An immodest proposal for a new world order. Hear me out.

photo credit: Scott Beck

VIRTUE SIGNAL: In my twenties, when brick and mortar porn shops still existed, I drove over to the triple-X video store in Sacramento with a sign that said, “PORN DEGRADES WOMEN.” That was the same year I threw my makeup into the trash and stopped shaving my legs. Whenever I passed a San Francisco strip club with a dancer gyrating in the entryway, I’d attempt an earnest conversation with her about self-esteem and oppression.

TRIGGER WARNING: Twenty years later, I wasn’t only wearing makeup and getting bikini waxes, I was taking pole dancing lessons. I knew self-proclaimed feminists who worked as sex surrogates and professional dominatrixes. The kinkier you were and the more you charged, the more empowered.

VIRTUE SIGNAL: Much as I hate to admit it, something about the Pussy-Grabber-In-Chief reminds me of the men I grew up around — bookies, bar owners, junket runners. Suited-up womanizers with cash in pocket. Trump comes from a different social class and political party, but I recognize the awkward swagger barely hiding the physical tics of anxiety, the hyperbolic speech pattern. When Trump’s wife or daughter stiffens as he reaches to embrace her, I cringe a little for the broken boy trapped in the billionaire’s body. I’m convinced he ends his tweets with the word “Sad!” because he’s sad.

TRIGGER WARNING: Trump is a vote-stealing, crowd-pleasing placeholder for ideologues like Stephen Miller and Jeff Sessions, men so minute in stature that I can’t help imagining their misogyny-slash-racism-slash-homophobia stemming from the powerless rage of having a too-small penis. It is very wrong of me to think that, by the way. It is also wrong to think that Steve Bannon’s drive to save Great White Western Civilization is a compensatory attempt to preserve his great white sack of heaving, bulbous flesh. That is stooping to their level. That is “going low.”

VIRTUE SIGNAL: A year ago, on the same day we learned that Hollywood’s most powerful producer had sexually assaulted dozens of actresses, another story broke that was promptly buried under the Weinstein frenzy: Over at Breitbart, Bannon’s boy slave Milo is pals with men you might not expect — like the male editor of Vice’s feminist site Broadly, like a former male columnist at feminist-friendly Slate, like a male writer on Silicon Valley. It isn’t just GOP frat boys and pedophile cowboys. It’s also that whole contingent of liberal elite good guys — CK, Rose, Diaz, Franco, Hoffman — who will be publishing their apologies in The New Yorker any day now. Still standing: The liberal who had all of us fooled: Bubba Clinton. No sociopolitical corner is safe.

TRIGGER WARNING: Did I say good guys? Did I say safe? Safe is a children’s fantasy.

VIRTUE SIGNAL: My thoughts return daily to Martin Luther King Jr., to his moral courage and eloquence. I’m reminded that, above all else, Dr. King was a Christian. He consistently said: Love your enemies. Speak up, but never give in to hate. I wake up thinking about his example, and then I get out of bed and very consciously and forcefully toss it aside.

TRIGGER WARNING: Dr. King had a beautiful, devoted wife and many mistresses. He was with one of his lovers the night before he was shot. The same Washington Post article that confirms this reports that King’s popularity plummeted when he began espousing “a radical redistribution of wealth.”

VIRTUE SIGNAL: A hundred years of feminism have yielded these sums. Ninety-five percent of American CEOs are men. Eighty-seven percent of the Forbes 400 are men. There are twenty-four times more male than female directors in Hollywood. Eighty percent of Congress is men. One hundred percent of American presidents have been men.

TRIGGER WARNING: Here’s an adult fantasy. Liberal women collectively decide that selling sex is no more demeaning than a nurse bathing a sick patient or a therapist excavating a client’s darkest secrets. We agree to vigilantly control the supply of sex until we’re running the government, the major corporations, the most powerful lobbies. Think of an Uber-type app for sex where there’s no longer any such thing as a free ride. The profits are automatically split by individual women and a centralized political action committee called — I don’t know — Pussies United. Imagine feminist celebrities like Scarlett Johansson and Beyonce donating their efforts for a million dollars a pop. Discounts can be given to life partners, but monogamy as we know it must be sacrificed to the cause. (Bonus: All those liberal beta guys we married finally have a horse in this race.) True, men can still have free sex with conservative women. But like all free content, the quality won’t be great. You get what you pay for.

VIRTUE SIGNAL: I know, I know. We should be able to right this millennia-long power imbalance not with our bodies but with our brains, with education, with micro-loans and crowdfunding and handwritten postcards and voter turnout. We should! Also, women need sex just as much as men do. Almost.

TRIGGER WARNING: Riddle me this. Why is sex the only “sacred” human activity that comes with a built-in taboo against commerce? Churches collect 115 billion tax-free dollars a year. Eckhart Tolle has sold $36 million worth of spiritual guidance. We pay nannies to feed infants and surgeons to replace heart valves. The problem with selling sex isn’t sanctity; the problem is revenue distribution. Why should advertisers, pornographers, and Hollywood moguls get the annual billions that are rightfully ours? Who needs pimps in the age of guns? (We’ll be keeping the Second Amendment for now, thank you Dana Loesch, you lone right-wing hottie — in a batshit crazy kind of way.) Anyway, let’s eliminate the middleman. We don’t even have to bother seizing the means of production. We’re sitting on it!

VIRTUE SIGNAL: I would never romanticize sex slavery, trafficking, or prostitution born of desperation. That would be wrong, and as a politically correct intersectional feminist, I am duty bound to make that disclaimer ABUNDANTLY CLEAR. I am also duty-bound to state that I don’t speak for all intersectional feminists, all white feminists, all feminists who lean heterosexual but have dabbled once or twice, all Italian-American feminists living in New York … you get the point. I’m just me, airing a little fantasy of my own making, which involves a voluntary, female-led business model that would potentially benefit everyone. Once we get our hands on the money, and hence the power, we can finally do all those touchy-feeling things we’re always prattling on about: universal healthcare, clean energy, a guarantee of LGBTQ and reproductive rights, a livable minimum wage, a year of family leave. We finance it all by taxing the rich, reining in Wall Street, cracking down on CEO salaries and Big Pharma. The premise might look patriarchal, but give it time. It’s a matriarchy. And though we have no proof that a matriarchy would ultimately function any better than what we’ve got now, there’s only one way to find out.

TRIGGER WARNING: If hashtags, protests, and daily calls to Congress are Band-Aids, a radical redistribution of wealth is the cure. Envision a social order bought and paid for by the one thing the privileged can’t live without. I know there are a thousand details to iron out. I know it’s hard to imagine. But the temperature and the tides are rising, and the evil lurking in the hearts of men becomes more apparent each day. Time is short. Imagination is the first step.

Robin Rinaldi is the author of The Wild Oats Project. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Atlantic, Poets&Writers, Yoga Journal, and elsewhere.

robinrinaldi.com ~ author of THE WILD OATS PROJECT ~ NYT ~ Atlantic ~ O Mag ~ Poets & Writers ~ editor ~ bookie’s daughter ~ auntie