Long ago, before the 1970s, the right wing in America thought it was a good idea for some of their wives to have household help so they could run around doing the very complicated organizing described by David Hines about lefty organizing strategies and processes (his usual example involves talking to 600 people to get 7 that will stick around paying dues and sending off letters for years to come).
Then, for “reasons”, a lot of the smart, driven women who had hobbies such as “taking down entire amendments to the Constitution single handedly” and “starting the conservation movement from scratch”, and “inventing American libertarianism”, and “La Leche League” ended up being sucked into homeschool and homesteading/prepping maws and the political organization skills were mostly left with pro-life stuff, and even there one can see a big loss.
I spent time during COVID writing all this up as twitter threads. Originally this linked to twitter, but then I remembered how ephemeral twitter can be and updated with the actual tweets in full, with some minor edits for clarity.
Here’s the one about why women who do well organizing righty stuff like homeschool co-ops end up going to the left:
you want more kids born, pay attention to what mothers tell you, a thread
“Mother friendly is child friendly” is why ex-fundie women do so well switching over to organizing for the left. Sounds contradictory, but it’s not. In very tight-knit fundie circles, what women do revolves around having kids, raising them and doing so with occasional social activities.
Because everything is mediated around their roles as mothers, it’s all “mom-friendly”, not “kid-friendly”. But if you don’t want to be a mother (and the circle isn’t tight-knit enough, which has become faaarrrr more frequent the last 15 years), then organizing socially is really about you being free labor for mothers and also judging your spinsterhood. Unsurprisingly, if you’re a go-getting girl who doesn’t want to have kids at 20 or at all, you leave.
And you bring the gift of your energy and organizing talents to the left. And that’s a big part of why righties aren’t as good at organizing. I’m tagging @hradzka (eta: David Hines, a commentator about the differences between left and right organizing strategies) because I think a lot of his insights are useful, but I also think he isn’t aware that the left brain-drains the right and *the right doesn’t even know it’s happening*.
What happens if righties figure it out en masse?
Lastly, “mother friendly is child-friendly” means that when you arrange social gatherings around the needs of mommy, she not only brings her kids, she has more besides. And children become accepted as a part of a grown-up world.
Here’s the one about the fallout of preaching homeschool as the sole solution to cultural issues, lightly edited:
Is the right wing attachment to homeschool uber alles about keeping right wing women from having any public participation? It kinda looks like it. How you’re supposed to fix the hysterical and rampant presence of left wing women in the public sphere by making it even harder and more impossible for right wing women to be seen or speak in public is rather mysterious. Because homeschooling doesn’t “scale up”.
It’s not supposed to be a mass movement…unless you really are serious about living up to liberal Handmaid’s Tale fantasies and Making Coverture Great Again. Keeping women pregnant and homeschooling for 25 years hasn’t led to the promised “pipeline” of “nationalist, conservative” anything.
It has produced a bunch of SJWs (ultra-progressive liberals) and feminists though. Hiding hasn’t protected kids. Many SJWs are homeschool graduates working very hard to strip homeschool legal protections from parents right now. But more to the point, homeschool en masse penalizes men even more harshly.
They’re trapped having to be slaves to globalism to support families on their wages while mom homeschools. And if it fails, if his wages fail to support the family, we all know about the MLM plague to produce income, which is not exactly less globalism and socially alienating behavior.
Conservatives have made a cargo cult out of homeschool and what the blippity-bleep is it getting us to respond to all these signs of left-wing educational dominance with “derrrr, homeschool HARDER AND MOAR GUYZ COME ON”? Homeschool should be legal and rare. There, I said it! Conservatives who are serious about creating a more socially harmonious, nationalist society should figure out how to make apprenticeships work (they scale up) and support noncollege paths instead of homeschooling. They have to figure out how to protect children AS A COMMUNITY. You CANNOT restore community by hiding from it at the intimate level of raising children to live and function outside the nuclear family.
And this one about why women were crabby in the 1950s and vulnerable to Friedan’s logic traps:
They demonized the 1950s because there was a massive postwar increase in college educated women dominating childbearing and *they* were massively unhappy with the very working-class housewifery available during that time. Housewife work was heavily oriented towards cleaning and scrubbing and not much direct child care.
But there was a new and large pool of collegegoing young wives who were educated to expect to do “more” and were dissatisfied. Ultimately they gave us the helicopter parenting we “enjoy” nowadays, but the right even back then was very silly about the legit beef that you had all these bright women who were told any hobby or interest outside of housework was bad.
Yes, they did the PTA and volunteering, but they were lambasted for moving into doing that stuff even back then. There were real conflicts in what women’s role as wives/mothers should be that commies exploited for their own ends. We as a society never did try to hash out the impact of labor-shifting devices on household work, and we could do worse than trying to hash it out now. Something to think about. I hate commies as much as any sensible person, but they had fertile soil to plant their poisoned seeds.
Anyway, I’ve been hammering on this topic for a while now, because COVID has blatantly exposed the con that mass homeschooling would somehow lead to liberals throwing their hands up and conceding the culture to the quiet, gently reared homeschool kids and their pleasant, shy, conflict-avoidant mothers.
We have politicians on the right homeschooling, and if one can’t see how “I want this government job, but I reject the idea that government is good and can provide for children in my community” is not exactly optimal for gaining political power, then one cannot be helped to the trough, one is quite lost.