Damn you, internet

Posted on 9 January 2013


I blame globalisation and the internet.

The number of appalling situations or events are brought to my attention by organisations like Change.org, SumOfUs.org and GetUp is starting to make me sick.

Without them, I would be much more comfortable in my privilege as a more-or-less white, basically-middle-class woman in a safe, rich country. As it stands I have to know about things like this:

  • General Motors operating its workplaces with conditions that severely injure its employees, then forcing them to continue doing heavy manual labour while injured until they are permanently disabled, and then firing them and refusing to help them.
  • Walmart refusing to pay more to upgrade safety in its suppliers’ Bangladeshi factories leading to 112 people being cooked alive in a factory fire a couple of weeks ago.
  • People in Uganda have been getting murdered for being gay (or being suspected of being gay) for decades, often by being stoned. Now their government is trying to make a new law saying it can kill people for being gay. It’s probably a lot more efficient.
  • How disgustingly ordinary the experience of rape is for women the world over. (SEVERE TRIGGER WARNING for the comments on this piece.)
  • The winner of the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize has been in prison since 2009. Ironically, Dr Liu Xiabo’s award is for his ‘long and non-violent struggle for fundamental rights in China.’ When his award was announced, his wife was placed under house arrest with no due process at all, where she remains over two years later.
  • People seeking refuge from torture and death are currently in prison on the island of Nauru with severe restrictions in place, mostly to do with communicating with the outside world. Which they need to do to sort out the paperwork problems currently keeping them in prison.

Honestly, it’s all bit uncomfortable, isn’t it?