Hedonisia Activist & Feminist Community Policies, Philosophy & Practices
1) I’m a little confused about your name. Why is your community called Hedonisia?
From the beginning we decided to be a different kind of ecotourist establishment in Hawaii. However, while people often meet and start romances at Hedonisia we are NOT a sex resort! Many people get confused because our name Hedonisia is very similar to Hedonism III which is an Adult Resort located in Jamaica.
Hedonisia Hawaii is located in lush tropical jungle rainforest. When you are in Paradise it is hard not to feel romantic! However, single female travelers come here because we offer a safe and friendly environment due to our Dating and Sexual Harassment Policy at Hedonisia.
As a feminist Intentional Community we manage a number of websites with more of a sensual flair. We are ‘pleasurable activists’ and proud of it! You are welcome to apply to be a Fair-Trade Volunteer and work on our heart and mind based projects.
However, women and men can also just come here and have a great volunteer or guest vacation without ever being aware of our ecofeminist because they are mostly virtual.
And while we are on this subject, our name is Hedonisia NOT Hedonesia!
2) What is Ecofeminism?
Ecofeminism is an emerging world view that draws connections between the feminist and environmental movements. It equates the treatment of women on the planet with the treatment of Mother Earth. It also references the fact that women’s work in the world is traditionally more closely connected to the planet.
3) How does Hedonisia apply ecofeminist ideas in the community?
As a sustainable community Hedonisia has always focused on women’s empowerment through our policies, practices and web projects. Many women have told us they chose to come to Hedonisia because we address the needs and concerns of female travelers as well as our information about our sexual harassment and dating guidelines.
Our commitment to Ecofeminism is also evident in our online projects dealing with the matters of reproductive rights and eco-friendly natural birth control:
- The Feminist Entrepreneur: A book project on how women (and men!) can create a business that addresses female inequality on a local or international level and in the process, give themselves a meaningful job, career and income!
- Naturalmiscarriage.org – Feminist pro-choice website that helps women make informed decisions with regards to reproduction and family planning. This is our most important feminist enterprise project having helped over one million women around the world with information on making their own reproductive choices.
- Eco-Sensual – Natural Sexy Birth Control Methods for Couples and Single Women. Sensual, natural birth control ebook and online instructional guide for couples who wish to enjoy safe, effective and romantic natural family planning.
- World Art Erotica.com: A virtual museum of sensual art and literature from cultures across the planet. Literature, Art and Teachings from Africa, India, China, Classical Europe, Japan etc. Royalty Free Art for Members.
- Sexual Equalism: Evolving and politically incorrect book projects on sexuality in the modern world including the Sensual Entrepreneur and Sexually Incorrect.
4) What is a Special Friend of Hedonisia!
Hedonisia will always have an eco-tourist component as we love to host visitors from around the world. Indeed many visitors over the years have become good friends. In fact, Mojo and Linda, the Community Directors, have met ‘ex-Hedonisians’ in Amsterdam, London, Barcelona, Copenhagen, Portland, New York and Toronto!
Slowly Hedonisia is evolving from a green vacation rental and ecohostel, to become an Intentional Community. As well as offering eco-friendly lodgings, underneath the surface Hedonisia is very active in socially progressive causes. We work on a number of social enterprise projects and it is the ideals behind them that our Intentional Community is based on.
Volunteers or Interns who have worked on and care deeply about these projects are given Special Friends of Hedonisia status! In other words, they become Community Members and Friends who then have priority over other applicants if returning for another stint to stay at our little jungle community!
5) I am a male! Can I still be part of an eco-feminist community?
Of course you can! Though we describe ourselves as an eco-feminist community, most of our feminist enterprise projects are actually online. The Hedonisia Community is first and foremost an eco-tourist community on the ground.
My guests and volunteers will come here without any idea of our other operations. They simply enjoy working on the land or enjoying the pleasures of Hawaii and that’s it!
So as a male you are of course welcome to stay here as a Volunteer, Intern or Guest!
It is unfortunate that men do not seem as enthusiastic about our feminist foundation but that is slowly changing and based on the many responses we are receiving, women are very happy about the eco-feminist entrepreneur aspect of our community. At present we can say that we are the only EcoHostel Community with a focus on feminist projects in the world!
7) I do yoga! I am a feminist! I am green! Can I still be a business person!?
Yoga is a harmony between mind, body and spirit. Yoga devotees enjoy their practice on a personal level. But it is very hard to go beyond the personal. We often see yoga practitioners who struggle with their ideals and simply paying the rent. They want serenity on the inside and serenity on the general. There is nothing in that definition about destroying the Earth mother or exploiting one’s workers for greedy ends. Environmental destruction and worker exploitation are symptoms of different problems: disregard for sustainability and the lack of a moral compass. When one engages with the capitalism model in a positive, sustainable way, a whole new picture of Capitalism’s potential emerges. Because sustainability is critical in the Positive Capitalism model, workers must needs be treated fairly and the environment demands protection of its own accord.
All too often progressive, new age, feminist and other ‘left’ oriented people see business as CAPITALISM; a ruthless exploitative system that consumes the planet and the people in it. Businesses tend to concentrate on profit. They do not address the larger issues that surround business activity. Most yoga adepts do not like to think of themselves as actual or potential business people. However, most yoga teachers’ classification as a “Private Contractor” in the West means that they are already business people! Harmony within and harmony without. That is a principal teaching in yoga. Not only to be selfishly concerned with one’s own development but also about the people and nature that surround you. One of the most practical ways to ‘be the change’ is to create a business that makes the change.
Most people would actually like to work at a job or a business that helps to make the world a little bit better. However, many progressive and caring people see business and capitalism as part of the problem rather than part of the solution to the world’s myriad problems. We would beg to differ!
Capitalism and business do not have to be predatory and ‘dog eat dog’ style. Instead you can make a living and make a difference! Over the past few years a new phrase has come into existence, ‘social enterprise’. Social Enterprises are defined as economically viable businesses that also address social or environmental needs.
8) I am thinking of buying land and moving to Hawaii?
Due to the real estate crisis and our location near the Kilauea volcano the price of land in the Puna region of East Hawaii is much lower than in many areas of America and Europe.
Living near a volcano of course has its risks. But then San Francisco is on an earthquake fault line and real estate prices are still sky high!
However, our high lava zone location means that traditional developers, condominiums, five-star hotels and Walmarts that have destroyed the natural beauty of much of Hawaii are not able to build here because the volcano may take it away!
In this development vacuum, land prices are lower than elsewhere in Hawaii thus affording an opportunity for natural ecofriendly communities to step in and create opportunities that would otherwise not exist in this area.
Hedonisia Hawaii is engaged in local political activism to give legal status to the various communities of Puna. The Puna region has intentional communities of all kinds. There are gay communities, yoga communities and raw food communities. Or there are simply people who bought a piece of land to have a small farm or rainforest home in Hawaii. In a nutshell, if you have a special interest (ie intention) you can buy a piece of land in Hawaii, create your website and then start attracting like minded people to come and live with you!
For many mainland Americans who wish to drop out of the rat race, the joys and pleasures of having a piece of paradise are definitely there! And for Europeans, the advantage of owning land in Hawaii is that it can make it easier to immigrate or just to visit their property. US Custom’s Officials tend to be easier on foreign tourists who are visiting property that they own.
Over the years Hedonisia Hawaii has acted as a landing point for many who wish to move to Hawaii island! We offer a number of options for people to stay cheaply, learn and work whilst settling down and finding their dream home in Hawaii:
- Cheap Monthly Rates to stay at Hedonisia. Some people want to buy land and settle in a beautiful area of our Hawai’ian paradise. They often will stay with us at our cheap monthly rates which then gives them ample time to drive around and check out properties for sale.
- Community, Feminist, & Activist Enterprise Workshops. Our area in Hawaii is beautiful and rural but it does not have many jobs! We teach a workshop on ‘Activist Enterprise’ otherwise known as creating a business that does good in the world!
- Fair-Trade Volunteer Program. Being a Fair-Trade volunteer allows you to stay longer while looking for property and in the meantime get an education in rainforest living in Hawaii and learning how to work the land!
- The Hedonisia Sustainable Community Manager Internship: Many people have a dream of buying land and creating a community in paradise! Of course it’s not that simple. There are all sorts of real world challenges that can bring your ideals down to earth very quickly. For example government permits, screening potential community members and finances. However, at Hedonisia we have gone through most of the hurdles that a community will face and now we can offer that knowledge to others! Being an Apprentice Manager is a fantastic way to learn sustainable community creation and managment, hands on, from an insider’s perspective.
8) What are the Benefits of Activist Enterprise Ethical Business Practices?
- Innate Morality with Social Enterprise: You are doing something good if it really either reduces pain or increases sustainable pleasure in the world.
- Nothing to fear: Cannot be blackmailed by dishonest characters when you operate an ethical business enterprise.
- Personal Autonomy and the reduction of stress! As a business you can make decisions. You have a great degree of control. Stress is what happens to people when they don’t feel in control. Business allows you a way around that. We strongly believe that this focus on profit and short term gain is a result of business school economics.
- Holistic Philosophy. Business based on social enterprise is is actually more effective because it sees itself as part of an ecosystem. It looks at the bigger picture and sees the connections there are between happy workers, clean environment, improving the world and sustainable profits.
- The Ethical and Eco and Business Lobby: With business income you can now be part of the political lobbying process! No more Big Oil! Now Big Good!
- Workers with a Cause: attracts like minded volunteers, workers, volunteers, managers and friends who are attracted to the social or environmental good that your business project is addressing.
- Social Enterprise Business Community: As a result you have a different way of looking at business because your customers and workers will often share the goals and values of your social enterprise they can often become friends!
- Building trust: When your business is based on doing something morally good and with the highest ethical and eco practices that creates trust, repeat customers and references.
- Social Activist Business. Some people really want to challenge the system. Some are content taking baby steps. Even if you do a more activist social enterprise you can confront the system in a relatively sustainable way as long as you are able to maintain your business income.
- Benefits of Good Credit Rating. When you are honest in your accounting and maintain ‘good books’ you enjoy many of the benefits of an excellent credit rating such as much lower interest rates and easier rental options. For Americans you also enjoy generous air miles travel with your business credit card!
- Morality with Taxes. Once you see the benefits and accept the ‘morality’ of paying fair taxes then you pay them. This creates relative ease with dealing with tax department and entitles you to demand more from the government for your social enterprise as you are a tax payer.
- Ethical Accounting: Of course some business matters have to be private. But as much as possible transparency is good business. When you have honest books it is easier to spot dishonesty among clients, suppliers or employees!
- Moral Business Relations and Customer Service: When you have ethical business practices you are also able to hold other businesses and even the government to those standards. This is especially true when dealing with the Customer Service Departments of business suppliers.
- A Good Night’s Sleep! When you make an income from doing good you sleep better at night! It’s that simple. You are not looking over your shoulder.