September 24th, 2011
Dear IMF and World Bank,
I saw this on the side of the World Bank yesterday and I had to take a picture of it and pose a few questions to you. Why is it little girls’ responsibility to fight the “poverty monster”? And you do realize that poverty isn’t a monster, right? It’s real.
Why are you mystifying the processes of economic exploitation and colonialism–the things that produce poverty in the first place–through the production of this type of imagery? And why do women have to do everything? Are men going to take up some responsibilities now that women and girls are going to school? Where’s that campaign?
Am I suggesting that little girls shouldn’t have access to education? No, I’m not. I’m just asking if you really think that more Westernized education does anything for them other than make them better resources from which to extract labor and capital in this global economy where the wealthiest 1% tell us where, how, and what to do to make them more money.
Poverty is not a hairy four eyed monster and no amount of reading can cause it to end if the people who help to perpetuate it, like yourselves, don’t stop making it out to be this thing that we can just end with through the “power of our minds.”
I’m not Jean Grey or Professor Charles Xavier, and neither are little girls in Sudan.
We can’t make people do things with the power of our minds. As many people of color who are continually discriminated against in the workforce (and in comic books) can attest, it doesn’t always matter if you graduate from college (or have super powers), you can still be unemployed, disempowered, and completely disillusioned in the current global economy. A systemic shift in the way that capital and labor are distributed needs to be the way to end poverty because little girls of color, they aren’t superheros. They can’t make it rain…
P.S. A poverty monster? Who came up with that? Bad idea.