We often discuss class as if it is independent from other forms of oppression. But class is at the heart of feminist work; it’s connected to so many of the other forms of oppression that exist. And not only does it allow these inequalities to exist, but it helped to create them in the first place. Here are seven reasons why class is a feminist issue.
The US justice system is flawed in many ways: disproportionately imprisoning minorities, dealing out harsher sentences for drug possession than rape, violation of international standards of decency. The list goes on. Watch Stephen Colbert expertly explain another flaw with the American justice system: the criminalization of poverty.
When I was applying to engineering schools as a high school senior, I had no idea what I was in for. And the thing is, neither did any of my advisers. Unfortunately, this is the reality of many inner-city urban schools like the one I attended. When it comes to urban youth, we are not providing them with the tools to find success in STEM. But that can change.
When I tell people that I don’t own a car, people treat me differently. They do this because they see me as someone who has chosen to flirt with death. “But isn’t it dangerous in those parts of DC? Aren’t you scared that you will get mugged?” When I travel via public transport, I make a lot of observations. Here are the two most important lessons I’ve learned.
When social justice pages and forums discuss issues in pop culture, one response always pops up: “Why are you discussing this when children are starving in Africa? This is not important. First world problems!” These comments might be well-intended, but ultimately they perpetuate different forms of oppression.
When I do Q&A sessions with young people, a White young person will usually ask, “How do you feel about Affirmative Action? It’s not fair that I will have less of a chance of getting into college because of what happened in the past!” Ask any White person how they feel about Affirmative Action, and you’ll probably hear that it is “unfair.” This is just not true.
About one year ago, I lost my job. The 6 months it took me to find a new position changed me, and maybe more importantly, it informed my feminism. It also brought me face-to-face with my own privilege. Having a “career” instead of a “job” is a privilege. Benefits, health insurance, and a living wage are all privileges, too – and I no longer take them for granted.
Recently I got an angry e-mail from someone who knows my parents pretty well, and had read something I had written about privilege. “How disrespectful can you be!? You’re spitting in the face of everything your parents have worked for.” I explained that acknowledging privilege doesn’t discredit any of my dad’s hard work. It simply puts that hard work in context.
The topic of raising the minimum wage within the US has been on everyone’s mind, from politicians to low wage workers. The controversy around wage politics are complicated, to say the least. Author and videoblogger John Green weighs the pros and cons of raising the minimum wage in a non-biased, reality-based manner.
They harvest the food that we eat, and yet they are one of the most hidden and underrepresented population subgroups in the nation. So how come we never hear about them? Who are these farmworkers exactly? I believe that we should all be aware of how our food is getting to us – and who is being hurt along the way. It’s not easy to forget once you learn the truth.