This is an interesting article on Metro. I read it yesterday in the evening and it angered me so much that I had difficulty falling asleep. It’s about a black female living in London who doesn’t feel confident to reveal details from her life to her work colleagues.
She was worried, as a working class migrant, that her identity will be used against her. Apparently her white colleagues used to make fun of how black women spoke. How inappropriate! She then decided to change the way she spokes and behaves, but she couldn’t relate to her colleagues anyway, and found their small talk difficult as they would often brag about expensive purchases.
She however ‘realised quickly that that small talk and sharing personal information was the key to being considered a ‘team player’’ so she created an alternative persona and a fictional life that she talks to colleagues about.
Once she was so excited when she was buying a place to live that she told colleagues the truth about where it was and one of them said ‘The area you’re moving to is the arsehole of London.’
Reading the article angered me but, most importantly, I realised it’s not only autistic people who have to mask (but do we really have to?), I also wanted to tell that lady that people outside of London brag too. It is considered inappropriate in this country to talk directly about one’s financial status but bragging about expensive purchases, outings and holidays is absolutely fine. Also people around you expect you to spend money on the same things they do so if everyone is bragging about that steak in Miller and Carter they ate 6 months ago and ‘it was soooo good’ don’t tell them in response that you enjoyed classical music concert; you’ll receive a backlash for that.
I think it’s a shame that in such a diverse and modern society as the UK so many people cannot be themselves and I don’t understand the reason behind that. I presume some of this is related to people competing about social status, but then, what is social status for? I’ll never understand that.
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