Rural poverty in America is an issue that's very close to my heart. While I never had to live in such situations, my family has. I have seen how poverty has shaped them as people and how their struggles effect our lives to this day.
I particularly care about the effect of rural poverty on women and people with mental illness, through lack of access to health care, mental health resources, education, and so on.
I just came here to say it's a problem. I am going to work to fix it.
From watching my family, I know rural women have to work so hard, it's incredible. I imagine it is like that all over the world, and harder in certain places with additional societal factors.
I started writing this post a few weeks ago because a couple of students at the very affluent school I was attending at the time were making fun of people in rural poverty. It made me very mad, as the people they mocked reminded me of my family. My mom worked very hard to be able to have me in a safe, middle-class area, and I am so grateful for the opportunities that that gave me. But sometimes it's just exhausting being surrounded by people who have no idea at all.They can be so ungrateful and judgmental it can be infuriating.
I just have to say, try to have some compassion. Of course for all people, always, but a big thing I saw the rich kids mocking was people's health and how they did things to take care of that.
Try to have some understanding, these people are trying to live the only way they know. Not everyone has the resources you have growing up, and weren't always taught how to take care of themselves.
It does not make them dumb, or deserving of bad health, it just makes them people.
And I know what it's like in certain aspects, for different reasons, to have to figure out how to take care of your health at a young age. Let me tell you, kids can try to do a great many things, but they are just kids. So if no one is there to teach them what soap is, what medications to or not to take, what not to drink, what clothes to wear, how to dress a wound, how to make food, and seriously, how to protect themselves against sexual assault, how to have safe sex, basic genital health for anyone, they will not know how to do that for themselves.
All they have is what they have seen.
A lot of people in impoverished situations make due with what they have, and that is survival and it makes me really mad that more fortunate people can mock that.
I also think many people with disbalities and mental illness grow up in impoverished situations where they don't get the adequate care, understanding, and lives they deserve, which can negatively impact them and their family. What kind of person laughs at that?
Transportation is also a big barrier to rural people's health in the U.S. Transportation, news coverage, information, consumer products, medicine...there is a reason why I and others feel like the rural poor side of America is in another world sometimes, because in a way they are. It does not help for people to feel, or be isolated. It does not help them, and it often does not help other people.
I think helping women get equal healthcare in these situations is key as it can liberate those families, and give a better life to the next generation.
In my mind working women are the heart of America. I am so glad women have more opportunities in the work field now. But sometimes I fear rural women aren't at the same equal point many people may like to think.
And of course these obstacles I would imagine, become greater and greater with factors, such as racial or ethnic prejudice, disability stigma and access and being a part of the lgbtq community, especially in somewhere like the Midwest.
On the issue of news coverage I believe this- In my mind it is a very sad continuing history America has, and very telling, that hateful attitudes and bigotry often come from places that do not have very good information, such as the Midwest U.S. So, connecting poor rural populations with accurate, current news coverage and good healthcare, so as to have a better standard of living where they can afford better communication, could possibly help to end some of the bigotry and violence coming from those populations onto innocent groups of people. (That is not to say that people's bigotry or violence is anyone's fault, but their own. I think no matter how bad you had it growing up or whatever, if you hurt other people that is on you and you should expect the consequences.)
I just don't think any person that is filled with hate is a healthy person. I believe they often make hateful kids, and hateful communities.
Anyways I think every person, especially every child, deserves to have basic health care. It can effect their entire life, and their families, mentally and physically for generations to come.