parenting and poverty

Suggesting that disabled people are “too expensive” to live is patently bigoted.

Suggesting that it’s fine for parents/potential parents to only want abled kids is patently bigoted.

Framing disabled kids as too expensive and too much work is ableist and disgusting.

Is this how you talk about the needs of abled kids?  As being “too much work” and “too expensive” and “a burden”?  The needs and lives of disabled kids are not less valid than those of abled kids.

“One becomes a decent man because one is a decent man, born a capitalist of good instincts and prosperous circumstances. If one comes into the world poor, of parents who have squandered everything and saved nothing, one is incorrigible.”

—F. Nietzsche, The Will to Power, §334 (edited excerpt).

NOBODY CAN CONTROL CIRCUMSTANCED THEY WERE BORN IN and its so fucked up some people get blamed for circumstances of their birth, you can’t fucking decide not to be born in abusive family! you can’t decide not to get traumatized! you can’t control being born in poverty either! you can’t control the circumstances of your early life! and they will affect the rest of your life weather you like it or not! you cannot decide on how mentally healthy you’ll be! you cannot decide your social standing! you cannot respond to the world in a way that will not leave you scarred and damaged after they hurt you! all of this is out of your control! just because it’s terrifying to face this doesn’t mean you get to blame victims for any. single. thing. that was out of their control! don’t act like you’d be fine in their situations! no you wouldn’t be! its not up to you! you’d be in literal same shit they’re in! fucking listen to them respect their struggle! 

Just a thing I thought of on my way home...

Do you ever wonder how our generation got so socially aware? Like, I grew up in white suburbia. My parents had good jobs. We could have been any family - but the thing is, my parents never talked about poverty, special needs, racial dissonance, so on and so forth. Because those were “adult” topics. 

So how did I know so much about these things by the time I was in fifth grade? 

Then I realize - TV. 

Yeah, laugh it up. “Such a stupid thought” or “such a millennial response.” But really - think for a sec. 

How did you learn what racism was? How terrible and ridiculous it is? Well, I learned about it from Static Shock, the Proud Family, and X-Men. 

Disabilities? I look to Kim Possible, Foster’s Home for Imaginary friends, Teen Titans, and, again, Static. 

Cultural and religious differences and acceptance? Look no further than Rugrats among others.

Cultural appropriation? Have you seen American Dragon Jake Long?

Different types of family being ok? Spider-Man had one aunt for a mom essentially, and Foster’s hosted a main character with only a mom as well. Virgil Hawkins was raised by a single dad, as were the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Sometimes, your family might just be a goofy time-traveling masculine space cop and his male robot because this is Time Squad.

Classism? Despot because of it? Samurai Jack may have been a time traveler but he also fought against the evil that made this terrible future based on, you guess it, classism.

Coming out? Well, while he wasn’t coming out Gay, Danny Fenton/Phantom definitely explored the difficulties teens face when they can’t be true to themselves, when they fear being hated by the people they love.

And sexism? Heck, you could see it all over the place with many female-led shows, but the Powderpuff Girls SPECIFICALLY addressed the issue of sexism and what it means to be a feminist (which some guys should watch as well). Totally Spies and Kim Possible were there to show you what women could do.

Standing up to oppressors? Even as the little guy? Ben 10, KND, and so many more.

The thing was, this was all late 90s, early 2000s animated TV. Back then, TV was darker, more serious, and it was unafraid to address the issues that plagued the world beyond the thin curtain of “too adult” that our parents hung before us, making issues easy to understand.

Then, from 2005 to 2015, TV took a turn. Colorful TV reigned that did not address these issues. At this time, I gave up on cartoons, thinking it was just me outgrowing them.

Really, during this time, the television industry stopped putting stock in shows with depth, with moral, with dark themes made for the viewer to see and understand. Things that made you think about your everyday actions and how they effect the people around you.

But, looking back, I realize that these shows shaped the way I looked at the world without even thinking about it. Now, as a young adult, these themes have come back, slowly, in shows like Steven Universe, Star vs, Gravity Falls and a few others, but these are a drop in the bucket percentage wise between the old show set and the new ones.

It was just something I was thinking about on my way home.

“My mom was a bit odd. She didn’t send me to any private academies. She didn’t really seem to force me to study. I’m not sure why she did that, but once I entered middle school, she read a book around that time called, ‘The 880,000 Won Generation’ (A book describing that if a person earns the legal minimum wage and works the maximum legal amount of hours he/she will only earn 880,000 won/month which is not enough to live off of), and she got me really interested in social issues. She told me ‘being first is not important; you have to change society’”

“제 어머님이 좀 특이했어요. 절 학원에 안 보내셨거든요. 딱히 공부를 시키지 않으셨어요. 그 다음엔 왜 그러셨는지 모르겠는데 제가 중학교 1학년 때 88만원 세대라는 책을 읽으시더니 사회에 대한 관심을 갖게 하셨어요. 그리곤 저한테 그러시더라구요. 1등을 하는 게 중요한 게 아니라 사회를 바꿔야한다고…“

Way too realistic character concepts: Rogue

Since they were a child they looked up to clerics as examples of goodness and kindness.  But a couple of misunderstandings in their teenage years got them labeled a “trouble-maker,” combined with their parent’s poverty making them unable to go to seminary.  Instead, shady characters offered them money for even shadier tasks which did not feel right, but the money helped them take care of the family. Now they silently whisper their confessions as they pick their locks.

Rich people’s writing about having to have “money talk” with their teenagers, as if it’s the first time they’ve directly discussed money, is such a bizarre rich people thing.Poor kids know about money and poverty from really young ages.  They get told again and again that they can’t have things because their family can’t afford it.  I knew my family was poor and I knew other people were less poor and that people with more money could use their status to hurt and control poorer people from a super young age.I didn’t realize the extent of wealth and the extent of differences in lifestyle until I was older, because most of the people surrounding me were poor.  When I was a little kid, I didn’t know that depictions of suburban houses and wealth weren’t total fantasy, but I knew to look forward to the week the WIC check came in so we could have juice because we couldn’t afford it most of the rest of the time.I didn’t need my parents to sit down and have a money talk with me, I’d sat with my mother and rolled pennies since I was little more than a baby.Rich kids ignorance of wealth and their family’s finances is a product of their privilege.

Poor people have a right to choose to have kids or choose not to have them.

That includes poor people on welfare, poor people in public housing, disabled poor people, “generational poor” people, and poor people with lots of kids.

Poor people having kids is only a problem if they don’t want to have them and only do because they are denied resources like sex ed or birth control.

Don’t let people convince you that if the ruling class oppresses and strips resources from people that it makes the victims wrong or bad for having kids or making choices about their fertility and families.  It’s okay for poor people and our communities to survive.  It’s okay for poor people to have kids.

And don’t ever lose sight either of how the “poor people shouldn’t have kids” narrative is directly advocating genocide. In a world where so many POC, Indigenous peoples, and ethnic minorities.stigmatized ethnic groups have such high poverty rates because of centuries of being oppressed, robbed, exploited, advocating that those without wealth and resources shouldn’t have kids is a call for elimination of thousands of ethnicities.

And in a world where disabled people are so often kept poor, a call for poor people to not have kids is a blatant attempt to eliminate disabled people and deny their humanity.

But even abled poor people of majority/dominant ethnic groups have a right to chose to have kids.

Poverty is not the fault of the poor.  Poverty is not a moral failing.

Poor parents are not worse parents and being poor isn’t the same as being a bad parent or being abusive.

And fuck all the classist assholes that victim blame poor parents for lacking resources and for the oppressive social systems that hurt poor children.  It’s not poor parents who control and create those social systems and it’s not due to the wishes of poor parents that social institutions harm poor children.

Having kids in tough situations and raising kids under harsh conditions is not a fault of poor parents, it’s the fault of a society that denies basic access to needs to poor people.

As the firstborn of Salvadoran immigrants who escaped a civil war, I’ve learned the values of determination, compassion, resilience and hope. As teenagers, my parents faced the reality of poverty that affected their chances of a proper education, especially my father who had to dropout at nine years old. They had big dreams of becoming an engineer and a doctor, but in the face of extreme adversity, my parents deferred their dreams to overcome their struggles, as well as to provide a better quality of life for their children.

In the past two years I have been pushed to my limits, but I’ve grown so much from my experiences. I’m proud to say that tomorrow I will reach a major milestone in my life and will see a dream become a reality. Tomorrow, I will graduate with my Master of Social Work degree! I couldn’t have done it without Jesus and the support of my family, boyfriend, and friends.

It’s time to end this chapter and go on to the next one!

Family. A group of 20-30 street kids in Manila sleeps through the morning intertwined and en masse on an overpass in a shopping district in Manila as commuters and shoppers walk past. Abandoned by their parents because of poverty or abandoning their parents because of poverty, the street kids form tight knit groups working the night panhandling, getting high and even as prostitutes to earn enough to eat and stay alive in the city.