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.