Dear Housemates of Our Radical Progressive Queer Co-op

You can watch a video of this piece here.

In general living here has been a wonderful experience, however I have a few issues I would like to address:

  1. I believe in our fragrance-free policy, for the sake of allergies and sensitive noses. Speaking of unwanted scents, I also believe in showers. They don’t have to be daily, especially if you’re not physically active. They don’t have to involve shampoo every time. But they should be in your schedule somewhere, preferably after dumpster diving on Tuesdays.
  2. You are absolutely correct that neither shaving nor keeping your legs hairy is empowering to women unless its by choice. However, after you choose to shave your legs in the shower, please also choose to get that hair out of the freaking tub.
  3. While it’s totally true that nobody’s sexual orientation should be enforced or coerced or made into law, we do have an enforced law in the bathroom: When you replace the toilet paper (or more accurately, if you replace the toilet paper), make sure it rolls over the top, not down below. I don’t want to go on a treasure hunt every time I take a poop.

 And please, leave a backup roll. While I fully embrace the clothing-optional atmosphere of our body-positive home, I don’t want to shimmy down the hall with my ass hanging out in an emergency dash for TP.
  4. Invisibility is an important topic: Invisible minorities, femme invisibility, trans man invisibility in the mainstream media… Just because the mainstream can’t see oppression doesn’t mean it isn’t happening. Similarly, just because you can’t see dirt on the stove, doesn’t mean it’s not there. Get those corners, please. Scrub under all the things on the counter. Take them off the counter and clean under them.
  5. It is totally unfair for the “G” and the “L” of the acronym to get their rights first and put off everyone else’s rights for later. On that note, when I ask you to dust the living room, don’t wipe down the two most visible and easy-to-reach surfaces and then call it a day. No surface is dust-free until all surfaces are dust free. Don’t be a slacktivist with the Windex.
  6. I get it–I’m disabled too. You’re out of spoons, I’m out of spoons… However, the kitchen is also out of spoons, and I did the dishes the last ten times. You can see my chore points clearly marked on our handy-dandy co-op whiteboard. (Which I’ll note, does not keep score for every time someone merely wiped a damp rag across the table one or two times, without even applying pressure or soap, and called that “cleaning”. My feminism will be intersectional or it will be bullshit. Likewise, that wash rag will intersect with soap or else you won’t clean a damn thing.)

By following these simple guidelines, I believe we can create a more loving, supportive, and radical living space for everyone. We might even have a few less cockroaches.


11 thoughts on “Dear Housemates of Our Radical Progressive Queer Co-op

  1. I’ve never lived in a radical progressive queer co-op, but this struck home with me anyways. I love that you have a fragrance-free policy, but do you really use Windex? (I am more sensitive to chemical cleaners than to most fragrances.)

    • Sometimes yes, sometimes no, depends on who buys it. I prefer to not use it, because ammonia is pretty gross. The letter itself is satire, inspired by roommate experiences I have had throughout my adult life, and by my own bad habits. Thanks for reading!

  2. This is hilarious. I /have/ lived in a radical progressive queer co-op and this hits home. Especially the hair in the bathtub. We all deserve equal access to clean water, right?

    • But my allergies! Seriously though, I’ve known several femmes with perfume allergies so bad they can’t be around the stuff unless they want to function. The patriarchy has invaded our immune systems!

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