Due to family stuff, I had to be away for the weekend, and haven’t had the time to put together my weekly links roundup. I will try to do one tomorrow if I have the time, but if not, I’ll just add this week’s links to next week’s post!
This top is one of the many awesome things I got at the most recent clothing swap I attended.
Top: Avenue via clothing swap: pants: Target, boots: present from my mom, earrings: from a gift shop in Israel, necklace: from a shop whose name I don’t remember in Jamaica Plain
If you don’t follow Sarah Kendzior on Twitter, you should. Her tweets are always insightful and incisive, and I appreciate that she regularly calls out organizations that claim to empower people–or in some cases, even fight for higher wages and workers’ rights– while not paying their own interns.
Her latest example is, sadly, Girls Write Now, a non-profit that provides writing mentoring to at-risk and underserved girls in New York City. As Kendzior dryly points out: “Organization claiming to champion impoverished teens seeks unpaid employee to work 25 to 35 hrs/week.”
Girls Write Now is only one of many, many organizations that expect interns to do entry-level-type work, full-time or near-full-time, without pay. But it’s especially disappointing because I’ve always liked them (and probably even given them money, although I don’t keep track of my donations well enough to know for sure). As someone who was once a girl and has always loved to write, I know firsthand how amazing it is to grow into your own voice with the support of mentors, peers, and a community. I want all girls who are interested in writing to have that experience.
It’s incredibly frustrating that an organization doing such important work would expect their interns to work 25 to 35 hours a week unpaid, especially in a city as expensive as New York. It virtually guarantees that most of their interns will be well-off–from backgrounds nothing like those of the girls they’re serving.
I keep coming across disheartening reminders that having a successful career rarely translates into financial stability.
s.e. smith, a writer whose work I’ve followed for years on XOJane and elsewhere on the social justice internets, recently posted a list of tips for freelancers. In the introduction, ou* admitted:
Alas, the fact of the matter is that while I have been freelancing for seven years now, I still don’t have what I would call a wildly stable or successful career, and it’s highly likely that will never realistically happen. The same is true of many freelancers, especially in an economy where intellectual labour is valued less and less, which translates into lower fees for your work or dreaded offers of ‘exposure’ in offer for your free work.
The same day, I came across Susie Cagle’s post Eight years of solitude: on freelance labor, journalism, and survival. And it’s just depressing:
More newspapers and magazines want to profile me and the strange work I do than hire me to actually do it. Other writers and illustrators chastise, how can you complain about getting that kind of promotion? The year I got the most TV and radio spots and magazine write-ups, I made about $17,000.
Even though freelance writing doesn’t appeal to me for a number of reasons–I do best with external structure and routine, I need to be around people, and I just enjoy writing more when my rent doesn’t depend on it–it hurts to see how little our economy values people with skills and interests similar to mine. It’s incredibly frustrating to see so many people doing such good work but barely making enough to live on.
Sometimes I think, if teenage me could see all the clothing options I have now, she would be so happy. I mean, how much fun is this entire outfit?
Jacket and leggings: Domino Dollhouse (at rock-bottom discount, hells yeah), dress: ASOS Curve, sandals: Clarks, purse: LeSportSac via eBay, necklace: Betsey Johnson via eBay, earrings: Claire’s, baby barrettes: probably CVS or Walgreen’s, skull ring: Kelsea Echo, sunglasses: Sweet and Lovely, belt: Re/Dress