A-Dub’s post of earlier this week has had me thinking about competition. One of the things I particularly dislike about the kind of rancorous competition she was talking about is the way the word “deserve” tends to get thrown about. We get competitive when someone gets something we think we “deserve.” People get competitive when we get something they think they “deserve.” All of which strikes me as a certain kind of entitlement. Particularly when we start talking about professional competition. When I got my job, a lot of people, on congratulating me, told me I deserved it. Yes and no. Yes, in that I had worked really hard to get my Ph.D & professionalize myself in ways that had an impact on my getting a job. No, in that I was not alone in this. I didn’t “deserve” this job any more than the other candidates or many of the other people who applied. I was lucky and in the right place at the right time (which is the sad reality of academic jobs). This language made me particularly uncomfortable as I had some very “deserving” friends who hadn’t gotten jobs yet. There are also some very “deserving” academics who will probably never get a job like I got (to say nothing of the many people who lead a much less privileged life than I, a straight, middle-class, able-bodied white woman). I didn’t do anything to deserve it any more or any less.
Don’t get me wrong, I think there are certain things we all “deserve:” shelter, food, safety, etc. But these are rights, it seems to me. And rights are political. Rights demand action–both by those who want them and by those who have them. And, this Stylenation, is the long, tortuous segue to my outfit. Today I wore purple for this reason. Because LGBTQ youth deserve more then they currently get.
Purple tunic: Old Navy
Skirt: Eddie Bauer (from AGES ago)
Belt: New York & Co.
Gold Flats: Nine West (remixed many times)
Anyone else using their clothes to make a point today?
*My apologies for the ridiculous title. But I wanted a frivolous title in the face of a not so frivolous post.