Class Categorisation (and its subtleties)

Well I’m awake – not wide awake, but just enough to have the drive to write this and nothing more.

I was thinking about today’s job fair and I thought I might write this out just to construct and clear what’s in my head (among many other things that have happened in the past week). So here’s a thought:

The whole point of human categorisation is power, and dialogue is simply an exchange of interpretative viewpoints to assert your dominance.

Imagine how ridiculous it is to be dressed in an office attire, in school, with temperatures ranging from 31 to 34 degrees and humidity at 85%-90%. And then imagine going through all that effort, finding something that fits you nicely from your closet, and if it doesn’t fit then force fit it because you don’t have anything else, and for some reason it is so important that you dress up because… it is a requirement.

It is a requirement because you’d like to be part of an entire batch of graduating students who are either only starting to look for a job, or have had tough luck finding one. And then imagine having a conversation with these professionals only to realise that:

  1. You don’t really want this job
  2. You don’t really know if you’re qualified, either
  3. If you do like it, send in your resume, because you’re the only one out of these few hundred people who attended the same fair, being subjected to the same few professionals who have been talking to people like you the entire day, and then think, even for a moment, that your resume matters.

(If anyone reads this, I apologise if I come across as a condescending pickle – I really am not.)

But here’s the real problem. We pride ourselves on the progress we’ve made in gender/education equality, as well as our political/economical achievements in achieving peace. And despite our efforts to be beyond these problems, violence remains to be the solution to age long issues. Why do we continue to have these problems?

What we’ve done with dialogue is not to make violence obsolete; we have instead increased our tolerance for violence by now exposing ourselves to emotional and psychological violence (through power play and reasonable discussions). Violence is, in fact, still happening. Physical violence is a result of our incapacity to tolerate any further psychological/emotional violence, so we’ve in fact extended our boundaries for violence.

In simpler terms, your inferiority is asserted on to you through your own conviction. Education and intellect has allowed us to tolerate a much higher degree of abuse and violence than before, and yet we see this as maturity, growth, or the capacity to take punches. A relatable example would be the decision for a Malay President to be nominated. You can imagine the enormity in the levels of critical thinking and reasoning required for this decision to come through – some statements floating around these discussions are “qualifying criteria (..) must never be lowered” and “many (..) raise their hands (..)”. If this was a move to ‘further exemplify’ racial equality, then what we have done instead is to show that ‘privilege’ still needs to be given to a community that is seemingly still less privileged so as to ’emphasise’ commitment to a more balanced and equal society. This is a fine example of what dialogue does; it is simply an exchange of interpretative viewpoints to assert individual or collective dominance.

The real danger is, however, not in these macro-level watermelons. I’ve discussed how dialogue or communications in general have stifled communities. The real danger lies in all the micro-instances in our daily lives. History is only written by winners, and we have, for the longest time, been subjected to class categorisation. From classification based on job environment, fashion, and the social media rabbit shit, all the way down to a simple conversation with a potential employer, we are constantly being blasted with inputs on how we should behave or when to speak, to an extent that we are continually seeking for ways to self evaluate and raise our social value. What we fail to see is the psychological impacts of our day to day conversations that continue to affect the way we think of ourselves, as well as the things we do.

The fact remains, however, that you could’ve instead just emailed them instead of going all the way down to school in an attire you’re probably not very comfortable and filling up the foodcourt and school area especially when you’re going to get the same results. OR ### scan around for the company that you’d probably be interested in, then write to them privately because they’re less likely to care about you when they need to talk to 109237124 other people and knowing they’ll have to queue up for lunch.






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