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Alfalfa Club: When Women Decided to Work like Men…

January 31, 2012 by  
Filed under News, Opinion, Weekly Columns

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(ThyBlackMan.com)  Saturday night at the Capital Hilton, McPherson Square’s angry and frustrated young women of Occupy D.C. took to the streets alongside their angry and frustrated young men to bare their breasts and bleat in protest against the nation’s elite politicians and businessmen partying at the Alfalfa Club’s posh annual soiree. 

While President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama topped the Alfalfa Club’s guest list, young men and women went top-free in a massive street party, carnival-style protest of approximately 200 demonstrators. Breasts and nipples of all shapes and sizes stood erect and swayed like pendulums to the beat of tribal drums and to the sounds of NWA and Twisted Sister.  Just days before an eviction was to be served on Occupy D.C. by the National Park Service, the Occupiers protested what they consider the nation’s growing and shameful economic divide.

While expressing righteous indignation about perceived collusion by the government and corporations against the 99%, the D.C. Occupiers were simultaneously joyously jubilant in their colorful protest approach which  included sprinkling Senator Joe Lieberman with handfuls of glitter. So what forces sowed the seeds of the Occupiers boisterous discontent as accented by glitter bombs? 

Outsourcing, automation, corporate greed, and even illegal immigration have been blamed for depressing real wages and for American job loss over the last few decades.  However, could the seemingly progressive feminist movement and laissez faire capitalism have colluded decades ago to transform women into the same hapless “wage slaves” as their male counterparts? 

So says one of the feminist movements pioneers, Fay Weldon, author of the 2009 dystopian novel Chalcot Crescent, who contends that, “Once it was only the men who were ‘wage-slaves,’ and now it’s the men and the women too….I’d really rather blame capitalism.”  Weldon professes only what more and more of us have come to realize, that it’s the well-off who are able to cope with the increasingly exhausting nature of modern-day life.

And it’s exactly that rugged brand of individualistic capitalism and take-no-prisoners “wage slavery” that’s at the heart of the youthful Occupy’s discontent.  Although it may be more taboo to assess than the economic impact of let’s say automation or outsourcing, women’s 1970s mass entry into the workforce has had its own distinct individual, social, and economic impact. 

For good or bad, the family household never really recalibrated for mother’s often full-time additional work outside of the home—leaving many women exhausted from having the primary caregiving responsibilities along with full-time jobs.  Our economy and culture does not give just value or support to caregivers of any sex.

The majority of African-American women find themselves single-parents and heads of household, according to a nationwide survey  conducted by The Washington Post  and the Kaiser Family Foundation. While dual income households have generally increased outside of this exception, so has poverty according to recent Census Bureau statistics, with 2.6 million people slipping into poverty in the United States just in the last year. 

The clock will never be turned back, nor arguably should it.  However, deep down within their bare and undulating breasts, those young women and men of Occupy may have used primal nudity to protest modern-day hardships and excesses—so few having so much while so many have so little. 

The promise of the American dream rings hollow for many as Americans of both genders lead increasingly frenetic, perilous and indebted lives.  Neither of my grandmothers worked outside of the home, and both of my grandfathers, one a building engineer of modest means and limited education, and the other a solo-practitioner, paid off mortgages, bought cars, never went bankrupt or were foreclosed upon, while educating and supporting families on a single income.  Such a notion has become a luxury to most families.  Perhaps the Alfalfa Club protesters were questioning whether younger generations in the guise of progress and prosperity, have just been sold a pipe dream?

Staff Writer; Joy Freeman-Coulbary

Feel free to connect with this lawyer via Twitter; enjoyJFC.


8 Responses to “Alfalfa Club: When Women Decided to Work like Men…”
  1. Deeann D. Mathews says:

    There seem to be two tiny historical facts missing here…

    1. Black women, initially, did not choose to work like men. They were forced, under slavery, and more or less forced under Jim Crow and the fact that rarely in history have Black men been fairly paid, unless they had something of their own, in which case their wives often contributed. Which leads into point two…

    2. A century ago, women who stayed at home were working there too. My grandmother and mother were stay-at-home moms, but Grandmother had things she did out of the house to bring in extra income. Mom didn’t have an official in-home stream of income, but she certainly worked — she homeschooled me and my sis, which saved money on child care and school clothes and transportation. In addition, Grandfather and Grandmother had left resources; thus, Dad’s income was enough.

    Rarely in American history have the non-landed rich been able to survive on on one income — whole families worked together to stay alive and to thrive. And, even the rich do not survive on one income — they have MANY streams. It is not women alone, therefore, that have been sold a bill of goods. Black people in general have been sold a bill that is killing us: the idea that rich white capitalists are going to long act contrary to their entire history and pay one wage earner or even two wage earners enough for their families to live well. To dig back into the lingo of our culture: ain’t gonna happen. We need to break out of that false idea and work together to get our own again, and how!

  2. freemancoulbary says:

    In this week’s Afro:


    What do you think of the Roland Martin controversy?

  3. JFC says:

    For more JFC reads click below:


    WaPo published essay addresses where the Civil Rights Movement and same-sex marriage converge. Read, comment, & share, the naked truth!

  4. DK says:

    I personally enjoy this writer’s work.

  5. DK says:

    Brilliant & beautiful, didn’t know….I enjoy this should’ve work.

  6. James Davis says:

    There are others who agree with you. Keep on keeping on.

    I hear the frustration in your article. There is an old saying, “People get the kind of Government they deserve.” We have a two party system of government in our country. If you are not actively involved and engaged in the activities of these parties, you risk getting high unemployment and limited access to resources. We should not vilify successful people. That is a waste of energy. We can get the most bang for our efforts, if we turn our attention to practical solutions. We should than press those solutions upon our lawmakers. If the solutions are workable and these lawmakers do not respond, they risk being thrown out of office. Let’s make this system work for us. We mistakenly think all Blacks who are in powerful positions are in some kind of way committed to our well being. Nothing could be further from the truth. We should applaud those who are committed to working in our best interest, and uncover the truth about those who aren’t. That is the leadership we as Blacks should be demanding from ourselves and the American people deserve. Practicable and purposeful leadership leads to positive results. When we do this we PUT PRESSURE WHERE THE PRESSURE OUGHT TO BE!!! I think this current Administration has lost its way and is not responsive to the needs of Blacks and America as a whole concerning domestic issues. Finding ways to reveal this truth to other Blacks and the American people is a noble quest. We should never tire in this quest, because the results for us can only be positive. An unemployment rate of 15.8% among African Americans and double digit unemployment for the last three years and now heading into a fourth year is simply unacceptable no matter who is in the White House. http://www.sslumpsum.com

  7. Jolly Anaba says:

    This is a good article indeed. It surely got the points across about the plight of minority women in American economy and society. Bravo!


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