The term “McJob” has come to epitomize all that’s wrong with the low-wage service industry jobs that are growing part of the U.S economy. “It beats flipping burgers,” the cliché goes, because no matter what your job might be, it’s assumed to be better than working in a fast-food restaurant.
Today in New York City, though, hundreds of workers at dozens of fast-food chain stores are walking out on strike, demanding better of those jobs. At McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s, KFC, Taco Bell, and Domino’s Pizza locations, workers have been organizing, and today they launch their campaign. They want a raise, to $15-an-hour from their current near-minimum wage pay, and recognition for their independent union, the Fast Food Workers Committee.
Saavedra Jantuah, who works at a Burger King on 34th St. in Manhattan, explained that the $7.30 she makes per hour after two years on the job doesn’t pay her enough to support her son. “I’m doing it for him, I’m going on strike so I can bring my family together underneath one household,” she said. “A union can help us get to where we can make it in New York.”
Cannot even express how thrilled I am about this story. I’ll be on the picket lines with the workers in a couple of hours, with photos and more stories. Service jobs don’t have to be lousy jobs—respect and a decent wage would do a lot.
Intersectionality is not optional. It is not something you can take off and put back on again at will, when you feel like it. An intersectional lens should inform any critical evaluation of a subject, because these connections are key to understanding the web of oppression that weighs down on us all. These interconnections, too, are very weblike in their nature, because when you tweak one string, all the rest vibrate with it. There is no way to separate these things out from each other.
People complain that people keep dragging ‘side issues’ into ‘their movement’ and they don’t understand that these issues are the movement. Because a movement that commits oppression in the name of liberation is not a good movement, to put it bluntly. We are more vocal about these issues because we have learned the cost of shutting up, because we constantly have to remind people, because the minute we stop, everything returns to the way it was, the status quo is reestablished, and the real structural and institutional problems that create inequality go, once again, uninterrogated.
This is all connected. To misquote Patrick Henry for a moment, give me intersectionality, or give me death. This is not hyperbole: The current system, as it stands, is killing me. It is killing my people. It is killing the people I work in solidarity with. It is killing you. If you do not give me intersectionality, if you will not commit to being intersectional in your deeds, your thinking, your doing, all the time, no matter how you identify your politics, you are killing me.
Take that! #faith in student government #I never thought I’d say that
I’m ready to kick up an advocacy storm. It’s about time that we see a few more queer inclusive policies pushed onto the administration’s agenda. After all, Northeastern prides itself on being home to a diverse community, let’s make it safer for everyone. Still, as a queer, trans* activist on campus, I’ve regularly felt like I’m tied up in red tape, and this is by no means consensual.
Let’s go over some queer resources we already have in place or are coming soon:
Alright, now let’s go over a few things that we need:
So what is it going to take to see some more change? Visibility and leadership! Stand in solidarity with the queer community and speak out! With that being said, if you need any help starting a queer activism campaign, please feel free to contact me. I’m always down for some good old-fashioned community/student organizing.
I had a not so great experience going to get tested yesterday. The doctor asked me if I slept with “girls or boys.” When I responded telling him that my partners were mainly female-bodied, he assumed I was talking only about women. He did acknowledge that he phrased his question using condescending language and that he should have said “women or men.”
He also seemed a little awkward discussing barrier methods. He told me to choose the right partners and that people interested in having sex on the first date probably weren’t the types of people I should choose. At this point, I really didn’t appreciate hearing this from him. The whole situation made me a bit anxious, but I wish I had fired a few questions back his way to get him thinking.
When the lab tech asked about my insurance they realized there was a discrepancy between my listed, preferred name and my legal name attached to my insurance. They asked me to go back to the Registrar to change it back. I had to explain to her that I was trans* and that I wasn’t going to do such. She wasn’t sure of how to handle the situation because she didn’t want me to get billed as though I didn’t have insurance. And adding to all of this, the lab tech assumed my pronouns. The staff was cordial throughout, but obviously super unaware of trans* friendly sexual health.
I politely challenged a few of these issues directly with the staff, but it’s really not my place to be informing medical professionals of how to be more queer friendly. So it looks like this is the fire underneath my backside encouraging me to get more trans* inclusive and queer aware healthcare at NU. Let’s make it happen.