My husband and I have another privilege difference besides gender. He is from a well-to-do family, while I am from the exact opposite. One of the things I contend with regularly is snobbery. He mocks the fact I enjoy sitcoms (I call it sitcom therapy, because I watch them to raise my spirits). He only reads books. I can just sense him channeling his brother with a Ph.D. in English. He’s a snob, too. But, a snob who thinks he’s a good white liberal.
My husband constantly cuts down my very working class hometown, typically refusing to visit it, which makes it difficult for me to visit family. It is rundown and dilapidated. The people there are not necessarily highly educated, and they definitely don’t have a lot of money. He doesn’t mind being in such communities as a social worker, which is he, but he especially mocks poor white people. They are all rednecks to him. He keeps forgetting that is what I was or else I am some exempt exception.
The music I listen to is garbage (e.g. I like everything, but I am referring to pop, hip hop and country specifically), while a true music connoisseur likes classical, jazz, and blues. He plays his music most of the time, but always insists I am free to be the one to chose what we listen to. That’s a trap. He’ll mock it, and then say, “Why aren’t you choosing something we both like?”
In the next moment, he’ll say all the right things about class privilege, how he has it, and he knows he should be less degrading to my “cultural” differences. This will happen especially if I cry, because this stuff genuinely hurts my feelings, but it’s like he can’t help it. He was raised to look down on poor white people, to revere people of color for their struggles, and to generally see popular culture as “vapid and insipid” (direct quote).
There are numerous gender issues I could mention as well, but you wrote so well about that, I don’t want to retread a well-walked path. Thank you for your piece. It has helped me get some pain off my chest.