All was Well in the Revolution. (Ilona My Dog) Revolution Unfolds
Our green little servant’s quarters was full of young women changing herstory. We dined on pizzas and Mexican food, and of course our artificial food group, Sara lee cakes.
It was good to be young then. We developed a political point of view, we were weary of the gender wars, and started exposing the mistreatments. Each time we published something we found, there was backlash, always the same backlash, “you hate men!” they yelled.
It was harder and harder to like men under these circumstances.
The male gender was simply out of order. How can you explain the daily murders and beatings the males meted out to women and each-other. Brain damage?
Here they are, every one of them had male privileges, which the most brilliant of woman didn’t have, and they just squandered it away. They have the bad taste to be angry at women, who birthed them, fed them, raised them, let them go and had sex with them. What kind of heterosexuality is this?
And what about giving women so much less money? A woman earned only 52 cents to man’s dollar. In 2018 it is still only 87 cents to a dollar for men.
Now if this was truly a heterosexual society as they claim, it would pay women more money and men less. As we grew we discovered that women could not get a loan! You had to have a husband to sign for you. It didn’t matter if you worked a good job, had your own income. Loans to the pretty little women, not so much.
These discoveries that rolled out almost daily motivated us all to change that.
Some brave sisters opened The Women’s Bank. Now there were loans available.
Once the male-run banks noticed that it was good business to give women loans, this discrimination slowly dissolved. But it took years.
The little leaflet room in the back of the Women’s Center was leaving, and becoming a Sisterhood Bookstore, with books about and by women. Yeahh!
Next we saw an emerging restaurant scene, and slowly everything was female owned, female run, female centered.
Our humble newsletter SISTER was still published, but our equipment improved, and we had enough money (thanks to the income we got from the lesbian dances) to get the paper printed, and not have to mimeograph anymore.
I have started writing under the name Z Budapest. I wrote about love and homelessness. More I learned more I wanted to change things. This Women’s Liberation totally rearranged my own mind. I felt I had this, this unnamable but magnificent struggle, to elevate my sisters and me.
I have to explain how I lived. I volunteered Mondays at the center, and I could go attend all our meetings. I decided to become a gardener, looked up what paid best in L.A. and two jobs popped out: Gardening, and Housecleaning. For a while I did both. I liked that it paid well, 15 dollars an hour back in the seventies was a fortune.
I loved it because nobody was looking over my shoulders. And it did allow me to be outside, with the trees; I “fed” the grass, picked some citrus.
When Ilona was not working, she came along on my jobs, and afterwards I took her out for a walk. A good walk. I loved my magical dog.
One of these afternoons, when we had finished feeding the grass at Ms. Lyzze’s house in Malibu, Ilona took me on a little path. We followed it all the way up on top, and there was this flat area, in the circle of mountains and ocean and twinkling lights of Santa Monica from afar.
This became our normal routine for a while.
I loved California. Every moment I lived here was my great adventure in this warm blooming place. In the gardens I tended, earlier inhabitants of these parts have planted hibiscus, and tiger lilies, and agapanthus, lantanas, wisteria, lilacs, verbenas and olives, and agave cactus. There was something always blooming, smelling good.
But the best was the night blooming jasmine trees.
These trees opened up their white flowers at night, and exhaled what angels must be breathing in. Jasmine to me smells like love.
Into this heavenly environment our Movement fit in nicely.
I could come and go with Ilona on my side, late at night, and nobody would bother me. A heady freedom.