And continuing in our theme of people being judgmental assholes let’s discuss this post from Sunday on thought catalog.
What was the post about? A girl who has experienced disparaging looks and negative treatment because she has money. It doesn’t matter if the money is hers or her parents’ or her boyfriend’s because the people who are judging her don’t know that either. This post became viral. She has been attacked in tabloids and newspapers, and apparently people are finding out where she lives just to send her hate mail. Why? Because they find it disgusting that a “poor little rich girl” feels judged. Apparently it doesn’t matter if you are being judged so long as you have money. Obviously people with money don’t have feelings or care about being looked down upon.
There is so much wrong with how people responded that I don’t know where to begin. I admit, the piece could have been worded better; it could have had a slightly nicer tone, but frankly I think she could have handed out free money to anyone who read it and people would still have been just as outraged. We like to be outraged, it seems, and somehow all these people have so much time on their hands all they can do is work on how to bring others down.
This isn’t the only instance of this occurring. I’ve read a similar article from a skinny, white female asking why she should apologize for her privilege and asking not to be “skinny-shamed”. She was torn down. A man who was mocked for being fit asking not to be “fit-shamed”. He was torn down.
Why are people so angry? These people aren’t saying “haha, I’m rich and you’re not”. They are asking to receive the same level of respect as everyone else. And yes, some people receive a lot less respect than they should, but that doesn’t mean the response is to bring down those who are doing well.
Are we really so jealous that any person who is comfortable with who he/she is must be torn to shreds?
The reactions to this article stand with what I have been saying all week: we are far too judgmental.
Not only that, but people should never have to apologize for who they are: rich or poor, black or white, straight or gay. NO ONE should have to apologize for who they are or how they were born. Yes, some people are born with far more privilege than others, and that isn’t fair. But we don’t fight that by being bullies and attacking those who are privileged; I have talked about this in the realms of sexism and racism before. If we attack a group, any group, privileged or not, then that is only going to cause more hate, separation, and discrimination between groups. We want those who are born into better circumstances to recognize it and what to change things so as to help those who are not as fortunate or not treated as well, but how on earth does judging those with privilege just for having it help matters?
This whole issue is indicative of our desire to judge, to generalize, and to pigeonhole. We want to put people in groups and we want to assume that’s how they are. Rich people are rude and heartless so I can glare at them and be rude to them. Straight white men have all the privilege possible so I can attack them because they are privileged so it doesn’t matter. People who drive BMWs are always rich, able-bodied men who are assholes. The lists of our assumptions and our associated behaviors goes on. What Rachael Sacks did in her post was call people out on their behaviors, and we don’t like being called out on bad behaviors it makes us defensive and rude, which is exactly what happened.
In the end Sacks’s post is about not wanting to lie about herself or her family to be accepted. What the hell is wrong with that? It is true; money makes people judge you on both ends of the spectrum. Poor people pretend they are not poor so as to not be judged and rich people pretend to not be rich so as to not be judged.
Why do we all have to lie about ourselves so as to not be judged by people who don’t know us?
Think about it – are there facts about your past, your family, or your friends that you don’t share with certain people? Why? 99% of the time it will be out of fear of judgment. Let’s try and be a little less judgmental of everybody when we don’t even know who they are.
We don’t want people apologizing for being straight, white, male, rich, or whatever. We want everybody to work together to make a place where people can be treated equally. If you are spending time apologizing for who you are then you are wasting time that could be spent doing something real and important. The same is true if you are spending all your time just attacking or mocking those who are treated better than you.