Friday, December 5, 2008

To Hell With Poverty

So, I didn't mention why I was stuck at LAX this week-- I was doing my training for Americorps Vista. (It's like the Girl Scouts meets the US Army.) Apparently, my main goal will be to alleviate poverty here in San Francisco. Good luck, Ily...but, even though my task is gargantuan, I have to give props to Vista for seeing my AVEN experience as an asset. I took it off my resume for awhile, but put it back on for Vista because it was just too relevant. At my interview, I was told: "When you talk about AVEN, your eyes light up." This was a little embarrassing, and, all told, this job will not help me with my own poverty. However, I got what I wanted-- an employer that likes me for who I am.

Of course, being my liberal-artsy self, I was thinking about asexuality and poverty. During the training, I was not surprised to find that I live in "relative poverty" (as opposed to "absolute poverty, i.e. living in a box). Bogaert's study found that asexuals are poorer than the rest of the population. But unlike our supposed religion (more) and education (less), our poverty does make sense to me. Look at all the asexuals who are in other groups that are more likely to be poor, such as people on the autistic spectrum, people with mental illnesses, and transpeople. I've learned that when you're weird (and let's embrace it, people) it doesn't rain, it pours. Even if aces don't have an "official" oddity, we may have different values or beliefs than the world at large, which may make work more difficult. (For example, I refused to work at a company that "made the world worse", which, honestly, seems to cut out most of them.) We're also less likely to have partners to support us, whether that means cutting costs by living together, marrying rich, or being able to use someone else's health insurance. Marriage did, after all, begin as an economic benefit, and it still is. Like the contributors to That's Revolting!, I support a broadening of what are "queer issues" and "asexual issues", and poverty is at the top of my list. I leave you with this timeless advice from Gang of Four: "To hell with poverty, we'll get drunk on cheap wine!" I wish you all prosperity, whatever that means to you.

1 comment:

pretzelboy said...

If asexuals drink a lot less than sexuals, at least that's something going for us financially. Some people spend a lot of money on drinking.