When it doesn't get any worse — The life of a tramp
This was sent to me by a friend:
|I seriously recommend you acquaint yourselves with a short work by George Orwell, who,
in the late 1920s/early 30s, spent several years as a tramp/unemployed/dishwasher, which
he wrote about in Down and Out in Paris and London (1933).
wet-behind-the-ears feminist/pro-feminist should be made to read this book before ever
again asserting that all men oppress all women. Although Orwell certainly did not
intend it to be taken as such, it comes across to me as a tremendous testament to the
fortitude and inherent decency of men, as men. Were there a pro-male Men's Studies
course anywhere in the world, this book should be on the compulsory reading list.
The extract below is from the last part of the Penguin edition of 1940, pp.180-181, as
Orwell attempts to make some generalizations from his highly moving, at times very
humorous, at times tragic experiences in this underworld.
Many men who are embroiled in the fallout of separation
and divorce are little less disenfranchised than the tramps George Orwell wrote
about. How much greater is the risk for them to hit skid row than it is for anyone
who has not yet been removed from his family? For many the difference is only a
matter of time. Many of them will wind up on skid row! It's not
a matter of choice, it's one of circumstances. Some of them will be the poorest of
the poor even on skid row.
Even though they may have jobs in which they earn good incomes, not
enough will remain of their net pay to allow them to buy food or meals and pay rent. They'll not
even be eligible to obtain accommodation at a single men's hostel, on account of having a
job and an "income."
Worst of all, these men aren't only cut off from any contact with
women, they are disenfranchised fathers cut off from access to their children as
well. Besides, what kind of a father wants his children to know that he lives on
skid row? Can we expect such a man to commit suicide? You bet we can, and
of them do. WHS
Fathers and the "Patriarchy",
The Consequences of Separation and Divorce,
The Secondhand Man and
Posted 1999 06 19
2001 02 11 (format changes)
2007 12 17 (reformated)
2009 04 01 (removed accidentally duplicated text)