Cashism

I think it is part of human nature to hate someone. Usually, if we do not have a particular person in our life that we despise, we turn to hating some group. Some hate white people, some hate yellow yet others hate everyone. I’m not planning on talking here about how unconstructive or constructive hate can be, but about one particular type that I have called for my own purposes cashism.

It is hate and discrimination of other people based on the perceived contents of their purse. Not all who practice it on a daily basis even realize they are doing it. It kind of just happens. This contemptuous feeling starts from a small grain of pride that we have managed to get to some level of ownership and our friends have not. This pride can of course be used to constructive ends – of increasing ones own wealth and helping others… or it can lead to the destructive approach of superiority.

I will tell you a little story about myself and my experience with this. I had been going through a rough patch in my life for a bit, and I don’t mean only financially but foremost psychologically. I stopped caring for a while about my outfits and make up and was simply too busy concentrating on my son and his issues, on my work and several other things… which lead me to neglect my wardrobe and beauty box. As result I looked like a typical 30+ year-old lower middle class housewife… without really being one. The way I looked and still do in a way (working on that bit now) said nothing about who I was, what I knew, my education or level of intelligence. It only said “I’m too busy to give a crap about how I look,” or as most interpreted it, “I’m too poor to take care of how I look.” I say most, because 90% of those I had met along the road treated me as I looked… like ‘white-trash.” I even got those looks from cashiers in clothing stores like, “What the hell is she doing here, we are too expensive for her.” Finally, one day it hit me… they did not give me even a chance, they treated me for most part like an unwelcome guest or in a few cases as a potential danger of theft. Why, because of the stuff I wore and the lack of make up.

Then I changed one little thing in my outfit and put on some make up. I bought a coat I really liked, though it was not cheap. It made them all react to me differently. This made me come to the conclusion that something is wrong with our society. Those shop assistants that just a few days before we looking at my hands, were now looking at me and asking with genuine interest if they could be of help….Why? Because that little change made me look ‘elegant but relaxed,’ so my worn-out military pants or red Dr.Martens shoes stopped being the main highlight. Now they look at me like someone who has cash…. and not little of it.

What is wrong is that we tend to judge the book by its cover.. My clothing does not say who I am…it does not say what I’m worth …. Yet a lot of people instead of approaching all people equally judge others by the outfits they wear. Who is worthy of their attention and who is not. My two degrees, my 5 languages and life experience all go unnoticed if I do not wear something that shows it off… All that is worth nothing because some back-water girl who came to a big town to earn a living looks me down – in her eyes I’m just unworthy of being in the store where she works, because I do not look like I have the money.

Well, this is really a cashism. Judging people based on the stuff they have as opposed to what they know or their intelligence. 

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