Thursday, April 11, 2013

I is for Injusto

Injusto means unfair.

This blog wouldn't be complete without a short rant about the problem of the class system. In the Peruvian city where I lived, social class can make or break you. I honestly believe it's so bad that people don't realise that what they say is hurtful. A nice, charitable rich woman once asked me to re-think dating the guy I was with. It would be better if I had stayed with my ex, since he came from a "better" family- if one gets cheated on or lied to, they should just accept it. She asked me why I wasn't concerned about his "standing," and she did so as a mother might warn her child not to run down the middle of a road. This would have disgusted me had it not been a comment that I'd heard many times before. These are respected people with a certain amount of pull in the community, and they still believe that they are better than other people due to birth and money. They'd rather have their children marry rich- even to those who have never lifted a finger in their lives and don't know the value of money, rather than somebody who has made their way to a decent job through work and personal merit. The rich families have maids who do everything for them. They will complain about their maids to their guests (in this case, me) in front of them and act like they are doing them a huge favour through employment. Now, they may be helping them out by employing them, but the wages are awful. Another lady once told me I should get somebody to clean my house for me instead of wasting time on it myself- I'd only have to pay them a dollar a day. My conscience wouldn't allow me to, and if I wanted somebody else to do my chores for me, I'd pay them at least the minimum wage wherever I lived.

The issue is that sometimes maids end up bringing up the children of these people. Often, the men work prestigious and time consuming jobs while the women live a life of leisure- supposedly taking care of life at home. Often, the wife does the cooking, but for a lot of other things they use their maid. Maids would often bring children to class. When I wanted to talk to a parent, I'd get sent the maid. When we talked about helping around the house, a 9 year old student told me that was "maid's work." It was exasperating- couldn't parents see the harm they were doing their children? Other times, students talked about their maids more fondly than their mothers- who were often absent- I say fondly, but also in a tone that told you that they were aware that their own social standing was higher than that of their maids.

For the sake of time, I won't rant any longer. I do want you know, though, that not everybody is like this. There is a new emerging middle class. There are rich women who work hard against the system they were born into. For the most part though, it's really frustrating for an "outsider" like me. Probably too hard for my humble mind to understand, actually.

1 comment:

Joyce said...

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