For Crying Out Loud: Women's Poverty in the United States (Spie Proceedings Series; 2862)

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9780896085299: For Crying Out Loud: Women's Poverty in the United States (Spie Proceedings Series; 2862)

Brings together the words of welfare mothers, activists and advocates, as well as scholars in a poignant and powerful challenge to the impoverishment of women.

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Welfare has long been a thorn in the side of American conservatives and liberals alike. A pitched battle has been fought over whether payments to unemployed women and their children constitute charity or a basic right. In the '80s and '90s, politicians, the media, and citizens, tapping into taxpayer anger, helped bolster draconian cutbacks by waving the banner of the welfare queen, a shadowy figure appearing sometimes as a lady who buys steak with food stamps, sometimes as a pregnant teen who lazes about while the rest of society pays for her mistakes. For Crying Out Loud breaks into the barrage of statistics and myths with humanizing portraits of people who live on the margins.

Shifting between personal testimony and academic inquiry, these essays vividly explore the links between all women and connect families who draw public funds with those who don't. By addressing self-defeating actions as well as cultural conditions that strip away options, the book helps defuse certain arguments aimed against welfare activists. Homelessness, single motherhood, battering, immigration, and building coalitions are among the issues discussed. --Francesca Coltrera

Review:

Conservatives have assaulted welfare systems: writers respond in this collection, which moves the debate away from eliminating welfare and into the realm of eliminating poverty. Personal accounts blend with analysis of the roots of poverty and dependence in this collection of essays from well-known writers and activists. -- Midwest Book Review

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