Feminism and socialism

Ken MacLeod has a beautiful anecdote about people being uncomfortable with using the word “socialist” to describe themselves:

“Over the years I have met a lot of women, and heard of a lot more, who are feminist in every aspect of their beliefs and attitudes but who firmly insist that they are not feminists. The reason they give is always the same: they don’t consider themselves feminists because they don’t hate men.

“Imagine if the left had taken the most hostile caricatures of what socialism was and what being a socialist meant, and proceeded to live up to them. Lots of people would now be saying things like, ‘I’m not a socialist, but I think capitalism sucks and should be replaced by a system of society based on the common ownership and democratic control of the means of production and distribution by and in the interests of the whole community.’

“Oh, wait … ”

Edinburgh Joiners

If anyone is looking for a joiner in Edinburgh, we can wholeheartedly recommend Southside Joiners (45 West Nicolson St., 0131 667 9744). They have just hung new doors throughout our house, and fitted new skirting boards in our hallway. They have done an excellent job, and at a very reasonably price, too.

This is going to be a big summer of house work for us. We’ve already painted the hall and the main bedroom, and now we’ve got the doors replaced. Over the next few months we’ll be painting the guest bedroom, and laying new wooden floors upstairs. We’ll also be getting Southside Joiners back to replace the doors of the built-in upstairs wardrobes, put in some new shelves, replace the bannisters on the staircase, and (the big one) build a new porch for our front door.

Oh, and we’re hoping to get a new bathroom at some point, too.

We’ve been in this house for five years now, and apart from laying a wooden floor in the living/dining room in 2001, we haven’t done much work in it in that time. We were thinking about building a conservatory last year, but we had very specific ideas about what we wanted. That took us out of the range of “standard” conservatories, and into the territory of the “specialist” conservatory companies. They produced some lovely designs, but the cost would have been almost 50% of the price for which we bought the whole house. So now we’re moving forward with lots of little projects instead.

Lots of work, but it’s worth it. The house is feeling a lot more sophisticated, complete, and relaxing already.