The Mothers Manifesto presents my procreative concept of society based on my analysis of the conditions of the patriarchy from its establishment 6000+ years ago to its collapse in the mid20th century which has been followed by the post-patriarchal chaos of the 21st. The Manifesto examines the set of material shifts that have taken place in human relations but have not yet been met with correspondent official systemic adjustments; it then proposes two social programming updates—a system of consensual voluntary social reorganization and an attendant one of supplementary centralized natural education—that aim to move our culture forward past our time of existential anxiety and cultural confusion toward a sustainable postarchic 23rd century. Natural education will include visual illustration of writing, and a dualist learning of most disciplines. Central to my proposal is the enactment of #UMI, or Universal Mother Income, an opt-in program of legitimate pay for legitimate work available to mothers who qualify and organized like the defense corps. My proposal presents the precise terms of employment and allocation, the rewards and responsibilities, the simultaneous enrollment in and access to free education and accreditation, and the subsequent necessity for a Department of Mothers whose Secretary can represent the interests of working mothers in the Cabinet and oversee initiatives and policies that will revaluate and reorganize the social placement of mothers in our postpatriarchal communities.
The #UMI proposal comes in the last section of the Manifesto. The first sections present the History of the dynamic relations of human culture to nature from prepatriarchy to post patriarchy and analyze our biases and conditionings and their effects on our understanding of ourselves and our civilization. This vast Re-presentation reviews the full cultural toolkit (including our language, in which I now reach out to you) even as it returns to my one central argument: the rising need to readjust our agrarian accounting methodology to match our global economy, rebalance our digital lifestyle, reorganize our scientific separation of sex from procreation, and its relation to our emergent climate crisis, and our dismantled social conventions. I argue for the inclusion of mother and of nature into our monetary evaluations and formal financial projections on the logic that we cannot live in balance if the first principle of life is not accounted for in our lives. I argue against the conflation of a woman with her uterus and of a woman’s sexuality with her procreative labor or potential (which have formed the basic cultural assumption required for the inception and normativation of the patriarchy); and against the conflation of natural capital with nature’s exploitation, which formed the basic assumption for culture’s mathematical computation of national economies. Having been materially disproven, these assumptions can no longer be assumed. I propose a collective reorganization away from the hierarchical conflation of human relations with rank through a vast social Revaluation of Motherhood.
Written as narrative non-fiction, the Manifesto incorporates memoir, history, politics, biography, science and popular philosophy in anecdotal detail.
I was born on Lesbos, Greece, and became a writer before I learned, in primary school, that my native land was also a shameful sexual identity. I was writing a weekly column for the daily newspaper in Heraklion Crete Greece when I ran from family oppression and arrived at 15 in LA. At 16 I was studying creative writing at NYU and at 18 I received a BA from Bard College, where I studied with Roy Lichtenstein, Ed Sanders & Robert Kelly. From there I went to Naropa to work with Allen Ginsberg & Bill Burroughs while I earned an MA at CU with Joy Harjo & Ed Dorn. I studied archaeology in Athens & published a book of poems in Greek. I next earned an MFA at Brown with Robert Coover & ran his Unspeakable Practices literary festival. I went to India for two years, and returned to Brown to earn a PhD in Comparative Literature. Unbeknownst to me, my thesis F/32 had been published by the Fiction Collective and Richard Kasak Books while I was in the Rajasthan desert. Virago had asked for a sequel. f/32: The Second Coming (Virago Press: London, New York) was widely translated, taught, reviewed. My readings of f/32 predated the Vagina Monologues and became a cultural phenomenon in parts of the US and Europe. I was hired as investigative staff writer by Spin magazine while I worked as an adjunct professor of creative writing at Brown University. My in-depth essays received publicity and led to a two-book contract from Simon & Schuster. While touring to promote that nonfiction book, Satyricon USA: A Journey Across the New Sexual Frontier (Scribner: New York, London, Sydney, Singapore), I unexpectedly conceived. Being a single mother in the shadow of 9/11 changed my thinking. I moved to Miami where I was subsequently awarded an art studio in the only artist’s center in MB where I earned my income as a multimedia fiber artist. Twenty years later, my daughter has graduated from Bard in Human Rights and is in Law School. The pandemic cut my work ties to the local community just as I fulfilled much of the maternal and financial duty I had undertaken. I began to host a weekly feminist podcast with a sizable audience on Spotify, Apple, YouTube, as a form of social research post #metoo. I wrote every day of the past twenty+ years the raw material for the books I now intend to complete next. My work aims to give voice to countless silenced people for whom I hope to speak, and to give language to physical, natural, psychosexual truths with the fearless precision I learned from Sappho.
I come to you with this manuscript because I sense that its time is Now and its audience all too ready.