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Your independence is adorable, but let's be logical
My friend and I moved to a new city at the same time and we both had trouble qualifying for an apartment. His problem was that he had bad credit. My problem was that I did not have a job yet. He suggested we move in together to make it easier to qualify, and I said that was out of the question.
Suddenly mansplaining mode kicked in.
“Now listen,” he said, “I know you want to be an INDEPENDENT WOMAN. But sometimes you just have to do what you have to do.”
Last time I checked, this move-in-together situation he was proposing would have been *equally* beneficial for us—certainly not a case of me “needing” him and becoming dependent on him while the reverse was not true. I somehow doubt he would have seen this situation as him giving up being an “INDEPENDENT MAN” if he’d leaned on my credit to qualify for a place.
Clue-phone, guys: If your phrasing would sound ridiculous describing a man, you probably shouldn’t say it to a woman. It’s pretty ignorant to insinuate that a woman claiming she can take care of herself is awfully noble but ultimately impractical.
(We ended up qualifying separately with special contracts. I got a job within a month and qualified for a better place the next year. Throughout our friendship he continued to bring up wanting to live together and tried to tell me it would be good for me to quit my job and work on my writing. No thanks.)
“It’s ludicrous for groups like Crossroads GPS—which spent at least $70 million during the last election—to claim that its primary purpose is not political activity. Only the likes of Karl Rove would believe that running attack ads against President Obama qualifies as social welfare.”—Ari Berman, IRS Fallout: “The Real Scandal Is Secret Money Influencing US Elections”
Stepdadsplaining away depression
So this is more of a stepdadsplained. Due to losing my job and being unable to find a new one, and being unable to afford my apartment plus bills on unemployment, my 29-year-old self had to move back in with my parents. I have bipolar disorder, and have been in treatment for it for most of my life. I’ve tried every medication and every treatment that’s come down the pipeline for it. I have a bachelor’s degree, and have lived independently since graduating from college at 22, so I am not new to being independent and all the joys that come from said independence, such as bills.
My stepdad, however, is an engineer, and therefore he can fix everything. We sat down and had a discussion about my current state of unemployment and my current depression. I was trying to explain bipolar disorder to him, and he is convinced he already knows everything because he’s a recovering alcoholic so AA has all the answers. He kept trying to convince me that if I just took my medication, got to bed on time, and attended groups, I would magically be stable and able to work again. Despite my repeated attempts to explain that bipolar disorder doesn’t work like that, he continued to assert that he knew exactly how I feel because he has been depressed before and he just “worked through it” and changed his thinking and was grateful for the things he had, and it works. He also insisted that if I just got more exercise it would make me better, despite my bachelor’s in psychology, six years as a mental health case manager, being in treatment most of my life, working closely with my psychiatrist, psychologist, and GP to find the best treatment plans for me, having TRIED it and found it doesn’t help my overall mood, and quoting a recent large-scale study that found no statistical significance between exercise and depression. Obviously I don’t know what I’m talking about.
He also decided to explain how credit cards work when I was expressing some incredulity at the fact that my CareCredit card that I used to pay for my cat’s dental work gives me six months to pay off my balance without interest, but didn’t actually provide me with the amount I needed to pay in order to meet that goal, just a “minimum payment” of $25/month, which was not exactly how much I needed to pay. He went into how that’s how credit cards work and that’s how they get you trapped. Thank you, I’ve only had a credit card for a decade now, however could I have possibly understood it without you?
I might not survive living at home. He stepdadsplained his way through my teenage years, so I do not anticipate much change now that I am an adult who has hit hard times. Clearly it is because I am a woman and haven’t had his sage advice guiding my every move for the last decade or so.
Exchange Rates Exist and Effect Things
My colleague felt it necessary to explain to me how changes in exchange rates can affect how much our organisation has to pay for things, as it has branches in different countries. As he knows, I have a PhD in the physical sciences and have lived on three continents.
“Regardless of where you stand on union issues, this is a situation where the public-sector unions themselves need to know what kinds of activities their money-managers are involved with. These workers possess an enormous about of political power via their retirement plans, which lumped together with the plans of their co-workers often represent the largest institutional investors in the country.”—Why Unions Should Stop the Koch Brothers From Buying the Tribune Papers | Matt Taibbi | Rolling Stone
“The Euro, probably more than any other currency, represents the mutual confidence at the heart of our community. It is the first currency that has not only severed its link to gold, but also its link to the nation state.”—‘Prospects for the eurozone’, free in Cambridge Journal of Economics
“Nigeria’s commercial nerve center, Lagos is set to become the continent’s 13th biggest economy, similar to the size of West African nation, Ghana, investment research and advisory firm, Renaissance Capital has revealed. In its latest report titled, “Nigeria Unveiled: Thirty Six Shades of Nigeria,” the company stated that with a per capita income of about $2,900 which is currently double amount of the national average of $1,700, Lagos is at par with countries such as Morocco and Sri Lanka. Lagos’ economy is significant to that of Ghana and is the heart of Nigeria’s $284 billion GDP economy. “We base our analysis on states’ internally generated revenue, which make up 15 per cent of state government revenue, and consumption data, as proxies for state income. “Lagos State produces about 12 per cent of Nigeria’s GDP, which is equivalent to $32 billion by 2013 ending. Post rebasing, which we now expect in early 2014, we estimate a 40 per cent upward revision in the country’s national income. “By our estimates, the Lagos State economy will become Africa’s 13th biggest economy in 2014 at approximately $45 billion – equivalent to that of Ghana,” said RenCap.”—
You know it’s serious when they start comparing a city to countries. And we manage all this without stable electricity, easy access to basic resources, and the necessary infrastructure to accommodate life in a commercial urban landscape.
Just think about what Lagos would be if all the above-mentioned factors were appropriately set up and maintained.
“I do not believe that financial markets make the economy more efficient. The analogy I use is Earth. If it were reduced to the size of a basketball, it would be smoother than a billiard ball. However, at a human scale, there are mountains and oceans we can exploit.... The guy talking about making markets more efficient is thinking of something like rolling rocks down a mountain to power useful work. This indeed makes the Earth smoother, wearing down mountains and filling in oceans. But ... [that] bears no resemblance to what people really do. They're more likely to build a hydroelectric dam that holds water back, that is it keeps the system farther from equilibrium, not moves it closer.”—
Aaron Brown, Red-Blooded Risk
(I rearranged his words a little bit.)