Sunday, May 08, 2005


It's amazing how much unpaid labor mothers do for raising the future. After my flight home yesterday Frank and Heather picked me up, I had a bite to eat, then fell asleep, only to wake up in time for the late news featuring Mother's Day.

Channel 10 last night estimated that each mother does more than 130,000 dollars worth of unpaid work each year. WOW! That's amazing! For all you mothers reading this, here's a chart to figure out your own unpaid salary: Mom's Salary Index

It was almost SHOCKING to hear this report coming out of slick television reporters. It's a radical idea, it being a perspective which could realign an entire page filled with other perspectives. What are you worth? What are we worth? Are we allowed to know? Are we allowed to want our worth met? Can we ask for certain funds to be diverted? Like military spending for instance? Instead of killing people mothers have loved and raised, why not fund mothers instead? And writers and painters....

Is there not enough? Is there really and truly NOT enough that we can't share?

When the Global Women's Strike brought Nora Castaneda here from Venezuela, she was very clear to point out just how much unpaid work women do in this world. She helped institute a Social Security plan for house work and child care in her own country. And it's the only country this side of the Atlantic to do so successfully, with (democratically elected!) president Hugo Chavez backing the plan 100%!

Read an interview with Nora Castaneda: GWS Castaneda Interview

Read an additional page from the Global Women's Strike on Mothers: GWS on Mothers

Just days ago I was visiting my sister Rhonda and beautiful new niece Kendell Sky (one month old now). They are in Los Angeles, and my sister had just read a newspaper article on an alarming new study about the high levels of jet fuel in breast milk of mothers living in Los Angeles. How can we keep letting this world be taken for granted? We're like fish in a tank that's been slowly filling with shit and it's not being cleaned, not being cared for, ever, just filling with more and more shit. There's jet fuel in breast milk. I mean, there's jet fuel in breast milk. What I really mean is, there's jet fuel in breast milk.

And I fucking thought seriously about jet fuel in breast milk as my fucking plane was taking off and I have a sister breast feeding below! This is so fucking crazy! Tiny babies are drinking jet fuel, I mean...!

Rhonda and I were also talking about our mother shoplifting the entire time we were kids, and why she did it:

a) because she didn't have enough money.
b) because she was angry.

My mother wasn't a perfect mother, but she did provide for us, and would do so any way she could when times were tough. And she was pissed off that food cost so much, so she'd put a sirloin in her oversized shoulder bag, etc.

When I was a teen, and really started to understand what she was doing I would think about her bag, and how much "unpaid" food had gone into it. And I also liked to imagine her picking out the bag in Woolworths or wherever she bought it, looking at it, liking the color, but especially happy it was big enough for a canned ham.

Once when I was very young and saw her stealing some meat I asked her why she was stealing, and she answered that you can't steal food. That it's impossible to steal something we all need to survive. When I still didn't get it she said that if we had to pay for the air it would be the same thing. I remember taking a deep, deep breath, which seemed the thing to do.

Moms shoplifting food should be overlooked. I think every mothers day that moms should be allowed to go into the grocery store, load up carts of food and not have to pay. And law enforcement officers should be in the store the night before, to make certain the grocery store owners don't hide all the expensive cuts of meat, or fancy mustard.

Hey, we pay teachers in the school system, why not mothers, everyone's first teacher? This could be the beginning of a long list of who gets paid for what when moms don't, and if we all think about it we know it's true.

Happy Mother's Day,

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