Rookie Mag’s Class Discussion

According to most of the adults in our lives, openly talking about money is the rudest thing a person can possibly do — there’s a good chance we could only embarrass some of our parents more we you burped, farted, and swore in unison while seated at the president’s dinner table…and then asked how much he paid for his car. But we at Rookie don’t buy this “no money, no problems” attitude about what’s OK to talk about. There’s no better way to expand our perspectives than to try to understand what’s going on with other people, and there’s no better path to understanding than straight-up talking it out. Publicly discussing the actual factuals of class privilege isn’t bad manners — it’s a necessity if we want to support and educate one another, which I’m pretty sure we all do!

Rookie Mag published a conversation after our own hearts today. In a roundtable discussion between some of their writers, editors, and illustrators, they talk about everything from how they grew up, class signifiers, food and tv, class shame, and the difference between poor and broke (“less about dollars and numbers and more about resources and access.”).

It is excellent!

I liked this acknowledgment of the disparity between what class others might perceive you to be, or what class you “are” versus what class you feel yourself to be. It’s all so relative:

RACHAEL: I had an inflated idea of my family’s class status when I was growing up (I thought we were upper-middle-class, but we were really lower-middle), because I was surrounded by a lot of people who were poorer than us; and now I think I have a deflated view of my class status (I’m probably technically middle-class, but I feel far below that) because I live in Washington, DC, where there are a lot of rich people, and I’m not one of them. I’m the sole earner in my household right now, and I’m supporting an unemployed sibling, so money is really tight and I feel poorer than I did growing up, even though in reality I have a really good standard of living. I know that everything could come crashing down at any moment, and that’s a fear I’ve never felt before.

Also, this sounds great: