poverty shaming micro aggression "wHy DoN't YoU bUy ThAt ThInG yOu NeEd AnD cAn'T aFfOrD?!"


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I'm so tired of it. It's not a productive question. The only point of asking that is to assert that I am making a choice to be in poverty.

It's never a question that comes from trying to understand, empathize, or help. The "Why" is always a fucking subliminal demand to Fix It or Get Your Shit Together. It feels like someone slapping me and telling me I'm not working hard enough and it's my fault.

I work hard and budget well and have to prioritize certain expenses over others. Even people who know me and my situation still have this knee-jerk reaction to shame me via irrelevant questioning.

The only way I can respond is "Uhm I'm fucking broke. You know that. I'm waiting until my next paycheck..." and I just wish I could find the words to bring light to this classist bullshit.

It sure fucking hurts a lot to not feel understood. If I have to skip an important bill, can't buy groceries, can't afford proper shoes for work, or something I own is broken and I'm making do just fine... I disclose my basic struggles to people I think will understand. Instead of empathy I am usually met with "what?! why don't you just pay that? why don't you have that? you could just buy X and solve your problem, it's not that expensive. why why why?" If you know what the reason is that I Don't Make Enough Money to Afford Basic Expenses like food and gas... why the fuck would you ask me Why or tell me to spend money I don't even have on things that I obviously would buy out of necessity if I fucking -could-. It's not really that complicated to have some damn compassion. It feels like people assume that anyone in poverty is just irresponsible and it's so insulting and unfounded.

I'm really sad and tired of being shamed for literally not being able to afford all my basic expenses some months. I get through it and bills get prioritized and caught up with... but I can't help to feel judged and persecuted.

I don't judge myself, I live with my reality and try to make every day better.

What is most upsetting is that this attitude has come from people in my life who consider themselves PC or whatever. I don't think it's fucking PC to criticize others with micro-aggressive questioning and spewing unhelpful advice while calling yourselves allies.

Sometimes there is not an answer to the prying "why?" sometimes life just is as it is. I think we all need to listen more and be more present with each other instead of leaning into passive aggression.
@zookeeper944 Lol! Reading op's post I thought about some of the things I heard like dental care, life insurance, quality items that last longer.... But insisting on buying a new car when you know the person is broke is just being tone deaf.
@zookeeper944 What I did when I paid off my truck was to just take my monthly payment($300) and just put that into a savings account every month instead for repairs and upkeep on the vehicle. I never had to worry about not being able to afford to fix it. After I had a decent amount saved up for repairs I just started putting an extra $300 on my mortgage a month. Getting rid of a payment is awesome but don’t just waste the “extra” money now. You already had a budget where the $300 was accounted for and used for bills instead of just using it as spending or extra play money now invest or stack extra payments on other debts
@feeltheshame I know right !

I own a small car, and sometimes I can't drive certain places, because the car will touch underneath.

Whenever I try to explain this...sometimes others just respond like I'm being overly cautious.

"Well if your car is too low, just buy a bigger car"

Apparently I must have a pot of gold in the trunk 🙄
@feeltheshame This makes me crazy. I'll be showing someone a cool project I am working on or something fun I bought recently and suddenly I'm being interrogated on how I can afford such "luxuries" when I am a struggling wage slave like everyone else?

Like dude. Poor people are allowed to enjoy things. Me buying takeout once a week (and splitting it into three meals) or showing off the one new outfit I just bought with the coupon and gift card I have been saving, or that craft project I made out of upcycled materials, doesn't give anyone the right to shit on me, yet people constantly want to put your financials and budget and your hobbies under a mircroscope if you aren't constantly working and begging for essentials like food and shelter.

Or I complain about not having a working dryer because I am waiting on the stupid rebate to come in the mail to replace the damn thing for a documented manufacture defect. Like no, I don't have hundreds of dollars to buy a new one and have it delivered to my house and installed this weekend, Brenda. I have $20 to make do with clothespins and paracord in the backyard, so yeah, I am gonna complain about scheduling my laundry around the rain so I can have clean, dry clothes to be presentable at work.

Then some busybody will ask how I paid for my cat's surgery or their meds as if that's any of their business or even relevant to the dryer issue??? Like, Pet insurance exists and I thank the universe every day I signed up for it and can afford the monthly membership, because otherwise I would never be able to afford the care my cats deserve. (On that note, poor people can have pets too!!! I will do whatever it takes to make sure my pets are happy and healthy.)

People need to butt out of everyone else's financial circumstances and learn to use some decorum. Not everyone can afford the same things, even basic amenities or needs, and everyone exists on a different "level" of needs and access. I can't buy such-and-such wonderful thing because I am prioritizing bills, debt, and trying to build savings, but I can occasionally make do for my hobbies and entertainment with careful planning and recycled/upcycled materials, and both those things can be true at the same time.
@gloria_ Ugh this is all exactly it. Whether it's cars, insurance, pet care, luxury items, take out, you name it...people who are well-off always find a way to judge poor people for living our damn lives.

Like, yes I'm allowed to buy a new pair of work pants after the literal 1 pair I wore for 6 years finally became less functional. Of course I run into someone who is more well-off and they notice my new pants and new (free) haircut and started talking to me in a condescending tone. It was like "OoOoOohhh new pants huh?? AND a new haircut? WOW, lOoK aT yOu!" ... I could go on and on and on about blue collar work wear and middle class appropriation. I won't.

We all deserve 'nice' things and to be able to enjoy hobbies and entertainment. I don't really understand what boot lickers think poor people should do other than work work work I guess. Fuck capitalism fr.

The pets thing really hits home for me. When people judge someone who is homeless or in poverty for having a pet-- without knowing the situation-- oh god damn that makes my blood boil. People tend to treat pets better than other humans, and therefore prioritize their livelihoods. Also, like, ugh... if a human can't afford health insurance does that mean they don't deserve to be housed and safe? Cuz that's how it sounds when a judgemental person makes assumptions about people with lower income nOt BeInG aBlE tO aFfOrD vEt BiLls. It's like there are options and resources and we figure it out the best we can, like with any emergency.

We all have our own unique priorities outside of basic needs. I understand that we all have our own values and morals. I try not to go around making disrespectful assumptions about people who appear to have money. I don't question my acquaintance for buying a brand new appliance, even though I wouldn't spend money that way even if I could. It's like an unwritten societal rule that people with a lower income just shut our mouths out of respect and to behold the power of fucking fiat currency.

What I really don't understand is why it's so culturally accepted to literally DISMISS THE REALITIES OF POOR PEOPLE.
@gloria_ What kind of pet insurance do you have? I've been shopping around for some for my dog and I can't seem to find any with decent coverage with low monthly payments.
@mmbministries I have insurance through the VCA since I have tons of clinics near me. Cats are $75 a month and dogs are $85 I believe, and they go up once your pet hits "elderly."

(For cats I think it's 6 years, dogs I am not sure.)

But it has saved me so much money because one cat now needs medication likely for life and prescription food, and all checkups and most testing are covered under the plan.

They take credit cards so I threw one down and just make the payments after each payday. Surgeries/non-covered items are billed separately so I can use another card or split the payments if necessary.
@resjudicata It's a documented manufacture defect. We have already had the company technician come out and confirm it is unfixable, we just have to wait for the rebate to come in so we can have the thing exchanged or purchase a new one with the rebate credit. I'm just pissy about it because I need clean and dry work clothes, damn it. My work hours aren't conducive to public laundry and it's a royal pain in the ass to schedule a big trip to do all the washing at once.

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