A backpack. Spare clothes. A notebook. Some keepsake photos. Crackers.
Though they may not have a home in which to secure their stuff, homeless people still have possessions like everyone else.
Yet the city of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida is on the cusp of passing a new regulation that would make it illegal for anyone to store their personal things on public property. Specifically, it would empower police to confiscate any personal possessions stored on public property, provided they have given the homeless person 24-hours notice. If the homeless people wish to retrieve their items, they must pay the city “reasonable charges for storage and removal of the items,” though that fee is waived if the person is able to demonstrate he or she cannot afford to pay. The city may dispose of any possessions not retrieved within 30 days. One of the driving factors behind the measure, according to the legislation, is the city’s “interest in aesthetics.”
Last week, the City Commission gave unanimous preliminary approval to the measure, despite overwhelming opposition from local residents who testified.
One woman, Gazol Tajalli, told Commissioners that is “insanity that we are even here discussing whether an individual can put on the ground the few objects that they own.” Another citizen, Rev. Gail Tapscott of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Ft. Lauderdale, criticized some of the Commissioners for “demoniz[ing]” the homeless.
Maria Foscarinis, Executive Director of the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty, chastised Ft. Lauderdale’s approach. “Maintaining city streets is a legitimate concern, but simply punishing homeless people for leaving their possessions in public places is not an effective or humane way to address it,” she told ThinkProgress. “Instead, city and business leaders should work with advocates and homeless people to develop alternative short and long term solutions, such as public storage options for homeless people and affordable housing.”
According to the Sun Sentinel, “The commission’s actions were backed by business leaders who said they were looking for some controls on a situation that scares away customers and makes visitors uncomfortable.” The commission is also considering other initiatives targeting the homeless, including stiffer penalties for urinating or defecating in public, prohibitions on panhandling at intersections or sleeping in public, and restrictions on charity groups that hand out food to the homeless.
Ft. Lauderdale is not the only city to embrace new ordinances that criminalize people for being homeless. Scores of cities, including Columbia, Palo Alto, Miami, Raleigh, Tampa, Harrisburg, and others have enacted measures that render homeless people simply trying to survive as criminals. Other cities, like Davis, California, are taking a different approach: constructing public lockers where homeless people can safely store their possessions.
So I just got back last night from a brony convention in San Francisco. I was working a booth for a vendor friend, and let me tell you what happened:
We met a little girl who was there with her family. She got a button drawn at our booth, told us all about her favorite ponies, and was overall just too damn cute. She had an MLP lanyard filled with pins she’d gotten in the vendor’s room, and gave me a Fluttershy pin because she liked my cosplay. She ended up just hanging out with us for a while and bein’ super cute. We call her Babby because she’s 11 and precious.
The next day, she runs up to the booth, terrified, and asks if she can please hide under our table for a few minutes. Turns out a dude had been following her around the con all day, and tried to get her to come up to his hotel room. Alone. She tells us she thought he was okay at first because he was wearing an MLP shirt, but she didn’t want to go anywhere with him, and he made her uneasy. At one point, after she’d refused, he grabbed her arm in the elevators and tried to get her to follow him. She ran, and now she wants somewhere to hide.
We tell her of course, hurry her behind our booth and fucking station ourselves around her because she’s eleven years old and all of us are prepared to physically attack the human trashheap who tries to fuck with her. We’re all dressed up in wings and ears and we’re 100000% prepared to rip them off and launch across that table to defend this kid. Eventually this very large dude strolls by, very obviously looking around, and she quietly points him out to us. At this point I’m ready to set him on fire, but when I ask if she needs me to go report him, she shakes her head. She doesn’t want to get in trouble, or make anyone mad.
We see him a few more times over the course of the day, because he keeps meandering over to our booth and just casually looking around. Eventually he actually stops to take a flier from our table and asks us a question, and we coldly send him on his way. We start sending a coworker with Babby whenever her parents aren’t around and she wants to go check out artist’s alley or the vendor’s hall. Because otherwise she’s not safe. She can’t run around and freely enjoy a convention about a show aimed at her, because instead of being surrounded by peers she’s somehow surrounded by men who pose a threat to her.
My point here: this is why I fucking hate “bronies.” Because grown-ass men are flooding into a space carved out for children—often little girls—and are making it unsafe for them.
I met a lot of non-awful people there, of course. I met a lot of parents and older siblings. A lot of adorable little boys who were happy to empathize with female characters, and a lot of little kids who wanted a picture with cosplays of their favorite pony. I met a lot of people who were cool and nice and just liked cartoons. I met a male Pinkie Pie cosplayer with a Fluttershy lady-friend who juggled and spun plates and was happy to entertain kids, and were generally just really cool people.
But I also met a lot of skeevy dudebros. A lot of guys in fedoras loudly discussing sexual shit in a room with children. Guys who drew/sold/displayed really fucking inappropriate “fanart,” including gross bodypillows that had no purpose in a little kids’ toy convention. I met a guy who gushed with absolute glee about the pleasure he derives from “corrupting innocence.” I met a lot of people who wanted to take something sweet and nice for children and make it about THEM. A lot of guys who wanted to make it about their dicks. People who made it UNSAFE for the intended audience to even be in attendance.
So yeah. If you call yourself a brony, I’m prolly not gonna trust you. Because I’ve seen y’all in action, and I am not impressed. Frankly I’m infuriated. This is like a bunch of gross neckbeards swarming Disneyland and shoving kids out of the way so they can grope Cinderella, and finding nothing wrong with it because they think they’re entitled to it.
My Little Pony is a really cute show with a lot of nice messages for kids, and gross brony shitweasels are trying to fucking take it from them by force. And I will fight them.
Even a very small amount of shit can ruin a very large bowl of ice cream.
Wow. Greg Rucka is super for reals not here for your sexist bullshit in nerd or geek communities. Also, something that stuck out to me was this passage:
"Portland Public Schools has a lottery system to get into its magnet programs. For two years, our daughter has been dreaming of attending one specific middle school, one that’s art focused. She’s been in a science-and-math magnet program, and she’s done very well there, mind, but the social aspect… it’s been grinding her down. She was looking to escape. She was looking to go to a place where, she imagined, she could be who she is and not suffer for it."
His daughter, thriving academically in the math and science program is looking to leave for an art program because the SOCIAL ASPECT (read: sexist microaggressions based on her gender) is wearing her down.
And what’s devastating to me and so many others who will nod their heads while reading this post is that even if she overcomes this particular gauntlet and sticks with science and math? There’s going to be another one. And another one. And another one. All through high school, undergrad, graduate school, her first job, her entire career. Until she quits because she just can’t take another day of suffering to be simply who she is. Because there’s not enough support or resources or even people acknowledging that it is a *systemic* problem that needs to be addressed at every level.
anarcho capitalism and variants thereof are a baffling 20th century american invention and it’s weird seeing a history of anarchism based around mutual aid, common property, and the ending of hierarchy reframed into “like we have now, except worse”
if you’re in your 20s and you’re defending your right to chill with fuckin 14 year olds in any way that doesn’t resemble a chaperone, consider this: you’re a grown ass adult, the fuck is wrong with you
and as an addendum if you’re an adult in a mixed-age social circle it’s not enough to just not be actively trying to interact in non-chaperonly ways. you need to be willing to be the chaperone. a lot of fandoms draw crowds that start pretty young and if you’re One Of The Adults you need to be willing to keep an eye out for the kids’ safety and you need to hold the other adults accountable for their behavior.
And if you can’t, then be mature enough to remove yourself from those situations.
Super incredibly maddening thing about mental illness:
Fighting your ass off to live a normal life and function as well as you can, and instead of getting credit and having people be proud of you for all the efforts you’re making, having people use your apparently normal behavior as a reason to invalidate you and think you weren’t that sick to begin with.
It takes a lot of badassery to act this normal, but the effort is all invisible
So, you know how some Nicki Minaj fans don’t know why we hate her?
Also, she said misandry isn’t real
So, basically, fuck her.
ThIS THE FUNNEIST POST…
Especially since, in the past, she’s explicitly acknowledged that there are women with vaginas and women without them (which led a radio host to treat her like an idiot and her to give the best eye roll in history). So watch those quotation marks friends and don’t let journalists put words in your mouth.
Was anyone else a little bit disappointed that the kick ass Lady Counsel Member turned out to be Natasha? Still love Natasha, but for a few glorious seconds, it was awesome to see an older woman come out of nowhere to kick ass.
Oh hell yes. For one glorious moment this movie was going to be the utter best thing ever made. And then…. well it was still cool but such a disappointment we didn’t get unexpected kick ass over 40 woman.
Did we ever even find out what happened to the counsel member?
We, too, thought for a glorious moment that Captain America: The Winter Soldier was a movie where every female character was a secret badass.
if you don’t prove your worth (and not to society at large, but specifically to the people who already have the money), you’ll literally fucking die. this is considered totally normal and not at all evidence that the system is evil