deservedness

When someone argues that some people don’t deserve the money or other resources they need to survive, what they’re saying is that some people are undeserving of basic human rights.

Which is bullshit. Everyone is deserving of basic human rights.

MERITOCRACY 101

mer·i·toc·ra·cy [mer-i-tok-ruh-see] noun *


What is a meritocracy?

The idea of a meritocracy is simple: if you work hard, you will be rewarded and work your way up in society. Your success will be determined by your merit – your talent and ability – rather than anything else.

Why the idea of a meritocracy is kinda awesome in theory:

- It’s fundamentally about equality, and in particular, about equality of opportunities.

Keep reading

A privileged person’s guide to dismantling their own biases, stigma, and othering of people experiencing homelessness

(A work in progress)

Everyone is a human being
Everyone has human rights
Everyone deserves to have access to basic human needs and that includes shelter

There are many reasons people are experiencing homelessness
I do not know these reasons
I cannot tell if someone is homeless just by looking at them

I will do my best not to look down on anyone
I will not ignore or dismiss people because they happen to be homeless
I will treat people experiencing homelessness like I would any other person

I will do my best not to place blame or make value judgments
When I place blame or make value judgments, I will challenge myself
I will challenge my own biases and assumptions
I will challenge myself when I think of people experiencing homelessness as an “Other”
I will ask myself why I think these things
I will ask myself how I can think differently

We are all human
We all deserve a better world
I am a part of this process

Hello and welcome to this tumblr.

This tumblr will be about two inter-related things: homelessness and deservedness.

Every human being on this planet deserves housing. At the same time, there are all sorts of dominant ideas in society that tell us that some people are less deserving of housing than others.

I live in Toronto, and walking around downtown, I see many people who live on the street and who don’t have roofs over their heads. These people are only a fraction of the people who do not have homes. Lots of people experience homelessness and they experience homelessness for a variety of reasons.

Although I know that there are many reasons why homelessness exists and that many of these reasons have a lot more to do with social policy (or a lack thereof) than any notion of personal “choice”, I sometimes find myself thinking about homelessness in a way that blames people. I find myself thinking things I’ve heard over and over again since I was a kid: that people who are experiencing homelessness are just “lazy”, that they should “just get a job”, that they must have done something to “deserve” ending up on the streets.

I don’t like blaming people experiencing poverty for their situation. I loathe blame-the-victim logic. Yet, because of the way I’ve been socialized and because of all the messages I’m constantly bombarded with, I still carry bits and pieces of blame-the-victim logic within me. I sometimes find myself thinking that some people are more deserving than others.

What I want to do with this tumblr is to examine where these ideas about “deservedness” come from. They seem like they’re natural, but they’re not. They come from somewhere. They’re also not benign. They serve a purpose.

I want to denaturalize deservedness. It’s my hope that by exploring where ideas about deservedness come from and what purposes they serve, I can provide myself and others with the tools we need to not take ideas about deservedness for granted. I want to challenge my biases, even my unconscious biases, so that I don’t reinforce blame-the-victim logic, even unintentionally.

This is important for me because I have a lot of class privilege that I want to dismantle. I’m in the process of becoming a social worker, and social workers work with a lot of marginalized people. The last thing I want to do when I’m working as a social worker is reinforce that marginalization. I’m opening myself up to critique because my biases need to be challenged, and I’m hoping this tumblr will be a part of that much larger on-going process.

Full disclosure: I’m making this tumblr for a class project. That being said, I’m hoping this is going to be an awesome class project since this is a topic I’m really interested in. Also, just so you know where I’m coming from, I’m female, queer, racialized, able-bodied, cisgendered, and as previously mentioned, have a lot of class privilege. It’s also worth noting that this tumblr is going to be from an urban Canadian perspective.

Finally, I just want to point out that the ask box is open. Feel free to ask me any questions you might have, to ask for clarification, to call me out on something I’ve failed to consider, or whatever else you’d like… as long as it is, you know, at least tangentially related to what this tumblr is about.

tl;dr: Everyone deserves things like housing. I want to examine the reasons why we sometimes think people are undeserving.