It can certainly be hard to find love on the left – screaming your lungs out about the evils of Occupation is rarely the most attractive of mating calls. Pulling at political meetings can be a deeply depressing experience too, unless you want to attract self-important middle-agers whose idea of romance is plotting for the revolution. With such unpromising options at your disposal, there are worse options than online dating. Sure, it can seem like the commodification of intimacy, but getting too worked up about shopping for dates isn’t going to help you find one.
If you really can’t face that, there are some other options. Local and academic libraries can be a hotbed of horny hacks. Park yourself behind a copy of Marx’s Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts and wait for your Engels to show up.
If that doesn’t strike you as a likely prospect, you could try flirtatiously Facebooking old friends – as long as lurking exes don’t inadvertently scupper your chances. Or you could take a hands on approach to international solidarity and go globetrotting for eligible Trots.
If that doesn’t yield an eligible partner, you might want to embrace a more fundamental criticism of your desire for coupledom. As a political lesbian, I used to rail against ‘the inturned emotional exclusiveness of the couple, which students the partners so they can no longer operate at all as independent beings in society’. Nowadays, though, I’ve embraced Anthony Crosland’s social democratic credo that ‘abstinence is not a good foundation for socialism’. He advocated ‘more, not less spooning in the Parks of Recreation and Rest’. For £6 a month, plus a profile that promises ‘socialist seeks similar for sex, sauciness and spooning’, I’m doing my bit for the cause.
Further advice and discussion on this subject can be found on the new Red Pepper forums under the hugely popular ‘Sex and socialism‘ thread.
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Dear Auntie _ War, famine, economic depression and global warming - the idea that 'another world is possible' seems remoter than ever. Will we ever have a just and peaceful world? _ Desperate for peace, Preston
Dear Auntie _ At one of the Gaza protests in London, Stop the War put the number of protesters at around 100,000 but the police insisted it was only 20,000. Can Auntie reassure me that the Met has a scientific methodology for estimating crowd numbers? _ Numberless in London
Dear Auntie, All my left-wing friends seem to be overjoyed about Obama winning the US election, holding real hope that he will bring change, that he'll stop the wars, and that he'll somehow make America all cuddly and nice. But haven't we been here before? I'm getting flashbacks to the expectations people had of politicians like Tony Blair and Bill Clinton, and how quickly they betrayed us. Is it terrible that I think Obama will be just more of the same? Hopeless, London
Dear Auntie, Having reached 50, I've become invisible. It's the only explanation of why people look right through me. I'm ignored in shops and at bus stops; and getting served at the bar is an endurance test, as men and younger women always take priority. I have a lifetime of experience as an activist, but these days there's always a 'Darren' or 'Ryan' whose opinion matters more. I'd go as far as saying they don't even hear me speak! It seems white hair and wrinkles are taken as an early indication of Alzheimer's. But I'm not ready to go gently into the night and as Auntie looks of a similar age, does she have any advice? The invisible woman, London
Dear Auntie, _ My daughter is starting to ask awkward questions such as 'Mum, did you take drugs when you were young?' I don't want to lie but I don't want her to venture down the same route. What do I tell her? _ Amy in London
Dear Auntie, _ I'm a vegetarian who is fed up having to justify why I don't eat anything with a face on it. And it's the environmentalists who are also meat eaters who seem the most personally affronted by my choices. Do you have any suggestions how I can deal with this? _ Chickpea not chicken lover, Totnes