When people don't believe your class

I recently started up a part time freelance communications/consulting business on the side of my full-time job. I have practically no overhead and wanted to use my accumulated skills for more pay because I'm barely making my bills with my f/t job and burn-out from a physical second job. Anyway, I met with another company's president recently about a partnership between our companies (they would look after services I can't provide to my clients). While talking about our similar humanistic/social enterprise visions and why I had approached this company to partner with, I had a somewhat uncomfortable moment where the president of this company was telling me how much he cared about the "pink ghetto".

I tried telling him that I understand it on a very personal level, having grown up with a single parent mother in a low income area, etc. (not wanting to divulge too much in case I was suddenly not taken seriously as a business partner). He then cut me off with, "No, but the REALLY unfortunate cases where they have to decide between things like....dentistry and ...food! That's so difficult - how could you make that decision?" And then proceeded to explain how he thought it was amazing that orthodontics and getting braces for you children are considered a luxury for "these women" and their children. I just sort of shut up because it really hit home - dentistry IS a luxury when you don't have food or heat. I know because my teeth are practically falling out of my head due to this fact. Eat or have pretty teeth? Hmmm, not a hard choice at all, even if unpleasant.

While I commend him for knowing anything at all about actual conditions of poverty and for investigating (in some way) women's issues, it was a really weird experience for me. Um, yes. I know all about wondering if I'm eating this week. I've actually been there. The whole reason I started freelancing is to see if I can outrun my most basic bills. But you don't believe me and here you are, silencing me. It sure seems like I can't be a respected, self-educated young (female) entrepreneur and also be someone from lower class. Bitter, bitter truth.

Anyway, I thought this comm would be a group that would understand this weirdness, so thanks for the outlet.
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Poverty Talks

Hi everyone. I just wanted to share this with you folks since the project resonated so deeply with me and my experience of living in poverty in my city (Calgary, Alberta, Canada).

"In over 45 community meetings between 2008 and 2010, several hundred people answered the following questions: As a low income person, what would make a difference in your life? and What would you like to see changed? This report outlines what low-income Calgarians and people living in poverty say we need to achieve to make our city and province a good place to live for everyone." 

The link will lead you to a viewable, printable PDF report.

Does your city have the same problems? Have they found solutions? Has your life been impacted by these types of changes or solutions?
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Descendents - Enjoy!

(no subject)

From: Corporate retail employees
To: Wealthy customers

We've noticed you've been doing some things wrong. Here are some suggestions.

+ Don't act like we don't exist. Say please, thank you and excuse me, even if the conversation we're having with our co-worker is not work related. Don't put your money down in coins on the counter when we put our hands out. Get off your goddamn mobile phone.

+ Be polite. It's not hard. We aren't asking for masses of over-friendliness, just civility. Use your judgement and give us the benefit of the doubt about if we've had a bad day. If we don't respond to your small talk the way you'd like, we are exhausted: deal with it. Think about whether the money you are handing over is going to be a pain in the arse for us to give you change for. Stay while we count it. We don't care if you use canvas shopping bags or even buy fair trade if you can't be nice to us first - if you can't show respect across the counter then it's likely that your buying FT coffee is just guilt-relieving trendy box-ticking. Your actions are more important than your shopping.

+ Don't assume that just because we are young that we are students - as if only someone working towards better things would degrade themselves to doing such a shitty job temporarily. This attitude is what allows large employers to deflect criticism of their workers rights records with "well, they won't be here forever" - as if having to do shit work is a rite of passage. There is no inherent reason the jobs we do should not be better and worth doing for life.

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Ever denied your class?

Did you grow up in one class but identify in a 'higher' class now?

If you were raised in a 'lower' class, are you ashamed to tell others with a 'higher' class upbringing (if it is salient to the conversation)? Have you ever denied you came from a 'lower' class upbringing altogether? Or denied love, acknowledgement or attention to family still living in 'lower class'?

I'm trying to understand my brother's actions in the 5-7 years. He seems to be intensely ashamed of our upbringing in 'lower class' and I find it increasingly hard to stay close with him because of his views.

Any of your thoughts/reflections welcome.
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    curious curious

Hello All

I just realized this comm existed. I've been on debunkingwhite  and debunkingmale , contributing (and occasionally lurking) for the last few years, so I'm SO happy to find a comm relating to classism. Why didn't I look for you sooner?

Coming from a single parent family and growing up in 'the poor part of town', I've run into plenty of classism and seen its affects first-hand. I'm really looking forward to being able to talk about this and exploring how it affects me and my greater community.

Anyway, thanks for having me. See you on the boards!
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Fountain pen

(no subject)

I'd like to invite those who are interested to join my new community:


To take the blurb from the user info,

This community is intended for that far left arm of Christianity. Included are Christian Anarchists;, Christian Socialists; Catholic Workers; lefty activists; those who work against racism, sexism, heterosexism, homophobia, and classism; those who recognize their own privilege, be it white, male, class, straight, etc.; Christians who are anti-war; those who work to end the occupation of Palestine; and anyone who self-identifies as a Christian, but doesn't fit in with the mainline model. Oh, and if you don't directly fit any of the previous descriptions, but think they are cool.

I am also looking for folks who are interested in moderating this community with me.

If this is not permitted in this community, I apologize, and will take no offense at the deletion of this post.