You Are Not Equal. I’m Sorry.
Dina Leygerman
19.5K1,229

I don’t think telling her to “say thank you” is going to help things, frankly. From my reading, one of the reasons Trump was elected is due to working class people resenting being spoken to in patronising tones by people who’ve had access to the education system that forms the basis of liberal values. That, to an outsider, is the great contradiction of America. That the foundational value; that the individual can achieve anything and if she doesn’t it’s simply a failure of personal responsibility or laziness, when it is only those have the greatest chance of achieving personal success (through their access to education) that understand the significant barriers underlying the American class system. Racism, sexism, etc but the writer of this article betrays the last remaining acceptable form of misanthropy; contempt for the working class. Don’t tell people that their experience of their own life is not valid. Don’t tell them you know better. Don’t tell them “thinking women don’t care what you think”.

Sexism is not the biggest thing in the lives of women who have much more in common with their husbands, sons and other ‘women like them’ than they do with middle-class women. Women who wear sparkly vajayjays on their heads. The contempy you pour upon other women who do not support YOUR beliefs is not acceptable. And I actually DO support and agree with your core principles (actually I have a problem with equality; it’s a conservative notion that places men as the benchmark rather than women being free to create their own, but that’s another article).

And that’s the uncomfortable point. In a society that wants only “equality” with men — but nothing else changed, all the systems of class structure still in place, women of the working class think “why the hell do I want to work in a factory, come home exhausted, miss my kids, have them brought up by even poorer women — then have to come home and do all the domestic labour AS WELL, because remember men don’t want to be equal to women — just so I can have the ‘opportunity’ to be equal to men.” What is in it for them? Ridiculing uneducated women doesn’t stop them being raped or beaten by their partners, it only entrenches their lack of value within the society as a whole, and YOU suffer too. Walk a mile in her shoes before telling her that her experience isn’t real.

Show your support

Clapping shows how much you appreciated Michelle Smith’s story.