How not to be afraid of a topknot.

This is for the 'Movellas get political!' competition. Hope you enjoy xx


1. How not to be afraid of a topknot (Movellas get political! competition)


Something occurs very often in our society today that is overlooked, perhaps overshadowed by all the other worldly chaos and destruction. Something that is well-known, something we have all probably expressed empathy for. Something we have all probably learned will never be fixed as the line we have drawn is so deep between us and them that even if we did try and fix it, they probably wouldn't want us to. They'd probably think we were being patronizing, condescending, and all the other ings, ings, ings, that divide us up.

Well I call cowardice. If we so called want to fix this snobbery then why hasn't the word 'chav' been made illegal? Just like racist acts and hate speech were made illegal? Well, if classifying someone who talks differently, wears different clothes, and has a different lifestyle, as a chav isn't illegal, then why don't we come up with a word for the higher class? What I think is pathetic is the fear centered around the word, the fear of the actual person. I know a woman who told me to 'Stay away from the Chavs at the pool.' She was a perfectly nice woman but I don't understand how she, a grown adult, could hold such fear of the working class. There seems to be a huge, no, massive misconception of the word chav. Before, it meant someone who maybe wore a lot of sportswear and a little bit of jewellery. Now, it's as if they're criminals, vagrants, scum of the streets. Did you know that in 2005 a woman was evicted from her house because of an anti-social behaviour disorder? The Daily stars headline; "Good riddance to chav scum: real life Vicky Pollard evicted."

But I can go on about the injustice and the pathetic fear of the working class for hours. What this is about is the way it is integrated into our society so smoothly no-one stops to think, no-one stops to question the morals of telling your children to stay away from them - their wearing Paul's Boutique and a golden necklace.

I went to a very middle class Primary school, which no matter how good and pure hearted the teachers and staff were we did have a notable lack of working class pupils. I didn't think about it of course until I left, as the only thing in my mind when I was 10 was what kind of Playground game I would play today. It was only till I went to a much more diverse secondary school did I think back to the days when the middle class mums were all in one group in the playground and the working class mums were all on the other side. And Gosh, if the working class mums and the middle class mums children mixed, well wasn't that sweet. How we were always talking about our diversity but really, it was nearly always those problem kids who disrupted the class. How while we had healthy pack lunch boxes those kids always had unhealthy stuff like Nutella sandwiches and a chocolate bar in the same day, the packed lunches we wanted but apparently those packed lunches weren't good, and I remember just knowing that it would be those kids who had the good stuff. You grow up around these prejudices, you move so quickly and so smoothly into the world of differences it's no wonder I didn't, we didn't change our social groups even the slightest until we realised that no, those adults are wrong these people aren't scary they are actually very fun to be around.

The whole look of it, the outfit, the tracksuits and 'bling' and high ponytails - that's what people label as unintelligent. But maybe we're weird for always dressing like we do and never, ever, just going out in a nice pair of jogging bottoms.

I, for one, a girl who is only fourteen and can't see how the adults around me can't shake off this fear, this pathetic fear of them, am ashamed of how long this has stuck around. Sure there have been magazine articles and books about the snobbery of it all, but where is the difference? I just don't think a difference can be made until people understand why it is bad. Why you shouldn't call people that one word.                                                                                                                 

Why don't we start with children? Instead of creating a line between us and them, show it's okay to talk to that working class mum. She's not a big scary monster she's a normal woman, who talks differently and dresses differently but is probably a very loving mother. Instead of telling your child to stay away from the chavs, why don't we begin to tell them to make new friends? Sometimes your friends who speak just like you may have a head filled with boring not very beautiful things - maybe those girls and boys who speak like that have a head full of very interesting things, things that you have the pleasure to participate in because yes your mummy is talking to their mummy and yes their mummy must be a nice woman then.

And if they are rude, and they are disrespectful, it's not because they're poor, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls. It's because they're rude and disrespectful for some reason, not the fact that mum and dad's pay check is different.

I just hope that even the most closeted, well brought up child will someday make her own decision to cross that boundary line. Because if we still don't do it then what sort of example are we setting to the generation after us? In a world always fighting for equality, why don't we try and solve some of the most basic problems first? Like how not to be afraid of a topknot.


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