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I respect Kate as a writer, but I think there was a little subtle classism in her post. There’s a big difference in being caught in a “bubble” because you have few opportunities to escape that bubble, and being a middle or upper-middle class person who doesn’t or refuses their own sense of entitlement, another kind of bubble.
I know a lot of xoJane’s posts lack, um, a little nuance, but every once in a while someone gets it right. This comment pretty much sums up my irritation with writers declaring “Oh teh poor grammarz, they offend my delicate literary sensibilities”:
There is no quicker way to derail a valid argument than to comment on someone’s grammar. It’s a cheap trick - and an effective one. Grammar and vocabulary are often abused as class markers, too. The solution to that, I think, is not to abandon grammar but to make it accessible - and to respect that there are, in fact, many grammars. Especially because language is a living thing - I love new vocabulary words, especially slang, because it represents the inherent creativity and flexibility of language. If we don’t have words to express something, we INVENT THEM! Since we can’t communicate (I’d argue we can’t even really think about) things we don’t have words for, that’s incredibly powerful.
Rita Mae Brown “The Last Straw: (via bell hooks’s Feminism is For Everybody)
I’ve been wanting to write something about how class privilege factors into the liberal blogosphere without falling into the trap of “it’s the last acceptable prejudice”, but class bias is expected, overt, and even encouraged.
quadmoniker from PostBourgie
I’m almost hesitant to quote this given that the author of this quote is the same person who penned the “Fat and Health” post at Feministe last year which resulted in a shitstorm of epic proportions, but there’s a lot here that really resonates with me. I also grew up in an environment where there was a lot of disdain toward “healthy” food. Too often, it’s argued that not everyone has access to fresh fruits and vegetables, which is true, and that poor or working-class people just don’t know how to choose the right foods; ergo, we must teach them. Which is false. We know very well that broccoli is a “better choice” than a piece of candy — and yeah, I’m using scare quotes because there actually are times when calorie-laden, full-fat foods are the better choice, like, when you don’t have enough food. That these are presented as the only obstacles that prevent people from making better food choices bugs the hell out of me. The latter is unbelievably patronizing, and why should what I eat be of any concern to you in the first place?
I never got the message from my family that I needed to be thin. If anything, I got the opposite message that I was “too skinny” (I wasn’t), and needed to eat more. I have a somewhat unusual situation that one side of my family recently immigrated to the US and the other rural, poor Midwesterners. I’m not saying this to paint myself as a special snowflake, but I never feel like my experience fits the narrative, so I usually keep my mouth shut. Food was something you had the money for, or didn’t.
Truth is, I practice sort of a HAES-like program. I don’t own a scale (I’m a tallish, sturdy person, and that number on the scale would never be “small” anyway), I try to focus on how I feel and I don’t label foods bad or good, but I feel like any criticism of HAES is anathema to being a good ally.