Cynical Pollyanna: What Does The Law Have To Do With It?

Inspired by Cherry’s post on Brothel Laws and adding to the ongoing discussion about how to forge women’s communities, especially those that could exist in non-rural, “zoned” settings sometime before complete Liberation or hell freezes over (you know, whichever comes first) I offer this thought exercise:

There is a property for sale in my area (a sizeable town/small city with various employment opportunities) that was developed as a “retirement community” – 8 small, individual apartments with kitchenettes, a sizable communal kitchen and dining/living space all under one roof. Included is a detached *manager’s* bungalow, vegetable gardening area and 6 on-site parking spaces plus street parking.

How many women could come together, commune together, with this particular property? A minimum of nine, and with an asking price of $300k each share could have full ownership very, very affordably. There is no reason I can foresee blocking the purchase of such a property by shares – that sort of thing is a *private* legal matter that a few fairly simple *private* contracts could handle.

Sounds kind of nice doesn’t it? BUT there any number of legalities that could be brought to bear, both external and internal, against this set-up.

CBL’s example fleshed out a little: brothel laws, although completely asinine in this scenario (hello!) could be used very effectively to intimidate/harass the shareholders – needing a lawyer to *protect our rights* to ownership and against a bogus *investigation*, emotional wear and tear, media attention, etc. – into any number of positions including collectively selling out on our investment (of property ownership which many women never dream of having let alone a peaceful, affordable and safe environment) just to make them stop, thereby leaving us arguably financially, at the very least, worse for wear.

Then there is the internal: a woman I know quite well “99-year-leased” a plot on women’s land with the ’hush-hush’ (illegal by virtue of “discrimination“ laws ) agreement not to sell out and/or deed the lease to a male. She agreed thinking that she would spend many years there. When it turned out that she didn’t fit in and couldn’t find a female buyer for her space quickly, she privately threatened to advertise widely and sell to a man if she *had to*.

Please share any pitfalls you might foresee – these are exactly the kinds of things we need to figure our way around. Because we CAN.

 

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7 thoughts on “Cynical Pollyanna: What Does The Law Have To Do With It?

  1. A fine example of how housing discrimination laws (and the threat thereof) are used AGAINST women easily though they were said to be FOR women (and MOC and children, of course) even though women et al can rarely “prove” discrimination in a court of law.

  2. Communal living is a grand idea for us lady-people. Think of the comradery, the pillow fights on Saturday nights. lol.

  3. THis is exactly what I was thinking of when I wrote the post Sargasso Sea:

    “could be used very effectively to intimidate/harass the shareholders – needing a lawyer to *protect our rights* to ownership and against a bogus *investigation*, emotional wear and tear, media attention, etc. – into any number of positions including collectively selling out on our investment (of property ownership which many women never dream of having let alone a peaceful, affordable and safe environment) just to make them stop, thereby leaving us arguably financially, at the very least, worse for wear.”

    In divorce courts men are now granted children in the name of “equality”. As FCM keeps pointing out, laws are only made to benefit men— at the expense of women. So it doesn’t matter what they SAY the law is about, they’re going to use it whichever way they choose.
    Thanks for building on my post!

  4. Hi Cherry – and thank YOU for taking the time to comment. 🙂

    I’ve been spending some time this morning looking at other housing situations (both higher and lower end) and the more I think about it the more I am convinced it could be done quite easily and without the authoritaaays causing a problem.

    As much as I hate to say it the two biggest stumbling blocks I see are: the aforementioned *inside threat* and simply finding enough women in one geographic area (or who could and would relocate) to even make a community happen.

    Maybe I’ll start a mini-series imagining women’s communities based on properties I run into? Hmm – that could be fun 🙂

  5. ooh, a mini-series! yes please?

    one thing that prevents *me* from thinking this would be a real solution for *me* is that everyone hates me. 🙂 being liked is vewy important. it becomes a cult of personality doesnt it, which means that certain kinds of women — or even women who view themselves a certain way, even if its not true — wouldnt even try it for fear of failure, and being even worse-off for having tried it if moving and other expenses were involved…

    i also tend to think that anything consumerist cannot possibly work for us, because so many women are so poor, and because buying things inevitably increases male power. i automatically go to land-buying and/or construction too, when i think about women-only communities, but its consumerist (isnt it?) so i get skeptical. the (relatively) easy part of any ad/venture is buying the stuff — like spending $300 on workout gear and a gym membership and realizing you are that much poorer and still as unable to work out (or positively-change your life, which is really the post) as you were before.

    anyway, just thinking out loud here. please do a mini-series on these specific properties, yes! concrete examples are good.

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