-No phone, no internet, no TV. Go completely off the map. Your only connection to the outside world should be people you can walk or drive to. You must only read newspapers, because radios and TVs are luxury items now. If you want to hear back about a job you applied for you will just have to visit in person. Family and friends who live out of state? You’ll just have to wait until they visit to hear their voices.
-Never eat red meat. That’s for rich people only.
-Anemia, scurvy, and malnutrition are very noble.
-Never buy ice cream. Joy is for rich people. You are condemned to an existence devoid of pleasure until you die or become not-poor.
-Never have nice clothes, but also if you show up looking as poor as you are, how dare you?
-Never accept gifts in the form of nice material possessions, or this will be held as proof that you’re secretly a drug dealing crime lord faking poorness to get pity money. Therefore, ask your relatives only for cans of beans and wood for the campfire on which to cook them. (Stoves and fridges are luxuries, after all. You will be doing lots of campfire cooking and only eating nonperishable food.)
-Never talk about being poor, that is incredibly rude and people will think you’re trying to manipulate them, even if you’re speaking in a matter-of-fact way about your life to your friends and non-poor people passing through happened to overhear you. Clearly you are being poor AT them, and that’s unforgivable.
-Suffer in silence. Never cry, except but a single crystalline tear on your cheek as you die. You might have asked for help, but that is not the AMERICAN way, damn it. Better to die in a quiet, dark place with your lone tear for company, than ask for help.
-Just stop being poor. Have you thought of that?
-Never be poor to begin with, better yet. Just track down the Wishmaster and wish to have never been born.
-You’ve got all these bootstraps lying around, you can just pull yourself up by them and everything will magically be okay
- Be careful what shows in your YouTube videos. If anyone staring into the background sees anything they deem as expensive (whether it is or not, and regardless of how you got it or even whether you own it) they will accuse you of welfare fraud. (This actually happened to me. At one point I had people gleefully going through all of my videos frame by frame looking for shit like that.)
- If you were ever anything other than poor, you’re not poor now and will never be poor, no matter how poor you get.
- If you grew up anything other than poor, then surely your parents must have money now, even if they’re actually poorer than you are. If you say otherwise, you’re lying and pretending to be poor.
- You could actually afford to eat well, if you stopped paying the $20-$30 a month it takes to get Internet. Because everyone knows how much food you can get for $20-$30 a month, especially if cooking is hard or impossible. Moreover, that little tiny bit of food would be totally worth the loss of everything (including money, jobs, social life, safety) that comes with having Internet.
- Starvation doesn’t actually cause problems with cognition or physical functioning. So it’s not like it actually gets harder to procure and make and eat food (or function in any other way), the more starving you are. And it’s not like this combines with pre-existing disabilities in nasty ways to make everyday functioning damn near impossible. So quit complaining, you don’t need food, or don’t need that much, anyway.
- If you’re fat, you can’t possibly be starving. Wait until you’ve dropped 70-200 pounds before you ask for help getting food. Oh wait, you could be dead by then. And oh wait, starvation makes you gain weight when you do eat because you’re holding onto calories more. Never mind facts like those. Fat people are evil. Evil I tell you. And if you are fat and say you’re starving, it’s just gluttony talking.
- Accept all help. Even if the help actually leaves you worse off than when you started. If you don’t accept every offer of help, no matter how ludicrous, degrading, or unhelpful, then you’re not trying and should be ignored as the useless ingrate you are.
- Don’t show weakness. Don’t talk about how much you cried because you haven’t eaten a square meal in a week and your refrigerator is completely bare. Nobody wants to hear that stuff, and you’re probably lying to get sympathy. Nobody who has Internet could be starving, after all.
- There’s no such thing as a disability that prevents you from eating even when there’s food close at hand. If you don’t eat when there’s food around, you must have an unconscious death wish. Or you’re wallowing in self-pity and can’t be bothered to get up and eat. It can’t possibly be, you know, autistic inertia or sensory processing problems, or avolition, or any other known symptoms of neurological conditions.
usually unpopular opinion puffin pisses me off but this is so important
ALL OF THIS
Human decency is the ability to see others as, well, human. I don’t give a shit why or how people are on wellfare. I don’t give a shit if they are grifters (statistically they are not). I don’t give a shit if they are addicts or recovering addicts, if they are poor and working 3 jobs or poor and working no jobs, if they are disabled in some capacity, I just don’t give a flying fuck. I give a flying fuck if that person is cold, or hungry, though, because that person is still a fucking person, regardless of all circumstances. And I have this weird idea that people deserve dignity and respect and I dunno, being seen and treated as human beings.
Empathy and compassion. Social conservatives should try it sometime.
I love you.
Seriously, got a little teary eyed reading that because yes, more people need to think like this.
A great article about the backlash against those POC who were racially profiled at Barney’s for “spending money on items they can’t afford”
This is SO true. We were “educated poor” (at a time when professors didn’t make much at all) and my dad’s status as a professor (university town, slightly odd manner of dress, big words, big briefcase) got us a lot of things we wouldn’t have gotten otherwise. Preferential treatment by car dealers, bankers, lawyers, doctors, teachers, etc. This is why clothing closets, finer items, and such—and any training in “looking well-off”—are a boon to people living in poverty.
I think it’s also why people react so vehemently to the poor having nice things like clothes, phones, cars. It’s not just (or even) a sense of being defrauded, it’s a fierce defence of the class structure. If the poor can mimic you, then what’s to keep someone else from thinking you’re poor and treating you badly?
The attack is punching down. It’s safe. It’s self-serving. Punching up rejects the notion that we should treat the poor worse than others simply on the basis of their financial status. It means we admit our class privilege and that we are, daily, receiving benefits for something that is not (as much as we would like to think otherwise) a reward for our merits.
Let me tell you some things.
I used to investigate child abuse and neglect. I can tell you how to stop the vast majority of abortion in the world.
First, make knowledge and access to contraception widely available. Start teaching kids before they hit puberty. Teach them about domestic violence and coercion, and teach them not to coerce and rape. Create a strong, loving community where women and girls feel safe and supported in times of need. Because guess what? They aren’t. You know what happens to babies born under such circumstances? They get hurt, unnecessarily. They get sick, unnecessarily. They get removed from parents who love them but who are unprepared for the burden of a child. Resources? Honey, we try. There aren’t enough resources anywhere. There are waiting lists, and promises, and maybes. If the government itself can’t hook people up, what makes you think an impoverished single mom can handle it?
Abolish poverty. Do you have any idea how much childcare costs? Daycare can cost as much or more than monthly rent. They may be inadequately staffed. Getting a private nanny is a nice idea, but they don’t come cheap either. Relatives? Do they own a car? Does the bus run at the right times? Do they have jobs of their own they need to work just to keep the lights on? Are they going to stick around until you get off you convenience store shift at 4 AM? Do they have criminal histories that will make them unsuitable as caregivers when CPS pokes around? You gonna pay for that? Who’s going to pay for that?
End rape. I know your type errs on the side of blaming the woman, but I’ve seen little girls who’ve barely gotten their periods pregnant because somebody thought raping preteens was an awesome idea. You want to put a child through that? Or someone with a mental or physical inability for whom pregnancy would be frightening, painful or even life-threatening? I’ve seen nonverbal kids who had their feet sliced up by caregivers for no fucking reason at all, you think sexual abuse doesn’t happen either?
You say there’s lots of couples who want to adopt. Kiddo, what they want to adopt are healthy white babies, preferably untainted by the wombs and genetics of women with alcohol or drug dependencies. I’ve seen the kids they don’t want, who almost no one wants. You people focus only on the happy pink babies, the gigglers, the ones who grow and grow with no trouble. Those are not the kids who linger in foster care. Those are certainly not the older kids and teenagers who age out of foster care and then are thrown out in the streets, usually with an array of medical and mental health issues. Are they too old to count?
And yeah, I’ve seen the babies, little hand-sized things barely clinging to life. There’s no glory, no wonder there. There is no wonder in a pregnant woman with five dollars to her name, so deep in depression you wonder if she’ll be alive in a week. Therapy costs money. Medicine costs money. Food, clothes, electricity cost money. Government assistance is a pittance; poverty drives women and girls into situations where they are forced to rely on people who abuse them to survive. (I’ve been up in more hospitals than I can count.)
In each and every dark pit of desperation, I have never seen a pro-lifer. I ain’t never seen them babysitting, scrubbing floors, bringing over goods, handing mom $50 bucks a month or driving her to the pediatrician. I ain’t never seen them sitting up for hours with an autistic child who screams and rages so his mother can get some sleep while she rests up from working 14-hour days. I don’t see them fixing leaks in rundown houses or playing with a kid while the police prepare to interview her about her sexual abuse. They’re not paying for the funerals of babies and children who died after birth, when they truly do become independent organisms. And the crazy thing is they think they’ve already done their job, because the child was born!
Aphids give birth, girl. It’s no miracle. You want to speak for the weak? Get off your high horse and get your hands dirty helping the poor, the isolated, the ill and mentally ill women and mothers and their children who already breathe the dirty air. You are doing nothing, absolutely nothing, for children. You don’t have a flea’s comprehension of injustice. You are not doing shit for life until you get in there and fight that darkness. Until you understand that abortion is salvation in a world like ours. Does that sound too hard? Do you really think suffering post-birth is more permissible, less worthy of outrage?
“Pro-life” is simply a philosophy in which the only life worth saving is the one that can be saved by punishing a woman.