Classism is prejudice, discrimination, or a systematical assignment of someone’s worth based on perceived social class. It’s acting a certain way toward someone because you think they’re “beneath you” in social rank. The more you read up on classism, the more you realize we’re living in an unfair world. But you’ll also realize it doesn’t have to stay that way. As corny as it sounds, all we need is kindness and compassion. But you still have to spot subtle signs you’re classist. Committing these mistakes doesn’t mean you’re evil, it means you’re human. We’re all works in progress, but awareness is key to doing better in the future.
Judging people for not having savings
The trend these days is save as much as you can so you can retire early. But not everyone can afford to leave 20% of their salary untouched for an emergency fund. They might be living from paycheck to paycheck or something may have happened that wiped their previous savings clean. Someone saying they don’t have their own savings isn’t a ticket for you to lecture them on the importance of keeping money. It might be an opportunity to turn a listening ear.
Judging people for juggling multiple jobs
Because of the pandemic, we know a lot of people who are really hustling. It’s not because they’re saving up for that grand abroad trip pre-pandemic, it might be because if they don’t, there won’t be food on the table. Someone who trades spending time with friends and family for working isn’t a “snob” or a “boring person.” People with safe, high-paying jobs wouldn’t know what it’s like. Remember, not all people can earn as much as you do with a single job.
Thinking those who don’t own branded attire are “cheap”
One of the signs you’re harboring a classist mindset is by looking down on people based on their OOTD. What someone’s wearing shouldn’t affect the way you treat them. They could wear the same style for five days in a row and it still shouldn’t matter. Wearing branded clothing and accessory is a privilege. Sadly, classist views like these sometimes prevent the underprivileged from securing jobs because they can’t “look the part.”
Generalizing those who don’t travel as “uncultured”
Social media has ingrained in our brains that at a certain point in life, everyone should have experienced traveling abroad. Or even having a grand local getaway on some white-sand beach in Palawan. Newsflash: some people don’t have the option to do so. Trips cost money that can be spent on other important things like health and education.
Assuming someone is unintelligent because they are poor
You know a person is an extreme classist when they feel so entitled, they just have to scream at people who they think are beneath them. Servers, security guards, staff, blue-collar workers — they might be deemed unintelligent by a classist. But just because they weren’t given the same privileges in life doesn’t mean they’re any less intelligent. Don’t judge a book by its cover.
Looking down on someone who can’t afford gadgets
It’s easy to assume that in this day and age, everyone has access to the internet. But not every family can afford to give their kids laptops or even cellphones that can keep up with school. Good tech costs money. This is why most Filipinos are asking the Commission on Higher Education to reconsider online classes since not everyone has the same privilege and access. If you look down on people who can’t afford gadgets, that’s one of the signs you’re being classist.
Thinking those who didn’t graduate from an elite school are inferior
And speaking of schools, another classist belief is that people’s intelligence and worth are tied to where they graduated from. Have you seen the tuition price tag for the top schools in the Philippines? It’s going to cost you an arm and a leg even if you come from a middle-class family. Sadly, sometimes the blueprint to succeeding in a certain profession starts with an elite school which obviously not everyone can afford. But the truth is smart people can be found in any school and if given a chance, they perform as well as the “elite graduates” everyone seems to be looking for.
Assuming everyone has the means to go cashless
Although the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas did say that the Philippines is “ready” to go cashless in 2021 and onwards, not every Filipino can. Not everyone can pay their bills with a few taps on their phone, they have to line up and risk the hazards of a pandemic. Owning a credit card can be impossible since a person needs to meet the required annual income. Some Filipinos are also skeptical about online banking for a number of reasons. It doesn’t help that some restaurants and stores now require cashless payment for no-contact purchases. So think twice next time before you act shocked that someone still lines up to pay their bills. Or that they can’t pay you via “QR code.”
What are other signs that say you’re classist? Share it with us below!