"My response to the “I am not a feminist” internet phenomenon….
First of all, it’s clear you don’t know what feminism is. But I’m not going to explain it to you. You can google it. To quote an old friend, “I’m not the feminist babysitter.”
But here is what I think you should know.
You’re insulting every woman who was forcibly restrained in a jail cell with a feeding tube down her throat for your right to vote, less than 100 years ago.
You’re degrading every woman who has accessed a rape crisis center, which wouldn’t exist without the feminist movement.
You’re undermining every woman who fought to make marital rape a crime (it was legal until 1993).
You’re spitting on the legacy of every woman who fought for women to be allowed to own property (1848). For the abolition of slavery and the rise of the labor union. For the right to divorce. For women to be allowed to have access to birth control (Comstock laws). For middle and upper class women to be allowed to work outside the home (poor women have always worked outside the home). To make domestic violence a crime in the US (It is very much legal in many parts of the world). To make workplace sexual harassment a crime.
In short, you know not what you speak of. You reap the rewards of these women’s sacrifices every day of your life. When you grin with your cutsey sign about how you’re not a feminist, you ignorantly spit on the sacred struggle of the past 200 years. You bite the hand that has fed you freedom, safety, and a voice.
In short, kiss my ass, you ignorant little jerks.””
“Where did this idea come from— that if you raise the minimum wage, there’ll be an economic disaster? That if you give poor people money they’ll just hoard it, that the money just disappears into a black hole and everybody stops hiring and unemployment soars because it’s too expensive to hire people…?
You know what happens when you give poor people a bigger cash flow?
Suddenly we’re not living paycheck to paycheck. We don’t have to choose between paying the electric bill and the groceries, we can actually cover both. Suddenly we’re not nervously eyeballing the first of the month, because covering rent is no big deal.
We get that funny noise in the car engine fixed even if it’s several hundred dollars, instead of just putting up with the knocking and driving to work with our teeth gritted and fingers crossed every day waiting for the car to just up and die (and then end up spending several thousand on a new used car— being poor can actually be very expensive). We get the house’s leaky windows patched up and hey, the heating bill just went down, look at that. We’re less tempted to rack up debt on credit cards buying— not luxuries, but essential things like food or medicine.
We’ll pay for nannies and babysitters for our kids so we can show up to work that job flipping your burgers. We’ll pay for after-school programs and extracurricular activities so our kids are happy, socialized, and well-rounded.
We’ll funnel that money into more books, movie tickets, weekend getaways, art supplies, a hobby vegetable garden, community involvement, whatever— things that enrich our lives and take away the stress of the working day, because we’re no longer sinking all our time and energy into two or three jobs just to scrape up enough to make the most meager of ends meet. We’ll buy gifts for our loved ones on holidays. We’ll go out to eat more, shop for clothes more— patronizing the businesses that hire minimum wage workers. (How ‘bout that.)
We might put some money in a savings account, yes, but eventually spend it— on major purchases like college or a house, or spend it when retirement rolls around. But by and large all that extra money gets fed right back into the local economy— by workers who are more likely to be happy, less likely to be stressed and exhausted.
I’m not saying having more income will magically fix all problems min-wage workers have. But it will take care of the biggest ones, and enable us to take care of many more.
And you can be damn sure if you give us more income the one thing we won’t be doing with it is hiding it in a mattress and never spending it.
Rich people do that.”