
TODAY'S BLOG & MAIL
WHEREIN THE REDOUBTABLE MIKE KITCHEN (THE LATEST BLOG & MAIL MANUFACTURED INDY COMIC BOOK CARTOONIST CELEBRITY) IS ABOUT TO ASTONISH EVEN THE MOST WORLD-WEARY OF BLOG & MAIL DEVOTEES BY ASSERTING THAT HE IS A HAPPILY MARRIED MAN WITH CHILDREN! CAN IT BE TRUE? A CEREBUS FAN/READER WHO IS HAPPILY MARRIED AND WITH CHILDREN? SHHHH. LET'S LISTEN IN, SHALL WE?
I consider myself blessed, as a man, married with children, to have a wife who has chosen to make a stand against the grain of current society and place the care and upbringing of our children as her top priority, as a full-time mother. She also is a rarity who sees the difference between the gender specific roles of mother and father. In a day and age where socialist daycare is the expected norm, she is quick to point out that the feminist ideal of an "independent woman" working mother is an oxymoron. A mother using daycare to raise her children is NOT independent. As a result of her views, my wife has trouble socializing with other women who do put their careers above their children's upbringing: the opposition she encounters from other "mothers" who don't see things like pre-kindergarten as a socialist form of daycare – and Montessori schools as being little more than a cash-grab on working parents naïve enough to think it will better their children's education.
To mothers who say "I'm going back to work because I love my job" she is quick to point out that they can't say "I'm NOT going back to work because I love my children", and they don't understand that being a mother should be their most important job.
In an age where two-income families are the norm, its effect on society is to simply raise the cost of living to the point where two incomes become required. Corporations win by getting more labourers. Mom and Dad win by getting more spending money. The ones who pay for all this are children who end up without proper parental supervision and guidance. And people wonder why our society is in such a sordid state.
You certainly do sound blessed. I've been asked by people "But, what if you found a woman who was just a devoted to God as you are and believed in the conservative social views that you hold?" The problem I see with that is the bait-and-switch. You can marry a woman like that and then have her tell you ten years later that she's discovered she's actually a lesbian truck driver at heart. And I end up having to pay alimony to someone who isn't remotely like the person I married.
I'm also not sure how necessary two incomes are these days. Add up how much it costs to keep two cars on the road and already you're into the tens of thousands that would be cut in half if only one of you was working. And it depends on what you call material necessities which most people today would say would include a DVD player, winter vacations to sunny climes, expensive lessons for the kids, massive clothing allowances for the females, etc. The best news I saw recently came from a VERY unexpected source, Quebec, where they have instituted income splitting into their tax code. Basically the spouse earning the most money can split his or her income with the non-earning or lesser-earning spouse on their taxes thus putting him or her in a lower tax bracket (i.e. if you're making $80,000 a year and your wife isn't working you can file a return declaring you both made $40,000). The big innovation Quebec has come up with is incorporating children into that, where you can split your income with your spouse and your child, treating an only child as half a taxable person. But each additional child is treated as a full person with whom you can divide your taxable income on paper. That makes a great deal of sense since it gives the largest wage earners more of an incentive to have more children and to have a stay-at-home wife. Needless to say the feminists are both appalled and divided – the women who are making the most amount of money are obviously in favour whereas the socialists who want to be subsidized by society (Quebec is also the Fruitcake Park of nationalized daycare: they subsidize daycare so that parents only have to pay $7 a day for daycare that costs the government…well, they aren't too specific about that for obvious reasons…so let's just say exponentially more than $7 a day per daycare space) are appalled since most of them are single mothers without enough income to split with anyone.
It seems to me a remarkably innovative idea for a society that has been flirting for some time with a negative birth rate that used to (by virtue of being a Roman Catholic stronghold) be a leader in rising population figures. To defeat socialism you just need to come up with rational ideas that undermine the "free ride" syndrome and I really think this is one of them.
Turning to politics…
My interest or "quest" to unravel politics is a part of my greater personal quest for truth. To make sense of the world we live in.
As of late, I find myself agreeing with many ultra right-wing views (as I perceive them) specifically regarding family and religion. The problem I see with capitalism in its current state is that people are reduced to serfs. You have to turn no further than to mainstream comics to see how the capitalist system pillages its workers. Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't that par for the course in right-wing business?
It tends to be. Less so now than was the case with the Robber Barons of old. The difference as I see it is that, unlike serfs, you aren't forced to work for anyone specifically or – if you're willing to risk it as someone who is self-employed – anyone at all. I looked at the capitalist pillage construct of the comic-book field and said, "No, there has to be a better way." And then I found it and worked at it.
Having been an employer, part of the dynamic that I think leftists miss out on is how much money you have to give the government in payroll taxes in order to have a full-time employee. The average worker might be making $600 a week and they get to take home $400 a week out of that (arbitrary numbers). But in order to pay that $600 a week, the company is having to shell out, say, $900 a week with $300 of that going to the government. This creates the pressure to have fewer employees doing more work and the natural resentment on the part of the employee that they're only getting $400 a week at a job where they're "snowed under with work". But to the employer, that employee is costing them $900 a week and they have to justify the outlay. If you take what the employer pays AND what the employee pays, you'll find that the government is usually making more than you are off of your job. The government taxes part-time employees at a lower rate so there's that dynamic as well. Essentially government is saying "We want you to employ two people at 20 hours a week instead of one person at 40 hours a week." Well, I mean, no you don't. Not really. You have a much more reliable and productive workforce if someone can say "This is my job" than a workforce where people are saying "This is one of my jobs. This week, anyway." It depends on what you think government brings to the table as a Full Third partner (at least) in every employment context. If you're a single mother with no job skills, they bring quite a bit to the table relative to what you contribute. I just take it as a given that all of my expenditure is one way: I pay three levels of government large chunks of cash to finance various forms of socialism that are unworkable and can only be exponentially widening bottomless money pits as the years go by – as well as legitimate things like the post office, the military and good roads (even though I don't have a car).
I am split on what is best for an economic system. However I am certain that a non-fiat currency is a good start.
I have been reading a lot of anarchist literature, some of which I find agreeable. Specifically:
Chomsky, noting that mainstream democratic principles date back hundreds of years, said it was the corporatization of America at the turn of the century that led to the repression of fundamental democratic principles. Wage labor may be a staple of our economy, he said, but the concept of selling a worker's time to a boss is a form of slavery. "Those who work in the mills should own and run them."
In fact, it seems to me that the Aardvark-Vanaheim business model borders on the verge of anarchism as described above. Though I'm sure you'd disagree with the semantics, my mind can't grasp it any other way.
Now, the problem I see with anarchy as a foundation for society is that there is no motivation for people to pull their own weight in society. So chances are you will end up with a society of freeloaders. Not to mention the feminism (destruction of the family unit), and atheism that automatically get attached to it.
Well, look closely at what Chomsky is saying. How are you going to have, say, 800 mill workers run the mill? How are they going to make decisions? For starters you're going to need a very large boardroom. One of the major flaws with anarchy and socialism is that they don't factor in that one of the big incentives to work in a mill or a factory is that you put in your eight hours and when you're done, you're done. It's certainly something I envy and always have envied. Instead of working twelve hours a day on the Blog & Mail, I just go in to wherever it is at 8:30 and punch in and then punch out at 5:00 and that's the last I have to concern myself with work until tomorrow or until my next shift. Most anarchists and socialists who have a program in mind that they want instituted have never worked in a mill or a factory. Most of them are academics and theoreticians. You tell the average mill worker or factory worker that they now own the mill so, after they're done their shift would they please report to the gymnasium-sized boardroom for the three-hour meeting to decide production quotas for the next quarter and you'll be lucky if all they do is give you a dirty look.
Tomorrow: Even More Mike Kitchen
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Aardvark Vanaheim, Inc
P.O. Box 1674
Kitchener, Ontario, Canada N2G 4R2
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