"Gender Wars" & "Men’s Movement"…

…are the two gender-related topic options listed under “Causes & Issues” on Yahoo!Groups.

Wow.

"Before we can “do something” for the poor, there are some things we need to stop doing to them."

How the poor are made to pay for their poverty | Barbara Ehrenreich (via sociolab)

(via karnythia)

jsmooth995:

starkshipsaremeanttofly:

jsmooth995:

The Last Word on That Word

Debunking the oldest and worst argument ever about the “N word.”

This guy’s last point is flakey. To say ‘Group A may use this word, Group B may not’ is not ONE standard - the standard being set is ‘Can word X be used?’ - saying one group can and can’t IS the double standard. 

Okay. No. This is a perfect example of someone who isn’t thinking clearly about how “standards” work. There are countless examples of standards we apply in our everyday lives that do not simply say “everyone can do it or no one can do it.”

When we set standards about driving a car, do we say “either everybody can or nobody can”? No. We agree that some people can do it safely and some people cannot. In addition, we agree that most people who can drive a car still cannot drive certain vehicles (taxicabs, 18-wheelers) unless they are part of a smaller sub-group that has a special license. We have a standard that brings different results for different people, depending on the situation. Nobody finds anything strange about this, it’s what a standard is supposed to do.

When we set a standard for who can take various medications, do we say “either everyone can take it or no one can take it?” No. We agree that some people can take it safely and some cannot. And within the group of people who can take it safely, we agree that some people can take different amounts, at different times, than others. Nobody finds anything strange about this. It’s what a standard is supposed to so.

And then there are all the similarly nuanced standards that we apply constantly in our social interactions, which I won’t detail here because, umm, I already covered this in the video.

But, yeah. No. A standard doesn’t have to say “everybody can or nobody can” in order to be a fair and proper standard. And all of us usually understand that. So I wish we could understand it about this word, just like we do for everything else.

Equal Pay

bankuei:

blackamazon:

And here is where a convo i had comes real clear.

Equal Pay is set up like women who have ” earned ” the right almost always middle class white shouldn’t have to be embarrassed professionally by unequal pay.

Instead of

A fundamental check against the fact that business target low-low middle income women as ways to cut costs

and thereby starve families

AS A BUSINESS MODEL.

so it’s organized around and treated as part of some kind of sick self worth competition with the dudes you have beer with/date/argue in your liberal arts sociology class

than something killing families and throttling economies.

BEcause it’s a shock

Shock is a DEFENSIVE response

Also: add in businesses where the bad pay and outrageous work load is supposed to be balanced by someone moving up and out by promotion/seniority, but they pass the women, or press just a little too hard and when (naturally, inevitably) someone slips up or breaks down just a little, they can let them go and get someone else up on the line to start the process over.

The lack of maternity leave isn’t just about money in the obvious sense - it’s about forcing women to eventually drop things while juggling far too much for too long, so they can rationalize letting them go or passing them up for the raises and benefits that were promised along the way.

Ain’t nothing but a game of chutes and ladders but they done stole all the ladders…

(via karnythia)

"Vimes reached behind the desk and picked up a faded copy of Twurp’s Peerage or, as he personally thought of it, the guide to the criminal classes. You wouldn’t find slum dwellers in these pages, but you would find their landlords. And, while it was regarded as pretty good evidence of criminality to be living in a slum, for some reason owning a whole street of them merely got you invited to the very best social occasions."

— Terry Pratchett, Feet of Clay (via tgadding)

(Source: gaddings)

maritsa-met-esq:

boehnertroll:

thelefthandedwifeisundercover:

celluloidlove:

glossylalia:

kyssthis16:

brandnewjones:







Fact #666: Girls don’t actually have periods. They hide the bloods of their victims in their underwear. So don’t fucking cross us.

I pubesced/began menstruating at 12. I had two major, constant father figures present in my life up until age 19 or so.
A good friend of mine didn’t really hit puberty until 15 or 16. Her dad died when she was young, and her mother never remarried.
Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

Bullshit.
My dad died when I was 6 and my mom never remarried. I had my period until around my 14th birthday.

While this isn’t a “fact” there have been studies done that suggest this. Clearly that doesn’t mean every single girl who grows up without a father figure will have early menarche.   http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/15603289
"There was little or no evidence, however, that suggested a direct causal relationship between these variables… Our results are consistent with the hypothesis that father absence is associated with a developmental trajectory characterized by earlier readiness for reproduction and parenting."
It’s likely that a major confounding variable in this study was poverty, since single female-headed households are much more likely to be below the poverty line, and poverty is associated with a host of environmental factors that are in turn associated with early menarche.

maritsa-met-esq:

boehnertroll:

thelefthandedwifeisundercover:

celluloidlove:

glossylalia:

kyssthis16:

brandnewjones:

Fact #666: Girls don’t actually have periods. They hide the bloods of their victims in their underwear. So don’t fucking cross us.

I pubesced/began menstruating at 12. I had two major, constant father figures present in my life up until age 19 or so.

A good friend of mine didn’t really hit puberty until 15 or 16. Her dad died when she was young, and her mother never remarried.

Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

Bullshit.

My dad died when I was 6 and my mom never remarried. I had my period until around my 14th birthday.

While this isn’t a “fact” there have been studies done that suggest this. Clearly that doesn’t mean every single girl who grows up without a father figure will have early menarche. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/15603289

"There was little or no evidence, however, that suggested a direct causal relationship between these variables… Our results are consistent with the hypothesis that father absence is associated with a developmental trajectory characterized by earlier readiness for reproduction and parenting."

It’s likely that a major confounding variable in this study was poverty, since single female-headed households are much more likely to be below the poverty line, and poverty is associated with a host of environmental factors that are in turn associated with early menarche.

(via maritsa-met)

maishaparadox:

Came across this while researching for work yesterday. While all of these activities have limits (there’s only so far an analogy can go) and imperfections, most of them seem like good starting points for interactive lessons on diversity, difference, privilege/oppression, compassion, empathy, and respect.

I really like the poster-making activity.

A 14-year-old boy got into a fight at a school bus stop and the school district’s police officer responded by shooting him to death

karnythia:

maevele:

abaldwin360:

SAN ANTONIO (CN) - A 14-year-old boy got into a fight at a school bus stop and the school district’s police officer responded by shooting him to death, the boy’s mother says. She says the cop had been reprimanded 16 times in the previous 4 years, suspended without pay 5 times, and “recommended for termination for insubordination,” but the school kept him on the force “without remedial training.”

Denys Lopez Moreno sued the Northside Independent School District, of San Antonio, the district’s Chief of Police John Page and the alleged shooter, Daniel Alvarado, in Federal Court.

Lopez says her son, Derek, got into a fight with another boy at a school bus stop and punched the other boy once, in November 2010.

“Defendant, Alvarado, having responded to a call regarding a bus with a flat tire, witnessed Derek strike the other boy. He ordered Derek to ‘freeze.’ Derek hesitated and then ran from defendant Alvarado,” according to the complaint.


“In his patrol car, Alvarado began chasing Derek in the neighborhood across the street from the high school. Alvarado lost sight of the boy in the neighborhood and returned to the location of the school boy fight. At that time, he called dispatch. Dispatch recordings reflect that his supervisor directed Alvarado to stay with the other boy and to ‘not do any big search over there.’

“Ignoring his supervisor’s orders to ‘stay with the victim and get the information from him,’ Alvarado placed the second boy into the patrol car and sped into the neighborhood to search for Derek.”

Lopez says her son jumped over a fence and hid in a shed in the back yard of a house. The homeowner saw him, called 911, and alerted a neighbor, who pointed Alvarado in Derek’s direction. Lopez says her son never left the shed, never approached the house or threatened the homeowner or her daughters, and posed no threat to anyone.

Nonetheless, she says: “In violation of NISD police department procedures, Alvarado drew his weapon immediately after exiting the patrol car. With his gun drawn, he rushed through the gate and into the back yard. Within seconds from arriving at the residence, Alvarado shot and killed the unarmed boy hiding in the shed.”

[FULL STORY]

Jesus fucking christ. 

Two boys have a fist fight & a cop shoots one to death, but we’re supposed to teach our kids to trust authority? Yeah…no. Whether anyone wants to face it or not, police forces across the country contain some deeply flawed individuals who have no business with a badge or a gun. You cannot tell at a glance which one you’re dealing with & thus you cannot trust the police.

masteradept:

Mossville, Louisiana is a predominantly African-American community on  the shores of Lake Charles. It is in Calcasieu Parish, home to 53  industrial facilities, mostly petrochemical plants. These facilities  release nine million pounds of toxic chemicals into the environment each year (the manufacturers say 2.5 million pounds) Residents have three times the national average amount of dioxin in their bodies, which the federal Agency for Toxic Substances and  Disease Registry does not consider a health risk. Residents say the  tests are misleading, as people from all over Calcasieu Parish were  tested and Mossville residents should be tested separately. The EPA has  Mossville under consideration for Superfund designation.

This is an extreme case, but it’s incredibly common for POC to live in areas that are more polluted than the areas mainly populated by White people of the same class standing.  This is why asthma rates among children of color, especially Black and Hispanic children, are dramatically higher than among White children.  Many types of cancer rates are much higher, too, unsurprisingly.

masteradept:

Mossville, Louisiana is a predominantly African-American community on the shores of Lake Charles. It is in Calcasieu Parish, home to 53 industrial facilities, mostly petrochemical plants. These facilities release nine million pounds of toxic chemicals into the environment each year (the manufacturers say 2.5 million pounds) Residents have three times the national average amount of dioxin in their bodies, which the federal Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry does not consider a health risk. Residents say the tests are misleading, as people from all over Calcasieu Parish were tested and Mossville residents should be tested separately. The EPA has Mossville under consideration for Superfund designation.

This is an extreme case, but it’s incredibly common for POC to live in areas that are more polluted than the areas mainly populated by White people of the same class standing.  This is why asthma rates among children of color, especially Black and Hispanic children, are dramatically higher than among White children.  Many types of cancer rates are much higher, too, unsurprisingly.

(via ziatroyano)

jonathan-cunningham:

When he had a pain in the butt, he had to wait until early in the morning of December 3rd to present himself at the ER of Highland Hospital, the Alameda County medical facility.  There are guards at Highland, and a football field full of plastic chairs for the indigent to use while they wait treatment.  He was sent home with a handful of Vicodin and a suggestion to follow up with a pulmonologist for the 3 cm spot the Xray showed on his lung.  The soonest appointment was Feb 25.

He was in so much pain that he could not stand up for more than a few seconds at a time.  He got Vicodin.  And steroid suppositories.  

His buddies came up with the $2000 a proctologist wanted to do an outpatient surgery.  But the hospital wanted $20,000 for use of the room for the brief procedure because he was uninsured.  Because the pain didn’t matter half as much as the profit.

For six weeks he suffered at home.  You bastards, you would have liked to watch that, wouldn’t you?  Too bad there were no cameras to catch him as he collapsed when he tried to microwave his oatmeal.  No microphones to catch his cries of pain or despair.

He was finally admitted to Highland after his heart started to fail in the emergency room one night early in February.  The staff there are dedicated, caring, compassionate people who work their hearts out trying to save the sickest and poorest Americans.  They have only limited resources with which to do that.  And they make every one of those resources count.

By then, of course, the cancer from his lung had spread to his buttock where it attacked the bone.  It wrapped itself into the nerves that travelled up his spine.  The pain was indescribable.  Perhaps his medical records could serve as pornography to sate your sick lust for the pain of others… 

I cannot, for the life of me fathom why he is only ashes today and you are walking this earth.  

But then, I am not the hero my brother was.  He would have forgiven you.  He would have understood the source of your fear that caused those cheers.  I don’t want to.  

I think you are scum.

Just to remind you that this isn’t hyperbole, the below is an actual exchange from the GOP Presidential debate:

BLITZER: A healthy 30-year-old young man has a good job, makes a good living, but decides, you know what? I’m not going to spend $200 or $300 a month for health insurance because I’m healthy, I don’t need it. But something terrible happens, all of a sudden he needs it. 

Who’s going to pay if he goes into a coma, for example? Who pays for that… 

PAUL: That’s what freedom is all about, taking your own risks…

BLITZER: Congressman, are you saying that society should just let him die? 

AUDIENCE: Yeah!

(via knitmeapony)

Dear middle-aged man with the anti-Walker sign that included the word “FOOLISH” circumnavigating the Capitol at about 2pm on Thursday, August 25th:

When I saw you with your sign as I headed across the Capitol Square, I thought we had something in common.  I spent almost every day at the Capitol for a month and a half, after all.

When as you passed me, you turned to me and gleefully pronounced, with no effort to provide even a shred of context, “Did you know it’s legal to CHOKE A WOMAN in Wisconsin?” I knew without a shadow of a doubt that there was a hell of a lot that we didn’t.

I regret that all I was able to muster in response in the moment was “Wow, you are creepy as fuck,” although I stand by my statement.

I wish, when you replied, seeming slightly taken aback, “Well, PROSSER did it,” that I had actually followed you instead of waiting at the corner for you to make it the rest of the way back around to me, which you never did, or at least not before I had to leave for the appointment I was on my way to in the first place.

But since I didn’t follow you, here is what I wanted to say to you, in addition to the 100% accurate evaluation of your behavior that I was able to personally deliver at the time:

You clearly have no idea what it means to be a woman navigating public spaces.  I guess I’m not surprised, since I never really expect men to have any clue what it’s like to be a woman, even if women have been trying to explain it to them, possibly for decades.  Had I been able to tell you all this in person, for instance, I suspect that you would have ignored me.

But I, a woman (read by the general public as a woman in my gender presentation), have grown accustomed though not inured to the simple fact that every time I go out in public, there is a good chance that some random asshole will say something crudely sexual or possibly just generally threatening to me, for having the sheer temerity to take my woman’s body out alone into the world.  When some guy with a sign makes a context-free comment about violence against women to me, I have 100 reasons to assume that he is in favor of it and pretty much no reason to assume that he’s not.  The fact that it didn’t seem to even OCCUR to you that your question, delivered with obvious relish, would be read by me as threatening just demonstrates how little you know about women—how little you NEED to know about women.  Because you have always enjoyed the privilege of feeling safe in public spaces, you apparently neither have a clue nor give a shit about how unsafe you make anyone else feel.

One of the things that I hate the most about our current governor and his administration is how much they obviously hate women—anyone with a uterus, yes, but specifically people they would identify as women (as well as anyone whom they could identify as LGBTQ).  When you throw out a random one-liner about choking women in Wisconsin, I assume that you hate women, too.  We may share a disdain for Scott Walker, but I am quite sure that you are not my friend.  If you think you are a friend to ANY woman, I am here to tell you that you suck at it.

Your protest sign is not a Get Out of Misogyny Free card.  You are not a person I want on my side, largely because you couldn’t be on my side if you tried.  You don’t even understand where it is.

The limits of “solidarity” have never seemed so sharply defined.  It is no wonder to me right now that this movement has largely failed to grant even lip service to poor people, people with disabilities, people of color—all the most vulnerable attacked by Walker and his cronies, instead limiting its focus almost entirely to the middle class who were lucky enough to have labor unions in the first place.  As I saw from the beginning from the sheer volume of anti-Walker signs centered around metaphors of rape and prostitution, but which was particularly personalized for me today, too many of its members don’t even give a shit about women (or anyone who fails to meet their idea of “man”), middle class or not.

Not your sister,

A woman against Walker

thin privilege rides again (to respond to derailers)

invertebrate-party:

I noticed some privilege-denying/questioning arguments being floated in response to the thin privilege stuff from yesterday, and I wanted to take a quick swipe at some of them because I can:

1. “Thin women are oppressed, too.”

Do thin women (and by thin, rest assured I don’t just mean size 0 or whatever) experience disadvantages? Of course. Body size isn’t the only dimension of privilege that exists; in fact, it is one kind of privilege among a whole constellation of privileges. Does thinness negate the experience of the disadvantages of womanness for thin women? Or the experience of the disadvantages of non-Whiteness? Or poorness? No, no, and no.

Thin people are treated preferentially, both personally and structurally, for their thinness, but as with other kinds of privilege, simply because they have it doesn’t mean it dominates the experience of their lives.

Thin women feel the full force of gender disadvantage, too, although for them, it manifests in their daily lives differently - you know, because when different privileges and disadvantages intersect, they create different outcomes - than it does for larger women. They are still subjected to gender norms and body policing and shit that affects all women, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have body size privilege, too.

2. “It’s just that making things for thin people is cheaper, so thin privilege is just a consequence of efficiency.”

Because efficiency always trumps an obligation to treat - personally and through social structures - people as human beings with dignity, amirite?

Even if this were true — which is dubious:  many of the products/places that privilege the thin are that way through design inertia, which is often antithetical to efficiency — it doesn’t mean the world ought to be this way. If you think efficiency has moral content that trumps other moral considerations, then you best be prepared to argue that straight down the line, and not just with regard to chair widths and clothing sizes. (And - spoilers - you’ll still be wrong if you do.)

3. “You can choose what size your body is, and you can only be privileged/disadvantaged for things you haven’t chosen.”

a. It is simply not true that you can “choose” your body size. And, see also:  the first point about intersectionality. Even if you can change your body size, you don’t always have the resources (material, physical, and psychological) to do so.

b. We recognize other dimensions of privilege that are matters of “choice”:  education (“go to college!”), class (“bootstraps!”), religion (“convert!”), occupation (“what color is your parachute?”), etc.

c. What does choice really have to do with it? Should you not be treated with dignity in public because you choose not to exercise (or, rather, people assume that you don’t)? What role does the ability to exit really play in discussions of privilege? Being disadvantaged and treated poorly is really a-okay if you are “responsible” (in some ass-backwards way) for your own disadvantage? It’s not the fault of social inequality and systemic oppression:  it’s your fault for choosing to be/remain disadvantaged! Just no.

Not everyone will agree with me on this latter point, but the questions are worth thinking about, and point a) and b) still stand.

4. “Accommodating larger people is unhealthy and bad because it makes being fat okay.”

Hey there, asshole! 

You know what’s really unhealthy for the US population? How about … not having universal health care? You want a fucking public health problem, there’s your fucking public health problem.

Thinness is not inherently good. Thinness does not indicate health. Fatness is not inherently bad. Fatness does not indicate poor health. Hurting and humiliating those who are not thin does not encourage them to become thin … it just hurts them and humiliates them because they are human beings who have feelings - not just fat flesh - and who ought to be respected as such.

5. “Being thin is hard because people make fun of you.”

Everyone tends to privilege their own experiences; it is hard not to. We also tend to overinflate our own challenges. In some minds, being told to, “Ew, go eat a sandwich” is equivalent to being told, “Ew, you’re gross and not welcome here because you’re fat.” It sucks to be insulted, and an insult is an insult, right? Well, sort of. Insults occur in a fully developed social world, where privilege and disadvantage is in full bloom. Even when told to “eat a sandwich,” a thin person has a body that is idealized, a body that can easily fit in an airplane seat, a body that is associated with goodness, status, and prosperity, a body that can easily be clothed, etc. That thin person may be insulted, but she is still thin and still privileged. Being insulted hurts personally, but it doesn’t take one’s social privilege away.

And, it sure as fuck isn’t silencing to thin women to point out thin privilege because it “ignores” the experiences of thin women. Identifying privilege is not ever itself silencing, nor is it a personal attack on the individual. A thin woman benefits from being thin in a variety of ways, but that isn’t her “fault” as a thin person, and calling out her privilege oughtn’t be construed as such. (It is derailing and misses the point.) However, it is her fault if she is a privilege denying asshole when she encounters evidence of her privilege. That’s the point at which she turns into an oppressor.

6. “God, people complain about everything. Doesn’t this just dilute the idea of privilege?”

Nope, sorry. Where groups of people are systemically treated unfairly and unequally, I - and many others - will “complain,” even if others don’t deem those issues “worthy” of complaint. 

Carefully applying the concept of privilege (which is general and widely applicable) outside the most commonly identified dimensions of privilege (race, gender, class) does not dilute the concept, nor does it take away from discussion of those kinds of privilege. Dialogues about privilege don’t occupy a “zero-sum” critical space, and talking or writing about thin privilege does trivialize or distract from discussions of other types of privilege. For example, talking about thin privilege isn’t stopping anyone from talking about class privilege, and you know what? Talking about thin privilege might illuminate certain aspects of class privilege that would otherwise go unnoticed. Why is it, for example, that Saks stocks women’s sizes that are so much smaller than Old Navy’s? And, really, the practice of social critique generally ought to be broadened, not narrowed … especially when that narrowing is according to arbitrary (and often biased-by-privilege) standards of what is “worthy” of discussion and what is not. 

There’s no Oppression Olympics. Oppression is oppression, social disadvantage is social disadvantage, privilege is privilege. It isn’t a contest about who has it worse, or which kinds of privilege are more socially noxious, or whatever.

(via fresafresca)

The problem with using the phrase “First World Problems”

wundygore:

is that it implies that people in poor countries (which you are tacitly calling ”third world” which is kind of problematic by itself) don’t ever have love problems, technology problems, etc, little problems that may not be a big deal, but still hurt.

And they do have those problems, because they are people. They don’t just spend all their time being miserable and posing for patronizing charity commercials. Sometimes they have — gasp! — computers and everything! Using this phrase denies part of their experience and tries to make them into a stereotype, a conception of what poor people are like, as if they are all the same, and obviously different from rich people. It is dehumanizing and othering.

Poor people do not exist for middle-upper class folk to use as a moral example to make themselves feel better than other middle-upper class people. They also do not exist for middle-upper class folk to use to try and jokingly excuse their privilege.

Stop it.

(via whatgodzillasaidtogod)

Feminism 101: Helpful Hints for Dudes

Useful for all dominant group members (cisgender people, straight people, White people, abled people, etc.) when talking to members of marginalized groups, not just men and women:

grrrlpower:

1. Every woman is an expert on her own life and experiences.

2. No woman speaks for all women.

3. No woman speaks for all feminists.

4. Because of the way cultural dominance/privilege works, marginalized people are, by necessity and unavoidability, more knowledgeable about the lives of privileged people than the other way around. Immersion in a culture where male is treated as the Norm (and female a deviation of that Norm), and where masculinity is treated as aspirational (and femininity as undesirable), and where men’s stories are considered the Stories Worth Telling, and where manhood and mankind are so easily used as synonymous with personhood and humankind, and where everything down to the human forms on street signs reinforce the idea of maleness as default humanness, inevitably makes women de facto more conversant in male privilege than men are in female marginalization. That’s the practical reality of any kind of privilege—the dominant group can exist without knowing anything about marginalized group, but the marginalized group cannot safely or effectively exist without knowing something about the privileged group and its norms and values.

5. Which is not to say that men can’t become fluent, with effort. But it is important to remember that it does take effort. Even though men’s and women’s lives can look so similar at first glance, it is shocking how very different they can actually be. (For example.)

6. A woman with intersectional marginalizations cannot wrench herself into parts. Asking a woman to set aside her race, or disability, or sexuality, or body size, or stature, or whatever, in order to discuss a “woman’s issue,” is to fail to understand that one’s womanhood is inextricably linked to the other aspects of one’s identity.

7. It is similarly unfair to ask a woman to leave aside her personal experience and discuss feminist issues in the abstract. You are discussing the stuff of her life. Asking her to “not make it personal” is to ask her to wrench her womanhood from her personhood.

8. You are not objective on women’s issues because you’re not a woman. Your perception is just as subjective as hers is, but for a different reason. Either we stand to be marginalized by privilege or stand to benefit from it. That’s the reality of institutional bias; it compromises us all.

9. Don’t play Devil’s advocate. Seriously. Just don’t.

10. Listen.

- Melissa McEwan

(via iamthecrime)

Yesterday was an inflection point in Raquel Nelson’s horrific journey, but the case and its ramifications are from over. Ms. Nelson, you’ll recall, is the Georgia mom convicted of vehicular homicide because her four-year-old was killed by a hit-and-run driver as they crossed the road from a bus stop to her Cobb County apartment.

The judge yesterday declined to give her jail time, and instead granted her the right to a new trial, which Ms. Nelson has said she intends to pursue in order to clear her name. Our view, of course, is that a grieving mother who didn’t even own a car should never have been charged with vehicular homicide in the first place. We would hope the Georgia board of pardons and paroles and/or Governor Nathan Deal would see fit to spare her the agony of a retrial and simply absolve her — and by extension the other pedestrians and bus riders who are put in a similarly dangerous situation every day.

Click through for the full article.  To me, the most horrifying new information is that this has happened in Atlanta before:

The latter course is exactly what Cobb County and the Georgia DOT took the last time a Cobb prosecutor convicted a grieving mother in the death of her own child as they crossed a road between a bus stop and home. In 2008, Altamesa Walker was charged with involuntary manslaughter because a driver hit her and her children, and her four-year-old daughter died. She took a plea deal and never went to trial, which is why her case is less famous than that of Ms. Nelson. That tragic case should have triggered a review of bus stop placement and the provisions for safe crossings, but the Nelson case is vivid evidence that did not happen.

The county appears to be in a Catch-22 at this point: To fix this, or similar, problems would be a tacit acknowledgment of negligence in the placement of the bus stop and the lack of a safe crossing. To leave conditions as they are would be to invite further tragedy and the possibility of yet more “pending litigation.”

This is a stark demonstration of how bullshit many plea deals are—they’re often a way for the criminal justice system to bully vulnerable people into taking punishment that might have been avoided had they gone to trial, because people are afraid of taking a gamble and losing, or simply don’t have the resources to make it through a trial in the first place.

And when things don’t go to court, no legal precedent is set—and in cases like this one, vulnerable people continue to suffer for it.