Repost: The right loses politically and socially because it has its best organizers stick to homeschool co-ops.

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.

Traditional Motherhood is collectivist

Another thread from twitter, this time about a viral meme:

Even in small scale, you can see it’s about how ye olde mothers had more kids and while I think the bottom is cut off, as it passes through time and lower fertility, it ends with a woman who is “mom” to a cat (the stereotypical modern careerist catlady).

Anyway, this was my response thread. It mentions the Hajnal line, which is a very modern way to talk about Anglo, Saxon and Scandinavian historical family formation norms.

“This image is loved among a certain kind of usually male person on the right, but it’s immensely silly. The top woman had 2-4 other women helping her out, the second woman had 1-2, and the third about 50% of the time has 1 woman helping. Also they all akshuly had more kids.”

“Traditional motherhood is collectivist. Among Hajnal-line women, it’s usually more informal, intensely conformist and paid support is downplayed/minimized (going back centuries). Among women outside that line, it varies by era, but mothers are expected to have at least one other woman helping, whether it’s a relative or a paid woman.”

“It does take a village, and the difference when people in your town/neighborhood/city really will keep track of your kids and look after them while you walk downtown to pick up a package vs. mom and dad doing it all is one part of the birth rate decline. Too many people on the right make a false idol out of frontier motherhood, except even those women sometimes had other people watching their kids. And they didn’t homeschool.”

One last quick note about this meme: it’s infected with its own modernity, as I noted in passing in my tweet thread. A lot of “trad twitter” and the dissident right in general believes that 3-4 kids is equally as large a family as 6-7 as 9-10, and they craft their memes accordingly. Most of their memes about a proper traditional wife DIYing her childrearing have her with as few as 2 children, but rarely more than 4. At least it reflects how rare normally-large families have gotten, albeit unwittingly.

Married parent demographics

A thread I put together on twitter during COVID, lightly edited into a blog post follows below. Just a roundup of the implications of demographic change beyond just income stuff.

Many believe married parents of children under 18 are mostly Repubs and make “middle class” 50-60k a year and work for small businesses and that college parents are a small % of all married parents. Here’s the reality.

The median household income for married parents is about 100k (~104k as of 2019 ACS) from current ACS data. The BOTTOM QUARTILE starts around 65k and below. Yes, making 5k/month puts you at the “top of the bottom” 25% of married parents. 4k/month, the top of the bottom 15% (only 1/6 married parent households make that much or less per year).

As for educational background, at this point a MAJORITY of married parents are college educated. Around half of ALL parents have a BA+. Mass college education has certain effects the right appears to be totally blind to. So the average married parent household is a six figure one, and at least one parent finished a BA or more.

Whatever that is, it’s not a recipe for traditional Republican political dominance among married people. And go figure, they’re starting to lose married folks.

Now let’s think about employment status. What are married parents doing to earn enough to have such a high, six-figure median income, where 50k isn’t even bottom 20%? Honestly they’re mostly working in STEM+education+government, in roughly that order.

This is why I’ve been pushy/testy about “muh small biz” stuff going around. They are important, very much so, but married parents are all-in on too big to fail institutions. Because we need the money/(illusion of) security. Millions of married parents get paid in stock grants and equity stakes. 100s of 1000s of married parents were the government workers making lists of essential businesses and are college administrators and public school teachers and administrators. The interests of the married parent class are, yes, in conflict to some degree with the interests of, well, all the rest of y’all. I don’t know how to square this circle terribly well, myself. We’ve broken civic life badly to pit our baby-havers against all others this way.

Speaking of baby-havers, married mothers do work full time, but not as often or in the ways that you think. Where they work full-time, it’s increasingly flex hours and getting to bring their babies. Why SAHM if you can get that sweet a deal? Much of the increase in married mother employment has been under conditions that don’t resemble what married fathers put up with. And they STILL are 50%! part-time or SAHM. The top half (100k+ households) are like 65% p/t and SAHM. Married fathers are workhorses. They continue to have 90% type workforce participation while married mothers were already retreating from their 90s peaks. They have never gone back to that in nearly 30 years. Bet you didn’t know that!

The point of this post is that married parents are college educated heavily, all-in on STEM and globalism allowing them flex jobs, high wages and retirement funds/pensions. Marriage isn’t conservative. Our children aren’t being raised traditionally despite high SAHM rates. Most married mothers who SAHM use daycare/preschool. Bet you didn’t know that! MOST. It is frequently part-time, but a lot of moms were chafing that they can’t put their toddlers in 3 day Montessori. I think right wing populism is best and that we should have a more production oriented, regional economy in America. I don’t think we can get there via the right pretending no major demographic shifts have happened regarding marriage itself and the kind of people who marry now.

For righties, 50 dollars is 50 thousand when it comes to funding normal living and healthy social dynamics.

The title says it all, really. Spending fifty bucks in a month to have someone else do some dropoffs and pickups a couple times a month so you can have time to prepare homeschool curriculum or run some errands all on the same day or do a couple more labor-intensive chores without interruptions is heard by the generic average right wing, conservative, Republican, etc person as “So you’re saying I need to spend fifty thousand bucks a year on a full time nanny/cook/housekeeper/whatever”.

Fundamentally righties are against spending money at all, ever, even on a minor, incidental, occasional basis for small tasks to help structure and smooth their lives out. They are all unwittingly echoing the evil and broke Lady Susan from the Whit Stillman take on Jane Austen, Love and Friendship: “As there is an element of friendship involved, the paying of wages would be offensive to us both.”

So the left slices, dices and turns into an antisocial, corporatized transaction every kind of task like that and the result is bad working conditions and pay for the people involved performing the services and tasks, further social atomization and isolation and just that little bit more difficulty in building and maintaining that kind of community glue. Because that sort of incidental labor used to be very common in American society. It was looser, more casual and certainly more occasional in scope, but Americans did used to pay people to do various tasks, at even lower-middle class and poverty-class income ranges. The complicated favor trading systems still present in some poverty-heavy communities are remnants of this broader pattern.

A couple years ago I paid an art student to draw and paint with my kids for about three hours five or six times so I could clean out the garage. Righties tend to be of the view that my husband should have watched the kids, or I should have done the clean out at some mysterious time where the kids weren’t around (but also homeschool because public school is too secular and icky) or that I should have a similarly mysterious large pool of people who will just show up and help out for any amount of time for free with zero notice.

And yes, righties say that paying money for services is an impossible luxury nobody should expect to have while…paying homeschool co-op teachers. I guess there’s the exception and why it has remained the exception (and not quite as much of one as you’d think, plenty of co-ops implode over lack of people willing and able to co-op it up completely salary-free) for decades is left as an exercise for the discerning intellect.

When you can’t afford to be frugal, or unexamined assumptions conservatives have about frugal tips

Frugality and being a good steward of the household income are not impossible goals.  However, what “frugal tips” are available to housewives these days rely on a bevy of unexamined assumptions that don’t apply to an average SAHM these days.

It is possible to make your own curtains, to store meat in small portions, to bake your own bread, to make your own household cleaning products and to keep a price book, to name some fairly typical tips one will run across on the old intertubes with a quick google.  But frugality of these types is generally not compatible with the current domestic setups of most American housewives.  They have no spare capital for a deep freezer, or to buy meat in bulk quantities to take advantage of sales or direct-purchase opportunities.  They don’t have domestic help even on an occasional basis, so whatever they do has to be compatible with kids underfoot.  And of course kids aren’t young forever, but how can good habits be established when it’s full-tilt survival mode when they are young?  Teaching little kids to be useful or even to consider other people and obey adult rules about where and when to talk/run/etc. takes focused effort and isn’t readily done with a casual phrase here and there.  That can be the way of it only after the habitual behaviors are in place.

Thus you have a pretty major obstacle to frugality early on, even if you are “saving money on daycare”.  The other obstacle is pregnancy.  A lot of frugal tips involve large amounts of ongoing physical labor that is difficult to manage during pregnancies.  If you haven’t spent your years growing up doing that kind of labor, you are unprepared for the extent of it later in life.  You’re also out of luck if pregnancy is hard on your body.  And some women never get back to pre-pregnancy fitness/endurance levels whether it’s one kid or seven.

I come back a lot to the physical stuff because there’s a parallel unexamined assumption among conservatives (not just the male ones) that modern technology means no real physical labor is necessary for a housewife to expend.  Pregnancy is always easy and quick to recover from, barely a speed bump, nursing is also no big, not even requiring extra food or effort (except of course many women switch to formula with “many” kids precisely because they can hand a bottle off and let the older kids feed baby so they can get stuff done).  And even if all that stuff is a little bit difficult, KIDS R FREE.  There’s a weird fixation on the infant and toddler years as being super-cheap by default among conservatives and this is used to extrapolate that children are extremely cheap to raise to 18-21 years because somehow breastmilk production costs nothing (not even calories, it’s like magic) and you can just rely on an infinite supply of thrift stores with appropriate clothing and insert all the rest of the stuff you hear from conservatives about how totally cheap it is to raise infants/toddlers, so therefore have eight.  I guess they’re supposed to drink breastmilk and wear cloth diapers until they marry at 18 somehow?  It’s a quirk I never really noticed until a recent clickbait article about tradeoffs appeared on some home decor site and conservatives tore into the writer of the article for being selfish and stupid, didn’t she understand kids aren’t expensive because BREASTFEEDING and CLOTH DIAPERS?

So, let’s recap some of the unexamined assumptions conservatives dump on housewives regarding frugality:

  • Assumption of “traditional” domestic economy skills that actually date from the middle of the 20th century and rely on a pretty vast industrial infrastructure (including exploited labor by women and children in foreign lands) to be feasible as “economizing” at all.
  • Minimizing the physical risks and stresses of childbearing and nursing, as well as the physical labor that is still necessary to run an “economized” household.
  • Fixation on the early years as being so cheap that there are no real expenses added by having more and more children
  • Parallel dismissal of the importance of child spacing or domestic support in being able to have children doing chores effectively at young ages.
  • Dismissal of chaotic early years as a major obstacle to domestic tranquility and structure, while assuming that such structure is there (no need for a sitter while homeschooling, for example, because infants and toddlers and young kids will just play quietly while you instruct older children…somehow, or alternatively that older children will not resent the play of younger children who aren’t ready for academics partying in front of them because no big kid ever envied a little kid getting to play instead of write an essay or do math problems).  Without structure, frugality is hard to consistently achieve.
  • Assumption that the average housewife was educated in domestic skills by her mother, and if she was not, that she can instantly acquire these skills in a few days’ time via youtube and blogs and immediately apply them effectively.

Feel free to toss more into the comments.  The core issue with having all these assumptions is that without them, it’s nearly impossible to economize systematically.  And that means rebuying things, buying more expensive versions of whatever because you don’t have the skills or time to go with cheaper approaches, and stress spending.  But to help people who need to be more frugal, the assumptions have to be dropped and conservatives have to start looking at the actual conditions people are living under, not the idealized conditions a small percentage of conservatives manage to live under.  Here’s hoping!

The truth about pioneer and settler greed

Something that is always left out of the portrayal of pioneers and settlers as secular saints is how rapacious they were.  FDR’s administration had to intervene during the Depression because whites only a generation or so removed from pioneers were so careless with forest harvesting that they were creating massive hazards and epic forest fires.  There was also the poisoning of water supplies for gold mining, there was the overfishing and rapacious hunting.  The ecological types arose in response to the fairly astonishing way in which (white) Americans were scooping up resources and hollowing out land with no particular thought to keeping it going for some future beyond the next few harvest seasons.

And the pioneers themselves worked hundreds of acres alone or nearly so with the aid of technology so they could have more money.  Wall Streeters putting up 100 hour weeks are working extremely hard, but I don’t see conservatives jumping up to explain how their hard work means they earned everything they have and that we should all look to them as role models for how to really live the Christian life.

Note, I’m not saying the pioneers and the first couple generations following didn’t work very hard.  I’m saying they chased them dollahs until they hollahed and whatever that is, it’s not saintly.  There’s this strain in American conservatism of slaving really hard for any extra profits and I think you have to consider the socialist and communism infiltration in that light.  There was a competing strain that did not win out of using the technology to work only enough to be “comfortable”, a sort of proto-distributism, and it’s very interesting to see it rise up alongside the “gotta get ’em all” mentality of the settlers and their children and even some of their grandchildren.

I have to throw in that “pioneer” and “settler” are terms along a continuum.  Pioneers and settlers were homesteading into the 1950s (Alaska) and there were still what moderns would consider “real Ingalls-style pioneers” as late as the 1920s in parts of the Mountain West and Pacific Northwest.

Dear Conservatives, setting things up so all housewives are drudges is anti-natalist and untraditional

Bullying women into staying home obviously doesn’t work, and yet it appears to make up the whole of the conservative argument for women staying home.  This is one of the core problems with American conservative Christian culture.  It leads to conservative Christian SAHMs putting kids into preschool as soon as the children age into it for breaks because “well, it’s not daycare now, it’s school!” It also leads to those women having fewer and fewer children.  Three is the new five and two is the new three.

Take cooking, as one example. Making stock takes time.  Sure, you don’t have to stand right over the pot, but you have to be in the general vicinity of the kitchen for 3-5 hours for relatively modest amounts of stock.  Now, this is the sort of homemade staple that we SAHMs are supposed to just have handy at all times, but it takes time to make it, and it takes even more time to make huge batches that you then freeze.  That’s a day or two or three you aren’t doing much else.  And I’ve already covered laundry.

As for childcare, we can’t all have lump babies that stay put wherever you plop them and we can’t all have children who hear an instruction to play quietly when they are older and do so for hours on end (this is actually fairly rare).  And the current status quo of spinning the childcare out to public school or preschool is not tenable, because it limits fertility and the false idol of homeschool robs a lot of communities of the stability they desperately need to have a functional school system.

There is no argument against homeschooling on a family level. Parents have the right and duty to educate our children as we see fit, and a state that interferes with this is acting unjustly. On a larger level, however, homeschooling as a movement is extremely uncharitable and antisocial.

Not everyone can homeschool.

As a society, we need schools and other collective institutions to spread the burden of childcare and primary education and to properly civilize and educate young people. But if you saddle enough individual families with the total burden of the care and education of their own children, you ensure that those families will have no surplus to support any such institutions. And this is in fact exactly what has happened. Everyone blames this on the homeschooling families themselves, because when you’re talking about homeschooling families you’re really talking about homeschooling mothers and no one ever passes up an opportunity to blame mom for everything, but individual families are just doing our best in impossible situations.

But people who can’t homeschool are left entirely at the mercy of the world all the homeschooling families have retreated from. There’s no civil society to join run by homeschooling mothers because we’re all too tired. Homeschooling mothers generally don’t even help each other out.

There are studies suggesting that being there when the kids are little is worth a lot less if the SAHM isn’t relatively rested most of the time.  And there is an argument (though not one I would advocate or consider pro-woman) for working while they are little and then, when they need the intensive parenting in teenagerhood, being available then as a SAHM.

This is why it’s insane to set things up so all women are drudges, it’s not Christian or functionally patriarchal. A lot of personality disordered people are able to hide out in “traditional womanhood” because there is an irreducible amount of domestic work and right now, that burden is going to fall on women. People can fantasize about it being different but right now, that’s how it is. Moreover, very few people can make more money than their labor is worth at home and very few couples can split the work effectively, for exactly the same reasons jobsharing doesn’t work, which is that you need a manager.

Much of femininity and marriage is socially constructed but you can socially construct it well or you can socially construct it stupidly and marriage and patriarchy are BETTER so who cares if they’re natural plus, Christian patriarchy is the only society that supports female liberation so stop sawing the branch you’re sitting on.

Lastly, women used to produce concrete results in their domestic work.  The industrial age was a rapid process of removing those concrete accomplishments from the domestic sphere and replacing them with vague repetitive tasks like driving the kids to activities (which goes all the way back in America to the 1920s!) and endless cleaning up kid messes and of course our dear friend laundry.  Those things are not terrible or wrong for mothers to do, but the conservative approach to the whole thing is to lie to women that they never had any other aspects to their domestic work and that they should delight in the abstract repetitive slog with no clear results at the end of each day.  Women then run to “crafts” in a flight to concrete accomplishment, and then are mocked for the crafts not being sufficiently useful or practical.  It’s a vicious trap.

Anyway this is all just random notes accumulated over time so if it doesn’t read like an essay, well, it’s not. I don’t know how to help women get the concrete aspects back for domestic labor when it’s simply not essential to survival anymore.  Our household has lived a pretty agrarian lifestyle and we ended up back in upscale suburbia.  And that’s pretty much the core of the problem.  The concrete accomplishments of my agrarian living helped alleviate the stresses of the worst of modern housewiving, but it couldn’t actually work long-term, which is why “be agrarian LARPers” is not a general solution to a general problem.  Even if people keep proposing it as one every 15 years or so like clockwork for the last century and a half.

Poking at the large family myth bubble.

As anyone reading along in this blog or the broader American right wing knows, there is a loud contingent of people who assert that in America, large families used to be common as dirt and women loved having them too.

This is not, strictly speaking, accurate.

The Vital Statistics folks (originally at the Census, and now with the CDC) stopped making a new column for births past #17 in 1959. The next year, in 1960, while still in what came to be called the Baby Boom, they stopped doing new columns for births above #8. And the Vital Statistics people are very conservative about these things. They were cheerfully making columns for 312 16th births for years. But 312 out of 4 million or so births a year is a really tiny number and eventually even they just started mushing all those ten and twelfth and seventeenth births together.

The point being that thousands of double digit births can still be happening, but still also be not common as dirt. Pesky math.

The other poke at the bubble for now is that as soon as American women got birth control access, they mysteriously rushed as far away from double digit family sizes as they could. Eight was very much enough, thanks, and keeping births down to six or less was nicer still, as far as white American women were concerned. There is some amusing (for a personal value of amusing) commentary in many of the annual bulletins expressing statistician puzzlement at the plunge in 8 and up births among white women about twenty seconds after the first shipload of diaphragms washed ashore. And while access came decades later for black women, they behaved exactly the same and kablooey went the higher order black birth numbers too.

This is not the behavior of women who looooooved having ten or fifteen kids. It’s also not really much to do with feminists or feminism except that they felt the solution to male sexual incontinence was to have women end run around it with birth control of ever-increasing reliability.

Economic defensiveness isn’t a good look

  • “I SAHM because daycare costs”
  • “Breastfeeding is cheaper than formula because BOOBS R FREE”
  • “Attachment parenting is cheaper because ALL BABIES LOVE SLINGS”
  • “Cooking at home is cheaper and more nutritious every single time!”

There are plenty more, but they all boil down to “Cheaping out is better because it makes me feel better about not having moneys.”

Needless to say, this is not as compelling an argument as people think.  I don’t think people who make these arguments about cheapness being superior parenting are conscious of the implication, but I can assure them, that’s what average people are thinking.  They are thinking “defensive about being POOOOOOOOORRRRRRRRRRR”.  They are not thinking such people (disproportionately conservatives) are brilliant geniuses for not spending money on their beloved children.

A while back I looked up food stamp data and found that (proxied) conservative families were avoiding meat so they could avoid food stamp use, while non-conservative families were getting food stamps so they could have meat regularly.  Yeah, people don’t think you’re superior or better or wiser for avoiding access to high-quality protein out of ego-defense issues.  Tangentially, the lethargy that low protein causes probably makes having a larger family easier in fairly obvious ways, but that’s just a side effect.

The right loses politically and socially because it has its best organizers homeschool.

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.

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.