I’ve been sitting on this one for a while now, mulling over whether or not it’s something I should write or just put on the back burner. It’s not my usual topic I guess, but it’s bothered me with the increasing frequency that it seems to be cropping up with, like REALLY bothered me lately.
When did it become socially acceptable, actually, socially encouraged to hate on women who are wealthier than you or more successful in what they do?
Case in point:
An instagram mum with a bit of success on the old pixels takes aim at another who is wayyyyy more successful, and clearly earning a good buck from her ads and enjoying the perks of having accrued a large social following, such as holiday numero 7 this year. So this deteriorates pretty quickly into a full out slag off session about how this successful woman is a middle class wanker, an elitist, a sell out and so much more. How sick and tired Instagram mum 1 is of Instagram mum 2 getting freebies, getting holidays. She can afford them – she’s rich don’t cha know! People flooded to agree with her, it sparked off more discontent, more bashing of ‘middle class wankers’ and social media influencers with their god damn freebies!
I guess, she woke up one more having amassed 350K followers and never put her back into it at all, she probably doesn’t even have kids right? C’mon people!
Case in point 2:
A vicious AIBU (AIBU: Am I being Unfair, the answer to that question is almost always yes otherwise you mostly likely wouldn’t have to ask) mumsnet thread, hammering insta-mums and the advertising they do, how they make their money “using their kids”, how they are all so rich any way and don’t need the extra freebies, why can’t I be sent on holiday (simple answer: you don’t have anything to offer the company with 234 followers who largely consist of relatives and ex work colleagues!). It got so vicious it was picked up by the Daily Fail, which also delights in playing to the masses and screaming it’s misogynistic, mum hating rhetoric from the roof tops. When it did become a crime to be a mum and share your story? Isn’t that just what we all do anyway, but for some of us that post on Instagram becomes a career and for other’s it’s hidden and private? “REAL mums slam Insta-mums” was the headline I believe, but erm, I’m pretty confident that you get to be a “real” mum if you have a child of any fashion… so that bit didn’t really make sense did it? What they meant to write, but what wouldn’t sound quite as clicky is: Mums with lower or no income who are preconditioned to resent any other female’s success (by rags like ours) have a pop at wealthier mothers who have a shit tonne of followers on Instagram and make money from advertising. Not ONCE were dad bloggers or instagrammers taken aim at, despite there being a brief mention of the counter parts of some very “insta-famous” people, it was always brought back to the women – always them that were the problem, the shameless soul-sellers, the vacuums of honesty.
Why is this ok? Why is bitterness and jealously something that us women breed daily, something we encourage and feed from? Do you see successful male footballers moaning that footballer 1 got better sponsorships and boots from a company? That they are sell outs for taking on deals to promote products? Being sent on holiday to promote the location or given thousands of pounds worth of gifted items in exchange for a mention or just the mere hope that something will make it on to their social media networks or into a mag? No. You don’t.
Yes female influencers are up in your pixels selling you shit (so are males, but ironically they seem to be considered “photographers” and left be. Talented folk with penises). They are, it’s a fact. I do it. I do it a lot, but unless I’m able to send you my mortgage payments every month or bill you for the stuff I want to buy, you don’t have a right to complain about it. The free stuff? That’s not free – come back to me when you’ve poured 90 hours into something every week to create something profitable and tell me it’s free. It’s HARD work, it’s relentless and it is easy to unfollow if you don’t like something. Yes, I get that it’s frustrating to think that someone wealthier than you might be being given stuff that you want but they can afford to buy anyway, but welcome to the world buttercup, that shit is just LIFE. They are given things because they can offer something in return. You want the “free things”, “free holidays” – work for them, that is essentially what they will have had to do for YEARS before they were in that position.
To clarify, I have been poor. Really, really poor – like unable to buy shopping for a week with little to no food in the house because wages didn’t cover everything, poor. It wasn’t much fun living on £365 a month from Mothercare and I certainly wasn’t living it large… taking a sneaky bit of booze with me to go clubbing with my mates isn’t a mystery to me – I spent most of my pre-child years doing it with mates who also couldn’t afford the booze. Was I angered by people who had more than me? No. Was I mean and bitter? No. I was inspired. That is the fundamental difference between men and women you know: other men are inspired by their counterpart’s perceived success (because it’s not just about the dolla – men are inspired by other men in all avenues) and women are jealous. We’re BETTER than that ladies. We don’t need to be jealous of one another, we don’t need to hate on the female CEO with snide comments about how she “shagged her way to the top then” or hate follow bloggers and instagrammers because they get stuff and they earn a lot of money. Who cares? Every one of us has the ability to be successful in anyway that we want, some have it easier (one woman sited in the mumsnet thread was part of one of the wealthiest families in the US who own most of Seattle’s tulip farms: of course she got a leg up) but it doesn’t mean they don’t work for it too. It isn’t a crime to be wealthier than someone else, you aren’t automatically entitled to someone else’s successes because they had a head start, didn’t your parents ever teach you that life isn’t always fair?
Can we stop? Can we sit back and say “good for her” or “ahh, I’m not really into what she’s doing but I wish her well”?