I despise people who start debates just for argument sake; they find a tiny opening and use it to vent all their political views and frustrations. I was subject to such condescension yesterday when I shared an article on Facebook written by a cast member from Made in Chelsea.
It discussed how our society today is obsessed with branding people who are financially well endowed, well spoken and have had a proper education as lazy selfcentred snobs. She says bravely – “When did it become a crime to be well brought up?” When indeed?
She defended the show and her fellow cast members by confronting the prejudice and discrimination being thrown at them by critics and declared that judging people by where they are from and who their parents are IS narrow-minded. These critics always seem to play towards these class stereotypes and I too am fed up with it. This class feud is pathetic and has spawned from nothing more than jealousy and prejudice; this is not how individuals should be judged by. People who generalise and feed on these stereotypes should be branded for what they are; intolerant and bias.
I shared her article because I have been subject to such prejudice and understood her viewpoint NOT because I wanted to engage in a debate about this class feud.
This article touched me because throughout my years at school I was considered some kind of rich spoilt brat because I spoke English without an accent and lived in a nice house. My parents have worked hard all their lives and the fact that I was being belittled in such a way left me bewildered. We have a comfortable existence, yes, but it was because my parents were careful with their money and went without certain things. They bought our house when the housing market was good and why shouldn’t they spend their hard earned money on something as worthwhile as a house? I never understood why these people came out with things like “well your mummy and daddy pay for everything don’t they?” No…
NO THEY FUCKING DO NOT. Do you see me walking around in designer clothes? No. Do you see me with a new phone or new gadget every month? No. Do you see me jet setting off to a new country every five minutes? No, no, no, no, no.
YET they STILL have this perception of me.
Because my house is of a certain size it must mean that I am filthy rich – not that they noticed that it’s slightly falling apart and that my family can’t afford to redecorate or fix parts of our house – no it’s the size that counts. That’s all that counts; apparently. So yes I become very frustrated and hurt when these sorts of comments are thrown my way. Especially when I do work hard and save like a bitch to be able to afford the things I want. I am grateful for my life, I don’t crow over others about what I’ve got… so why am I being punished? Others are more culpable; like the people who strut around in nothing but Jack Wills or are able to have a new IPhone whenever they want. Why do normal people like me, who work hard and save hard, get treated with such contempt? Because, for some reason, people love to cling to these class prejudices and think it’s easier to stereotype people rather than get to know them.
So I shared the article and what I got back was exactly what she was talking about; someone who doesn’t watch the show giving a misinformed opinion about it. He spoke of the politics and the snobbery of it – when it was him who was being the snob, he who was being the chauvinistic critic she and others like her were condemning.
Now I have this problem. I am useless at debates. I hate them because I am incapable of portraying my argument in the same way. I am not pretentious and I don’t pretend to know anything about politics. So when someone does come along to blast these comments at me, for the pure enjoyment of showing off his own well-versed opinions, I freeze. I can’t fight back. I can’t say anything in retaliation because a) I don’t want to have a tiring debate where the person who started it won’t even consider another viewpoint making the whole endeavour pointless and b) because I am not eloquent when it comes to defending my point. I lose my voice, my mettle and cower away in frustration. This person didn’t know me, he didn’t know why I shared this article; he just made a presumption and went for it. It was as if he hadn’t read the article at all, he was just starting a debate for the fun of it; well he picked the wrong person.
He jumped to conclusions and just reaffirmed everything she had said in the article, the bastard proved her right and he doesn’t even know it.