In Part I of this series, I described my history with an insane physically, emotionally and sexually abusive nuclear family that combined with our collective lack of resources made me realize that if the S ever HTF that I would be on my own with no one in my family either willing or able to help. I decided that I needed to be “successful” in life if I had any hope of securing a safe, sane and comfortable future for myself free from abuse, including abuse from men which I knew by watching and listening to my mother’s experience could and would ruin my life. In Part II I describe the execution of my plan — I applied and was accepted to law school and graduated at the top of my class, hopeful that a law degree would provide me with the employment skills and financial security I knew I needed to keep myself safe. I worked my ass off for about 6 years chasing an elusive “savings” and financial safety net that would catch me if I ever needed catching. In the end, the only substantial money I ever made as a practicing attorney were the legal settlements for two work-related injuries I had suffered on the job as a lawyer. My career and my best-laid plans were largely a bust by the time I was laid off the final time, lost my apartment in a hurricane, and was diagnosed with a serious debilitating chronic illness, Crohn’s disease.
In this Part III I will dissect and analyze what happened to me as basically the punchline of a
cosmic patriarchal and capitalist joke — modern girls and women are led to believe that educations and careers can and will save us from the oppressive lives our mothers and grandmothers led but this is easier said than done. In reality, my experience and observation has led me to conclude that, under capitalism and patriarchy, women’s “success” or power largely refers to women’s increased spending power as “successful” consumers who make money for other people, where we first accrue an enormous student debt load and then both mandatory and so-called discretionary expenses increase faster than our incomes making the goal of achieving true financial security elusive at best. Women are in fact prevented in every case from creating safe, sane and comfortable lives for ourselves, including the financial security to protect ourselves from the very worst of patriarchy and capitalism when things go sideways, whether we have careers, or children, or neither or both. It really doesn’t appear to matter at all.