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May 23, 2023Liked by Meg Conley

Care

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Capital

I love this idea, and it should be our ultimate goal as a society. We have more than enough money to go around.

Brilliant Meg 👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾🤍

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May 23, 2023·edited May 23, 2023Author

More than enough! We just need to empty some billionaire pockets. And like, not even all their pockets! Just the ones in the wardrobe they wear to stuff like Davos lol

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The (often unconscious) core values my husband and I believe in, and in turn the way we behave, are not very compatible. One thing I say to him often when I feel like his priorities are messed up is “people over things” It feels simple and right to me, and I’m often disappointed in how many people don’t believe/behave that way.

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❤️💚*

* And, Meg, I love your footnotes.

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AH THANK YOU. We can have tea at my dream house someday!

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I'd like to help make you a "woman of significant means" because I want to read your "bestsellers" and buy tickets to fund your "exorbitant speaking fees" so I can hear all your "weird ideas."

Write things, and I will pay for them. Schedule talks, and I will come.

Anyone else? We all agree on this plan, yes?

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Well now I am crying into my tea. (thank you.)

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Yes, yes, agreed.

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May 23, 2023Liked by Meg Conley

In a similar spirit, I saw this article (link at end of comment) a few weeks back about retreats available in Germany for parents who are getting burned out. I want to read and write speculative fiction that is not about lasers or wizards, but stories that help us to imagine and inhabit a world where a consistent ethic of care is our starting point, not just a dream. (So this is me also saying, like Katherine below, go for it Meg, and we will follow!) https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20230228-the-german-clinics-for-burnt-out-parents

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Michael I can't wait to read this, thank you so much for sharing it! As to stories that include and are even centered around care, I always think about The Fisherwoman's Daughter, Ursula K Le Guin's essay on care work, writing and world building. It's a piece of writing that changed how I view my potential. And the potential of the worlds we can build, in fiction and in real life.

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Also, on care, self fulfilment and escape soundings by Doreen Cunningham is a great read

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Michael this is incredible! Thanks for sharing the link. What I love about this is that it isn’t a classed version of “self care”’- who can afford the yoga or the candle or the Deliveroo (UK food delivery app).

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Jessica Valenti has been writing for at least 20 years about how the Christian right has explicitly targeted no-fault divorce laws, birth control/abortion, educational opportunities for women and the social safety net explicitly IN ORDER TO force women into marriage. We're up against very big forces on this front.

I grew up in the 1st wave of 1970s divorces, when my mother had to get a very distant cousin, who happened to be male, to cosign for her so she could get a checking account, and we were absolutely ruined financially. My aunt drank herself to death because she couldn't fathom how to get out of her marriage.

I spent my 20s and 30s terrified that marriage would literally kill me, rob me of any hope of creative achievement, and trap me into having kids I'd later be unable to support on my own. So I avoided it altogether, which was maybe not the answer either.

I love the mutual aid concept of divorce fellowships, but what I'd really like is to see marriage law reconstructed in fundamental ways. I'd hoped that civil partnerships might have opened that door, but it got slammed shut by a gay marriage movement that (understandably) sought the same rights as straight marriage. I'd hoped we'd maybe start over from scratch, but it's a lot to ask of a group who'd been locked out forever ... but getting rid of the idea that women and children are property would be a great start. [Sorry this got so long ...]

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Yes, I am working on a proposed chapter summary (EEEEK!!!) about no-fault divorces. They're definitely under attack, and I think they're in real danger right now. And definitely, marriage has been set up to benefit white supremacist capitalism. The laws need to change. And the rent is too damn high!

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As a happily partnered/never married who also knows the laws are not in my favor here, that it's a chosen precarity, I think about it all the time. My grandmother, whose much loved husband was a huge disappointment (booze), said until the end of her days at 102 "I don't know why any of you girls get married, now that you don't have to."

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I love your dream! It reminds me of mine.

I have a lottery dream. An outrageously large lottery, like $500M. And my ideas were (before American society went to hell six years ago) centered around community care. I would fund social workers and pay excellent salaries, so folks could go into a field that makes them happy and still pay the bills. I would open after school care in large buildings where parents could come and learn cooking skills and have fresh produce/proteins available at cost and have kitchens where they could practice these skills and the families could all eat together in nice dining rooms. They would be safe spaces and mental health practitioners would be available and men and women would learn to talk and unlearn bad habits and support each other. The staff would be fairly compensated. Children would have homework help...

Now I want to fund reproductive healthcare and transportation for anyone wanting to relocate to a safe new state. And housing assistance and ... the list just goes on!

So Meg I am behind your ideas 100%. I was one who never made the Decision due to finances. I stayed and my children (now grown) suffered as a consequence.

If we can impact one person at a time, I’m good with that too.

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I just broke down when I read your last sentence, Patricia. "If we can impact one person at a time, I'm good with that too." Your children are lucky to have you, no matter what decision was made or not made. We're all doing the best we can with what we've got. Being alive requires so much grace, for ourselves and for each other.

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So much grace!

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Reading this after I just canceled my subscription to homeculture because I'm getting divorced and I need to scrimp and save. Because I live in Denver and work as a community organizer and I'm realizing my entire career has been subsidized by my husband's male-dominated work's income.

Really feeling how much our systems make it so women have to rely on their male partner. Not only in terms of cost of leaving (emotionally as well as financial) but things like-- my credit score is poor because his was better which meant we always put things on his credit and mine didn't get any play which means its harder for me to get housing.

And even though I don't need to leave a bad situation like abuse, the Big reason is because I'm gay and when I came to that realization I couldn't put the genie back in the bottle, so to speak, and not living your authentic self is a massive cost. I'm so so craving that community aspect to the Fellowship, especially as a recently single queer parent. I know parents (who are married), I know divorced people (who are child-free), I know queer people (who are child-free and single). And I need the support with the rupture that is the end of my marriage (to a person I love), the simultaneous coming out, the childcare that's happening through it all, and the weight of it all.

So that's a big long TMI post to say, yes, god, please, I want to live in a world where the Fellowship exists. And thank you for the comradery that comes from just wishing for it.

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Jen, this is a lot. I am so sorry it's all set up so that divorce extracts as much as possible from the most vulnerable people. And I am also very proud of you. Congratulations! Divorce is good, along with all the other things it is. I wish I could fund a fellowship for you. I am not there yet. But I can gift you a complimentary paid subscription. I'll get you set up today. All my love, Meg

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so real and right. oof. I’m with ya completely. It’s scary how the systems in place do everything to keep marginalized people oppressed. Divorce is a biggy--and such a scary situation for so many women to be in. We need at least universal basic income--that and the fellowship! 💜

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At least! And yes!

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I was starting to tear up just reading this. My parents separated and got divorced when I was a young kid and my mom was forced to stay in the same city as my father or forfeit custody (she couldn’t get a position in her field where we lived). She chose to stay. It had enormous repercussions for the way my sister and I grew up, and her long term happiness and fulfillment. My family of origin is going through a tough time right now and there are so many times I’ve wondered “what if” about the divorce, my dad having financial and societal power that my mother didn’t, and what if she could have accessed *real* support and help that would have empowered her, and not barely kept the lights on. Who would we be? Where would we be?

I am sending your friend all of the good vibes and wishing her and her kids safety, security, empowerment, and love. Thank Gd she has you and your friends. What a blessing.

Please Gd may your vision for a fellowship be a reality, soon in our days.

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Well dreamed. In America we need to rediscover caring for each other while building alternative mutual support networks. The precarity of divorce imposed on most women is a continuing legacy of patriarchy. In this increasingly extremist society, major forces are aligned to reign in women’s autonomy. This present society will not re-write divorce laws to protect women’s rights (or children’s). But women can reclaim agency by forming networks of mutual aid for, yes, divorce support, but also the larger issues of safe housing, child care, reproductive health care, and economic support. Men will not do this, but they can be allies and funders. There is so much that can be done organizing to solve these problems together, now. Networks like this can start from the community level involving friends and neighbors and the template can be spread nationally. Women in red states can begin the resistance by taking care of each other instead of being divided and conquered. No woman should have to face divorce alone. Women can build the care networks to make that a reality. Please.

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This really resonated with me. My dear old mum stayed far too long in a marriage out of fear of no money and Baptist frowns and I think the other part of the divorce fellowship is better stories in public spaces of how divorce is and works for normal people - not the flashy scenes of litigation but who gets the face jug (see Lauren Winner for this reference) Surely this also starts with a better cultural and monetary value placed on the care work that financially scrambles many women in the first place. In the UK it’s a right pickle. I have got so much more to say but I’m hiding in the shower room to write this in peace and the game is up...

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I'm really, really hung up on the care work piece right now (thus the subscription to homeculture)... If we acknowledged and valued this work, would there even really be much of a debate about whether basic income is a good investment? About...well, so much that Meg suggests?

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I think about this ALL THE TIME. I go on walks with other moms, and many of us are happy or fine in our marriages, but ALL of us still think and talk about what we'd do with a load of money, no strings attached, and I'm not gonna lie: some of us are like, why not get divorced? Marriage is fine, but we are dreaming, right? Why not dream big? Why not dream ourselves out of societal norms and oppression and invisible care work?

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I mean I love this. But why just mothers. I want this for anyone who needs to leave a marriage whether they have a child or not. (Yes I agree that the an overwhelming number of the beneficiaries would be cis women, but not always.)

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Well, that's kind of the rub right? By the end of the piece, I realize that a fellowship would be too narrow. And it shouldn't have to exist at all. So that's definitely the conclusion!

But I initially specify mothers in this because there are unique hurdles for mothers leaving marriages in America. Needing to pay for childcare, housing for the kids and legal fees around fighting custody being just three of them. But again, by the end of the piece, the arc is that the fellowship shouldn't have to exist, for mothers or anyone else.

I do want to also say that while many mothers are cis women, not all mothers are cis women. And many women are cis women but not all women are cis women. Which I know you know! But always good to clarify in writing in spaces like this. So I am doing that for anyone who doesn't know you know!

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You are right, I was so wrapped up in the beginning that I missed the arc.

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