THE BLOG
10/15/2014 04:27 pm ET Updated Dec 11, 2014

7 Steps to Hand-wash Laundry and Challenge the Capitalist Patriarchy

  1. Separate the underwear and socks from the shirts and pants, and soak in separate buckets of water

    Our job starts with a highly baptismal process. The submerging of our clothes in water symbolizes the rebirth of the social soul. Interestingly, the submerging is coupled with the segregation of our intimate items from our professional and social items, referencing the societally induced alienation of ourselves from our bodies. Indeed, by juxtaposing Christianity and sexual alienation in this bucket-ly manner, we are reminded that our alienation from our bodies is the result of a religious construct (as well as economic and social structures.)

  2. Remove one item of clothing; rub bar soap over it and into its fabric

    At a chemical level, soap cleans because its lipids gather together to create monolayered bubbles around individual molecules of oil and other dirt, quarantining them and resulting in a water soluble macromolecule. Breathe in deeply and recognize this for what it is: a metaphor for collective action and strength overcoming individualism inherent in market philosophies. No individual is self-made; by observing collectives of lipids triumphing over single molecules of dirt and grime, we remind ourselves of the myth of the individual, and hope for capitalism's soapy demise.

  3. Rub a rough brush over the soaped fabric, targeting stains

    The brush, so very much like the brushes used to subjugate women behind high beauty standards, is now re-appropriated as an item of power. It wipes down the clothing that has just been soapily collectivized, helping the soap reach maximum effectiveness. This act is an affirmation of the potential of gender equality to bring about a radical change in the way liberalist capitalism emphasizes the individual.

  4. Pour some cups of water over the clothing for rinsing purposes

    Observe as the water runs off brown and discolored, and appreciate that the newly reinforced connection you have to the dirt that you have accumulated prior to washing. Acknowledge that dirt is a consequence of daily living; that dirt is not barbaric but, rather, one of the most human results of life. Acknowledge that Western society's anti-septic levels of cleanliness is damaging to our sense of belonging with the dirt and our relationship with our mortality. As the water runs dirty, we are reminded of the dichotomy between our own mortality and dirt's immortality. we are mortal as individuals, but as a collective, dirt might last forever.


  5. Bring the shirt over your shoulder and whack it on the ground several times to shake dirt loose

    Violence is inherent in the police state that is necessary for protecting the bourgeoisie from revolutionary redistribution of accumulated capital. By exerting wet violence over your clothing, you seize control over your clothing, and, more abstractly, your right to your private property. This control gives you the power to affirm or deny the right to private property, thereby shifting the status to you owning your commodities rather than your commodities owning you.

  6. Forcefully submerge and re-submerge the clothing in clean water

    As the water turns the color of your clothes, remind yourself that the clothes are a manufactured product; that the dye is from the earth just like the cotton is from the earth. Neither item is merely a spontaneous product of the global market. Upend the bucket on the ground and observe the colored water trickling away from your clean clothing. Realize that this is a metaphor for the separation of nature from society. Our societal alienation from our planet is the true cost of a cleaned shirt, unless you have ownership over the cleaning process -- which you now do.

  7. Stretch your shirt on a clothesline and allow the sun to dry it.

    The 7th and final step is a calming and restorative one. This is the only step where your labor is not required, and you may engage in various leisure activities of your choosing while the last of the water evaporates away. By enjoying this rest and noting the similarity between it and the biblical rest, acknowledge that the system the bible has set up is as socially constructed as the necessity to wash clothes; recognize your ability to accept or reject either as you see fit. Allow the gentle power of the sun to remind you that all biological energy derives from nothing other than the splitting of hydrogen atoms one astronomical unit away, and allow a joyful return to the naturally physical in this final and essential step.