Intersectionality, Classism, and Kanye West

Hello, Shoutout! readers!  If you’re reading as a JMU student, you know the semester is coming to a close, and you’re probably reading this telling yourself that this is a break from studying, but you’ve been online for like four hours.. (maybe that’s just what I do?)  But the point is, this is my last post *insert a million sad faces*.  If there’s anything I (and hopefully you, too) have learned this semester, it’s that feminism is completely intersectional, as fellow-blogger thewanderingotter wrote in his final post as well.  There are so many different topics and forms of oppression that are encompassed when talking about feminism.  So, for my last post, I’ve gone back through all of our posts from this semester and tried to find an intersection in which we have not put our full focus.   And I found one!  Classism.  5480622281_8b04c66b87_oWe’ve hit on the wage gap, thanks to sassyyazzy, but it’s time we delve in a little more about the oppression of the impoverished in America.

I read a great post about seven everyday things that poor people think about often, and people who are not poor (middle-class and up) don’t really need to think about… ever.  You should read it, too.  I’m only going to talk about the first one on the list, which stood out to me the most.  When I shop with my economically-savvy, financial planner father, we often look at the unit price of many products. We may pay more money on the spot for the larger product, but it is cheaper in the long run because we get more “bang for our buck”- it costs less per “unit” than smaller, or lesser amounts of, products.  This is part of my privilege.  Poor people can’t think this way.  They can’t spend that extra dollar fifty to buy a product that will last them longer and that is cheaper for the value.  They have to buy smaller amounts of products that they can afford in that very moment, because it is cheaper to them at that time, even if it costs 5-10 more cents per unit.

5680999297_6b032265e6_oEven the one and only Yeezus (Kanye West) has recognized the separation of the classes and has spoken up about it. That’s right, one of the wealthiest people in the entertainment industry, recognizes the struggles of lower-class American citizens.  Because we often tease Kanye for always being self-centered and strictly caring for himself and his industry, his true words are often overlooked.  He gave a speech at Oxford where I found my favorite quotation from Kanye, ever: ““You guys have been taught…ways to separate yourselves from each other. If you’re separated, you can be easily controlled. If you’re too busy pointing fingers at each other, rather than holding hands, you can’t get anything done.”

We tend to point fingers quite often when it comes to classism, especially when it comes to what poverty “should” look like, how welfare “should” be spent, and how people in the lower-class “should” be picking themselves by their bootstraps.  So what can we do about, what Kanye claims to be, “today’s biggest problem?” Well, luckily, there’s a whole website that exists to specifically address this issue!  I unfortunately can’t go into depth on all the steps, so I encourage you to check out that hyperlink!  As we know from many feminist and inclusive movements, the first step is always to be more aware of the problem.  Do your research about the disparities between the wealthy and the poor, how the poor think differently, how they are oppressed.  Then find ways of how you can help and avoid being part of the problem.

There’s a lot of research involved in being a feminist, critical democrat, and active citizen.  That’s something that I’ve also learned through this semester writing for Shoutout!  So as I sign out, I’d just like to encourage you all to continue doing your research and to “shout out” about problems that you find important.

Peace & love; stay fleeky- figgyonfleek.

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