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Laurie Penny on Life Hacks of the Poor and the Aimless, negotiating the false idols of neoliberal self-care

Stashed in: Awesome, Poverty, Racism, Poverty, Self Compassion

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"The isolating ideology of wellness works against this sort of social change in two important ways. First, it persuades all us that if we are sick, sad, and exhausted, the problem isn’t one of economics. There is no structural imbalance, according to this view—there is only individual maladaption, requiring an individual response. The lexis of abuse and gas-lighting is appropriate here: if you are miserable or angry because your life is a constant struggle against privation or prejudice, the problem is always and only with you. Society is not mad, or messed up: you are."

Self care is not self indulgence. It's self preservation. 

Pretty sure you missed the point of the article, champ.

She says that in the post:

The ideology of wellbeing may be exploitative, and the tendency of the left to fetishize despair is understandable, but it is not acceptable—and if we waste energy hating ourselves, nothing’s ever going to change. If hope is too hard to manage, the least we can do is take basic care of ourselves. On my greyest days, I remind myself of the words of the poet and activist Audre Lorde, who knew a thing or two about survival in an inhuman world, and wrote that self care “is not self-indulgence—it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.”

I read that to mean that self care is important. 

One needs to take care of oneself, but this is not means to an end. Not everyone has resources to engage in the kind of "self care" recommended as a solution to very real problems.

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