whittlin’ a hate stick

Why do I still pay attention to feminism on the internet?  Because I hate myself, that’s why.

This, for instance.  So, someone reposts a Christina Hoff Sommers article that is idiotic and misogynist.  This is not shocking, as Christina Hoff Sommers has made quite the cottage industry out of saying such things in public.  This is the first thing that irritated me about this, frankly – I am really not a fan of reading things along the lines of OMIGOD SOMEONE WHO HAS BEEN AN ASSHOLE IN THE PUBLIC EYE FOR YEARS PROVES THAT POINT YET AGAIN!!!  I mean, duh, of course they did.

And, of course, the first comment is someone losing their fucking marbles over the title originally including the phrase “you stay classy, Christina Hoff Sommers” and accusing the original poster of “throwing working class women under the bus,” going on to call her a “fake ass feminist,” blah blah blah.

OK, I don’t speak for all working class women or whatever, but since I am a working class woman I would like to offer my two cents.  Know what I worry about in terms of my class status? How I’m going to get food.  How I’m going to pay rent.  How I’m gonna take care of my debts.  How I’m going to take care of myself when I’m sick.  I worry about the prevalence of the idea that being poor means you’re a parasite and lazy, and how that idea is used to justify laws that fuck over people like me.  And yes, culture reinforces this, and words mean things, and so on.  But you know what, I DON’T GIVE A SHIT if someone wants to use an overplayed line from Anchorman, and seeing a bunch of people get THAT self-righteous about it just fucking annoys me and makes me think they have no sense of history or priorities at all. (If the worst way you can “throw working-class women under the bus” is using some movie quote, then by all means, chuck me under that there bus.) Yeah, I would prefer if people didn’t use the term “classy” in a non-sarcastic manner (and last time I checked, its usage in that particular context WAS sarcastic, but whatever), but clawing furiously at low-hanging fruit like that and then high-fiving yourself for striking a blow for working class solidarity reads like jockeying for Internet Social Justice points more than anything. Kind of like seeing people lose their shit when someone says “crazy” as a negative descriptor. Again, I fall into the demographic supposedly being oppressed here, and yet I can’t seem to muster up much outrage. Maybe I’m some kind of mental health Judas, or maybe I don’t see the point in crapping my pants with rage every time someone uses a colloquialism that is vaguely but not really related to my condition, especially when there are much more pressing issues relating to that condition. Minimalizing? Yeah, whatever. It’s called “prioritizing” and I think it’s swell.

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~ by Smellen on February 1, 2012.

2 Responses to “whittlin’ a hate stick”

  1. i have never for a day in my life considered “classy” a classist term. i use it all the time (not by sarcastically telling people to “stay classy,” which i agree is played). i think that if you took a poll, that word is used more often by poor/working class people than it is by class privileged people. the way i think of it, it doesn’t even have anything to do with wealth or class privilege. it is more to do with an attitude & way of comporting yourself. i mean, maybe i am being duped by internalized classism or something, but this is seriously not a hill worth dying on. i can KIND of see an argument that using the words “lame” or “crazy” is symbolic of perceiving of those states as inherently “bad” somehow (although when people get up in arms about it, i get irritated because, hello, someone using the word “lame” is not exactly my biggest struggle when it comes to having physical disabilities–it’s not even on the hot 100)…”classy” is in no way in that category. it’s not, like, a synonym for being poor. i don’t get this.

    although the OP is pretty well-known in feminist LJ circles (which…think that one through for a second & ask if anyone gives a fuck) for being totally annoying. so there’s that.

    • I “get it” in the sense that chewing someone out for language usage is a way of advertising your Social Justice Warrior status without having to actually, you know, DO ANYTHING.

      I know language usage is something that needs to be talked about, but the way it got talked about here was just eyeroll-inducing. I’m the last person on earth who has any interest in telling people to watch their tone, but jeez, if the word “classy” makes you lose your shit so hard…how on earth do you deal with actual hurtful manifestations of classism that pop up every day? And if this is what “throwing working-class women under the bus” is to you that tells me that SOMEONE probably doesn’t know shit about history or else just has no sense of perspective whatsoever. Sometimes I wonder if these people ever leave the house.

      I guess I generally associate “classy” with wealth because people I have heard described as “classy” in a non-sarcastic manner are generally well-to-do, but I suppose that is less a reflection on the term itself and more the attitudes of people using it. I will freely admit to not really caring a whole lot about this issue.

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