Requiring formal education as a default is an inequitable hiring practice we need to end
Recently, I’ve been seeing more and more job postings list the salary range. This is awesome. As awesome as the Netflix series “Stranger Things,” which I binge-watched in three days in lieu of slee…

Formal education causes us to simplify the concept of qualification: We assume that a college education will give people the basic skills to do a job. But honestly, this is a lazy way to determine qualification. When it comes to complex issues, such as the ones many of us are addressing in the nonprofit sector, it takes way more than whether someone can write term papers and pass exams. Using formal education allows us to ignore evaluating skills that may be more relevant and useful to positions.

Determine if a position really requires an education when you have a new job listing. Think about whether a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree is really necessary, of if someone can do a perfectly good job if they have the skills and experience. If formal education is not really needed, don’t list it as a requirement. There are many positions that absolutely requires formal education. Mental health counseling, medical services, and legal work, for example. Most positions though probably don’t, if we’re honest with ourselves. I’ve been an Executive Director for nearly a decade now, and as universally difficult, complex, and volatile this position is, there is nothing about it that a hardworking, dedicated person cannot learn to do without an expensive formal degree.

Emphasis in the original.

It’s a quick read and one I strongly agree with. A friend posted this on FB and a number of people are writing disagreeing comments that bring up points or arguments that are in the piece itself. Or say “it’s really position dependent” to argue against the piece when my friend pulled out part of the above quote that literally says the same thing.

So apparently, having a degree doesn’t mean you’ll be any more likely to actually read an article beyond the headline.

lexxi-la-kitty said: If you would of read this awbrainno, it says you can also mention it to a school counselor or at a regular doctors appointment when you’re parents aren’t around and they will be forced to get you psychiatric help

True true, yep, it’s literally just this easy… except no, it isn’t, in a lot of cases.

Let’s pretend the world we live in is filled with billions of complex individuals, each dealing with their own individual life situation. For a lot of them, the above advice will work out great! But for a lot of them, it just won’t work out at all.

Let’s say one of those complex individuals grew up in a small town, the only queer person they knew, and also the only queer person everyone knew, because of the way small towns work. Let’s say that maybe this person went to a school populated entirely by homophobes - too unrealistic? Then you’re not imagining the right small town.

Now, this persons parents are pretty well-known around town. Everyone knows everyone, it’s one of those places. So once upon a time, they learn that literally everything they’re saying to the school counselor is also being said to their parents. They stop trusting the school counselor. This happens at three different schools - elementary, middle, and high school - so they stop trusting counselors altogether. They have a personality disorder which makes them paranoid and suspicious, so their brain makes the jump to “no therapist is trustworthy” pretty easily.

Lets say this person is poor. Let’s say maybe they have no health insurance, and that their emotionally abusive parents wail and cry and go on like they’re literally going to have to starve to death in order to afford to buy anything at all for this kid. So maybe the kid doesnt wanna even ask how much money is involved in “going to the doctor.” Maybe this kid hasn’t been to a doctor in years.

Does this all seem a bit contrived? Made up, just as a counter-point to your foolproof “everyone can and should get professional medical care” plan? Maybe it is. Or maybe it was my real, actual situation when I was growing up (hint: it’s the latter).

Telling kids to “stay in school” doesn’t do shit.

If you want kids to stay in school, make sure school provides the necessary accommodations for disabled people, make sure no one is bullied at school, and make sure no one has to quit school to work because they’re poor.
Congresswoman Who Used To Receive Welfare Wants To Drug Test Rich People Who Get Tax Breaks
"I would love to see some hedge fund manager on Wall Street who might be sniffing a little cocaine here and there to stay awake realize that he can't get his $150,000 worth of deductions unless he submits to a drug test."

Rep. Gwen Moore (D-WI) has had enough of the growing movement to drug test poor people who need government assistance. So on Tuesday, she’s introducing a bill that she says will make things fairer.

Her “Top 1% Accountability Act” would require anyone claiming itemized tax deductions of over $150,000 in a given year to submit a clean drug test. If a filer doesn’t submit a clean test within three months of filing, he won’t be able to take advantage of tax deductions like the mortgage interest deduction or health insurance tax breaks. Instead he would have to make use of the standard deduction.

Her office has calculated that the people impacted will be those who make at least $500,000 a year. “By drug testing those with itemized deductions over $150,000, this bill will level the playing field for drug testing people who are the recipients of social programs,” a memo on her bill notes.

Moore has a personal stake in the fight. “I am a former welfare recipient,” she explained. “I’ve used food stamps, I’ve received Aid for Families with Dependent Children, Medicaid, Head Start for my kids, Title XX daycare [subsidies]. I’m truly grateful for the social safety net.”

Poverty and oppression make people fatter

A common fat-phobic belief is that fat people are fat because they overeat. A recent submission to @facebooksexism​ perfectly illustrates this stereotype and the harmful classist attitudes it perpetuates: 

Like most fat-phobic beliefs, this stereotype is completely wrong.

It is well accepted in public health science that food insecurity – which is the lack of consistent, dependable access to enough food for active, healthy living – predicts higher body weight

Some reasons for this association include:

  • Limited resources and lack of access to nutritious, affordable foods. Heavily processed, low-nutrition foods are usually cheaper, but are more calorie dense and less satisfying to eat.  
  • Cycles of food deprivation and overeating. Low income people often run out of money for necessities like food before their next paycheck arrives, resulting in extended periods of hunger and starvation followed by periods of compensatory eating when the paycheck arrives. Such eating patterns cause weight gain over time.
  • High levels of stress, anxiety, & depression, all of which cause physiological changes resulting in weight gain over time.
  • Limited access to health care. Many chronic health conditions, like polycystic ovarian syndrome, thyroid dysfunction, and type II diabetes, cause weight gain when left untreated. 

All of this means that systematic oppression causes people to be fat for reasons that are outside of their personal control, and that poor fat people are not lying when they report that they cannot afford to put food on the table. Stop spreading the harmful, oppressive, and fat-phobic belief that you can judge a person’s nutrition or eating habits by the size of their body.   

- Mod D

  • Hotel workers have a 40% higher injury rate than other service workers.
  • Women are 1.5 times more likely to be injured than men, because nearly every hotel housekeeper is a woman, and housekeepers have a 50% higher injury rate than all hotel workers.
  • Hispanic housekeepers are two-thirds more likely to be injured than white housekeepers.
  • 91 percent of hotel housekeepers have suffered work-related pain.
  • 66 percent take pain medication just to get through their daily work.

Here’s how you can make housekeepers’ jobs a little less shitty. [EDIT: These tips are US-centric.]

  1. Reduce bending situations. For instance, hotels often tell you to toss towels on the floor that you want replaced. Try setting the towels on the closed toilet instead.
  2. Gather all the trash cans into one.
  3. Leave a note saying not to change the towels every day. 
  4. Make your own beds.
  5. Write a note with a tip thanking the housekeeper for not making the beds.
  6. You can strip the beds by taking off all the sheets (including the ones holding the duvet, if that’s the system the hotel uses) and pillowcases, putting them in a pile, and then piling or loosely folding the blankets and duvet and putting them in a separate pile with the pillows on the stripped bed.
  7. Tip daily. The same housekeepers aren’t always there every day.
  8. $2-5 per person, per day is the expected gratuity if you’re a courteous guest.
  9. Remember to mark it clearly for them so they know it’s for them to take (as opposed to leaving bills just sitting out willy-nilly).
  10. Do Not Disturb: If you put up a Do Not Disturb sign, the housekeeper is usually just given another room to clean. In a lot of cases, that new room will be outside their normal section, one of the leftover rooms in another part of the hotel. This means they’ll have to push their heavy cart a little farther, spend time waiting for an elevator, and then have to clean a little faster to get it done. That other room might also be a normal, fine room, or it might be a disaster zone, where someone gutted a fish in the tub or spilled Pepsi on the bed. And if there isn’t an extra room to be given to a housekeeper when they have a DND, they’ll probably just be sent home early (especially if it’s a non-union hotel), so they lose some of that day’s pay. [EDIT: I’ve gotten a number of comments saying this info is not correct for all hotels/hotel chains. If nothing else, you can ask hotel staff about what happens if you put up a DND sign and make your decisions based on that info instead.]
  11. For all these reasons, try not to use the DND sign. Just tidy up your room as much as possible, follow the steps above, and leave a tip. Your room will just count as an easy clean, and maybe the housekeeper can take a couple minutes to sit in the armchair and rest instead of rushing to the next room.

My boyfriend signed up for an Economics class last semester that had a professor who was described by other students on Rate My Professors as “a little offensive but still funny” and “you will still learn if you do the work and attend his workshops.” On the first day of class, he pointed to an Asian girl next to him.

“Are you Chinese?” he asked.

She looked bewildered and said, “Yes…?”

“How do you feel about the One Child Policy?”

The entire class went silent.

She glared at him, “I’m American.”

He shrugged it off, “Yeah, but you’re Chinese. So how do you feel about being the only child in your family?”

When I peruse through class lists, one of the very first things I want to know is whether or not I will be in a safe environment with a professor who cares about their students. Rate My Professors is the most commonly used tool for students to decide whether or not a professor is right for their learning style. It’s a tool for students created by students. But when such tools actively work against students who want to give proper warning about professors, what does that tell you? Does RMP care about student safety? Or is it doing everything in its power to protect corrupt educators? Should students compile a list of corrupt professors to combat RMP’s new policy if they don’t reverse this rule?

The Chinese woman and the rest of the students had to endure a semester filled with violent racist, sexist, and classist rhetoric (he later humiliated a student for 15 minutes for having an old Ford—what he described as a “loser car”) with a professor who only taught outside of class hours instead of during class hours. There are many more stories like this one because students pay for a class they weren’t expecting.

Because students can’t say “racist and sexist”, people have opted for “problematic” with examples as well as synonyms. You can contact them here to ask them to change their policy.

you can’t act like your healthy recipes are cheap when you omit the initial cost of everything, if your bag of tomatoes costs $5 and you only use half a tomato in your recipe you can’t pretend that its cost is like 25 cents. Normal people can’t just go and buy half a tomato for the same price as your fragmented cost, it’s not realistic. 

You’re purposely misleading people because you know the cost of everything together would reach up into the hundreds. And vegetables go bad if someone doesn’t have the time to cook them, and eat them. so not everyone can go buy these bags of vegetables in bulk “because it’s cheaper” and expect them to last, your fragmented partial costs don’t mean shit.
The Ableist, Racist, Classist Underpinnings Of 'Laziness' - The Establishment
The people who get called 'lazy' are working harder than any of us.
By Lindsey Weedston

Hello, I’m a lazy Millennial.

In other words, I’m from a generation that has worked more hours for less money than any generation before me, but occasionally I eat a granola bar for breakfast instead of pouring myself a bowl of cereal.  According to some, including many writers of online thinkpieces, that’s enough to make me “lazy.”

But the problem isn’t me, or young people in general, or any group that’s historically been decried for its idleness.  Like Millennials, groups that are called “lazy” are often the hardest-working people around.  They’re just subject to ableism, racism, classism, and other bigotry that codes exploitation or exhaustion as “unwillingness to work.”

I myself have had a very confusing relationship with “laziness” from a young age, often being called “lazy” for enjoying reading and video games by the same parents who praised me for always getting my homework done on time.

Needless to say, I became rather confused about the quality of my work ethic.  Was I lazy or not?  In my teens, I developed an anxiety disorder and a perfectionism that made academic shirking impossible, but the constant state of worry disrupted my sleep and left me so exhausted that I would often come home from school and go straight to bed for a nap.  Sometimes, all I could do was lay in bed, awake, ruminating on everything I could possibly worry about.

But because I was in bed, this was called “laziness.”

I worked so little at that office job, I couldn’t believe it.  I could spend multiple hours each day scrolling through Tumblr or playing on social media.  My “work” time involved reading articles vaguely related to my work — mostly because there wasn’t much work for me to do.  Compared to being on my feet all day, being expected to work every moment on the clock, it was nothing.

I worked three times as hard at my food and customer service jobs as I did at any of my digital marketing positions.  And yet contemptuous thinkpiecers keep on describing people who work in those industries as “lazy.”  Why don’t you get a REAL job?  Like reading Tumblr while sitting at a desk, instead of busting your ass at McDonald’s.

According to Dr. Alison Munoff, a licensed clinical psychologist, “laziness” is nothing more than a value judgement.

“‘Laziness’ is not a personality trait, it is simply a matter of a lack of proper motivation and reinforcement, as it is a behavioral pattern rather than a part of who we are,” says Dr. Munoff.   “The ability to actively approach a task in a time-effective manner changes depending on the task and its value in our lives. For example, in a situation of obtaining limited resources, people find themselves quite motivated and resourceful, meaning that this task is simply a priority based on its value and necessity, and has little to do with someone’s personality.  Unfortunately I find that when asked about the first time people were told they were being ‘lazy,’ it was from a parent or caregiver who was unsuccessfully attempting to motivate the child without a good understanding of the way this idea would be carried forward.”

In nature, animals spend a lot of their time being idle.   Most of the footage shot of big cats like lions are of them lazing around.  Part of this is because many of them are nocturnal, but it’s also because animals will hunt, forage, and eat until they’re full, and then most of the rest of their time is spent conserving energy.  Laying around doing pretty much nothing is completely natural.  It’s adaptive.  Yet laziness has this negative connotation in many human societies.  And that negative connotation is often deployed in ableist, racist, and classist ways.

Today, we can all enjoy reasonably priced produce thanks to the many exploited Latin undocumented immigrant workers picking our fruit and vegetables — labor that is so intensive that we “non-lazy” white people simply can’t handle it.  And let’s not forget that all of this land was stolen from the Indigenous tribes that were here before we floated over and laid claim to it all.  Isn’t stealing other people’s hard work supposed to be lazy?

Or is it just that it’s easier to call people lazy than admit that you exploited them?

Even if you’re not racist, you’ve probably used the idea of laziness in a way that hurts a lot of people.  I still struggle with an anxiety disorder and go through bouts of depression, and a lot of what’s involved in these mental illnesses looks like what people call “laziness.”  Depression saps your energy and makes everything seem pointless.  Anxiety is paralyzing, making even some of the simplest tasks (like calling people on the phone) seem daunting, so I avoid them.

Combine the two and you’ve got me huddled into a ball on the bed, unable to do anything but listen to Netflix playing in the background.  It looks like laziness, but I’m actually engaged in an exhausting war in my own head.  Anxiety is like pushing a giant boulder in front of you wherever you go, and depression is like dragging a giant boulder attached to your legs by chains.

People with physical illness and disability are also prone to being accused of laziness, especially if that illness or disability is not visible to others.  There are people who are nearly constantly in pain or constantly fatigued, but you would never know by looking at them.  These individuals work much harder than able-bodied and “healthy” people.  Not only do they often have to work to survive because disability payments (if they can get them) are not nearly enough, they have to navigate a world that caters to able-bodied people, and they have to navigate that world while their bodies work against them.  But article after article decries the “laziness” of people who use motorized carts or take elevators up one floor instead of using the stairs, not for a second thinking that there are people who wouldn’t be able to shop or go up floors at all without these “conveniences.”

It’s easier to think of someone as “lazy” than to face the fact that school costs too much, that better jobs are inaccessible, that childcare is unaffordable, that people are forced to work so hard for so little that there’s no way they could have enough energy to attempt schooling or finding better work, and that what we give to people who can’t work is insufficient to the point of being shameful.  I could say that calling people lazy is, in itself, lazy, but it’s not just an intellectual shortcut.  It’s a defense mechanism.

Everyone has a finite amount of energy.  Some of us have greater drains on our pool of energy than others, whether it comes from the stress of racial microaggressions, the stress of poverty, or mental or physical illness.  Needing more time to recover isn’t laziness.  Having less time or energy to make breakfast than the previous generation isn’t laziness.  When you take a second to look into the reasons behind the behavior, you’ll never end up finding laziness.  Because laziness isn’t real.

^^^ THIS


This incredible comic for International Working Women’s Day is by the brilliant and talented Stephanie McMillan

Edit: And (I wish this could go without saying but…) just a reminder to all you amazing trans women out there that this is your day as much as it is any cis women’s (like myself). Please honor yourselves with your fellow sisters and remember that we are stronger together. 💟✊🏻

you don’t stand w mentally ill people if you don’t stand with drug addicts. you don’t stand with mentally ill women if you don’t stand with junkie women.

the war on drugs is classist and racist and has murdered and destroyed countless lives, and it’s rhetoric exists in policy and in our minds and social rhetoric. isolation and shame is the last things addicts need. addiction is not funny. addiction is not a character flaw. “junkies” and “tweakers” are not a laughing matter, or villains. they are vulnerable members of our society who deserve full compassion and respect. 

If you’re a white girl in your early twenties, you will be ridiculed for working at McDonald’s. But I don’t think the same applies for disabled people or middle-aged immigrant women, for example. Their friends aren’t quietly snickering, “When are you going to get a real job?” Because this is the job we expect them to have.

McDonald’s is gross and greasy. But my humiliation, and that of my friends and my family wasn’t because I made burgers. It was because I was supposed to be better than that. Supposed to be more intelligent, more hard-working, and more talented than the people I worked with. I deserved a “good” job. I had an inflated sense of self that comes with being a person of privilege.

I realized this attitude was way grosser than shoveling fries. Because I am not better than a McDonald’s worker.