As I have already described here, I put myself through law school and became an attorney fully expecting that if anything “bad” or financially catastrophic ever happened to me that I would be all alone without family or friends to support me. My nuclear family experience was oppressive and sadistic while my extended family and friends shared a collective lack of resources such that I knew that even if they wanted to help, there was little to no chance they would be able.
Furthermore, I had believed my mother when she told me that getting married and having kids had ruined her life. I believed that if I had any hope of taking care of myself long-term, including getting myself through when times were tough, I would need to be a “successful” skilled educated worker in a high-paying field for as long as possible, and that to avoid the awful oppressive conditions my mother faced, including the financial abuse and want she suffered when she was left a divorced, struggling single mother, that I would probably have to remain single and do it all by myself. Marrying rich (or at all), or in my mother’s case where she put my dad through medical school instead of herself, creating a sadistic misogynistic doctor out of a sadistic misogynistic poor guy from rural Michigan, was not the answer. I thought I had it all figured out and was led to believe I had.
After graduating from law school at the top of my class, I worked for about 6 years and got virtually nowhere. I found that, for newly licensed attorneys, the starting salaries were low and the practice-related expenses were high — things like a professional wardrobe and respectable vehicle were more or less required, and occasional vacations and costly relaxations and recreations weren’t exactly “discretionary” when you were losing your health and sanity to the oppressive working conditions of an entry-level employee faced with high responsibility and low control. High responsibility and low control being the objective markers of an objectively dissatisfying career leading to physical, emotional and mental “burnout” and worse.
In fact, my health started declining shortly after I began my career and became progressively worse, and eventually I was diagnosed with a disabling and progressive chronic illness, Crohn’s disease. And while I had managed to accumulate some resources in my time as a practicing attorney and was able to pay out of pocket for out-of-state lodging and alternative treatment for 3 years, I am currently at the end of my personal resources to deal with this problem. I have lost it all, having liquidated my assets, spent my savings, and maxed out and destroyed my credit pursuing the only medical treatment I ever found to deaden the pain and heal the destructive effects of Crohn’s disease: medical cannabis.
How and why is it so hard to “make it” under capitalism and patriarchy and so easy to then “lose it all”? Having experienced this myself, and having a lot of time to think about and analyze my situation, I have come to believe that losing it all — or having nothing in the first place — is more or less our natural human state and is entirely consistent with natural law. Simply put, no one has a natural right to accumulate. If left to the ravages of time and the elements, all accumulations will vanish.
No one has a “natural right” to accumulate and yet, through truly grandiose feats of social engineering men have managed not only to accumulate but to erect vast treatises and systems to protect their resource hoards from others and against particularly women. Men call these things “agriculture” and “private property” but that is what these things are — completely unnatural constructs that fly in the face of everything that is natural or by definition sustainable. This alleged right to accumulate and then have our hoards protected from others was never granted to women and I have no idea why we thought it was or even that it should be considering how offensive it is when you only think about it a little. I have no idea why I thought that right had been granted to me, except that I uncritically believed the liberal, post-feminist utter bullshit that women are human beings with protections equal to those of men. Hardly. The only defense of our apparent belief that it “should be” women’s right to accumulate and protect our hoards of course being that hoarding resources/accumulating assets is likely the only way we will ever effectively protect ourselves from men.
When women do manage to accumulate, against all probability and flying in the face of the man-made patriarchal order of man-on-top we have no right to keep it and in fact the odds are very good that we will lose it. Any protections of our assets, having no basis in natural law, would have to come from men who as a class would rather die than give women anything. On a micro level, this reminds me of my dad who told my mom when she took the kids and left him: I hope you all die. Yep, pretty much. Women who do not conform will have their accumulated assets, or their access to others’ (men’s) assets vanish. This is by design, and there is nothing that can be done about it. And women who are seriously or chronically ill can no longer conform even if we wanted to because our illnesses direct our lives.
In this way the alleged differences of “class” mean something quite different for and between women than they mean for and between men. I do hope that I am not judged too harshly for my “middle class woman loses it all” narrative; I probably will be but that is hardly my concern. Meanwhile, there are men lining up around the block to rape and devour me as soon as I can’t pay the rent anymore, and that day is coming. This is essentially natural law as modified by patriarchy, where men are more or less natural rapists and they have removed women’s natural rights and natural abilities either to escape and live elsewhere, or for women either individually or as a class to utterly slaughter them for it.