Class Reflection (9/2/14)

With only one class discussion under our belts, I feel we have already accomplished a lot. I found our first discussion to be very insightful, and I was glad to hear everyone’s opinions and points of view. Although gross, the ground meat metaphor helped me to understand in a more concrete manner how deeply and thoroughly engrained sexism, racism, and other prejudices are in our society. Luckily we all seemed to agree on the fundamental message of Hooks’s passage. However, I would like to bring up the point that I touched on in class about the socioeconomic structure in our society again because I am not the best at articulating myself, especially when it comes to talking in front of others. In case you don’t recall, in class I contributed to the opinions shared about people of lower economic status in our society. While many people mentioned that we have the pressure to conform to a certain image based on our social standing, I added that the lower you are on the rungs of the social ladder, the more difficult it is for you to climb it. By this I mean, while everyone has pressures to act, look, and speak a certain way, some people have it harder than others, and this isn’t a coincidence. For example, say that you come from a wealthy family with ties to the university. You are secure socially and financially by your family, and the only thing you have to worry about is that your father wants you to follow in his footsteps and become a lawyer. The thing is, that’s your dad’s dream, not yours (yes, very Troy Bolton-esque of you). While straying from the path your parents have set for you is difficult because you don’t live up to the standards society has set for you, your parents will still pay for college. You’ll just get a lot of whispers at the holiday parties. This can’t be said for people of lower classes. To them, it isn’t about, “what will the Joneses say,” it’s about literally not having the means to get to college in the first place. Not because these people aren’t as smart, or are inferior in any way, but because poverty is cyclical, and for a very good reason. Those who are on top can only stay on top if those who are on the bottom stay on the bottom. Our society is structured around a myriad of disgusting hierarchies that depend on subduing others and pretending you can’t do anything to help them, and while some people may think we have progressed from segregation and other prejudices, we have not come as far as we may think. Just because the actions of prejudice have gone down significantly, it does not mean the consequences of those actions do not still exist in our society.

P.S. While on the topic, take some time out of your day to remember Ferguson and the injustices there that are still very much alive even if the coverage of it seems to be dying out in news sources and social media.

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