By Linda Stout
When I first became involved in social justice movements in the 70’s, classism was a major barrier to people like me. As a low-income, rural woman, I found that when I joined the social justice movements of my time… the peace, women’s, and environmental movements, I lost my voice. People just assumed if you were part of these movements, you had a college education, spoke with “accepted” grammar, and looked like their idea of a “leader.” Without any of that, I was often ignored and overlooked. People would make reference to those stupid southerners, white trash, and trailer trash, meaning people like myself.
It was only from the women who were in the civil rights movement, often critical of the classism and sexism within that movement, that I found a home, a place of acceptance.