A day late but here it is! Which is probably not the best way to start off my posts, but I have lots of excuses as to why I was unable to put up a blog yesterday, I promise (just give me a little longer to concoct some better ones). Let’s all just agree to pretend it is still Monday, okay? Thanks.
This post was inspired to continue the conversation about class and feminism. So, do I think that (mainstream) Feminism has a class issue? Yes definitely! (Read the Curve article for some economic insight on this subject.)
I think it’s more that people find it difficult to completely see outside themselves even when they are trying. A lot of that is just ignorance. We don’t actually know the everyday problems and struggles that others face because the evidence is not right in front of our faces. That is a HUGE issue and really not a good excuse anymore with the plethora of information at our fingertips that the Internet provides. Yet we are still completely unaware of problems that are just outside of our peripheral vision.
As a white, middle-class, cis female, there are a lot of trials I have never had to know and most likely never will. I grew up in a community that I could fall back on should something go wrong, and a family who had the financial stability to support me when I worked for little pay when I moved back home in my early 20’s. I am privileged and blessed that the majority of my personal feminist fight deals with principles, definitions, and details, and not fighting for survival. But that is not the case for everyone, just those who have the loudest and most accessible voices in American feminism at the moment.
There are many things that the privileged have access to that others don’t. Education, healthcare (usually), respect, birth control, affordable childcare, recognition, safety… And, like with affordable childcare, it’s not just about having convenience, but having the opportunity to improve your situation. If you can’t afford childcare, how will you have time to work to improve your station? How will you have the chance to further your education? How will you have the chance to take the “equal opportunity” supposedly guaranteed by law?
It is very important for all of us to realize not just how the Civil Rights movement will help ourselves individually, but even more so how it will improve the lives of those who have a more pressing need. We ought not be complacent in our ignorance or only focused on egotistic goals. A lot of this is the idea of solidarity. But you can’t have that if you don’t even know the very real issues others face.
So get out there and educate yourself! Practice empathy! Imagine people complexly!
Here are a few places to start:
– Intro to the concept of the Poverty Trap
– On how “I don’t see race” is an excuse that erases identity
– On trans-feminism (read ALL of them!): Natalie Reed
2 thoughts on “In Response to: Does Feminism Have a Class Issue? (Belated Post)”
While we all know the concept of race is a created one not based in biology, it really bothers me when people say racism is dead or I don’t see race/color. Not only does it erase identity in order to belittle the reality of the issues minorities face, it also creates a a layer of superiority on the basis of class/money rather than just race (which still correlates to wealth and opportunity more than anything else).
Exactly. People who say that are often just not challenging themselves to actually see the full picture and to really understand others and their situations and backgrounds. Plus, we are conditioned to be drawn to others that are similar to us, so saying you “don’t see race” is a cop out. You see it. It has affected your perspective even if you are not fully aware of that. People, in general, feel a greater affinity for people who share similar backgrounds and appearance. People tend to hire people like them. This is one of the reasons that equal opportunity laws are still so important, and why educating and learning is so necessary.
I hope what I am saying came out somewhat clear. Everything is all jumbled in my head!