"Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité"

gimpnelly:

So, to say that my post from earlier this week has blown up would be a bit of an understatement, I think…

I’ve been blown away by the amount of support I’ve gotten from the comics community. This sort of thing (the condescension, rudeness, personal attacks, and rape threats) happens to my…

I have nothing to add to this.

divalea:

DEAR MEN IN COMICS:

THE COST FOR WOMEN IN COMICS OF DOING BUSINESS IS TOO HIGH.

You need to help lower the price of women doing business in comics and in comics fandom to only the hard work. Not the hard work plus ducking threats online and off of violence, dodging groping,…

Brian why does it seem that there is such hostility towards woman creators in the comic industry?
Anonymous

wonderali:

marlene:

brianmichaelbendis:

Because no matter what we do there will always be unevolved cowards among us. and the anonymity of the Internet brings out some people’s worst instincts.

  please read my words carefully… I said some people. and its only some people. but those people seem really awful.

 truthfully, it is not just female creators. a lot of people take weird, hateful shit from weird people.  truthfully, honestly, a lot of us get showered with lovely thoughts all day as well but the sickening stuff stands out because… it just does.

but I think that all of us would hope that we would have gotten to a place as a society where our mothers, sisters, daughters and wives could go on the Internet without having to worry about being called a whore for having an opinion.

 I think what rattles most of us in the comic book community is the fact that someone could read a bunch of comic books, with very specific, simple moral themes with highly moral characters, fighting the fight for good, and COMPLETELY MISS THE POINT.

 you know what Capt. America would never do? he would never go on the Internet anonymously and slam anyone.

the point of the stories, the good ones :-), is to show us what we could be. not to waddle around in the minutia of comic book science but to enjoy a world were someone is fighting the good fight.  a world we hope we could live in one day.

 just because you are posting anonymously doesn’t mean that those thoughts are not yours.  it is not role-play, it is not a character, that is who you really are.  that is the energy you are putting out in the world. this isn’t some mask you are hiding behind… this is who you REALLY ARE.

and if who you really are is a bully, anonymous or not, I truly feel bad for you. I really do. I feel bad that you’re hurting so badly that you think you need to do this.  

but there is NO excuse to attempt to punish others under the cloak of anonymous. none. 

Well said, Mr. Bendis. Well said.

"the point of the stories, the good ones :-), is to show us what we could be. not to waddle around in the minutia of comic book science but to enjoy a world were someone is fighting the good fight. a world we hope we could live in one day."

What Bendis said.

thebirdandthebat:

I have a theory on why a small segment of men who read comics send rape threats to women who write about comics. To put it simply, they think we’re destroying their masturbatory fantasies (literal or otherwise).

You may laugh but it’s quite possibly the source of all the…

There are times when I’m relieved that I’m so insulated from the comic community at large that I honestly don’t encounter these despicable people, and then there are times when I’m tempted to find and join every forum that exists just to prosecute an Eliot Ness-style crusade against the misogynists who spew their ugliness with self-congratulatory delusions that somehow they’re the ones under attack.

Shunning them is a solid suggestion, though I think it important to clarify that doesn’t mean just ignoring them. It means actively making it known that these thugs are not welcomed in our midst. It’s a solid approach, but for fans like me, who are already not engaged with fandom at large, it’s dissatisfying to feel that we’re actively part of the problem because we’re not more actively part of the solution.

I have my blog and social media (Facebook and Twitter). My readership is small. More often than not, I can’t even get my close friends to read what I write with any consistency, much less anyone else. I’ve followed a handful of various comic creators at times, only to lose my interest and un-follow most of them. I can say the only one I’ve ever un-followed because I was offended by something he said was Frank Miller, when he got all “Get off my lawn, you spoiled, un-American bums!” about the Occupy movement. The rest simply failed to interest me.

The lone exceptions are Gail Simone (Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr, though I’m not very active with Tumblr), and Norm Breyfogle (Facebook only). The reason? Day in and day out, these two champion values I share. Discussion about comics is secondary to social consciousness with those two. Consequently, I’m just part of the choir in their church rather than an evangelical going door-to-door or standing in the streets.

I don’t even really engage much with anyone when I visit my local comic shop, The Great Escape, to pick up my monthlies. (I read Batgirl and The Movement, because both are written by Simone, the latter’s final issue will ship in just two weeks, and Batman ‘66). The manager at The Great Escape is a woman, and so are several of the staff, so I imagine anyone espousing misogynistic views is quickly shunned there.

I’m reluctant to even say it, but the God’s honest truth is, I’ve never witnessed anyone say such things there. That’s not a denouncement that it hasn’t, or doesn’t, happen. The ambiance in that shop is really quiet, even on Wednesdays. It feels like a library, actually. Even chatter at the counter is more about customers asking if they have something in stock or, more often, about customers bringing in things to sell or trade. Very seldom can I say I’ve ever heard anyone really even talk about the goings-on in any given comic or about creators, or anything else related to the industry at large.

I have no interest in joining comic book forums online. I don’t even read the editorial content on comic book sites unless it’s something brought to my attention by Breyfogle, Simone, or one of the very few comic book fan friends I have.

In fact, the only forum presence I maintain is on DVD Talk. I have occasionally encountered misogyny there, but to the community’s credit, I’ve usually seen it called out by the time I’ve caught up and found it. If I happen to be reading when something like that is said, I’ve not hesitated to be the one to call it out. But I only maintain my presence on that forum because it’s so civil overall (with the noted exception of the “Other” sub-forum that includes political content; even the rest of the forum considers that a whole ‘nother world where only those willing to endure slings and arrows venture).

We have a comic sub-forum there, though it’s tiny. I haven’t been very active on the forum at all since the end of February, so I can’t say what anyone has said in the last two months, but I would be surprised if misogynists had asserted themselves there.

I want to be clear: I have not said all this in an attempt to shirk accountability or to rationalize passivity. If anything, I would invite my fellow comic fans to follow Norm Breyfogle and Gail Simone, to visit The Great Escape, and/or to join DVD Talk. I would stand by all of them as being safe for women. (Though I would think recommending Gail Simone is probably unnecessary.)

Should I take the fight to misogynists (and racists and homophobes, as well)? Should I actively seek them out and hunt them down, joining forums for the purpose of calling out their ugliness? I feel derelict as an ally not doing more than I do, because I’ve stayed away from the battlefield. Rushing to the front lines feels like making the fight about me, though, and I know that’s not what being an ally is supposed to be about.

For the third year in a row, I will be attending C2E2 in Chicago next weekend. Aside from seeing the typical objectifying works in Artist Alley, I witnessed nothing at either of the previous shows. I did encounter some ugly remarks about a cosplayer in a photo I shared in a Facebook group, though. I lashed out enough that that guy has more or less abandoned the group. I’m sure he’d say he got tired of me being such a stick in the mud that he lost interest in the group; we’d clashed over other issues before that incident. Whatever.

I’ll keep my eyes and ears open next weekend. I intend to attend a few panels about women in comics - as creators, characters, and fans. If anyone reading this happens to want to chat with me, I welcome you to approach me. I’ll be the dude with the battered brown cane. I shouldn’t be hard to find, because there’s a 10% chance I’ll be in your way at some point. (Sorry about that!)

Edit to Add

I shamefully forgot to mention that I also follow Ty Templeton and his wife, Kieran Smith. They’re both lovely people who also call out -isms wherever they encounter it.

After "Don't rape" and "Don't threaten rape" what's the best way for men to improve the lives of women and girls in geekdom?
Anonymous

gimpnelly:

postcardsfromspace:

Okay, look: “Don’t rape” and “don’t threaten rape” are pinpoint-specific parts of social compact, also known as “the bare minimum expectations for getting to be part of society.”

These are things that should be taken as a given. Don’t hold up ”don’t rape” and “don’t threaten rape” like they are gifts.

I mean, don’t do those things, and deter others from doing them, and talk about all of this, but, fuck, man.

Anyway.

The best way men can improve the lives of women and girls in geekdom is to do their damnedest to shift the balance of power. Geek dudes—especially white geek dudes—you have something the ladies do not: you have a platform from which to speak about issues of justice with relative impunity. Use it. Better yet, share it with or give it to someone who does not have that privilege.

Are you a pro on a panel that’s all white dudes? Give up your seat to a woman of color. Encourage other panelists to do the same. Straight-up refuse to be part of panels that do not work toward equal representation. Hold speaker and guest lists at cons to the same standard. And talk about what you are doing, and why.

If you are in a position that gives you hiring power, hire women—especially into positions where they will have power, not just low-level editorial and work-for-hire gigs. Actively seek and use the input of women, and go out of your way to make really damn sure they’re credited for those contributions

Seek and vocally advocate for works by and about women, for female-friendly and generally diversity-friendly publishers, retailers, and fan communities. When someone does shit right, vote with your dollars and spread the word. When someone fucks up, call them out, and—if there’s any real potential for it and you’ve got the capacity—offer them impetus for and tools to change.

Buy girl books. Buy books with pink covers, and read them in public. Break down the box of geek masculinity, and live the geek culture you want to see and be part of. Subvert everything.

Meanwhile: Hold other men accountable. Don’t tell rape jokes. Call out bullshit.

And respect the anger of those of us who have been consistently marginalized. If you want to be an ally in this fight, recognize that the fight is not about you: sometimes solidarity means giving other people space to be frustrated and angry at a system from which you directly benefit, and sometimes that means that they will, by extension, be angry at you—and that this, along with everything else, means *that system* is your common enemy.

Speaking of systems: Educate yourself. Read How to Suppress Women’s Writing and call that shit out. Understand that in this fight, your voice is generally considered to mean more than mine. Fight that inequality as hard as you can—but meanwhile, while you’ve got that platform, use it.

As usual, Rachel has some excellent thoughts on how to be a better ally.

This isn’t just applicable to the realm of comic book misogyny; it’s applicable everywhere. The only bit of privilege I don’t have as a white, straight, cis-gender male is that I have health issues. So it’s incumbent on folks like me to signal boost things like this, and to be mindful of ways we can help combat the inequality that’s out there.

gimpnelly:

Last week I wrote this piece for Comic Book Resources about the new Teen Titans #1 cover. The point of the piece was hey, there’s a broad demographic DC *could* be hitting with this book but the cover is certainly not made for that potential demographic. Instead, it’s more of the same-old,…

I wish I could say that this was something new, but sadly I’ve read entirely too many similar pieces. Ms. Asselin’s bullies are representative of an entire epidemic of misogyny and rape culture, and those of us guys who reject that nonsense need to do a better job calling it out when we see it.

wagatwe:

alantyson:

fozmeadows:

seananmcguire:

cumbersome-cucumber:

frightening-feminist:

blissy-leaves:

getoutofthewelfaretag:

thegodlessatheist:

Or a playstation or a flat screen TV or a newer car, etc and etc. I know people that work under the table for half their pay and get paid on the books for the rest and collect welfare. I know of drug dealers that collect for tax purposes even though they pull in thousands of untaxed money each month dealing. Tell me how I am not supposed to be upset with these people like I am with greedy corporate cronies? I’m not heartless. These people are selfish and unethical.

Except not everyone who has nice things is automatically cheating the system. People are given things as gifts. People buy things and THEN qualify for assistance. People save up for nice things.You can’t assume what someone’s situation is just by what they own.

We were eating only donated Panera bread, rice, and turnips. My father was sneaking to the various blood banks in town to sell his plasma at twice the rate they allow. My mother was dying due to not having her medicine, which cost well over $1,200 a month after insurance. My autistic baby brother wanted to do something nice for me. He worked for months making custom art pieces to sell. He worked up courage despite crippling social anxiety and speech problems to ask the neighbors if he could do chores for them to earn more money - raking the yard, helping clean their house, walking their dogs. For nine months he carefully hoarded his money in a jar in his bedroom. He counted it every single night and compared it to the cost of what he wanted to get for me for Christmas. Finally he had enough. He bought me a DS Lite and a pokemon game. He was so happy. Until one of our neighbors, a highly conservative jackass, saw me with it outside a couple weeks later. My brother was with me. The neighbor stormed up and became screaming at us, a pair of teenagers, over how we could be so selfish to spend money on “electronic shit” when we were a family on food stamps. Spittle flying from his lips, cuss words every other second, rage radiating off of him so violently that our father came running out of the house - at a limp, since his spine is broken, which causes him horrific daily pain beyond what I can imagine - to protect us. My brother was never the same again. There is no happy ending here. That episode in his life changed him permanently and for the past seven years he has almost never left his room and never gone to a friend’s house. He is terrified of the neighbors and believes he is a bad person. Because of fucking people like you OP. Because of fuckers who believe that they know what life is like for everyone and have a right to judge. So fuck you OP. If you know drug dealers, report them, go on and put your ass on the line then. But for fuck’s sake don’t you dare thing you understand what goes on in the life of the people who live in never-ending, grinding poverty. Because you have *no fucking clue* what goes on in the detailed lives of others. You want to talk selfish? Look in the fucking mirror.

This is an important post.

that time Bill O Reily was shocked and appalled that poor people could afford *gasp* A TV AND A FRIDGE IN THEIR APT? and went on a rant saying these ppl shouldn’t be on welfare because they have a plasma tv and fridge because obviously poor people need to not have tvs and fridge because poor ppl should be storing their food underground in holes and draw on walls with stones and sticks for entertainment.

When I was a child on welfare, eating rotten lunch meat, walking in shoes with cardboard in the bottoms to cover the holes, I had an extensive collection of My Little Ponies.  Not “one or two horses”; over three hundred, all told, and almost all the major playsets.  Maybe, oh, 10% of the total came from my mother, over the course of the eight years I spent collecting and living with her.  The rest were gifts from family members who didn’t know about our situation, but knew from Gramma’s chatty “everything is fine” letters that I loved My Little Pony.  They were from the charity groups that let you sign up and specify what your children wanted for Christmas.  They were from me saving every penny I found on the street.  They were from favorite teachers who knew how poor we were, who wanted me to have birthday happiness.  We’re talking thousands of dollars of plastic horses, almost none of which took a dime from Mom’s budget.  And the ones that did?  She was a mother trying not to break her daughter’s heart.
Every time someone yelled at us because poor people shouldn’t have nice things, we all died a little inside, and I clutched my horses even harder.  I needed something bright and beautiful in the world, to make up for the roaches in the walls and the mold growing on the butter.
Unless you’re someone’s accountant, you don’t know where they’re putting their money, and it’s not your place to judge.

I am right at my fucking limit for judgemental shitstainery today. I just. I fucking CANNOT with these assholes.
Firstly, POVERTY IS NOT A FUCKING BINARY STATE. You aren’t either “poor” or “not-poor”, with absolutely zero middle ground between. Ceasing to be poor isn’t like a fucking Pokemon evolution - you don’t just shed that shit like a snakeskin and turn into a whole new being in seconds. Ceasing to be poor, especially in the face of severe social and economic pressure, is hard fucking yakka, and it happens slowly, in increments, over time, without sudden lottery-style explosions of new money but frequently featuring disappointing setbacks, and that means small things can improve before the big things do - like, for instance, being able to afford a shiny new phone to replace the dying one you’ve been stuck with for the past two years before you can afford to go off welfare. This sort of logic also ignores the idea that you can BECOME poor and still have around you the trappings of previous better-offness, like quality appliances. As convenient as it would be for the kind of troglodyte who likes to judge by appearances, becoming poor doesn’t mean you have to go hand in all your cool shit at the pawnshop, not least because a lot of that stuff - like functioning fridges and dryers, for instance - will SAVE YOU MONEY when you really need it later.
Secondly, anyone who thinks that poor people are fundamentally undeserving of luxury or treats or pleasure-buying or anything else that might alleviate the enormous fucking strain of being poor - because any departure from subsistence-level living means you’re an Eebil Welfare Slobqueen! - can go FALL IN A WELL AND DIE. I am fucking serious: if you, financially secure douchebag, have EVER gone and bought yourself a treat in order to make yourself feel better after a shitty day - if you’ve picked up some feelgood chocolate, or a new game, or a pricey bag, or a toy, or even something as simple as a taxi ride rather than a bus ticket because it was raining and you couldn’t face the queue - then you can SHUT THE FUCK UP FOREVER about the immortality if feelgood purchasing by people with less money than you. Because what you’re saying, when you sit down and police what people can and cannot buy, and the circumstances under which they buy it - what you’re saying is that poor people ARE NOT ENTITLED TO EMOTIONAL SECURITY; ARE NOT ENTITLED TO COMFORT; ARE NOT ENTITLED TO JOY, because they should be too busy scraping by with every fucking penny they have to notice that scraping by is utterly fucking soul-destroying.
Thirdly, a lot of the things you’re deeming “luxury” items? ARE FUCKING NECESSARY FOR GETTING ONESELF OUT OF POVERTY. Let’s see you try to jobhunt without a working phone or internet access. Let’s see you try to grocery shop on a budget for a family of four with no car and a freezer that’s just big enough for a couple of ice cube trays. Let’s see you keep yourself looking professionally presentable and your children schoolready when you’re handwashing all your clothes in the bath and hanging them out to dry on the radiator you can’t afford to turn on half the time, because your tiny income means choosing between warmth and medication. 
What you’re doing, OP - you and other privileged assholes like you - is assuming that poverty is somehow EASY; that there’s no emotional, psychological toll to it that might ever need to be alleviated - not for adults, and especially not for children, because the children of poor people don’t deserve happy childhoods; presumably, they should just get jobs and work for their toys, as though this were Dickensian fucking England. You see objects, but not the sacrifice behind obtaining them; to you, objects have no context, no significance beyond their cost and status value, because THAT’S ALL THEY MEAN TO YOU. I used to work for a government department in Australia that provided free fridges and washing machines to people on welfare whose own had broken, and which they couldn’t afford to replace. I rang one woman to tell her that her fridge request had been approved, and she was literally fighting back tears of relief - not only had she been spending extra money she couldn’t afford buying groceries day to day, because all the food was spoiling without anywhere to keep it cool, but she’d been having to keep her young kids from realising just how bad things were, too - she’d told them they were having Ramadan early, fasting early, to explain why there was no food all of a sudden, and she didn’t know how much longer she could keep it up. I approved a washing machine for a single father who was struggling to keep his children out of foster homes after their mother, who had been their primary caregiver, was arrested; he needed one for the social workers to let him keep his kids, but was between jobs and didn’t have enough cash to replace the one that broke. 
tl;dr: THERE IS NO ‘RIGHT’ WAY TO BE POOR, BECAUSE THERE IS NOTHING RIGHT ABOUT POVERTY. STOP POLICING POVERTY WITH YOUR MADE-UP FUCKING CHECKLIST OF RULES, AS THOUGH IT’S SOME COVETED, ADVANTAGE-CONFERRING CLUB THAT LAZY PEOPLE ARE TRYING TO SNEAK INTO INSTEAD OF A DIFFICULT, HEARTBREAKING, LIFE-THREATENING SITUATION. YOU DUMBASS.

Shit like this always boils down to the following: “How dare you try to live.”

Yeah, seriously. Don’t people have their own fucking lives to worry about instead of policing what “poor” people are owning? GTFO.

I hate it when I see things like the original text, but I feel so much better when I see so many people fight back against it like the comments from others above. My family owned and operated a consignment shop for 20 years, and you wouldn’t even believe how many designer clothes passed through our shop - some of them so high end that the consignors who brought them to us couldn’t even buy them in our area and had either special ordered them or bought them on vacations. Quite often, we would get items still with the original store tags still attached, because the consignors couldn’t be bothered to return the unwanted items and found it easier just to bring them to us.Our shoppers were then able to get their hands on all kinds of pricey clothes often at even lower prices than the cheap stuff sold at Walmart, all because they were shrewd enough to bother browsing our racks. It seems the most judgmental people out there making accusations about what kind of things one can or cannot own - because of their MSRP - simply have no idea how to find things on the cheap. I bet they laugh at the idea of coupons and cringe at the notion of buying something secondhand, but those of us who *have* and *do* struggle not only know these things; we rely on them to get by.

wagatwe:

alantyson:

fozmeadows:

seananmcguire:

cumbersome-cucumber:

frightening-feminist:

blissy-leaves:

getoutofthewelfaretag:

thegodlessatheist:

Or a playstation or a flat screen TV or a newer car, etc and etc. I know people that work under the table for half their pay and get paid on the books for the rest and collect welfare. I know of drug dealers that collect for tax purposes even though they pull in thousands of untaxed money each month dealing. Tell me how I am not supposed to be upset with these people like I am with greedy corporate cronies? I’m not heartless. These people are selfish and unethical.

Except not everyone who has nice things is automatically cheating the system. People are given things as gifts. People buy things and THEN qualify for assistance. People save up for nice things.

You can’t assume what someone’s situation is just by what they own.

We were eating only donated Panera bread, rice, and turnips. My father was sneaking to the various blood banks in town to sell his plasma at twice the rate they allow. My mother was dying due to not having her medicine, which cost well over $1,200 a month after insurance.

My autistic baby brother wanted to do something nice for me.

He worked for months making custom art pieces to sell. He worked up courage despite crippling social anxiety and speech problems to ask the neighbors if he could do chores for them to earn more money - raking the yard, helping clean their house, walking their dogs.

For nine months he carefully hoarded his money in a jar in his bedroom. He counted it every single night and compared it to the cost of what he wanted to get for me for Christmas.

Finally he had enough. He bought me a DS Lite and a pokemon game.

He was so happy.

Until one of our neighbors, a highly conservative jackass, saw me with it outside a couple weeks later. My brother was with me.

The neighbor stormed up and became screaming at us, a pair of teenagers, over how we could be so selfish to spend money on “electronic shit” when we were a family on food stamps. Spittle flying from his lips, cuss words every other second, rage radiating off of him so violently that our father came running out of the house - at a limp, since his spine is broken, which causes him horrific daily pain beyond what I can imagine - to protect us.

My brother was never the same again. There is no happy ending here. That episode in his life changed him permanently and for the past seven years he has almost never left his room and never gone to a friend’s house. He is terrified of the neighbors and believes he is a bad person.

Because of fucking people like you OP.

Because of fuckers who believe that they know what life is like for everyone and have a right to judge.

So fuck you OP. If you know drug dealers, report them, go on and put your ass on the line then. But for fuck’s sake don’t you dare thing you understand what goes on in the life of the people who live in never-ending, grinding poverty. Because you have *no fucking clue* what goes on in the detailed lives of others.

You want to talk selfish? Look in the fucking mirror.

This is an important post.

that time Bill O Reily was shocked and appalled that poor people could afford *gasp* A TV AND A FRIDGE IN THEIR APT?
and went on a rant saying these ppl shouldn’t be on welfare because they have a plasma tv and fridge because obviously poor people need to not have tvs and fridge because poor ppl should be storing their food underground in holes and draw on walls with stones and sticks for entertainment.

When I was a child on welfare, eating rotten lunch meat, walking in shoes with cardboard in the bottoms to cover the holes, I had an extensive collection of My Little Ponies.  Not “one or two horses”; over three hundred, all told, and almost all the major playsets.  Maybe, oh, 10% of the total came from my mother, over the course of the eight years I spent collecting and living with her.  The rest were gifts from family members who didn’t know about our situation, but knew from Gramma’s chatty “everything is fine” letters that I loved My Little Pony.  They were from the charity groups that let you sign up and specify what your children wanted for Christmas.  They were from me saving every penny I found on the street.  They were from favorite teachers who knew how poor we were, who wanted me to have birthday happiness.  We’re talking thousands of dollars of plastic horses, almost none of which took a dime from Mom’s budget.  And the ones that did?  She was a mother trying not to break her daughter’s heart.

Every time someone yelled at us because poor people shouldn’t have nice things, we all died a little inside, and I clutched my horses even harder.  I needed something bright and beautiful in the world, to make up for the roaches in the walls and the mold growing on the butter.

Unless you’re someone’s accountant, you don’t know where they’re putting their money, and it’s not your place to judge.

I am right at my fucking limit for judgemental shitstainery today. I just. I fucking CANNOT with these assholes.

Firstly, POVERTY IS NOT A FUCKING BINARY STATE. You aren’t either “poor” or “not-poor”, with absolutely zero middle ground between. Ceasing to be poor isn’t like a fucking Pokemon evolution - you don’t just shed that shit like a snakeskin and turn into a whole new being in seconds. Ceasing to be poor, especially in the face of severe social and economic pressure, is hard fucking yakka, and it happens slowly, in increments, over time, without sudden lottery-style explosions of new money but frequently featuring disappointing setbacks, and that means small things can improve before the big things do - like, for instance, being able to afford a shiny new phone to replace the dying one you’ve been stuck with for the past two years before you can afford to go off welfare. This sort of logic also ignores the idea that you can BECOME poor and still have around you the trappings of previous better-offness, like quality appliances. As convenient as it would be for the kind of troglodyte who likes to judge by appearances, becoming poor doesn’t mean you have to go hand in all your cool shit at the pawnshop, not least because a lot of that stuff - like functioning fridges and dryers, for instance - will SAVE YOU MONEY when you really need it later.

Secondly, anyone who thinks that poor people are fundamentally undeserving of luxury or treats or pleasure-buying or anything else that might alleviate the enormous fucking strain of being poor - because any departure from subsistence-level living means you’re an Eebil Welfare Slobqueen! - can go FALL IN A WELL AND DIE. I am fucking serious: if you, financially secure douchebag, have EVER gone and bought yourself a treat in order to make yourself feel better after a shitty day - if you’ve picked up some feelgood chocolate, or a new game, or a pricey bag, or a toy, or even something as simple as a taxi ride rather than a bus ticket because it was raining and you couldn’t face the queue - then you can SHUT THE FUCK UP FOREVER about the immortality if feelgood purchasing by people with less money than you. Because what you’re saying, when you sit down and police what people can and cannot buy, and the circumstances under which they buy it - what you’re saying is that poor people ARE NOT ENTITLED TO EMOTIONAL SECURITY; ARE NOT ENTITLED TO COMFORT; ARE NOT ENTITLED TO JOY, because they should be too busy scraping by with every fucking penny they have to notice that scraping by is utterly fucking soul-destroying.

Thirdly, a lot of the things you’re deeming “luxury” items? ARE FUCKING NECESSARY FOR GETTING ONESELF OUT OF POVERTY. Let’s see you try to jobhunt without a working phone or internet access. Let’s see you try to grocery shop on a budget for a family of four with no car and a freezer that’s just big enough for a couple of ice cube trays. Let’s see you keep yourself looking professionally presentable and your children schoolready when you’re handwashing all your clothes in the bath and hanging them out to dry on the radiator you can’t afford to turn on half the time, because your tiny income means choosing between warmth and medication. 

What you’re doing, OP - you and other privileged assholes like you - is assuming that poverty is somehow EASY; that there’s no emotional, psychological toll to it that might ever need to be alleviated - not for adults, and especially not for children, because the children of poor people don’t deserve happy childhoods; presumably, they should just get jobs and work for their toys, as though this were Dickensian fucking England. You see objects, but not the sacrifice behind obtaining them; to you, objects have no context, no significance beyond their cost and status value, because THAT’S ALL THEY MEAN TO YOU. I used to work for a government department in Australia that provided free fridges and washing machines to people on welfare whose own had broken, and which they couldn’t afford to replace. I rang one woman to tell her that her fridge request had been approved, and she was literally fighting back tears of relief - not only had she been spending extra money she couldn’t afford buying groceries day to day, because all the food was spoiling without anywhere to keep it cool, but she’d been having to keep her young kids from realising just how bad things were, too - she’d told them they were having Ramadan early, fasting early, to explain why there was no food all of a sudden, and she didn’t know how much longer she could keep it up. I approved a washing machine for a single father who was struggling to keep his children out of foster homes after their mother, who had been their primary caregiver, was arrested; he needed one for the social workers to let him keep his kids, but was between jobs and didn’t have enough cash to replace the one that broke. 

tl;dr: THERE IS NO ‘RIGHT’ WAY TO BE POOR, BECAUSE THERE IS NOTHING RIGHT ABOUT POVERTY. STOP POLICING POVERTY WITH YOUR MADE-UP FUCKING CHECKLIST OF RULES, AS THOUGH IT’S SOME COVETED, ADVANTAGE-CONFERRING CLUB THAT LAZY PEOPLE ARE TRYING TO SNEAK INTO INSTEAD OF A DIFFICULT, HEARTBREAKING, LIFE-THREATENING SITUATION. YOU DUMBASS.

Shit like this always boils down to the following: “How dare you try to live.”

Yeah, seriously. Don’t people have their own fucking lives to worry about instead of policing what “poor” people are owning? GTFO.

I hate it when I see things like the original text, but I feel so much better when I see so many people fight back against it like the comments from others above. My family owned and operated a consignment shop for 20 years, and you wouldn’t even believe how many designer clothes passed through our shop - some of them so high end that the consignors who brought them to us couldn’t even buy them in our area and had either special ordered them or bought them on vacations. Quite often, we would get items still with the original store tags still attached, because the consignors couldn’t be bothered to return the unwanted items and found it easier just to bring them to us.

Our shoppers were then able to get their hands on all kinds of pricey clothes often at even lower prices than the cheap stuff sold at Walmart, all because they were shrewd enough to bother browsing our racks. It seems the most judgmental people out there making accusations about what kind of things one can or cannot own - because of their MSRP - simply have no idea how to find things on the cheap. I bet they laugh at the idea of coupons and cringe at the notion of buying something secondhand, but those of us who *have* and *do* struggle not only know these things; we rely on them to get by.

I don’t know whether to laugh, or feel old.

I don’t know whether to laugh, or feel old.

holyhotpantsbatman:

sarahj-art:

Okay, I admit to laughing while making this one.



Everyone can quit trying to win the Internet today. Competition’s closed.

holyhotpantsbatman:

sarahj-art:

Okay, I admit to laughing while making this one.

Everyone can quit trying to win the Internet today. Competition’s closed.

As adults, we try to develop the character traits that would have rescued our parents.

Alain de Botton (via monstersarereaaal)

This really resonated with me for some reason when I saw it just now.