Can everyone forget about race and welfare for ten seconds, jesus christ…

…and think for a second about how goddamned sexist our system in the U.S. is? Not to mention breederist, but unfortunately that’s something a lot fewer people care about.

Let me back up a second for the benefit of my non-American friends out there. Wherever else you’re from, I’m guessing your welfare system, if you have one, couldn’t possibly be any more retarded than ours is, because I’m trying to think of a way it could be worse, but I can’t. Multinational embezzlers paying no taxes while the infamous struggling middle class pays for the upkeep of the even worse-off peasants in order to keep them from troublesomely rioting…? Well, that’s only the most obvious part of the retard package. Writers whose parents were rich to begin with are the only ones to benefit  from the only sort of support system this place has for artists…? Well, only art fags like me care about that. The biggest problem, and the one that most people don’t seem to want to think about, is this:

Have you ever noticed how many more male panhandlers there are than female?

Gee, why is that? Have you ever been out of a job?

After what, two decades of dutifully paying into the system, I went back to school to get their bullshit degree to better my life, or at least not starve. Kind of a dumb move, I realize, but there was no other way to justify spending all that time learning Latin just so I could better appreciate Juvenal (I majored in French and Classics, exactly the kind of majors you get when you’re used to living in virtuous poverty, snarf snarf). When I graduated, it was during the trough of the Even Better Depression, and even the employers who did respond to my applications wanted to know what the hell I had been doing for the past couple of years. Not working in our industry? A good enough excuse to eliminate you from our copious, copious pile of hopefuls.

Fair enough, and even in the best of times an efficient capitalist system depends on having unemployed workers hanging around to be deployed rapidly with no screwing around or luring them out of a steady job; this is why we’re supposed to have a social safety net, so said workers don’t starve to death or riot while they’re waiting for deployment. Trouble is, in the United States, you are never eligible for welfare unless you have dependent children. And since custody almost always goes to the women, guess who almost never gets to take out of the system they’ve been paying into all their lives when it’s their turn to be down on their luck?

Don’t worry, male counterparts, I am not trying to white knight (ess?) for you. I’m just exercising my privilege of saying what you can’t say without being called names; also, as a female who is physically capable of whorishly milking the system by puking souls onto this dungheap but who refuses to, I’m a bit angry on my on own behalf, since virtue, as usual, continues to be punished.

Fuck you and your doomed little hostages, my lady. Granted, nobody in their right mind wants to work, especially when automated production can get us nearly everything we need to survive while requiring perhaps one man-hour of maintenance per week from every adult. Most people’s jobs are bullshit and useless. But now that they’ve been knit into a system that doesn’t seem willing to disappear any time soon—”the machines are taking over” isn’t a common sci-fi trope for no reason—those of us who feed the machines should at least be able to reap what we’ve planted when we come to hard times of our own. And yet even the social “safety net” is nightmarishly unjust. Why do I still feel surprised and outraged? What a ridiculous creature one is.

Comments

  1. Unknown

    Ann, after 17 years of "gainful employment" at a shitty but decent paying job, I had to go on disability. I had been assigned a night shift job that was in fact a two person job. I lost weight in the two figures. I lived a vampiric life of only sleep and work. It came down to suicide or try to get on the government tit. I got it,(mental issues) and my luck at keeping it has held for 10 years. Funny thing..I have never been more bored, lonely, and miserable.

    Btw, I'm a college degreed white male with NO offspring. I don't mean this as a "cry me a river" story. Just felt compelled to share

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    Ann Sterzinger

    The one loophole to "no men allowed" is disability… I've heard of people who need it (sounds like you!) but have also met plenty of people who have rich parents, went to rehab once, and are now off the hook for eternity. I'm glad you're getting a break.

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