Quickies: Trash Food and the Language of Classism, Childfree People, and Checking the Wrong Privilege

  • Australia’s LGBT-Only Island – “Marriage equality discrimination led a group of Australian activists to set their rainbow flag on Cato Island. This ‘homeland’ even has a Gloria Gaynor anthem.”
  • Trash Food – “The term ‘white trash’ is an epithet of bigotry that equates human worth with garbage. It implies a dismissal of the group as stupid, violent, lazy, and untrustworthy—the same negative descriptors of racial minorities, of anyone outside of the mainstream. At every stage of American history, various groups of people have endured such personal attacks. Language is used as a weapon: divisive, cruel, enciphered. Today is no different. For example, here in Mississippi, the term ‘Democrats’ is code for ‘African Americans.’ Throughout the U.S.A., ‘family values’ is code for ‘no homosexuals.’ The term ‘trash food’ is not about food, it’s coded language for social class. It’s about poor people and what they can afford to eat.”
  • Wordless Ads Speak Volumes In ‘Unbranded’ Images Of Women – An artist, Hank Willis Thomas, takes ads and strips away the text to examine the pictures and what they say about society. He has done this before with African-Americans in advertising, and now he’s repeating that project and the focus is women.
  • Why Women Aren’t Having Children – “As detailed in essays by 16 different writers, both male and female: because they don’t want to, and because not wanting to is perfectly reasonable.”
  • We’re Checking the Wrong “Privilege” – “In other words, checking everyone’s privilege at Harvard won’t somehow increase the economic diversity of its students. Only real policies, not hand-wringing workshops, can accomplish that. It’s time the conversation about privilege shifted accordingly.”

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Mary Brock works as an Immunology scientist by day and takes care of a pink-loving princess child by night. She likes cloudy days, crafting, cooking, and Fall weather in New England.

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  1. The article about trash food is interesting. While it makes some good points it seems to ignore many others.

    I have family in the south and I’ve talked to them about things such as stand your ground laws and police overreach with regards to people of color and it always comes back in their mind to economics. To hear them tell it there are no racial issues in the south any more that aren’t explained completely by economic disparity and I saw a lot of that in this article.

    The author concluded that rich people “upgrade” foods that were once seen as trash when they decide to make them mainstream and gave the examples of crawfish and catfish and gives the impression that this dichotomy was the only one by giving an anecdote about laughing over a story with an African-American hardware store employee because they shared a similar economic profile.

    The author’s assumption about that hardware store employee was just that, an assumption (and a rather big one at that). He didn’t know what that man made, what his background was, or whether they were truly in a similar situation, he just made that assertion because it fit his narrative that the issue was economic and not racial.

    There are some points to ponder in the article such as the fact that when a food becomes more in demand for the rich the poor who are used to eating that food can be priced out of the market (hello, quinoa).

    But by waving away racial issues in a need to pretend there is no there there the author is little better then Phil Robertson asserting that because he didn’t see any African-American complaining when he was growing up that they must have been better off back then, and he should know because he was white-trash so he was their equals. It’s disgusting and it completely ignores the real issues by equating all problems with economics.

  2. I think middle and upper class people should tread very carefully when talking about privilege to poor and working class people.
    It’s why the ‘limousine liberal’ epithet was so effective with working folks.

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