Working class people at Oxbridge do not need to be “liberated” and turned into a designated victim group by meddling, power-hungry campus SJWs
Apparently St. Hilda’s College at Oxford University plans to appoint a “class liberation officer” to watch over the welfare of lower-income students and formally enshrine their status as an official victim group to be fussed over and grievously pitied by the over-active university SJWs.
Huffington Post reports:
An Oxford University college is to appoint a “class liberation officer” to protect working-class students from being called “chavs” or being insulted over Primark clothes.
Students at St Hilda’s College voted to create the post after it was suggested that working-class students are under-represented at the prestigious university and suffer from “microaggressions” and classism.
According to the motion, the post will act “in a similar way” to appointments including the “RE Officer, LGBTQ+ Officer, Women’s Officer and Disabilities Officer to represent students who self-identify as being part of this group.”
One student at the college told the Sunday Times: “Insults such as ‘chav’, chav-themed social nights and questions such as ‘why are you wearing Primark?’ can make poor students feel upset and worthless.”
This is absolutely pitiful, yet entirely emblematic of the way that the Cult of Social Justice and Identity Politics works on a university campus level. Identity politics cultists only maintain their power and influence by claiming to speak on behalf of various “oppressed” groups, and by exaggerating that oppression to comical proportions in order to justify the various perks and restrictions on free expression which are inevitably demanded. And this inevitably leads to a ratchet effect, with more and more subgroups of people being identified as “vulnerable” or “oppressed”, and ever-smaller problems being cast as intolerable harms done to them.
It was therefore only a matter of time until the overwhelmingly middle class SJW brigades decided that the next involuntary beneficiaries of their enlightened do-goodery would be working class students, none of whom require a dedicated student union officer to fight their corner. In fact, there is nothing more patronising and offensive to students from poorer socio-economic backgrounds than the idea that they somehow cannot make it on their own at Oxford without the help of dedicated student union officials protecting them from harm.
Jacob Furedi says it best:
I heartily concur. I grew up in a poor, single-parent household in Essex and attended Cambridge University, and in my time there I was never made to feel unwelcome or at risk of emotional “harm” because of insults about my background. In fact, I would have chafed at the very idea that some busybody union official saw it as their duty to watch over me, as though I were any less capable of navigating university life than a privately-educated fifth generation Oxbridge student.
This move by St. Hilda’s college to create a so-called Class Liberation Officer is offensive beyond measure, and any good that might come from preventing or punishing random insults is vastly outweighed by the further segregation of the student body in to separate rival special interest groups, perpetually jockeying for position and seeking to cast themselves as the most oppressed in order to gain maximum perks and benefits.
From my personal experience fifteen years ago, Oxbridge students are smart and sensitive, and more than capable of forming friendships across racial, religious or socio-economic divides without the help of some godawful student union facilitator or the constant invigilation of a “liberation officer”. But you know the one surefire way to immediately make everybody painfully conscious of class and economic status? Yep, you guessed it – seek to actively divide the student body along these lines and you create a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Working class students, just like working class people outside of the increasingly rotten university system, are of absolutely equal intrinsic worth to those from wealthier backgrounds. What’s more, they are more than capable of organising and standing up for their own interests when occasionally necessary throughout history (see Selina Todd’s excellent book “The People: The Rise and Fall of the Working Class” for a great narrative), and pulling together as part of the broader society the rest of the time.
Working class people do not need rescuing or “liberating” from “oppression”, least of all by busybody SJWs on the lookout for more victim groups to represent. To be liberated, one must first be enslaved. And if pinch-faced, upper middle class SJW do-gooders at Oxford view poorer students or the other minority groups under their watch as slaves then they should urgently check their privilege, for they are the only real oppressors in town.
Top Image: Andrew Shiva / Wikimedia Commons
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You know… I think it’s finally sunk in for the SJWs. Perhaps… just maybe… white working class people have legitimate concerns… even though they’re straight cis-men…
Brexit wasn’t enough, but then Trump happened. This has either awoken them to genuine empathy, or else has simply convinced them that if they ignore this largest voting bloc, that it’ll go badly for them.
In either case, they now seek to help out the people they have so thoroughly alienated in the only way they know how…
I prefer to give people the benefit of the doubt, so I’ll say that these people genuinely want to help the working class. And hopefully, upon finding them all insulted by this, they’ll learn some perspective, and realize that there are far worse things in life than micro-aggressions. It’s a bit of a dream, but Social Justice needs an echo chamber to function, and they can’t stay in that echo-chamber and still help out these people.
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I think growing up short of money or with other problems probably gives you a sane perspective on what is and isn’t a disaster. If you are from the prosperous middle class and never have had to worry about (say) paying the food bill, then you think trivial misfortunes are the end of the world… maybe ?
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That’s a very good point. While obviously many middle class people face difficulties and hardships at various points, the working classes typical lack of a financial cushion probably does help to develop a resilience and anti-fragility that those from a more prosperous background sometimes lack. I can certainly see this being one of several interplaying factors at work here, contributing to the infantilising climate in academia. Even among the working class, this generation has known unrivalled peace, wealth and technological advancement, yet many of today’s students squeal as though they are living under Jim Crow-era oppression. Maybe this is a function of what happens when you grow up so relatively well-off.