When I complain about being poor, I’m mostly complaining about things like having to pack a lunch every day or only being able to afford getting into an Uber if it’s a Pool. These are not real problems. Broke-ish Perspective posts explore actual problems poor people face and ways even the broke-ish can help.
I spent the entirety of this beautiful spring morning mildly hungover in my bed watching clips of Full Frontal with Samantha Bee. I’d never seen it before and was instantly obsessed. There’s something so magnetic about the way she jokes and smiles through gritted teeth, letting the full-bodied rage that inspired her to highlight the issue she’s covering in the first place shine through. If late night hosts were the Justice League, Samantha Bee would be Wonder Woman AND Batman AND Superman. If she were in Destiny’s Child, she would have Beyonce’d Beyonce*. She’s hilarious, smart, #goalsaf, and just an all around slam dunk of a human being.
BUT THIS IS NOT A LOVE LETTER TO SAMANTHA BEE. This is about a piece on her show called “Poor Babies Don’t Deserve Diapers”. Click that link and come back when you’re done.
Didja watch it? Doesn’t Bee slay? Slaaaay, Bee! Your blazer game is FIRE!
If you’re at work and you didn’t watch it, here’s the gist. It costs (at lowest) an estimated $80/month to diaper your baby. Low income families struggle to afford diapers, and receive no help from the government because food stamps don’t cover diapers. Diapers are considered a “luxury item”, which totally makes sense. Look at this little guy, not covered in his own poop.
Seriously though, let’s call a diaper what it really is– a health necessity AND a shit catcher. It catches baby shit! How can anything that collects pee be luxurious? Did R. Kelly become a government official when we weren’t paying attention? What are people who can’t afford diapers supposed to do? How can you potty train something that doesn’t even have control over its own head?!
A hygiene assistance bill to help poor families get diapers was proposed in November and hasn’t been voted on yet, but it’s already facing opposition by people arguing it’s not the government’s role to provide diapers and people who can’t afford babies shouldn’t have had them in the first place.
Ok, fine, even if you believe that, you can’t deny that the baby is already here. Do you want their parents to just Moses them down a river? Maybe write a letter to the Jolie-Pitts asking if they’ve got room for one more? Why can’t the government help these people? Would it really be the worst thing in the world to give struggling parents a stipend for diapers? Are people worried about like, an emergence of Diaper Queens? Do they think there will be a sudden influx of mothers milking the system for all the diapers they can get their grubby little hands on, living large in their government-sponsored diaper mansions, no longer motivated to find work because who needs a job when you can spend all day sitting on a diaper throne?
These people clearly had access to diapers as babies because they obviously have no idea that their shit stinks. BABIES NEED DIAPERS! HOW IS THIS EVEN AN ISSUE?!
Some people are idiots, and these idiots are preventing low-income families from getting diapers. The good news is, you’re not an idiot! You can totally help these people for cheap by making a donation to National Diaper Baby Network! The lowest suggested donation is $10 (which is less than a steak burrito with a side of guac at Chipotle, less than that Batman vs Superman ticket you probably regret buying, less than a month of Spotify premium…), but you can donate as much or as little as you want. You could even help for the low low price of free ninety nine by writing your governor or mayor to spread awareness of diaper need (which sounds like a whole to-do, but there’s a template here to get you started, and all you really need to do is change the dates on it).
Not being able to afford diapers is a real problem, and instead of waiting on Congress to do something (LOL Congress), the broke-ish can take action now and do their part to make the world a little less shitty.
*kidding Bey. We cool? We cool.