HIST 11B Chapter N/A: Hist 12B: Neoliberalism Expanding the boundaries notes

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University of California - Los Angeles
Robin Kelley

Pg1 The recent dismantling of Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC), the federal safety net for poor women and children, has taken place with relatively minimal protest I’ve never even heard of this place Progressive think tanks and public policy institutes expressed concern about the turn of events. But compared with the response from women nationwide when the legal right to abortion was threatened in the late 1980s or when Anita Hill charged Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas with sexual harassment, the end of welfare as we knew it became reality with a disheartening measure of public Feminism was really only about white women The lack of protest suggests that welfare, although it is the main economic support for women in need in the United States, is still not considered by most feminists a women's issue. At the same time, civil rights organizations, seeking to challenge white Americans' conflation of poverty and race, have been reluctant to make African American welfare mothers symbolic of the Black plight. -These strategic choices and the deeply embedded negative stereotypes of women on welfare that permeate American culture have made welfare a difficult and unlikely issue around which progressives can organize People think women are always married and rely upon men Pg3 The truth is that AFDC 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. The man runs everything. In ordinary marriage sex is supposed to be for your husband. On AFDC you're not supposed to have any sex at all. You give up control of your own body. It's a condition of aid. Wow, this organization sucks en 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 h
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