new wave feminism

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A quasi-academic look at Feminism, politics & race relations through the lens of a 20-something year old Nigerian American who was born & raised up in the (still) segregated south but has relocated to the "liberal" yet historic & traditional north.
This blog is my space for an interdisciplinary examination of race, gender, class, sexuality - all things intersectional & multi-dimensional.
Feminism the way I see it...



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Posts tagged "poverty"

By now most readers are likely familiar with the idea that the American middle class is shrinking.  Most income and wealth gains over the past 40 or so years have gone to the richest Americans, while poverty is spreading and getting deeper.  As a result, the percent of Americans who can reasonably claim to be middle class is shrinking.

Until 1962, out of 120 billion dollars of government backed home loans, less than 2% went to non-white households. In Northern California, between the war and 1960, of 350 thousand federally guaranteed new home loans, less than 100 went to black families.

And so explains one of the deep aspects of white privilege. Living in a  country that laid the foundation that gives you more of a chance to come from a family that has financial stability, property and investments. These systematic top down acts directly lead to current levels of income inequality & concentrated poverty. DIRECTLY.

But yeah no, it’s all about bootstrap pulling.

It’s not that I wasn’t aware of this, but it’s still upsetting to see this fact thrown in my face like this. 

I’ll never forget this heated argument I got into with someone who “took an education class” about the impact funding has on low-performing/low-income schools. My experience going to one was useless to what his professor said and my insistence that funding was the issue was deemed ignorant and mis-guided. Funny part is that we were on a community service trip. 

Knowing this, if we are truly dedicated to providing all students with a quality education, significantly more needs to be done to revamp our educational practices to cater to students in these groups. Instead of beating students into pre-set molds that only consider higher income, able bodied proficient english speakers - it’s a moral imperative to figure out what changes in pedagogy need to take place to serve ALL students.
Not just the ones who are easiest to teach with the current system at hand. 

Knowing this, if we are truly dedicated to providing all students with a quality education, significantly more needs to be done to revamp our educational practices to cater to students in these groups. Instead of beating students into pre-set molds that only consider higher income, able bodied proficient english speakers - it’s a moral imperative to figure out what changes in pedagogy need to take place to serve ALL students.

Not just the ones who are easiest to teach with the current system at hand. 

Why do politicians hate poor people so much?

This is why the federalist papers explicitly say representatives must be of the populist class. Because sitting atop Capitol Hill is your protected privileged, self interested, capitalist ivory tower is a horrible place to write legislation that affects people you constantly pathologist but never actually met or tried to understand.

Cultural capital is an advantage gained by
middle class European American parents whose
habitus is consistent with the field of the school
system.
ƒƒ
Advantage accrues when enacting the type of involvement
most valued by the school
ƒƒ
Advantage accrues by having family and work situations that
permit involvement at times most valued by schools.
ƒƒ
Low income or working class pa
rents may be less able to enact the same types of involvement due to inflexible work schedules, lack of child care, and lack of transportation
The dirty little secret is that there are large numbers of unqualified individuals teaching, and they are disproportionately assigned to teach children of color and children from impoverished backgrounds.

Arthur Wise, president of the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education

This is so true. I worked at a school that was majority black. The students enter 6th grade and their math teacher is a woman who has just gotten off maternity leave and was regularly teaching social studies.

So many of the students failed math that year. They were made to feel like their failure was wholly their fault and their lack of caring about their education. Obviously they are individuals that could have made better decisions in class and with their homework, but the fact that the administration was so unorganized was never brought up.

One manager at the apartment complex where I worked while in college told me, repeatedly, that she knew I was “Okay” because my little Nissan was clean. That I had worn a Jones of New York suit to the interview really sealed the deal. She could call the suit by name because she asked me about the label in the interview. Another hiring manager at my first professional job looked me up and down in the waiting room, cataloging my outfit, and later told me that she had decided I was too classy to be on the call center floor. I was hired as a trainer instead. The difference meant no shift work, greater prestige, better pay and a baseline salary for all my future employment.

I have about a half dozen other stories like this. What is remarkable is not that this happened. There is empirical evidence that women and people of color are judged by appearances differently and more harshly than are white men. What is remarkable is that these gatekeepers told me the story. They wanted me to know how I had properly signaled that I was not a typical black or a typical woman, two identities that in combination are almost always conflated with being poor.

The Logic of Stupid Poor People

More snippets from this article about why people in poverty buy expensive products that they “can’t afford”. When it comes to upward mobility and standards of living, being able to own and wear status markers makes a HUGE difference.

I do not know how much my mother spent on her camel colored cape or knee-high boots but I know that whatever she paid it returned in hard-to-measure dividends. How do you put a price on the double-take of a clerk at the welfare office who decides you might not be like those other trifling women in the waiting room and provides an extra bit of information about completing a form that you would not have known to ask about? What is the retail value of a school principal who defers a bit more to your child because your mother’s presentation of self signals that she might unleash the bureaucratic savvy of middle class parents to advocate for her child? I don’t know the price of these critical engagements with organizations and gatekeepers relative to our poverty when I was growing up. But, I am living proof of its investment yield.

The Logic of Stupid Poor People

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”

Why do poor people make stupid, illogical decisions to buy status symbols? For the same reason all but only the most wealthy buy status symbols, I suppose. We want to belong. And, not just for the psychic rewards, but belonging to one group at the right time can mean the difference between unemployment and employment, a good job as opposed to a bad job, housing or a shelter, and so on. Someone mentioned on twitter that poor people can be presentable with affordable options from Kmart. But the issue is not about being presentable. Presentable is the bare minimum of social civility. It means being clean, not smelling, wearing shirts and shoes for service and the like. Presentable as a sufficient condition for gainful, dignified work or successful social interactions is a privilege. It’s the aging white hippie who can cut the ponytail of his youthful rebellion and walk into senior management while aging black panthers can never completely outrun the effects of stigmatization against which they were courting a revolution. Presentable is relative and, like life, it ain’t fair.

But I’m an individual on an americorp salary. Not a family of four who will see more significant cuts. Funny because I was ONLY aware of this cut ahead of time because is was made aware of it by someone in my organization. Not by snap, not by the Massachusetts department of transitional assistance. By someone who had the capacity to make me aware of this and that’s all.

In fact, the only correspondence I’ve received from SNAP and the DTA is a notice that I need to come in get a photo EBT card…