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If you don’t know who Johnnie Tillmon was, look her up.

Welfare is a Women’s Issue (1972) by Johnnie Tillmon

I’m a woman. I’m a black woman. I’m a poor woman. I’m a fat woman. I’m a middle-aged woman. And I’m on welfare.

In this country, if you’re any one of those things you count less as a human being. If you’re all those things, you don’t count at all. Except as a statistic.

I am 45 years old. I have raised six children. There are millions of statistics like me. Some on welfare. Some not. And some, really poor, who don’t even know they’re entitled to welfare. Not all of them are black. Not at all. In fact, the majority-about two-thirds-of all the poor families in the country are white.

Welfare’s like a traffic accident. It can happen to anybody, but especially it happens to women.

And that’s why welfare is a women’s issue. For a lot of middle-class women in this country, Women’s Liberation is a matter of concern. For women on welfare it’s a matter of survival.

Survival. That’s why we had to go on welfare. And that’s why we can’t get off welfare now. Not us women. Not until we do something about liberating poor women in this country.

Because up until now we’ve been raised to expect to work, all our lives, for nothing. Because we are the worst educated, the least-skilled, and the lowest-paid people there are. Because we have to be almost totally responsible for our children. Because we are regarded by everybody as dependents. That’s why we are on welfare. And that’s why we stay on it.

Welfare is the most prejudiced institution in this country, even more than marriage, which it tries to imitate. Let me explain that a little.

Ninety-nine percent of welfare families are headed by women. There is no man around. In half the states there can’t be men around because A.F.D.C. (Aid to Families With Dependent Children) says if there is an “able-bodied” man around, then you can’t be on welfare. If the kids are going to eat, and the man can’t get a job, then he’s got to go.

Welfare is like a super-sexist marriage. You trade in a man for the man. But you can’t divorce him if he treats you bad. He can divorce you, of course, cut you off anytime he wants. But in that case, he keeps the kids, not you.The man runs everything. In ordinary marriage, sex is supposed to be for your husband. On A.F.D.C., you’re not supposed to have any sex at all. You give up control of your own body. It’s a condition of aid. You may even have to agree to get your tubes tied so you can never have more children just to avoid being cut off welfare.

The man, the welfare system, controls your money. He tells you what to buy, what not to buy, where to buy it, and how much things cost. If things-rent, for instance-really cost more than he says they do, it’s just too bad for you. He’s always right.

That’s why Governor [Ronald] Reagan can get away with slandering welfare recipients, calling them “lazy parasites,” “pigs at the trough,” and such. We’ve been trained to believe that the only reason people are on welfare is because there’s something wrong with their character. If people have “motivation,” if people only want to work, they can, and they will be able to support themselves and their kids in decency.

The truth is a job doesn’t necessarily mean an adequate income. There are some ten million jobs that now pay less than the minimum wage, and if you’re a woman, you’ve got the best chance of getting one. Why would a 45-year-old woman work all day in a laundry ironing shirts at 90-some cents an hour? Because she knows there’s some place lower she could be. She could be on welfare. Society needs women on welfare as “examples” to let every woman, factory workers and housewife workers alike, know what will happen if she lets up, if she’s laid off, if she tries to go it alone without a man. So these ladies stay on their feet or on their knees all their lives instead of asking why they’re only getting 90-some cents an hour, instead of daring to fight and complain.

Maybe we poor welfare women will really liberate women in this country. We’ve already started on our own welfare plan. Along with other welfare recipients, we have organized so we can have some voice. Our group is called the National Welfare Rights Organization (N.W.R.O.). We put together our own welfare plan, called Guaranteed Adequate Income (G.A.I.), which would eliminate sexism from welfare. There would be no “categories”-men, women, children, single, married, kids, no kids-just poor people who need aid. You’d get paid according to need and family size only and that would be upped as the cost of living goes up.

As far as I’m concerned, the ladies of N.W.R.O. are the front-line troops of women’s freedom. Both because we have so few illusions and because our issues are so important to all women-the right to a living wage for women’s work, the right to life itself.

still relevant today

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Black feminism fighting for justice!

Holy shit. 

If you scrolled past to here, scroll back up and read that. 

Needing a little help to get by...

freakthink:

I like being independent, so it is really hard for me to do this…However, I don’t have a choice anymore; I need a little financial help to pay this last payment on my car insurance before I lose it. I lost my source of income not too long ago, and I need some help until I can manage something on…

Look, I cannot stress the importance of this enough. If something doesn’t come through for me in the next 30 days, I will be evicted for nonpayment and stuck living in an illegal car. I don’t have anywhere I can go and no one to turn to. I already sold most of anything I could sell just so I could put gas in my car.

Please help or signal boost. Any amount will help.

17yroldghost:

a-beard:

fuckyeahassortedstuff:

roshi-no-tabi:

Fun Fact: None of the actors but Gene Wilder knew that the tunnel scene was coming. Like, they had the lines and stuff, but they thought it was just a boat ride. And when the lights came on and he started singing their terror was real

This happened a lot throughout the movie. Which is one of the reasons it’s such a great film. The directors did the same thing when they all saw the inside of the Factory for the first time. They wanted to show the face of pure imagination. To capture it all.

Same thing with the scene where he comes out of the factory to greet them.  None of them had gotten to meet Gene beforehand, so when he came out all hobbled on the cane and they had these confused looks on their faces and look actually concerned when he starts to tumble forward?  That’s all legit.  This whole movie was successful because it fucked with everyone who wasn’t Gene Wilder.

You guys know the sad Charlie reaction pic I use so much? That’s another ad lib scene. In rehearsals, gene was a lot calmer, but when they were actually filming he exploded on Peter ostrum (Charlie). That sad expression is genuine. And tht’s what it’s basically my favorite reaction picture ever.

The reason he came out limping and then rolled forward was so that from that point forward nobody could tell if he was lying or telling the truth.

literally none of this movie was scripted they just found a group of people and had them improvise an entire movie as cameras were rolling gene wilder doesn’t even exist you’re still dreaming 

(Source: ikickath)

boys-and-suicide:

Dustin since you’re no longer here I’m going to upload your image and get you a billion notes that you deserve. I really miss you.
Some people think that only girls feel insecure about their bodies, that only girls can be anorexic, that guys can’t be bulimic, and that only girls self harm. But that’s wrong, guys feel as much pressure from society to be “perfect” as girls do, and like many girls some of us can’t handle the pressure. “it’s just as hard to be Ken as it is to be Barbie.”

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