4

Money Hungry

Everyone who grows up in a household where there is a lack of material resources knows what it feels like to want things you cannot have, to want what money can buy when there is no money to spare. Poor people know these feelings intimately. And so do individuals who are raised in homes where material resources could be available but are withheld because of avarice or domination. In patriarchal households, dominating males often withhold funds for basic necessities as a way of maintaining coercive control over wives and children. Usually, patriarchal abuse in relation to finances is talked about publicly only in relation to domestic violence. Yet there are many homes in this society where physical violence is not present wherein financial withholding by a patriarchal head of household is the accepted norm. These men do not just control the money they make, they often control the spouse’s income as well. Children in these households may grow up with an extreme sense of material lack even though the financial assets of the family are more than enough to accommodate needs and desires.

In our patriarchal household, my parents believed it was the man’s responsibility to provide for the family’s material needs. Both my parents based their thinking about gender roles on conventional

-50-

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Where We Stand: Class Matters
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Contents vi
  • Where We Stand vii
  • Class Matters 1
  • 1 - Making the Personal Political: Class in the Family 10
  • 2 - Coming to Class Consciousness 24
  • 3 - Class and the Politics of Living Simply 38
  • 4 - Money Hungry 50
  • 5 - The Politics of Greed 63
  • 6 - Being Rich 70
  • 7 - The Me-Me Class: the Young and the Ruthless 80
  • 8 - Class and Race: the New Black Elite 89
  • 9 - Feminism and Class Power 101
  • 10 - White Poverty: the Politics of Invisibility 111
  • 11 - Solidarity with the Poor 121
  • 12 - Class Claims: Real Estate Racism 131
  • 13 - Crossing Class Boundaries 142
  • 14 - Living Without Class Hierarchy 156
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