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Women And Welfare Essay

1339 words - 5 pages

The Struggle of Women on Welfare

     Women in today’s society face many adversities. In this essay I will discuss fact versus stereotypical perceptions about the various social and economic problems women must face everyday. I grew up on the Upper East Side in Manhattan mostly comprised of wealthy, socialite families. I attended The Convent of Sacred Heart, also one of the top, private, all girl schools in Manhattan. The majority of the students come from very privileged families and are, more often than not, very spoiled and naïve to the world around them. While I was attending High School, I found it very hard to make friends with some of the students that went to Sacred Heart. I hated the way “rich kids” thought. They always spoke about Welfare and made absurd comments about how it should not exist because the people feeding of their tax dollars were nothing but the bottom-feeders in the world. The people I was surrounded by could never move past the fallacies their parents would talk about. They never realized that many people on welfare struggled. These unfortunate people were not lazy; they weren’t all drug dealers and prostitutes that just kept getting pregnant so that the city would write them a check every month. The only thing they were guilty of was being born a minority and from birth, growing up in some of the worst conditions imaginable.
     Over the summer my friend and I decided to join the Coalition for Homeless Women. I learned a lot while visiting the numerous women shelters and I can admit that I too had very stupid and naïve perceptions of some of these women. Even though I was not as “rotten” as some of the girls I attended school with, my parents sheltered me. I will always remember walking down the street one day and as I passed by a homeless woman I handed her my dollar. My father immediately looked at me funny and said “Sonia, you shouldn’t have given her your allowance, she will only use it to buy drugs or alcohol. She will not use it for anything good!” At the age of ten those words resonated in my head for some time. My perception of homeless people was somewhat flawed until I was old enough to understand the world for myself. I was really happy when I visited shelters and spoke to some of these remarkable women. They weren’t on drugs, they weren’t alcoholics, and these are women who have faced some of the harshest lessons in life. I remember speaking with a woman who told me she grew up in the South Bronx. She got pregnant at the age of 17 and married her high school boyfriend. She went on and on about how difficult it was for her to live anywhere else but there. She said once you are born in the South Bronx there is barely a chance you will ever leave. She did not get a job because she had to stay home with her children. Her and her husband did not have enough money to get someone to watch over her children and even if she did she would not trust them. She said...

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