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New flatmate has made me feel very uncomfortable - wealth and politics watch

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    OP I think the solution here is very clear. You need to invest in a "viva la Reagan revolution" tshirt. :yy:
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    wats wrong with an opinion. Get over it
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    I moved into university last week and didn't know anyone I am living with. There's one girl who I haven't seen very much since I've been here, but I only spoke to her properly today and she made me feel really uncomfortable.

    One of the first things she said was that she was an avid Labour supporter. Obviously there's nothing wrong with that, we're all entitled to our own opinions and I didn't mention where I stand politically because I didn't want things to be awkward between us right from the offset.

    She then announced that the Conservatives steal money from the poor by taking away all of their benefits. Again, I chose not to say anything because I didn't want to get mixed up in politics. Then she claimed that there shouldn't be private schools, as the pupils who go there don't have to work as hard as state school pupils, and that private school parents will give their children enough money to let them do what they want to do anyway.

    Next she said that the class system in the UK was really obvious, and that if you, or your parents, earn more than £80,000 a year, then you're middle class.

    Here's where it becomes awkward: I have been private schooled my entire life and I feel I have worked hard to get where I am. My parents earn more than £80,000 a year and have also worked hard to achieve that and they have been fortunate enough to be successful. I don't consider myself to be middle class, though, nor do I think that earning a certain amount of money makes you middle class. I think it's more about how you act and carry yourself. I don't think many people are middle class anyway.

    Sorry, I've gone off point. It's just made me really feel uneasy around her. I feel like she's looking down her nose at me because she sees her life as being more 'real' than mine. She also keeps pushing her beliefs and talks over me if what I say opposes her.

    Obviously I'm going to try to avoid talking about such things with her to avoid confrontation, but I'm worried that if she's so opinionated already, what will she be like when the kitchen gets a bit messy or something?

    TSR, I'm just asking about how I can deal with someone like her? Any help would be appreciated! Thanks.

    As already pointed out, there is little doubt that you do come from what would be classified as a middle class background, I will eat my hat if you can truthfully claim to be from a working class home.
    The fact of the matter is, it really should not make any difference and if she makes you feel uncomfortable then undoubtedly the problem is with her, not you. Little comfort, nor a solution per se I know. The only thing that you can do is rise above her and the rather large chip that she apparently has on her shoulder.
    I have come across many such individuals over the years and I take a somewhat different stance, I quite simply refuse to hide or be embarrassed about either my schooling or upbringing. Much of my parents wealth was not earned, but inherited over several generations, I went to very nice schools, was a boarder for several years and spent my vacations in either relatively exotic places or in one of several countries in which they own property. Whenever any idiot started ranting on, I would simply point out that I found their line somewhat intolerant and quite frankly bigoted and childish. I frequently find that those that voice such opinions are generally shallow, uneducated and largely influenced by their own short comings.
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    (Original post by Jelkin)
    I just can't believe you think you're working class. Really ... I'm almost speechless.

    I was state schooled and my parents are frugal but I am definitely middle class. In fact, I'd say frugality is quite a middle-class trait. The real question is, why are you so desperate NOT to be middle class? What's wrong with it? You were born into it, it's not your fault, and it's nothing to apologise about.
    It's just never occurred to me before that I could be middle class. I don't walk around in designer clothes or go to exclusive clubs. I don't go on holiday to exotic locations, I just feel 'normal', and I want her to treat me as such. I don't want her to start ranting to me every time she sees me because she's made me feel that uncomfortable.
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    shes got a point


    you sound like such a toff if you went to uni with me i would just give u the one bang
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    Political Ambassador
    (Original post by Anonymous)
    It's just never occurred to me before that I could be middle class. I don't walk around in designer clothes or go to exclusive clubs. I don't go on holiday to exotic locations, I just feel 'normal', and I want her to treat me as such. I don't want her to start ranting to me every time she sees me because she's made me feel that uncomfortable.
    Middle class is normal. Its in the middle.
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    Just change the subject. £80k PA is quite a high salary and I would agree that you were middle class - that is not a slur.
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    My parents only earn about £40,000 (one of them works as a lecturer), but I consider myself middle-class, just due to my upbringing, and the supposed.. 'disposable' income we have since we don't have a mortgage. AS you said, the actual definition of being 'middle class' can vary widely. Moving on, I'm guessing she's just a Politics nut, in a way, revealing your own beliefs politically could drum up some debate and such, however if she's one of those hardcore 'YOU MUST JOIN LABOUR PARTY OR YOU ARE WRONG' type of people, I'd just try to avoid conversations with her that could in anyway be linked to a politics discussion.

    I mean, I don't believe in what the Conservatives stand for, yet I don't go mouthing off saying how 'wrong' or 'unfair' they are, unless I'm into a proper political debate with my friends. The person probably made a snap judgement when they met you, and thought 'Someones middle class, must be a Tory'. Have to admit, people that are 'that' into Politics scare me a little.
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    You're middle class, deal with it.

    So am I. So's Ed Miliband, and he's Labour Leader. Going to an independent school doesn't make you a Tory.
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    Your housemate sounds like a certified Marxist. I can only relate in the sense that when I began as a student I met a girl who turned out to be a weapons-grade Feminist. Interesting as she was, all her views and beliefs were crystalised by her feminist outlook and it was feminism vs. everyone else. Your housemate sees things through the prism of class rather broadly, so much so that she feels confident to articulate these views without being asked. It is eventually best to let your views be known - teach her a lesson in modesty and manners. It sounds like you're biting your tongue like when overbearing grandparents criticise but you just have to create your own territory so that she cannot take liberties.
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    If there's one thing I've figured out it's not to give people a chance to get on top of you, or else they'll keep on doing it. Stick up for yourself and don't be afraid to argue your point. If they kick off, then they're idiots and you shouldn't be wasting your time on them anyway.
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    She's right, Tories are evil but Labour aren't much better. Need a proper left in England.
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    Middle class is normal. You are blatantly middle class, and that's fine. Nothing wrong with it. I consider myself middle class and I didn't even have a private education, or indeed holidays and the like. What class do you think you are, working class?

    Anyway, just tell her to shut up going on about Politics. No one cares.

    Oh and to those who think this is a troll thread, I know of plenty of people who would actually behave like the person the OP is describing.
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    You don't have to be rich or even middle class to go to private school these days.

    Besides why do people say middle class like its an insult. I'm glad to be middle class although now I have to work for everything I want obviously.

    Edit - The stereotype of a middle class person is so stupid.
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    I agree that this girl is being way out of line in the way she's expressing her views, my advice would be to just ignore her unless she gets directly abusive to you and then stand up for yourself and tell her to shut the **** up and get over herself.

    But the fact you think you're not middle class is utterly hilarious to me. £80k and you think you're working class? Your parents are earning probably about 5 times more than most of working class. I would class myself as working class, and anyone who thought there were at £80k seems mental - but there's nothing WRONG with being middle class at ALL, so why are you denying it so avidly?
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    It's just never occurred to me before that I could be middle class. I don't walk around in designer clothes or go to exclusive clubs. I don't go on holiday to exotic locations, I just feel 'normal', and I want her to treat me as such. I don't want her to start ranting to me every time she sees me because she's made me feel that uncomfortable.
    I have to ask, has she actually insulted you personally in any way? If she does so on account of your background or wealth, you should call her a snob. This will probably surprise her, but it's what she is (IF she makes negative judgments about you based on these things).

    But it sounds mostly like she's really "into" politics and shouts her views around without thinking much about her audience. In this case, just tell her politely you don't really enjoy discussing politics and try to get to know her on a different level. If that fails, just try not to engage in conversation with her.
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    Damm £80,000 is a hell of a lot. If your going to view class as income then £50,000 household income is probally more accurate. With £80,000 your not far off paying the new 50% tax rate.

    She can moan but if you could choose which school your kids go to I think most people, rich or poor would like to send them into private education wouldn't you?

    I've always state education (and no, not the nice 'state' independent schools where you have to pass the 11+) and theres nothing great about it. The majority of ppl are cool but you do get some undesirables and bad influences; that doesn't help you get that "£80,000" job and join the fun that is the middle class.
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    (Original post by OBAG09L)
    Why are people so ashamed to be middle class?
    Agreed:
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    I don't consider myself to be middle class.
    if you are tory, you must either think you are middle class, be middle class, or be out of your mind. judging by the fact that you have been private schooled and your parents earn a very substantial amount of money, you are indeed at the higher end of the spectrum, but this does not mean you are a different- there will be people who your flatmate meets who would be in a worse off situation than her- she may feel 'different' around them. the fact is that although we may live in a classless society, people impose class on others. for example, my parents both came from the council estate, and our household income is less than yours, none of my family have been to university, I will barley be able to afford a year of fees, but I have been brought up to speak good english, respect others, and have basic manners and etiquette (excuse spelling). Because of this, my peers often think me as someone of greater wealth than I actually am- I have even been labeled a probable conservative even though I am more of leftist liberal (which I find incredibly insulting). Its rather humerous that people whos parents are doctors and own their own apartment think I am of greater 'worth' than themselves. Yes I am fairly 'cultured,' but I shall always be working class at heart and shall never ever vote tory unless pitt the younger or robert peel are reincarnated.

    She probably feels more threatened by you to be honest, so don't worry about it. It might be worth chatting to her seriously about politics- who knows she may be a rational being... on the other hand she could be praying for the socialist revolution that marx had outlined...
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    (Original post by Highace)
    If there's one thing I've figured out it's not to give people a chance to get on top of you, or else they'll keep on doing it. Stick up for yourself and don't be afraid to argue your point. If they kick off, then they're idiots and you shouldn't be wasting your time on them anyway.

    (Original post by Debuuu)
    Your housemate sounds like a certified Marxist. I can only relate in the sense that when I began as a student I met a girl who turned out to be a weapons-grade Feminist. Interesting as she was, all her views and beliefs were crystalised by her feminist outlook and it was feminism vs. everyone else. Your housemate sees things through the prism of class rather broadly, so much so that she feels confident to articulate these views without being asked. It is eventually best to let your views be known - teach her a lesson in modesty and manners. It sounds like you're biting your tongue like when overbearing grandparents criticise but you just have to create your own territory so that she cannot take liberties.
    Hmm, yeah I see your points. I'm not an argumentative person at all and most of the people I associate myself with are polite enough not to say too much about religion or politics until you know someone a little better. I have definitely being biting my tongue, I don't want to fall out with her, I like the fact that she obviously has some intelligence to know about politics and class, and I like her confidence.

    I think I'll try saying what I really thing but in some subtle ways if she brings up this topic again, or similar ones. I'm just stunned that she's made such a snap judgement despite about me. Even though I haven't said much to her yet about who I am or what I believe I would like to let her know that I'm not the enemy. I respect her as a person and hope she can respect me too, regardless of my background and beliefs.
 
 
 
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