Was Quiet Quitting a Bad Thing?

Close up of woman's hands as she types on a laptop computer

"Quiet quitting" took the internet and workplaces by storm earlier this year, but what does it mean exactly? And was it as negative as it sounded?

In a country where capitalism has gone almost entirely rogue, many might struggle with the concept of not putting their best foot forward at work. Americans have been so conditioned to work without rest, low wages, and decent work benefits that the idea of not centering work in their lives may seem oddly foreign. Enter “quiet quitting,” the workplace trend many professionals are now embracing in lieu of letting work control their entire lives.

“Quiet quitting” is based on the concept of not necessarily actually quitting your job, but instead toning down the importance of it in your life by simply not working as hard while clocked in. Many people explain that they used to burn themselves out in favor of producing their very best results at work, and often went unpaid for their extra efforts. Now many of those same workers are shifting instead to a more relaxed approach of practicing the bare minimum required to get their jobs done.

They are bidding adieu to late nights, answering emails outside of work hours, and stressing about work. Their quiet quitting has allowed them to reclaim their lives outside of work, bringing them more balance overall.

The term itself is new, but as with every new workforce term (“The Great Resignation” is another popular one) comes the question of where it came from and what inspired it. “Quiet quitting” is making it acceptable for workers to essentially unclench the tight hold their jobs have on them, but it’s also just putting a cute name to the concept of enforcing boundaries with employers who take advantage of their workers.

While it’s important (and often within legal requirements) to set healthy work boundaries, it’s noteworthy that many of these workplace trends are coming as a result of abusive employer practices. Many workers have encountered bosses looking to continuously expand their duties without any kind of compensation or salary increase, and inflexibility and a lack of upward mobility that has inspired the “great resignation” that has now been rebranded as “the great re-shuffle.” As quiet quitting explains, instead of quitting their jobs, many are simply deprioritizing their jobs entirely.

The term is cute, but what “quiet quitting” signifies is that employers have always benefitted from exploiting their employees as much as they can, and this new approach is sure to hit them where it hurts. With star performers lowering their output, the cultural shift of placing less importance on your job and more on yourself is sure to be felt. So while “quiet quitting” defines that approach, what it really means without the negative connotation mass media is ascribing to it is that it’s possible to have a great career with fair compensation, and anything less doesn’t deserve your best.

Whatever the path that workers continue to take, one thing’s for sure - this generation of workers isn’t here to play.

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The combatants aren’t mere wrestlers; they are luchadores, artists of acrobatics and theatricality, their faces hidden behind vibrant masks that carry stories older than the very sport they represent, stories rooted in the legacy of the ancient Aztecs.

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Women in Texas at the National Women's March, rallying against deadly abortion restrictions.
Lucy Flores

The landscape of abortion rights in the United States has become more restrictive than ever in recent history, particularly in Arizona and Florida, where recent developments represent a major setback for women’s reproductive rights. On April 9, the Arizona Supreme Court ruled in a 4-to-2 decision to uphold an 1864 law banning abortion from the moment of conception. The only exception is saving the mother’s life, but there are no exceptions for rape or incest under this law.

Just a few days earlier, on April 1, the Florida Supreme Court also ruled in favor of upholding a 6-week abortion ban, which will take effect on May 1. This further reduced the legal threshold for abortions in Florida, which used to be 24 weeks of pregnancy before Republicans passed a law in 2022 banning abortions after 15 weeks. Both of these rulings have sparked intense debate and outrage about their impact on women’s rights.

Overview of the Near-Total Abortion Ban in Arizona

The Arizona Supreme Court voted to uphold an 1864 law, a law passed even before the state officially was a part of the United States of America, that makes all types of abortion illegal, including medication abortion, from the moment of conception. Though there are exceptions in cases where the mother’s life is at risk, the ban makes no exceptions for cases of rape or incest and imposes severe penalties, including imprisonment, on medical professionals performing abortions.

Medical professionals have spoken out about how dire the situation will become for women with this near-total abortion ban. Dr. Jill Gibson, chief medical director of Planned Parenthood in Arizona, told CNN that this ruling will have “absolutely unbelievable consequences for the patients in our community.” She continued by saying, “Providers need to be able to take care of their patients without fear of legal repercussions and criminalization.”

Representatives from Arizona and other states across the country have also spoken up against this near-total abortion ban.

Video by Shontel Brown Member of the United States House of Representatives on InstagramVideo by Shontel Brown Member of the United States House of Representatives on Instagram

Image by Rub\u00e9n Gallego Member of the United States House of Representatives on InstagramImage by Rubén Gallego Member of the United States House of Representatives on InstagramImage by Rubén Gallego Member of the United States House of Representatives on Instagram

Until this Arizona Supreme Court decision, abortion had been legal in the state up to 15 weeks of pregnancy. The right to abortion via Roe v. Wade prevented the enforcement of the near-total abortion ban, but since a majority vote in the Supreme Court of the United States overturned Roe, those opposed to abortion rights had been fighting to enforce the 160-year-old 1864 law.

This new abortion ban in Arizona is not effective immediately as the court has paused its ruling for 14 days until additional arguments are heard in a lower court about how constitutional the law is. However, the law will likely come into effect in May, a few weeks from now. Planned Parenthood Arizona, the largest abortion provider in the state, will continue serving the community until the ban is enforced.

An Overview of Florida's Six-Week Abortion Ban

The landscape of abortion in Florida has also undergone a significant change with the enforcement of a 6-week abortion ban, replacing the previous 15-week limit. This ban, similar to Arizona's, severely restricts access to abortion care and poses a significant challenge to reproductive rights in the state. Providers are bracing for a public health crisis due to the increased demand for abortion and limited options for patients.

Practically speaking, a 6-week abortion ban is a near-total abortion ban because pregnant people often don’t even realize they could be pregnant by this early stage. Combined with Florida’s strict abortion requirements, which include mandatory in-person doctor visits with a 24-hour waiting period, it’s nearly impossible for those who may want an abortion to be able to access it before 6 weeks. Not to mention that fulfilling the requirements is particularly challenging for low-income individuals.

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Moreover, this Florida law also restricts telemedicine for abortion and requires that medication be provided in person, effectively eliminating mail-order options for abortion pills. While exceptions for rape and incest exist in Florida, the requirements are also strict, asking victims to provide police records or medical records. For victims who don’t always report sexual violence for many different reasons, these exceptions don’t make a difference.

The consequences of Florida’s ban extend to neighboring states with more restrictive abortion laws. For instance, residents of Alabama, facing a total ban on abortion, and Georgia, with its own 6-week abortion ban, have relied on Florida for abortion services. That will no longer be an option, further limiting care alternatives.

The Road Ahead

These recent abortion bans in Arizona and Florida are a major setback for women's rights, particularly impacting Latina women who already face barriers to accessing quality healthcare. These bans not only restrict women’s reproductive freedom but also endanger their lives.

Efforts to challenge these bans through legal means and ballot measures are ongoing, but the road ahead is uncertain. While there’s hope for overturning these abortion bans, the challenges of conservative laws and legal battles are formidable. The November ballot in both states will be crucial in determining the future of abortion rights and access for all.

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