« Batman mask found in Holmes’s apartment | Main | Holmes’s mother’s words twisted by ABC »

July 23, 2012

Comments

A nurse that marries a doctor becomes a housewife and therefore wont be posting on a nursing forum.

I wonder how many girls go to medical school to marry a doctor. Certainly does select for IQ, if you care about that a lot...

Aside from the usual disagreement I have - viz., that proles are much better people than snobby New Yorkers - there's a lot I agree with in this post. In fact, I wrote about a similar topic before, asking why doctors make the marital choices they do. It's true that a majority (or close to it) of doctors marry other doctors, for a raft of reasons, and the only times doctors marry nurses (likewise the only time a woman enters nursing when she "could get into medical school") is when the parties concerned have very traditional values.

I'll tell you, anecdotally, that I knew a pediatrics resident who had *been* a nurse. She was a sweet girl, but medical school and residency had worn her out and she confided to me, quite seriously, that "I wish I had just stayed in nursing." I think that many women who "could get into medical school" would nevertheless be better off (certainly happier) not being doctors, but there my traditionalism is showing.

****Most nurses actually have contempt for doctors. They are not sexually attracted to doctors.****

This is true, and reflects well on the nurses. I have contempt for most doctors, too, having gone to medical school with about a hundred of them. Most doctors are really effete, soulless, meek, SWPL, status-obsessed, workaholic, obsessive-compulsive, awful people.

The forum excerpts that Half Sigma has posted also cast nurses in a positive light. For instance:

****None of the qualities of these doctors are anything I would want to marry into. I'm proud to be married to my husband! He is in the Air Force and was a firefighter for 7 years before changing career fields. His qualities outweigh anything that a doctor thinks he could offer – NurzofFaith ****

This individual is probably a quality, likeable person.

What makes an MD significantly higher class than an RN, other than income (bearing in mind there is an area of overlap there)? Being a physician is vocational as well, for the most part. Both fields are considered professions, and both MDs and RNs are commissioned officers in the military.

This question occurred to me reading Conquistador's comments in a previous thread. I had the misfortune of spending a couple of weeks in a hospital earlier this year, and while it's true that you're not likely to hear nurses talking about which books have been short listed for the Man Booker prize at the nurses station, you're not likely to hear physicians talking about that either.

It would be interesting to see the results of a "class" quiz, asking people about whatever those with high class are supposed to be familiar with. You'd probably see indie coffee shop baristas and unemployed writers outscore most nurses, physicians, engineers, and finance types.

I think your observations from that nurses forums pretty much track with what I've observed. A cop friend met his wife, a nurse, due to constantly bringing in people to the ER. I suspect that explains how nurses meet firefighters and EMTs.

But historically, it's probably been the case that Doctors did marry nurses. But that was back in the days before there were many female doctors. Doctors married nurses, lawyers married their secretaries and so on. Now, with the rise of female professionals, male doctors marry female doctors and so on.

It's assortive mating. Professionals are marrying professionals and proles are marrying proles. The rise of feminism has lead to the rise of a caste system.

Only about half of nurses have BSN's, HS. Plenty of nurses work their whole careers with just a two year degree.

Compared to the preening, degree-collecting pussies hiding at the university, I find their willingness to get to work refreshing. But yeah, they're not intellectuals or artistes or anything like that.

The problem here is you're stretching the term "prole" upward to an unjustifiable degree. How is a firefighter or a police officer a prole? Firefighting is one of the highest prestige positions, period. Pay is equivalent to a primary care doctor. Police pay is similar and if people don't have the warm fuzzies for cops that they do for firemen, cops are highly selected and trained.

You are basing your judgments on the elaborate class system of the New York area, which is not reflective of society as a whole and should not be, regardless of what New Yorkers think.

"a man who graduated from Harvard would do."

lol there are people from Harvard and schools of that ilk who go into the military or shitty service jobs, you know.

Honestly physician should be a vocational profession. It would serve the US well if we had undergrad medical degrees like much of the rest of the world.

As with any profession, there are bad nurses and there are good nurses. Bad nurses are bitter and actively hate medical students and residents (especially the first year interns). The good ones are positive and helpful. It's funny how you can usually tell how good a nurse is by just looking at them, and by this I don't mean just look at their race. It's in how they carry themselves, how they present themselves, facial expressions, etc.

@ Samson: OF COURSE, doctors are status obsessed, workaholic, and soulless. What other type of people would actually go through medical school and residency? However, having gone to an ivy for undergrad I can attest that med students are friendlier than the finance types. Finance appears to attract too much of the "warm sociopath" types. Big law is similar but more risk averse and not as outgoing.

One way to determine the status of various healthcare occupations is to look at % that are obese. My medical school class maybe has 2 overweight guys (out of 100) and no obese people. PAs tend to be somewhat heavier, and nurses are heavier than the PAs. PAs and RNs may make a similar amount of money (high five figures is typical, I believe), but PAs are higher status than RNs. PAs are also more attractive than RNs, even after controlling for weight, and appear to come from more SWPL backgrounds. I have heard of children of doctors becoming PAs, but never nurses.

However, we will see if RNs will succeed in cementing their recent gains. If they are successful, in a generation or so, RNs WILL rise in status. The recent surge in RN pay is analagous to how doctors were able to raise their paychecks earlier in the 20th century. RNs successfully put up greater educational barriers to entry, restricted their numbers, and formed powerful unions (AMA in the case of docs). Doctor incomes have come down in the past few decades, especially in contrast to the fact that intelligence has generally been rewarded more and more handsomely in other fields, particularly finance. Time will tell if RNs will be able to cement their recent gains. But my feeling is that RN salary will be brought down by the construction of more nursing schools (the word is out that nurses make nice money and every University wants a nursing school) and by the importation of foreign nurses. In medicine, foreign medical graduates must complete a residency in America before they can practice, which creates a gigantic bottleneck that prevents their mass entry.

wait-what happened to female hypergamy???

Half Sigma, when are you going to lay off the proles?

What's the big deal if your dad is a cop or a firefighter? Plenty of successful people came from modest backgrounds and many people from upper class backgrounds have become screw-ups. Categorizing people into rigid classes is ridiculous given the complexity of the human condition.

Lloyd Blankfein, Howard Schultz, Larry Ellison, George Soros, and Carl Icahn, came from prole backrounds but would clearly be upper class to most people, what does it matter?

Many nurses have an Associates (2 year) degree, an RN. BSN is when they have a 4 year degree, usually from a local college. You are absolutely correct, that nursing is a prole profession, probably "high prole" with a BSN. Anyone that is even Middle Class and gets into nursing by mistake, quickly becomes an NP, CRNA, Case Manager or Nurse Manager (Master's degree level nursing).

I am not surprised at all with this. It is actually very common for someone with a middle class job to be engaged to a prole, as long as they retain a similar income. In most parts of the country, high proles and middle class people are only distinguishable by career.

I wouldn't consider nursing to be a "borderline prole" profession as it is actually a fairly prestigious job compared to most blue collar jobs. People aspire to be nurses and that is one of the main factors that separates middle and working class jobs.

Most people split the middle class into the upper middle and middle classes. I actually think there are three middle classes. Nurses would be members of the lower middle class as are most teachers, secretaries, engineers, and management in construction or factories. The "Middle middle" class would consist of office management as well as some doctors and lawyers but never surgeons or corporate upper management.

A fair number of professors I've met actually respect high proles, as long as they can carry on an intelligent conversation. Penis envy, I suppose.

HS is right that nurse/cop/etc... are prole. What HS doesn't realize is that people in the western US have traditionally been unaware of class. Class systems solidify when people are abundant and opportunity is scarce. That is how it has been in New York, but until very recently the west was the land of boundless opportunity, and thus where was no need for classes to be defined.

So things are much more blended. My Californian family includes people would would be considered upper class (incredibly rich factory owners, senior government officials), middle class (scientists, engineers, artists, teachers), and prole (nurses, gardeners, retail). No one is really aware of it except in extreme cases (retail).

Yes these people tend to have slightly different taste, and tend to marry people who have similar jobs, etc... all the indicators of class. The difference is that this is all operating at a subconscious level, rather than in the rigid caste system of New York. When people are unaware of class they don't stick to the script. They don't send their kids to the "right" schools. Class posturing doesn't benefit you when the vast majority of people around you are unaware of class. People in New York go to certain restaurants etc... to send class signals. People from the west have traditionally (this is changing very quickly) not picked up those signals. So buying the "right" salad or whatever isn't going to score you brownie points.

Of course I am talking more about the California from before the 60s.

"I have contempt for most doctors, too, having gone to medical school with about a hundred of them. Most doctors are really effete, soulless, meek, SWPL, status-obsessed, workaholic, obsessive-compulsive, awful people."

You're religious, traditionalist, anti-SWPL and come from a more blue-collar/flyover country Canadian background. Might any of that color your feelings about doctors, Samson? And are you so certain that you wouldn't have contempt for nurses or any other collection of people had you been unfortunate enough to attend school with them?

Doctors are represented by shows like "House" as important alpha males who make life saving decisions under pressure and are masters of their jobs.

Nurses are represented by shows like "Nurse Jackie". They are proles with drug addictions. Note that nurse Jackie (in the pilot I saw) didn't like doctors because they were stuck up.

I also think it's useful to define prole at this time. Many people define "prole" in terms of poor/lower middle class. However, HS's definition of prole includes many high earning jobs with low levels of credentialed education. Many of these people would fall into what a lot of people call middle class. So his classes mostly become prole & upper middle only (with a few low earning college grads as "middle class".

"The upper middle class seek self-actualization from their careers."

This is the money quote. People from the upper middle class and above want jobs that somehow represent them as people and give them a purpose in life. Proles/middle class mainly just want to maximize an earnings/work formula and leave work at home so they can engage in hedonism in their off time.

HS,

When I was working in healthcare and had to carry a pager, I receive a call in the middle of the night from a internal medicine resident. After the call, my wife said who called and when I said DR XXX, my wife (who worked for the same Healthcare system) ask me if it was the Mr. or the Mrs.

I had so many physicians who were married to each other that I always referred to them as Dr Mr or Dr Mrs to keep them straight.

Also, the way nurses are schedule at inpatient facilities (three 12-hour schedules a week) they rarely see the same residents or fellows.

Also, many nurses are married to each other because they are around each other all of the time.

And last, many tier one universities have nursing schools (Penn, UVA, Michigan, UT-Austin, etc) but one must remember that a nurse from UVA oir Michigan does not get anymore to work as a nurse than a graduate from any other program. The only advantage of the tier one is the chance to go back to school to get the PhD in nurses or the medical MBA.

"while it's true that you're not likely to hear nurses talking about which books have been short listed for the Man Booker prize at the nurses station, you're not likely to hear physicians talking about that either."

That's an interesting observation. My father is a physician and has read very few non-medical books throughout his professional career. I don't know whether he might have wanted to do so, but he had interests in the natural sciences before his medical career and nearly chose to pursue a Ph.D. Regardless, he has never had any time for hobbies like reading. Medicine has been all-consuming.

"I still am of the opinion that James’s mother is from a prole background and has only an average IQ (just smart enough to graduate from nursing school),"

Intellectually average women can produce highly intelligent sons because male IQ variance is much higher than female IQ variance. The math genius Unabomber had a mediocre IQ mother and father and Newton - the greatest scientific genius of all time - was born to a mediocre mother.

Given the dramatically increasing cost of college I am skeptical that most upper middle class students are interested in "self actualization" rather than in getting degrees that might actually lead to jobs. Unless Mommy and Daddy are seriously loaded, they're unlikely to pay the full cost of college, requiring their college-bound progeny to take out student loans. And there's nothing like the prospect of a substantial future loan burden to make marketable fields look more and more attractive.

"Nursing as a major is prole because it’s strictly vocational. The upper middle class seek college majors that are more theoretical".

Isn't HS in IT? IT is vocational, and it has its share of proles, low tier Jews and of course Asians.

HS , how would you define a prole? I would think that someone with a PhD in statistics would not be considered a prole.

I know someone with a PhD in stats who is married to a nurse. Nice couple. Most RNs that I know are married to teachers, engineers, accountants...generally to people with a 4 year degree.


My niece is a surgeon and she is married to someone in management who has , I believe, a 4 year degree. I asked her once if she wanted to marry a surgeon and she said NO WAY. Then she told a joke: what is the difference between a surgeon and God? Ans: God doesn't think he is a surgeon.


I'm beginning to think prolishness is in the eye of the beholder.

"undergrad medical degrees like much of the rest of the world"

For the most part, those aren't 4-year degrees. Under the British system, also adopted in some former colonies, the medical degree takes around 6 years because there is still the need to cover some prerequisite basic science material before the medicine-specific basic science courses. U.S. students take those courses as undergraduates. Then, there is still a long period of internship/residency-equivalent training after the degree.

"Prole" is more cultural and attitudinal than anything.

I have to echo the sentiments of Half Sigma that Nursing is very prole. Due my lack of effort and my unfortunate circumstances I have turned to nursing to net me a stable income. I very low prole. Unlike alot of my prole counterparts, I enjoy many different intellectual pursuits. Eventually I will become a CRNA making 150 K. Good thing about my career choice I will retire with little debt and be able to buy a house far away from Nams and white proles. I also live in the south where the cost of living is extremely low in comparison to many northern states. BTW, I have no contempt for doctors because I respect the hard work and dedication they put into getting into medical school.

to chris P.
I don't think half sigma is hostile to proles, he just has to describe the class system.
Perhaps the term "working class" or "wage earner" would be more appropriate.

Still I don't see how a cop is prole, it seems the typical middle class career. They work for the ruling class, they have relatively high status, they have authority, they have to go thru the police academy. It requires at least a 2 year college degree or military service.

ASDF,

Dr. House was a drug addict too.

Report from the Midwest:

I grew up in small Midwest town that had a fairly successful national (in and out of Fortune 500)company located there. A daughter of a top exec there (who was pretty hot) became an RN. She married a lawyer I think.

Another RN chick from town who would have to be described as having a prole background (her mom lived in an apartment below my dad for a few years and she was a raving drunk)married a doctor. This chick was a total piece of ass though.

So I think who an RN marries probably is very dependent on the number of available mates in the vicinity. They generally might not be as intellectually cultured as a doctor but if a doctor has limited options and can't find a hot, refined chick; he'll usually pick a hot prole RN over a plain refined chick.

Nurses frequently have way more scheduling flexibility than do doctors---or, frankly, almost any other profession. Particularly if you're in a hot market like Florida, it is one of the professions most suited for raising a family of your own if you are a woman.

Doctors are nerds. And what's this obsession with status and class? Prole? This isn't 1932; who talks like this?

addendum...
or at least I hope HS isn't being disdainful of proles, he will regret it.
I can't imagine why anyone would not respect proles after all they have done.

Of course ideology and the just world phenomenon demand that this shooter must have been "mentally ill".

You're absolutely right that this guy would have had a girlfriend or wife 50 years ago.

Times change. Humans don't change. Civilization in general and present day American civilization in particular...it isn't clear this is something for which adaptation is a virtue.

See the Unibomber manifesto.

In America it is possible to do very well in school and be an idiot, and it is possible to do very poorly and be brilliant.

Grades in the American and Canadian sense do not exist in the rest of the world. They are short term and subjective rather than cummulative and objective.

The entire rest of the world depends on these cummualtive objective measures.

The result is that the Merican elite has many pushy grade grubbers.

Nurses make more than high school teachers but I would be willing to bet high school teachers have higher IQs. At least in non failing school districts.

@n/a

Nobody besides this little blogosphere.

But will you tell me that the distinctions expressed here do not exist? That the rich do not secretly disdain the idleness, slavishness and sloth of the poor, that the poor do not envy and despise the rich, especially those that have attained there riches through the talents which render them superior, that we do not segregate ourselves according to class and race, that our dear New York Jew today, just as he did in 1930, obsess over his place in society and that our society is not sharply divided amongst economic lines, albeit lines that have become a bit more complicated now that they have faded into our collective subconsciousness?

All we do is try to be honest.

As someone from a prole background, I want to let you know I agree with much of your argument.

My dad was a trucker and my mom was a waitress. My old man was Ozark white trash. My mom was Appalachian white trash. So, I'm sort of bi-trashal, if you will.

Here's the thing. After college, I went into computers. Thankfully, I turned that into my own business with database work. And I turned the database stuff into analytics and the analytics into trading. I regularly have stretches where I'm making back four to six dollars on every dollar I invest, within months.

Thing is, I eventually had to go and make a clean break with the white trash upbringing. And that's hard to do. So, I went for a big, expensive, month-long solo trip to Europe and basically never slept, alternating between touristing in the day and partying andwomanizing at night.

The thing that's funny is for me my big break through was when I decided to lay down $400 in Barcelona at a single club. Understand, that's a massive psychic fucking break waiting to happen for a kid whose family at time got by on damn near nothing, especially after my dad died.

The big break for me came when I was muttering about how dumb it was to spend $400 like that. And the lady serving me just looked at me and said, "But, you have it to spend."

Don't ask me how that cut through all the bullshit. But, it did. For me, that was the moment where I realized that all that working poor bullshit before didn't matter.

When you're talking about this Holmes kid, there is something to be said for the notion that he couldn't jump that gap from prole life to success. I say from experience, it requires at some point you just step back and accept that yes, dammit, I've got it and it's mine to spend.

Just a thought from a recovering prole.


Medicine is not the most difficult of the STEM majors in my opinion. It is definitely more complex than law but much easier than engineering. Besides the complex surgical procedures, it is mostly rote memorization. I am sure many medical students may disagree but it is true. Most of the USMLE STEP 1 is basic chemistry, biology, genetics and some organic chemistry.

Let us not forget that many of the doctors in your local hospitals probably went to less competitive Caribbean schools because they could not get into American medical schools. Devry, the diploma mill, bought Ross medical, which is a Caribbean medical school. Trust me people who could barely pass Paramedic school have went to foreign medical schools and know are practicing medicine in America. Most of the fortunate medical students who are able to get into John Hopkins or an ivy medical school are not the ones working in a hospital. Much of the doctors in my area are either foreigners or white kids from middle-middle socio-economic backgrounds.

"You couldn't pay me to marry any of the docs I know. The only single ones I meet are either a$$es or gay or old. – fergus51 "

The award for the least aware comment goes to fergus51.

The only single doctors are the ones with crippling social handicaps - that implies that doctors are undesirable as husbands? What?


Who cares if Half sigma is being disrespectful to proles. Truth is their culture is awful and drags American down to third-world status. I am a prole myself and can personally attest to the degeneracy that exists within white southern prole culture. Many of these same proles hate Nams but their culture is every bit as degenerate.

The nurses who claim to not be attracted to doctors are suffering from a case of sour grapes.

Thrasymachus:

"The problem here is you're stretching the term "prole" upward to an unjustifiable degree. How is a firefighter or a police officer a prole? Firefighting is one of the highest prestige positions, period."

There are high prestige jobs that aren't upper middle class or above.

Everyone admires actors, sports stars and models but those positions carry no class implication (more and more being a successful actor / actress carries the implication that you have an upper class background (not upper middle, which is different) because of the increasing degree of nepotism in entertainment which indicates that your parents socialized with people who produce entertainment (n.b. the cast of Girls)).

A guy who drops out of high school to join the Navy and become a SEAL is extremely high prestige but doesn't move into the upper middle class by virtue of that prestige.

"Normal" prole jobs are lower prestige than "normal" upper middle class jobs but not all prole jobs are normal. Prole jobs have two elements that are always missing in middle class jobs: physical labor and entry for people with community college degrees. If you have to lift things or touch people at work, you're not middle class.

I think of nursing as middle class, not working class. Working class means no college degree. Not surprising nurses marry firemen and cops. They are middle class too, and are usually very masculine, which is appealing to the 105 IQ set of women.

My doctor friend is (... or was) married to a nurse.

Doctors don't marry nurses a lot, and vice versa, because there is a big IQ gap between the groups (on the average of course). Just visit a hospital and you will see this IQ gap. If a single male doctor finds a hot nurse who also has a higher IQ, he would chase her in a heartbeat if he can. I think it has less to do with social class. There are plenty of odd-ball doctors, and their quirks cancel out any social class standing.

HS should do a post on what he considers to be upper middle class.

Also, being upper middle class has to do partly with your value set. From this point of view there are teachers who are upper middle class and lawyers who are very prole.

So you must weigh values, income, education, and occupation to determine social class. And too, something never discussed, doesn't IQ impact social class? I notice that even among family the higher IQ people seek each other out because they feel they have more to say to each other. Doesn't being less dull also push one up in social class.

HS may weight income and occupational status too highly for determining social class.

Most nurses have massive inferiority complexes. HS is right, for the most part they are prole. If you ask a nurse for her opinion on any current topic, she will flap her lips for quite awhile. As you can imagine, most of it is nonsense. Nurses hate doctors because doctors remind them of their average IQ and 'less than' status. Engineers aren't as big of a threat because 'that's math,' which is a whole different language and something most people don't feel bad about lacking. Cops, obviously, are morons on average who make the nurse feel 'accomplished' and 'smart.'

Also, slightly above average to good looking doctors/lawyers/anything are aggressively pursued by women--including nurses. Doctors tend to treat them as flings, and the nurses get burned, then learn to set their sights lower. I don't think people understand the sheer status boost those professions give to a normal looking man. I'd say it's probably the equivalent of growing four inches.

"Doctors are nerds."

Nope, they tend, as someone above noticed, to be soulless, venal, status-seeking, social and extroverted. Especially in the low-end medical professions, such as dentistry or psychiatry.

"Nurses primarily come from prole backgrounds, and never from upper middle class backgrounds. You will never see someone from an upper middle class family want to become a nurse."

Bull. I see it all the time.

"Nursing as a major is prole because it’s strictly vocational. The upper middle class seek college majors that are more theoretical."

Once upon a time, doctors and lawyers were seen as "strictly vocational." That's why WASPs let Jews into the profession; only someone not rich enough to own land would become a doctor or lawyer. For example, Jefferson and Hamilton both studied law, but since Hamilton was a bastard from the Carribean he actually had to practice law. But the high pay led to high status. Either way, I doubt you would say a Jewish doctor from the 1800s was a "prole."

"Nursing, as a career, is seen as something unglamorous that you do strictly for the money. The upper middle class seek self-actualization from their careers."

Are Urologists "prole"? Not much glamor or self-actualization there.

"Why would anyone become a nurse if they can become a doctor?"

Oh, let me see...a woman who isn't a status whore can make 81k with 2-4 years of schooling that she can get at the state U. for 4k/year in tuition. Or she can spend 8 years in college and med school, with at least 4 more years of residency, so that she has to wait until her mid-30s to start making real money. Some people care about settling down someday and having a family before they need IVF.

"Only about half of nurses have BSN's, HS. Plenty of nurses work their whole careers with just a two year degree.

Compared to the preening, degree-collecting pussies hiding at the university, I find their willingness to get to work refreshing. But yeah, they're not intellectuals or artistes or anything like that." - jeanne


One my cousins is a super credentialed nurse and she's already in management despite only being in her mid-20s. A lot of the older nurses and less credentialed staff are extremely envious and resentful. Credentials and prestige matter even in nursing.

Half Sigma got rejected by a hot nurse recently and now he is venting by calling all nurses proles.

"Lloyd Blankfein, Howard Schultz, Larry Ellison, George Soros, and Carl Icahn, came from prole backrounds but would clearly be upper class to most people, what does it matter?" - Chris


You do realize that the people you listed came of age at the right time and place? Nowadays? STEM grads can barely find employment. Despite what anyone here says prestige does matter in STEM. I know a guy who can barely find work and he tells me the top STEM jobs are going to guys who's father's are engineers. In today's marketing economy social BS rules the day.

http://www.calicocat.com/marketing_economy.htm

I just took a look at the GSS.


**Who do doctors marry? (n=282)**

-Top 6 professions:
Medical doctors (n=20)
Nursing and midwifery professionals (n=8)
Secretaries (n=5)
Physiotherapists (and related) (n=4)
Primary education teaching professionals (n=4)
College, university and higher education teacher (n=4)

**Who do nurses marry?**

-Top 10 professions:
Productions and operations department managers (n=32)
Medical doctors (n=14)
Metal worker nec, Non farm foremen (n=10)
Nursing and midwifery professionals (n=9)
Electrical engineers (n=7)
General managers in wholesale and retail trade (n=6)
Computing systems designers and analysts (n=6)
Personnel and careers professionals (n=6)
Police officers (n=6)
Heavy truck and lorry drivers (n=6)

HS

I saw this and thought of you. What do you think of this Scott Brown ad? Do Obama and Warren excite you with their rhetoric?

http://hotair.com/archives/2012/07/23/new-brown-ad-attacks-warren-over-you-didnt-build-it-argument/

I think it's that, particularly in NYC, a lot of livability is escaping the NAM proles who disrupt your life with noise, crime, etc. Also with the absence of a middle class you can conflate prole and middle class--HS seems to me to be lower-upper-middle. Also remember that he went to Penn. Nothing turns you into a class-obsessed snob like going to an Ivy and not getting rich...

Outside of NYC proles are often all right people. And, yeah, they do the dirty and dangerous work so SWPLs can have their arugula salad. No question there.

while you are right that the profession overall is prole, i know a large number of upper middle class girls who are nurses and two true blue upper class (heiresses to shit you've heard of) girls who are nurses

DaveinHackensack,

I've never seen the show House, and only one episode of Nurse Jackie. However, House is spoofed a great deal in popular media and the impression I get is that House is cool and to be respected. I did not get that vibe from nurse jackie.

"Given the dramatically increasing cost of college I am skeptical that most upper middle class students are interested in "self actualization" rather than in getting degrees that might actually lead to jobs. Unless Mommy and Daddy are seriously loaded, they're unlikely to pay the full cost of college, requiring their college-bound progeny to take out student loans. And there's nothing like the prospect of a substantial future loan burden to make marketable fields look more and more attractive".


College will be so expensive, but so expensive that, in 2025, all the degrees will be strictly vocational, except at the Ivies.

In 2025, the degree will cost between US$ 600,000 (cheap state) to US$ 1,000,000 (elite LACs). The liberal arts are dead when people start owing upwards of 500,000 to study them

"not entirely uncommon among people with doctorate degrees in Statistics": how many of those do you know, Siggie?

People love doctors on TV because they are portrayed by smooth socially skilled actors who could make any profession seem attractive. Its also a high status, high income profession.

The reality is most doctors are annoying nerds with terrible social skills, big egos, and pushy personalities.

I think nurses dislike doctors because they have to deal with them regularly. I've heard the same thing from other higher status females who have had to deal with them regularly.

Women who don't deal with doctors regularly will still think of the image as very attractive. Of course there will be exceptions and charismatic doctors, but thats not typical. And all doctors are probably getting a status boost from their profess, its just not enough with typical nurses.

I think HS may be trolling a bit, since it is silly to call someone with a doctoral degree in mathematics a clueless prole.

This is interesting stuff; I wonderw hy nurse / doctor pairings are uncommon yet it's a cliche that high-powered business executives marry their secretaries.

Most of these "proles' are the same people who have played an enormous role in building and maintaining the Anglosphere nations. They being a majority, have made those countries desirable places for status seeking ingrate mercantile minorities.

Not that I like prolishness myself.

"Why would anyone become a nurse if they can become a doctor? Nurses are people who are either not smart enough for medical school, or have a low future-time orientation (they want to start earning money as soon as possible and not “waste” time on edumacation), or come from a family background that makes them feel that they can’t afford medical school, in other words a prole family background."

And this is the problem with the whole "class junkie" attitude...it assumes that career, money, and life (or at least the highest expression of these things) are essentially this rather autistic and algorithmic climb up a ladder that, in real life, doesn't exist in many situations...and not just because the people involved are too dumb for ambition.

It's such a cute outlook...when I read some of the commentary on this site it's as if postmodernism just hadn't happened.

My wife started out in pre-med, kicked ass, got a closer look at the field from the inside and decided that she just didn't want to do it. After floating around a bit she decided on dental hygiene as an alternative to the traditional nursing type jobs. She went through hygiene school, once again kicked ass, everyone just assumed she'd choose to continue on to dental school, but, once again, she didn't.

Now, it's not that my wife isn't career-minded, driven, etc. It's not that she isn't intelligent. It's not even that she doesn't have the means to go to medical or dental school. She just-*gasp!*-didn't want to do it.

Let me tell you about the dentists she works with. There's one guy that owns her office (along with about eight others in the area) and the dentists who work for him. The owner is rich and the others make only about 50-75% more than my wife.

The thing is, that 50-75% doesn't mean anything to us because her salary is already more than twice the average in our city, and real estate in particular is super cheap. As I said in my previous comment, we own a nice new SUV, have nice phones with generous plans, are shopping for a house in the country of about 2000 sq. ft which we plan on remodeling from roof to basement with designer accoutrement. These houses are generally on lots of about half an acre to an acre on gorgeous rolling hills. On top of this, we currently put $27k a year directly into savings/growth investments. That's after traveling throughout the year, a few rather expensive hobbies, etc.

Half (probably more) of the people our age (late 20s-early 30s) that we know, even the ones with more "theoretical" degrees, would be happy to EARN $27k a year, much less have that much left over. There's gotta be a joke there somewhere...be careful with those theoretical majors...they often lead to theoretical jobs!

Do the dentists still make more than my wife? Yes. They have slightly nicer homes and cars, etc. But as far as what we want out of life, and the game plan my which we plan to achieve it, what more could she or I ask for? And, yeah, not that education is a waste of time, but the dentists about her age are just starting while we've established a nice life and have a respectable net worth. Right now we each have a pet project going...she's planning a large family trip to Nantucket next summer (we're paying for the whole thing, 25 people) and I'm publishing my own graphic novel. But I suppose we're proles because I hunt and she enjoys a few TV shows, right? Because we own mid-level cars and not luxury models? Because I'm not painfully self-conscious about how I dress?

But the dentists also have much greater liability, variability in pay, stress, and pressure from the owner. Their hours are less predictable and virtually every one of them has gotten themselves locked into a lifestyle they'd be hard pressed to maintain if some kind of hardship befell them. Meanwhile, my wife and I are enjoying a rich and stable life. Might it have something to do with our just maybe having a superior attitude toward things like money and life in general?

By the way, my father had a great career on the local fire department and with a little help from the dot com boom retired a millionaire in his mid 40s with a nice pension.

But we're proles because we no ambition or ability and we live in areas where people don't have to be stacked on each other.

Here's an idea. The whole point of the U.S., at least in recent times, is that you don't have to engage in that autistic, algorithmic approach to life in order to achieve a standard of living that isn't merely comfortable, but really quite lovely with lots of freedom and opportunity. That's not just a middle class mentality, it's the basis for the greatness of our nation.

Insider wrote:

"Most nurses have massive inferiority complexes"

I couldn't agree more.

I, for one, dislike dealing with nurses. They come across as unnecessarily abrupt and defensive (and I'm talking basic non-stressful situations here). Maybe my geeky demeanor reminds them of the doctors they can't stand dealing with, who knows? I'm not basing this one one or two nurses, but many, MANY, in different locations. Bottom line, I find conversations with doctors more informative and enjoyable.
Nurses are prole, because 1) the nurse demographic is very similar to what you see in the police, fire-fighters and military, and 2) if you sit down and chat with most nurses, their interests are heavily prole. The people who say "oh but I know an upper middle class girl who went to nursing school" really don't understand AVERAGES.

This comment from one of the nurses in the forum: "I would think 1/10 doctors is worth talking to. – leesonlpn" is very interesting. And my answer to that is, NO, it's not that a doctor is not worth talking to, it's just that the IQ differences mean there's very little mutual interests between a nurse and doctor. When they do have free time, doctors interests tend to be more high brow (which will be perceived as boring to a prole-background nurse). Doctors will also tend to travel to places a prole nurse will consider "scary" or "too far away", even if she can afford it (they're happy to go on Caribbean cruises or Disney).

I know several doctor-nurse couples in my parents' generation. None whatsoever in my own.

I'd say registered nurses are more lower middle class while certified nursing assistants (CNAs) are definitely prole. I'd say from the 1980s and prior, registered nurses were more prolish due to the lower barrier to entry compared to the present. From what I understand, CNA certification wasn't standardized until 1987. Prior to that, I think (correct me if I'm wrong) registered nurses most of the dirty work.

Can anyone speak about the apparent shortage of nurses? Is this really true? If it is, why do schools severely restrict the amount of nursing students they admit and have long waiting lists? Why are the qualifications for nursing school insanely high? Some require a near 4.0 gpa in pre req courses. Also, do you think nurses are paid too much or too little? Would you say the work they do justifies an $80k+ per year salary?

I assume you've seen thsi article about whether medical school pays off for women:

http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2012/07/is-medical-school-a-worthwhile-investment-for-women/260051/

prole = living outside of Manhattan

:-)

So far at least two people in this thread have called doctors nerds. That shows a great deal of ignorance about both groups. Doctors are doctors entirely because they seek status to the point where they will give up everything else. Nerds are nerds entirely because they are unaware of the role of status in society. The two groups could not be any more different.

"Who cares if Half sigma is being disrespectful to proles. Truth is their culture is awful and drags American down to third-world status."

But the rich white kid who speeds down residential streets in his Lexus SUV is someone we should all aspire too? That's culture!

"they want to start earning money as soon as possible and not “waste” time on edumacation"

So friggin what!? Maybe they don't want to waste time getting brainwashed by weirdo, liberal, humanist freaks w/ PhDs and take useless classes about early French history or Sociology.

I am surprised that HS didn't mention the one factor that makes nursing an inescabably prole career (though one commenter did touch on it briefly): Nurses must not only touch strangers regularly, but also deal with their bodily fluids. They have to clean up other people's shit and urine and blood. Even with the assistance of orderlies, even in positions of senority, nurses can never escape this aspect of their job. In fact, I would argue that nursing has become even more prole in the past few decades, because the non-prole population has spent that time segregating itself ever more successfully from the sights and smells of physical decay, to the point that they regard any contact with strangers to be an hysteria-inducing violation of their dignity. To be in a job that requires daily immersion in that decay is to unambiguously signal your exclusion from the non-prole elites.

My wife (a theater artist and former college professor) has a longtime friend who is a nurse. Now single, she has had two husbands - the first a sadistic, six-foot-eight cop who beat her regularly, and the second an alcoholic Vietnam vet and middle school shop teacher who would call up the parents of his students and drunkenly harangue them about how stupid their kids were. Her only daughter (by the six-foot-eight cop) gave birth out of wedlock after maintaining a D average in high school. This lady is actually a bright woman with considerable taste in antiques, a lively interest in history and a certain Southern charm, but otherwise prole to the core.

Half Sigma seems to categorize every American as either prole or upper middle class, with almost nobody occupying the great middle ground. That Half Sigma is talking about whom nurses MARRY strongly implies that nurses are middle class. True proles don't marry.

The few nurses I know are are between prole and lower-middle class. They tend to enjoy shopping at Wal-Mart, eating at the most popular chains, reading mainstream publications such as Newsweek and Time, following mainstream trends from health (Dr. Oz)to money management (Suze Orman, Clark Howard) to politics (tend to be mainstream republican or democrat) and on and on. I suppose such middle of the road people are attracted to nursing because it's often touted among various MSM outlets as being a hot career "growing faster than average". Mainstream wisdom is there's a nursing shortage with many aging boomers needing care for years to come plus many older nurses retiring. Nursing is heralded as a stable job that pays well and is quite flexible in terms of scheduling and where one practices geographically. Most middle-class and above aren't attracted to nursing because, let's face it, it's a highly physically and mentally demanding job. One with more refined tastes tend to prefer something less messy and stressful. You won't find that many nurse SWPLs. I'd say maybe 10% can be considered genuine SWPLs.

Someone should do a study to see what people of various profession 'like' on Facebook.

Assortative mating at work. People tend to marry with similar IQ. In pew research, it shows similar pattern with interracial marriage too.


http://www.cartoon-links.com/sex/the-sex-partners-of-rich-men-have-more-orgasms.html

Wealthy high IQ people do have more orgasm at end.

nurses aren't prole, at least not the ones who work in blue cities. the nurse and the NP i dated were both smarter than average, maybe considerably so, and both were making more than the median american family income. the NP was making into the six digits at the ripe age of 27. neither of them had gauche tastes in fashion or home decor. if that's prole, then prole has come to mean everyone making less than the top 1%.

it would be a mockery of fussell's class designation hierarchy to include nurses as part of the unschooled, lower middle class and lower class prole ranks. perhaps if we expand our categorization to nurses in all occupational levels in all locales, an argument could be made that nursing is high prole. but i'd stick with it being a solidly middle class field, and one that attracts a majority of women (few men) who are above average in IQ and conscientiousness.

(contrary to your assertion, HS, it actually does require a fair amount of future time orientation to choose and study a field which will pay dividends for years to come. the desire to MAKE MONEY NOW is not necessarily an indication of low conscientiousness or short time horizons, else hedge funders would all be impulsive, live-for-now, low IQ thugs. if you're up for it, HS, you could find data that breaks out the number of nams in all the nursing fields. that should clue you in to how prole, or not, nursing on the whole really is, as nams will not be found in very significant numbers in fields that are higher status than prole.)

as for nurses dating, or not dating, doctors... it's true that nurses don't date or marry doctors at the rates that would be expected by their shared working environment and occupational choice (life sciences). but if you've known any doctors you quickly realize why that is -- most docs have ZERO game. i mean, they are pathetic nerds. they rely entirely on their job status to win women, and that shit don't really fly if you don't back it up with some charm and intriguing aloofness. nurses, like most women, love men who can sweep them off their feet. they aren't so keen on men who do nothing but resume drop as their first, second and third acts.

(surgeons are different. they are typically very alpha and aggressive, and those male traits turn women on.)

many commenters are making the mistake that doctors, and men in general, are that concerned about women's smarts or accomplishments. men, for the most part, don't give a rat's ass about women's IQs, until the discrepancy reaches a couple of sigmas, at which point it becomes intolerable to communicate with the person without facepalming. men care first and foremost about women's looks, and would, given the opportunity, free choice, convenience, and removal of social opprobrium, date and even marry hot waitresses who weren't too dumb to relate to.

if nurses are, on average, truly that much dumber than doctors, than that might partly explain why more of them don't marry each other. however, i think the more parsimonious explanations are the ones given to me by the NP i dated:

me: "i'm curious. you've never dated a doctor? strange."
her: "nope. they're workaholics. i don't want to be with a man who's never around."
me: "but the money..."
her: "so what? i make money. plus, most doctors are boring."
me: "tough crowd."
her: "and, you know something else? i want to leave work at work. i don't want my job coming home with me 24/7, which would happen if i dated a doctor."

nurses have a very stressful job in some important respects... patients are dying on them all the time. dating and marrying a doctor means that they have to emotionally deal with that dying twice as much as they would otherwise. so they tend to date non-doctors who can take them away, however briefly, from the specter of death that follows them all day on the job.

'a woman who isn't a status whore can make 81k with 2-4 years of schooling that she can get at the state U'

Most nurses do not make 81k. You can't take the 98th percentile as representative of the entire profession.

Bad Santa's numbers seem to back up my earlier post. Nurses -do- want to marry doctors, and they -do- pursue them. However, it seems like doctors give nurses the cold shoulder because nurses are too prole. This leads to nurses saying face-saving nonsense like 'oh, I would -never- want to marry a doctor blah blah blah' like all women do.

to add a little spice to the mix, it should also be noted that all this talk about nurses not dating/marrying doctors says nothing about the torrid affairs and trysts that nurses may have with docs. the trash tv shows aren't that far off in this respect -- hospitals are filled with rumors and innuendos of utility closet copulations in between shifts. so the sexual market rules that would predict hot nurses hooking up with high status docs may not be overturned at all; remember that the sexual market and the marriage market, while overlapping, are nonetheless two distinct entities, and never more so than in this day and age of escape-from-nam-york-fueled cognitive stratification.

'I think nurses dislike doctors because they have to deal with them regularly. I've heard the same thing from other higher status females who have had to deal with them regularly.'

I would submit that this is for the same reason people, on average, dislike dealing with lawyers. It's not because Doctors or Lawyers are socially awkward. It's because people hate dealing with people who are noticeably smarter than they are.

A nurse probably has around average (100-110) IQ. A doctor probably has an average IQ above the 98th percentile. So, even the 'bright' nurses are a standard deviation below the average doctor.

Further, high status females have the same issues but worse. A high status female is used to being everything 'great' to everyone. Anyone who conflicts with this worldview earns immediate scorn.

There's a reason why people pair off with people of similar intellect...

"cops are highly selected and trained"

I don't live in NYC, but I guess I'm snobbish enough not to understand how anyone can maintain this position. At least in larger cities, police hiring is controlled by "disparate impact" theory, which precludes applying any objective fail standard to blacks and latinos. In practice, this means that any black without a felony record can get a cop job. Incidentally, I took the SF cop exam in '97, and the written test is pitched at 7th grade level. Conceivably, one might say that white men who survive after preferences for blacks, latinos, gays and women are high quality, i.e. the same process that applies with college admissions. But cops generally? Please explain your reasoning.

I took a philosophy of science class in college that had a few nursing Ph.D. students in it, because it was one of their pre-reqs -- would those nurses, reading about Karl Popper, et. al., be considered prole by Siggie? Or would that depend on whether they actually cared about philosophy or were just grinding through it to get their degrees?

BSNs are not prole anymore. They tend to be middle class females and a growing number of middle class men. They are often white or a better performing black or hispanic. Nursing is a very complicated discipline and someone not interested in career and/or advancement would not have the dedication to put up with it.

LPNs, who don't work in hospitals but in nursing homes usually, are the prole core that used to produce RNs. They are often black or hispanic. Sometimes they are prole whites who have been LPNs forever and don't want to change or older white women attempting to start a new career.

As you may be able to tell I am a nurse. I am married but have that "He's Married" type of flirting all the time and the occasional regrettable tryst in the past. Most of the other nurses are not interested in doctors. They tend to be "street smart" when it comes to medicine rather than "book smart" like doctors and this translates into relationships. Not that they don't sleep with doctors, because they do, but they don't marry them.

"I am surprised that HS didn't mention the one factor that makes nursing an inescabably prole career (though one commenter did touch on it briefly): Nurses must not only touch strangers regularly, but also deal with their bodily fluids."

You don't think physicians have to do that too? As for cleaning up bodily fluids, in my experience, ICU RNs do that (non-ICU nurses often delegate that stuff to LPNs or CNAs), but they are real champs. When a couple of them cleaned me up after I projectile vomited on myself in bed, I wasn't wondering what their social statuses or IQs were; I was grateful for their competence and alacrity.

"Most nurses do not make 81k. You can't take the 98th percentile as representative of the entire profession."

Fine, this says 66k:

http://www1.salary.com/registered-nurse-Salary.html

Still a better deal for a woman who wants to marry, have kids, and own a home before the age of 40.

HS,

In most of your commentary I think you endorse the 1984 account of classes (bottom 85% = prole). Could you officially endorse this to end confusion?

DaveinHackensack -

"'Nurses must not only touch strangers regularly, but also deal with their bodily fluids.'

You don't think physicians have to do that too?"

Pretty much, no. Some med schools have students draw blood and such, some don't. More importantly, when a doctor touches a person it's a high status touch. He's either "bestowing healing" ("the hands of the King are the hands of a healer" - Tolkein) or getting information for a diagnosis - which is cognitive work, mysterious and high status (you don't know what's wrong with you and you're the one who owns that body).

When nurses touch people they do so in the context of servants. They do something for you - run an IV line, clean you, turn you over so you don't get bed sores. All these functions are important and likely to even be more important to your well being that the things that doctors are doing but they are low status.

Pretending that it isn't so doesn't change the way people perceive the different types of work (I didn't make the status rules, I just observe them) so don't complain that I'm denigrating nurses.

"When a couple of them cleaned me up after I projectile vomited on myself in bed, I wasn't wondering what their social statuses or IQs were; I was grateful for their competence and alacrity. "

People who aren't you just saw someone vomit and someone else clean it up. Admirable, but where does that place the two people on the status hierarchy?

'I took a philosophy of science class in college that had a few nursing Ph.D. students in it, because it was one of their pre-reqs -- would those nurses, reading about Karl Popper, et. al., be considered prole by Siggie?'

Irrelevant. Those nursing phd students do not represent the average nurse. Further, nursing students find themselves exposed to chemistry and biology in some capacity. This does not mean they are not prole. Most of them, if you ask them about school, will talk about how 'boring' those subjects are.

'Still a better deal for a woman who wants to marry, have kids, and own a home before the age of 40.'

It's 66k after a certain amount of experience. I guarantee you that 1st year nurses do not, on average, make 66k.

>" Nurses primarily come from prole backgrounds, and never from upper middle class backgrounds. You will never see someone from an upper middle class family want to become a nurse."

>"Nursing as a major is prole because it’s strictly vocational. The upper middle class seek college majors that are more theoretical."

>"Nursing, as a career, is seen as something unglamorous that you do strictly for the money. The upper middle class seek self-actualization from their careers."


You could say all that about engineers. I don't know if Thomas Friedman has a son, but if he does that son won't become a civil engineer. The overclass get careers where they can oversee other people, not do actual work themselves.

"Prole" seems to be one of those highly mutable terms which means very different things in different contexts.

It originally meant a member of the lowest social class. It is sometimes used in that sense around here. But often HS uses it to mean everybody who is not "Overclass". That is, at least 90% of Americans including the entire middle class are defined as "prole".

Note that only around 5% of Americans earn more than 100k/year.

My mother's high school guidance counselor told her (late 60s) that she could become either a nurse or a secretary, but that secretary was the better option because lawyers marry their secretaries, but doctors don't marry nurses.

The advice pissed her off, but that's what ended up happening.

Let me tell you about nurses circa the late 50s and early to mid 60s. That was when I was in college and grad school before I married. They were HOT and fun to be with. The only 10 I dated was a nurse and another 10 I only dreamed about as she was so stunning. I saw her one semester coming and going to class along with thirty or so other student nurses who were bused to and from campus for one class. I could not figure out how to meet her and never did. The first girl I fell in love with was a student nurse that i met one summer while I was working at a summer job. We were both too young but dated two summers in succession before going our separate ways, alas.

These nurses were typical girls of the time, before the feminist revolution. I found them as brainy as most coeds of the era but generally better looking.

I never married a nurse but did marry a fellow graduate student.

Dan Kurt

Steve Johnson,

You contradict this:

"Pretty much, no."

Two sentences later, with this:

"More importantly, when a doctor touches a person it's a high status touch."

So, we're agreed that physicians touch strangers regularly. As for it being a "higher status touch" -- if you insist. When I was in college, I had a job as a counselor at a group home for retarded senior citizens. One of my roles there was taking them to physician appointments, including an ENT who trimmed boogers out of their noses with a little pair of scissors. Would you consider that a "high status touch"?

"People who aren't you just saw someone vomit and someone else clean it up. Admirable, but where does that place the two people on the status hierarchy?"

It was actually three people -- me + two nurses. And I don't think my projectile vomiting on myself automatically made me higher-status than those who cleaned it up. What if I were a homeless vagrant? Would I be higher status than the nurses who cleaned up my vomit?

"you don't know what's wrong with you and you're the one who owns that body"

You could say the same about my car when it breaks down, and yet I doubt you consider mechanics to be high status. Physicians are mechanics of the human body. Granted, the human body is more complex than a car, and so physicians require more training.

A lot of the status physicians have comes from their profession having the highest average income, but with the rise of universal coverage in this country, combined with the increasing percentage of Americans (and resident aliens) who will be dependent on government to pay for their health care, most physician, nurse, and other allied health field incomes are going to face downward pressure as we move toward an effective monopsony market.

The next logical step will be to increase the numbers of physicians, by importing more foreigners (something the AMA has successfully resisted at the state level, by demanding even qualified foreign physicians repeat their residencies here) and by sending more Americans to foreign schools. That second part already seems to be happening, as I've been hearing ads on the radio soliciting applicants for an NYC program that's sending people to medical school in Grenada or somewhere, in return for them serving in NYC hospitals when they get back.

"Further, nursing students find themselves exposed to chemistry and biology in some capacity. This does not mean they are not prole. Most of them, if you ask them about school, will talk about how 'boring' those subjects are."

And did most physicians find chemistry exciting? Or did they just gut it out because they had to?

"You could say all that about engineers."

Engineering has another issue. Lots of folks call themselves "engineers" who don't have engineering degrees. And fewer people have heard of the P.E. designation than have heard of most other professional designations.

"Note that only around 5% of Americans earn more than 100k/year."

This graph shows what income percentile you're in given your income. Interesting.

http://politicalcalculations.blogspot.com/2010/12/whats-your-us-income-ranking.html

I think your theory suffers from a selective bias of the forum you visited and sample size.

From a quick google search there seems to be 3 million nurses in the US, around 600k doctors, around 800k policemen, and a million firemen. I know I didn't segregate the nurses into different levels or even bother to look up EMT's. I simply think your theory suffers from a simple statistical fallacy when you look at how many nurses there are compared to policemen and firemen to doctors. I'm not saying your entire idea is wrong, but I think your basic assumptions of nurses marrying policemen/firemen/EMT's or "proles" more often are wrong if you take it into percentage terms rather than absolute.

Half Sigma make some good points but is missing on distinction. If RNs are prole, then what are workers at McDonald's. If nurses with college degrees are prole, then what are lumberjacks? What are nurses who know the difference between colleges? Are they prole too?

The danger here is that in ascribing non-sophistication to people who are middle sophistication, but performing the most important jobs in society, you are actually denigrating them and their achievements. I worked briefly with a man whose father was the CEO of a major investment bank, his wife a Harvard-educated doctor who was directly related to the PM of Israel, he is directly related to one of the biggest producers in Hollywood and he is a Harvard and Yale graduate. He has degrees in art history and design. His father was always extremely pissed that he earned degrees that, in the words of his father, were "worthless" because what the hell can a man do with an art history degree. My association with this man really fucked me up, as it damaged my sense of self, and I am still recovering. His mother in-law's house on the North side of Chicago was stocked full of framed art that my middle class mind thought beautiful, but was otherwise ignorant of. This man was such a douche in so many ways, but sophisticated in many others.

I asked him for a recommendation for my MBA program. I am happy that I didn't submit it. In the recommendation, he wrote that I wasn't that smart (level 4 of 5), but my ability to birth ideas was second to none. At once the guy slammed me, but praised me. This is because, despite his high class, my comparatively prole-butt, was a damn genius whose opinions and concepts wowed some of the more powerful industrialists we met. So, in order to keep his mind clear, he had to classify me as only level four intelligence, but nevertheless possessive of some type of talent or trait that is worthy of minor effusion. I have no doubt that his desire to be upper class, and to protect that status within his psyche, was the result of his own inferiority complex in some way, shape or form. Contrast his billionaire father's attitude towards art history with his degree in that very subject. The simple fact is that major talents are not evenly distributed based on class alone. You may be smart enough to graduate medical school, but as a physician, you will meet patients with prole engineering jobs who are possessive of personality characteristics and other talents that shade your own. At this time, in order to maintain your internal pride, and not to become a bit f-cked up like I became, you turn to classism. Unfortunately, your classism doesn't alter the fact that some semi-prole is more talented or possessive of certain characteristics that are better than yours.

If you talk about proles and really wish to educate people, then you should find a way to balance things out. Otherwise, your message will be unnecessarily lost in a sea of hurt feelings.

The comments to this entry are closed.