August 05, 2010

Working Towards the End of Poverty?

Following on the heals of President Barak Obama on The View, I would like to take a more concentrated look into joblessness and poverty in the US and around the world.  Poverty is insidious and spares no one.  One group in particular who are affected by poverty at alarming rates are lesbians. shares an article by Victoria A. Brownworth The Silent Majority: Lesbians and Poverty questioning and examining why lesbians are falling below the poverty line and at such alarming rates.  What is so striking to me in this article is that it recognizes that women who are self identified as lesbians and live beyond the poverty line and fall victim to silence and invisibility; therefore, their needs go unnoticed, unaddressed and unmet. 

Brownworth writes in her article that "factors for lesbians in poverty include the number of young lesbians forced out of their families of origin. These young women start out at an economic disadvantage that may never be bridged. Homelessness impacts queers under 25 at a rate nearly ten times that of their heterosexual peers.

Lesbian activist Jeanne Cordova notes that butch lesbians have more difficulty finding jobs because of their looks, and thus are also more likely to fall into poverty. In her award-winning book Stone Butch Blues, writer Leslie Feinberg, who experienced such discrimination herself, charted the difficulties this presents for many butch lesbians...'No one wants to be poor...[b]ut being poor makes you hidden. It’s a whole other closet we have to climb out of.'"

Globally movements through media such as The End of Poverty?  are a call to raise consciousness, perspective and an outlet to take action against poverty globally.  The End of Poverty? boldly asks the question "with so much wealth in the world, why is there still so much poverty?"       

With the development of the new Women's Collaborative Circle website coming soon, stay tuned for various interactive opportunities for social action, activism and ways to take action in the fight against poverty domestically and globally!

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