Saturday, January 14, 2012

Talking Post #5

PBS, People Like Us & CWCS; Social Inequality, A Feminist Issue?

"Class can be harder to spot than racial or ethnic differences, 
yet in many ways it's the most important predictor of what kind 
of financial and educational opportunities someone will have in life."
This quote I found on the People Like Us background really stood out to me throughout my reading. It is very deep and very true! 

     While on the PBS, People Like Us website, I started by just reading about everybody and checking out the short videos they had of everyone. The video I wanted to see most was of Tammy Crabtree who was Ginny in the stories section, but they didn't have a short film about him. Tammy lives in a trailer with 4 teenage kids. Every day she has to walk 10 miles to and from Burger King where she works. She has a 16-year old son that hates being seeing around her because of what others say. He wants to become a lawyer when he grows up but he knows of the things that will be in the way of him getting that.
     The next person I read about was Dana Felty's "Don't Get Above Your Raisin." The phrase "Getting Above Your Raisin" means wanting to change your social class. Dana is a young woman who moves to DC from Kentucky to become a journalist but she has to deal with the thought that her family and everyone in her small hometown thinks she's rejecting her roots. Even though she probably just wants better for herself. 
     Another person I read about was Ginie Sayles, a woman who after dealing with life being poor marries a millionaire. She then comes to writing books about how to deal with rich people and marrying rich people. She goes across the country teaching lessons to young women about these such matters as well.
    Reading these stories made me think about how economic inequality is a feminist issue. All these women are dealing with different social classes. Social class has a grand effect on women. Ginie was once poor and now by marriage, she's rich, had it not been for her husband she probably wouldn't be as successful as she is now because she wouldn't have been able to write books about marrying rich people or dealing with rich people because she wouldn't have had that experience. Dana has to deal with people saying she's rejecting her roots because she's trying to moving to DC to better herself, can we say that had she been a male, "he" probably would've been praised for doing the same thing? Maybe they could've even said that he's trying to bring his small hometown to the top in a way? We won't know but we can't dismiss it. Tammy was the female dealing with the hardest time. You don't make much of an income at Burger King as is, now having to deal with that income with 4 teenage kids makes it 100 times harder. On top of that, a son who doesn't want to be seen around her and wants to be a lawyer, which is the 17th most high paying job according to (SMH AT THE WEBSITE NAME, THEIR SLOGAN BTW IS "BECOME A BETTER MAN", BUT WE WON'T GET TO THAT). Economic inequality is definitely a feminist issue. 

     Next I checked out CWCS, the Center for Working Class Studies, and I won't lie I was a little lost, I didn't know where to start. So I started by reading their Why & How and the first paragraph basically summed up to me the entire website: 
"Even as traditional blue-collar jobs seem to be disappearing, 
the working class remains a vital part of America's culture and economy.  
It includes everyone from an autoworker to the waitress who serves you lunch.  
Yet the experiences and views of working-class people are often ignored.  
At the Center for Wroking-Class Studies (CWCS), 
we challenge myths about the working class, 
sponsor arts and education projects that honor workers, 
and engage local, national, and international communities in 
conversations that take working-class experience and concerns seriously."

I then decided to check out other links on their websites. I went to their resources and went to links and found a Social Inequality and Classes Section. When I got their I found a couple of websites labeled inequalities and found  Forbes 400 Richest People in America.  I found it interesting so I decided to check it out. After going through the first 100 people, something became apparent, not too many women are on this list. I went through 100 people and there were only 5 girls on the list. Out of the 5 girls, 1 was famous for Walmart,along with her family, 1 was famous for candy, another was famous because of media,  1 because of Fidelity, and the last one was famous because of pipelines. It's interesting because when I looked at the mens reasons for becoming rich, it was stuff like investments, CEO's of big companies, casinos, construction of other big "manly" things. It's funny that most of these women were rich off of stores, food and media, other then the Walmart girl. It's funny because even though they were BILLIONAIRES, they were still rich for being "women." I hope what you get what I'm saying lol. Either way, economic inequality is an feminist issue here as well even when the people are of a higher social class. 

I found this video of rapper Tupac Shakur talking about social inequality and I thought it was extremely interesting! I loved seeing him, someone who meant so much to the African American culture speaking about something so important and meaningful: PLEASE WATCH THE WHOLE THING!! 

This song was really deep because Tupac addresses race and social class and goes very much with the video above, even though the song came out way after.. Tupac- Changes

"We gotta make a change...
It's time for us as a people to start makin' some changes.
Let's change the way we eat, let's change the way we live
and let's change the way we treat each other.
You see the old way wasn't working so it's on us to do
what we gotta do, to survive."
Point for Class: 
When I read Ginie Sayles' story I was like damn it's very golddigger-ish of her, then I stepped back and thought twice about what she's doing. She's taking the situation she was handed, whether or not she's truly in love with this millionaire or not, and writing about it to make her own income out of it. One could say she's doing her own thing and making money for herself. But she wouldn't have the perspective that she has  now if she didn't marry this man. So is it gold digging? Would this situation had been different if she wasn't born poor and she came from a upper class family and she was writing this book?


  1. First, I really like that quote you started this post with. I think it really addresses the point of this assignment. Second, Your comment about the title of that website made me laugh lol. It's funny how aware of those things I am because of this class! I think your video of Tupac was great too. I liked your quote "... someone who meant so much to the African American culture speaking about something so important and meaningful." I think that hearing from a person such as himself can really inspire some people. I look forward to hearing peoples opinions about your point for class!

  2. I also really liked the quote that you used in here. I remember the Tupac song from years ago but I completely forgot the meaning behind it. I also enjoyed how you mentioned the relationship between class struggles and race struggles. Great job.

  3. I was fascinated by the part where you talk about the 400 Richest People in America and how only FIVE out of a hundred were women. And that's an extremely interesting point that even the richest women are rich for doing acceptable "womanly" things. It reminds me of people like Kim Kardashian and Paris Hilton who are pretty much rich for being hot and girly!

  4. I like how you put the 2pac-Changes song in here, I always liked that song since it actually talks about meaningful things, and not just about getting money, girls and drugs, which many rap songs do nowadays.

  5. The Tupac interview hit on important points. Being that young with such a conscious and thgought out view of problems with race and class in America is amazing. I thought his comment on moving the homeless into the whitehouse was funny, but it's easy to understand what he was saying. The working class are stuck in a rut supporting the system that keeps the wealthy living like royalty.

  6. I really like how you analyzed Ginny's story. It's important to try and understand where she is coming from and what she has experienced before you judge her actions. She may be a "gold digger" by definition, but since no one has lived her life, then no one is in a position to judge. Good Post!

  7. What is really sad is the fact that the women, with the son who wants to be a lawyer, said she expects that her son will soon realize that he won't be a lawyer because of their social standing(my words on what she said). It is just plain sad that it doesn't matter how much a person wants to do with change their life because it is determined by their families place in society. It is probably something Americans don't want to talk about, because we are the land of the free, the land of opportunity,which isn't true anymore because we are slaves to our jobs and depend on those jobs to live and your opportunities are severely limited if you don't know how you will pay an electric bill or get a meal for that matter.

  8. Love your post. It was very entertaining to read. The part that stuck out the most was the one where the girl wanted to get out of her social class and move on and do more with her life. If she did this though she was accused of "Getting above their raisin." I feel a lot of young people are bound by this. They want to go out and better themselves but their families guilt them into staying and running the family business or something like that. It is even that way with children and where they want to go to college.

  9. I love that you brought someone like Tupac into your post. It made these hard topics so much more understandable. Someone like Tupac who is so admired talking important things like in the video and in the song changes really makes it easier to comprehend. Thanks!

  10. Really like how you used quotes in youre writing, and the videos are great too. The fact that you brought Tupac into your post was great and really cought my attention to want to read more

  11. I want to start off by complimenting you on your use of quotes in this blog. I personally love to use quotes, and it backed up everything you said. I also loved your Tupac interview. Tupac was a very influential man who talked about many things especially racism, and over all inequality. He was a great choice to use for this blog. You brought in a lot of stories from the websites that I read, and I was glad you got the same perspective that I did especially the Ginny video, of the woman who lives with four teenaged girls. I love your posts, but this one was Great (: thanks for posting

  12. On the CWCS I was lost at first too, your not alone. Like the Tupac video alot!