, 8 tweets, 2 min read Read on Twitter
People keep saying things about how great their unpaid internships worked out for them to defend unpaid internship miss the point - it's not just that you were ripped off.

It's everybody you didn't have to compete with because they couldn't afford the rip-off in the short term.
Making entry-level opportunities that require you to eat some losses and slog through a period of uncertainty and financial insecurity is just taking the axiom "it takes money to make money" and artificially extending it to the ground floor.
So, yeah, people who got ahead through unpaid work feel protective of the system... because the system protected them from having to compete with the full playing field. It was knifing the competition for them.

It is a powerful and widespread psychological effect and it is one of the things that is rapidly corroding our society. It's part of how gatekeeping works, just across the board.

Cognitive dissonance kicks in when you suffer and get something, to tell you that you got the thing *because* of the suffering, which makes the suffering worth it.

So if someone comes along and suggests removing the suffering from the process, the kneejerk response is negative.
It's not even just thinking it's not fair, on a conscious level, that someone can get what you got and not pay the same price.

It's that if it happens, it says your sacrifice was not necessary and therefore you suffered for nothing.
You can see this in people who had them defending unpaid internships, you can see this in trans people defending medical gatekeeping, you can see this in people who were buried under student loans or underwater mortgages being against loan forgiveness. It's everywhere.
It's toxic and it's the psychological undercurrent behind "There are two types of people, the one who says no one should have to suffer like I did and the one who says everyone should."

It can turn "nice" people as jealous as a dragon guarding a treasure hoard in a flash.
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