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Why do some people feel the need to describe themselves as ‘middle class’?

(433 Posts)
lottieandmia22 Sun 17-Dec-17 21:56:26

I met a man who said

‘I am incredibly lucky. I’m a middle class, white, straight male which puts me at an advantage’

Frankly, this made my teeth itch. I thought ‘what a tosser’

Why do people feel the need to do this? I couldn’t care less which class I am.

otherdoor Sun 17-Dec-17 21:58:58

I notice more people desperately trying to prove that they are not middle class - especially on MN (e.g. 'I may own my own house and have a professional job and my kids go to private school but I grew up in a cardboard box on a council estate' type of thing)

That man sounds weird though.

WhooooAmI24601 Sun 17-Dec-17 21:59:04

I think that a lot of people like to align themselves with something, anything, that boosts their sense of worth and enables them to feel a little smug. The class system is just smug people judging others. Bit of a waste of time, but on the plus side it's a helpful tool when it comes to deciding if you want to spend more time in someone's company.

lottieandmia22 Sun 17-Dec-17 22:00:52

Whooooo grin

Bubblebubblepop Sun 17-Dec-17 22:01:32

Because they're desperate to belong to something

septembersapphire Sun 17-Dec-17 22:03:08

Yes, same otherdoor

Spartaca Sun 17-Dec-17 22:04:25

Most people are desperate not to be middle class tbh. However at least he mentioned it in terms of recognising his privilege

KindergartenKop Sun 17-Dec-17 22:04:30

Middle class is shorthand for a decent dependable income, which is something to be thankful for and feel lucky to have.

Sparklesocks Sun 17-Dec-17 22:05:12

From that it sounds like he’s pointing out the things that gave him advantages in life, and being middle class would be one of them?

theimportanceofbeinghappy Sun 17-Dec-17 22:06:44

What is middle class though?

My DH and I earn about 62k a year between us but work bloody hard for every penny. We also live in Scotland where the cost of living is cheaper. I am definitely working class. I have to work for every penny

lottieandmia22 Sun 17-Dec-17 22:06:56

It’s not though.i think now people associate class with income. But the old fashioned view is that it’s to do with education and parents jobs. It’s stupid imo and it’s just another kind of prejudice.

echt Sun 17-Dec-17 22:07:14

Context is all. What were the circumstances of his saying this?

lottieandmia22 Sun 17-Dec-17 22:07:23

Sorry that was to kindergarten

lottieandmia22 Sun 17-Dec-17 22:07:51

The circumstances were on a first date hmm

Givemeonereason Sun 17-Dec-17 22:08:52

Because they are middle class.
People can't help what background they come from, you can either hide from it or accept it.

EvilRingahBitch Sun 17-Dec-17 22:09:42

It depends on the context. Being from a middle class background certainly is an advantage in life in many ways. If he was acknowledging, as part of a general conversation, that he knew he was playing life on easy mode then it’s a valid issue to throw into the mix.

lottieandmia22 Sun 17-Dec-17 22:09:50

Lots of things give people an advantage or a disadvantage in life but to sit there and say

‘I’m lucky I’m so beautiful’

Would make anyone sound like an insufferable dickhead IMO!

WhooooAmI24601 Sun 17-Dec-17 22:09:59

The circumstances were on a first date

Ooh I think I'd run away in that context as it sounds braggy and smug. Will there be a second date?

lottieandmia22 Sun 17-Dec-17 22:11:05

No, there definitely won’t grin

Codlet Sun 17-Dec-17 22:11:30

I don’t see why people find the class thing so emotive. I’m middle class, but that doesn’t mean I’m better or worse than anyone else. It’s simply a statement of fact.

Spudlet Sun 17-Dec-17 22:11:48

Tone plays a part too - if it was said in a self-satisfied sort of way, that’s pretty insufferable. But a more self-deprecating tone, especially if it was said as part of a discussion about privilege and so on, might be less so.

EvilRingahBitch Sun 17-Dec-17 22:11:59

It wouldn’t put me off - but it sounds like he’s not your type, which is fine, swipe and move on.

BIWI Sun 17-Dec-17 22:12:40

I've never understood what the problem is with being middle class. After all, if you're born middle class, there's not much you can do about it.

I'm middle class. I'm the child of two parents who were teachers.

So what's wrong with that and why should I be apologetic about it?

echt Sun 17-Dec-17 22:13:01

A bit unusual, but they are, presumably facts about himself that he thinks are worth putting out there. That he sees he's privileged is a plus. I would think it odd, as class background tends to be implied by other information rather then stated so plainly and so soon.

Bubblebubblepop Sun 17-Dec-17 22:13:15

First date? Sounds wet and a bit dim

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