Hey look, everyone, it’s unpopular opinion puffin! This puffin will be giving her two cents on this awkward topic. What is with me and awkward topics lately…
This is so awkward of a topic that I just don’t even want to touch it with a ten-foot pole.
But I don’t want to bottle things too long. Sorry for the click-bait title. But then again, I could have baited much worst… 😉
#1 I don’t believe anyone gets to ‘pick their privilege’
…or ‘pick their race’ and our community certainly doesn’t get to pick our preferred diversity breakdown.
Got a high salary? Good! Oh wait….noooo, I’m too rich now to talk properly about saving and budgeting…
A lot of the commentary just makes it sound like somebody is just trying to discredit somebody else based on a superficial thing they shouldn’t have to feel guilty about.
#2 It’s already lonely enough out there.
How many of you hide your identity and blogs from work and coworkers?
We came online for refugee, solace, and community. Not to be divided by snark.
You are separating and dividing a community of people that have already been alienated from most people who think we’re insane bastards for saving 65% of our income.
Now you’re going to come in and divide us further based on superficial lines but not at the core of our work and content quality.
This is (even subconsciously) taking away accomplishments from both sides of which no one has any right to. Really stooooopid.
>Upper middle-class family
>Software engineer 100k+ salary
>Photo of specimen provided on right
>>“Privilegeeeeeee, parents helped, he didn’t do it on his own etc.”
>Came from the lower bottom 10%
>Accepted into Stanford fo—
#3 Trying to celebrate based on race (or gender or class…basically anything BUT the blog content) makes me feel
Because…you know…THIS IS A MONEY BLOG.
How did race/gender/income become a vehicle to credit or discredit other people’s work and accomplishments? It’s freakin’ hard to quantify that, which calculator are you using?
You don’t get to smoosh me just to represent your weird mandatory equality rainbow mental picture.
But JK, I do like being mentioned in the lists and highlighted in a practical perspective. It’s nice being mentioned, duh 🙂 But but but if someone has SUCKY content full of crappy affiliates, I don’t care if they’re black albino endangered rhinos, you shouldn’t put them on any list. Pre-req: have a decent blog.
#1 Personal finance has a set of core values that are universally sound.
You would not be a very reputable personal finance blogger if you disagreed with the principle of spending less money than you earn. You won’t get very far if you only buy stocks because everyone else you know has bought some.
Unlike the stable pillars of personal finance, there is no uniform concept when it comes to race/income/class etc.
I don’t get along with every Asian blogger I meet just because they’re Asian. That would be stupid and I would be a blind bigot. What makes you think I give a crap what color or creed you are? If you’re chill to hang with, real, funny – cool. That’s all I need to be your friend/follow your blog.
#2 The issue of racial privilege and economic inequality is as far-reaching as money…
It is deep-rooted in every history lesson and it is pervasive in every single aspect of life – just like money.
And *no offense* but the majority of people here are just people with a hobby of typing on computers and being paid VERY POORLY for it.
No one is a lifelong sociology researcher, you don’t dig through the census data enough to yap about it. You’re just spreading tension even if you came with better intentions in mind.
#3 How much do you want to split that splinter?
Let’s talk variation.
There are large and very different types of Asians from South, Southeast, Central, Northeast, East to West. Southeast Asians are Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar, Cambodia, Indonesia, Brunei.
Eastern Asians make up of mostly Japanese, Korean and Chinese, Mongolian etc. The Chinese themselves have about 56 individual ethnicity groups within China alone. Majority of Chinese are Han, but there are also the Miao, Uygur, She, and Xibe among tons of others. And out of the 56 ethnicity groups, we all come with our own languages dialect like Hakka or Hokkien which makes us all unable to communicate with each other even when we’re part of the same tribe. There are a million dialects in fact. I learned to speak Hokkien (a linguistic alternative) long before I learned how to speak Mandarin (the official language of China.)
If I went to Ms. Frugal Asian’s house and she’s speaking her dialect of Vietnamese, I would be like…”what is this cat talk?”
(FAF: never told you this but…Vietnamese sounds like meowing to me, the entire language sounds like sounds from cats meowing. It cracks me up every time.)
There are varying topics of middle class and that depends wildly on your geographic location. Even just 10 miles difference can be a $200K price difference on a home.
Would you like to split that splinter some more?
Do it by state! Then county! Middle-class DINK, SINK, DIK, SIK? How about…DINKWAD? What if a couple is a white, high-income DINK but one of them is handicapped?
SO much privilege to define, so little time. This is one of the biggest signs that someone is probably bored and/or uninspired.
The internet is full of race/gender/class wars, go fan it over there. Not here. People in our sphere here are just normal peeps.
#4 “There are only white people in FIRE.”
Yes, white people did get a clean advantage which compounded down the decades. (Ahem, more splinters…depends on what kind of white, pretty sure Italians and Irish were discriminated against too.)
Things are better now but humans don’t move fast. It hasn’t been that long since Chinese Americans were even allowed to own land in the U.S.
But it’s not currently anyone’s direct fault that there’s no diversity in FIRE.
It’s just a natural output of everything combined. How would we solve the issue of racial and gender inequality in economics by pointing fingers at random people?
Tanja was accused of said witchcraft on Twitter by an unfunny person. No one told me Tanja was the elected diversity ambassador!
There’s not much diversity because, here, I’ll take a personal stab at it…my parents came to the US when they were in their 40s. They spent their entire life in China hovering around the lower-middle.
Most of us first generation immigrants have elderly parents to take care of because back then, they may not have been given enough opportunities to move up so the burden moves onto us.
And that’s it.
Nothing to do with anyone else but how the world shaped itself. Only thing I know to do is do better to reshape the world and that doesn’t mean I have to bring anyone down in order to do that. (I don’t think anyone told White Supremacists that…)
#5 Why is FIRE even the be all, end all?
I am a first generation English speaker, first-generation college grad, first generation everything. My entire upbringing highlighted something different and baby, early retirement was not even in the footnotes.
I never said I wanted to FIRE to retire early and sit on a beach. I said 1) to create generational wealth 2) to venture into gigs that I enjoy doing 3) to make history 4) without having to worry about going bankrupt from my crazy ass endeavors.
My culture highlights different things. FIRE isn’t the end-all goal. I’ve said on this blog before the whole FI part is important to me, not the RE.
#6 Um…Most of Us Are Strangers???
DO you really know if they’re telling the truth about ANYTHING? What if they’re just trolls!
WHO HAS ACTUAL PROOF I ONLY SPENT $300 IN FEB? No one. Just my own words.
Do you believe that? WHAT IF I’M NOT EVEN ASIAN, I’M ICELANDIC!! :O I’m an Icelandic man and my parents were Ingrid and Boris Svetsssenefrjfr. My parents are rich and I got the best of everything but that doesn’t make a good blog story so I made up this…
The Good Things
Ok, ok I’m not insane. I was just trying to make a point. I’m not saying that celebration of diversity is bad, just as long as you do it with care or else it’s going to cause a lot more damage.
There are some VERY good reasons to promote diversity as long as it not framed with an intent to divide or blame. Educate somebody but don’t school them.
The biggest good thing about highlighting the difference between race, income in PF or FIRE is we get to make a person like us who stumble along feel less alone.
(Remember the whole coming online for solace thing, yeah that.)
I don’t think blogging would have been as fun at first if I was not talking to Mrs. FAF almost every day. We do share things in common and we would probably make good friends in real life too. It could be because we’re both Asian immigrants with a similar story to tell but it should stop at that. It doesn’t have anything to do with anyone else either.
I would love to be a frugal inspiration to little Asian girls everywhere but when did frugality grow dividing lines? How about I want to be a frugal inspiration to everyone everywhere period?
Frugal living can apply to everybody. So can the main pillars of personal finance and with that, the concept of FIRE.
We can’t control diversity in the personal finance niche but, hell, we don’t even have to! Why does that even matter? Readers will respond to what they want to read and someone will come along to give that niche a voice. Blogs go dead all the time from owners quitting. It’s about the content you produce.
Oh yeah! Since I’m here and have gathered new enemies by now…
#1 Stop defecating on Bluehost hustlers.
If their income is 90% Bluehost, that’s their hustle. It doesn’t affect you enough to get your panties in a bunch.
Every sign up we get is another to join the financial awareness army.
People from all walks of life in this nation blow money on dumb crap every day. Blogging at least encourages writing (yay literacy) and a step towards financial growth.
#2 “FIRE is so popular now!”
Who keeps saying this? How is FIRE popular? It’s not.
Kim K’s ass shots are more popular than we are. Kim K has more Twitter followers than ALL OF PERSONAL FINANCE PEEPS COMBINED, thousands of times over.
Isn’t that sad?
American households are currently carrying the highest credit card debt and car loan debt ever in history.
We’re not effective by a long shot. It’s not enough. We sit behind our keyboards and our reach is limited, even the best of us.
#3 Twitter is for Sharing
In my in-law’s dinner table, there are a few table rules.
1) Prayer before a meal.
2) No detailed numbers talk (money).
3) No politics.
I may not agree with all the rules but it’s a good call, in general, to follow them to keep the peace. Especially #3. We all have our opinions and values – and we can defend them to the death – but I also just want to enjoy a nice dinner with grandpa without having to listen to him talk about Bill O’Reilly.
I don’t want to be one of those people who writes 10 messages, 140 words long on Twitter. I used to think that Twitter is stupid for limiting characters but I think they did that so people wouldn’t go crazy ranting to defend their point when it’s most often going to be a complete waste of time because there is no conslusive answer.
There are better things to do – like counting money, reading to your kids, volunteering, or taking a nap.
Maybe I am competitive and insensitive, but it’s similar to when I use to date on the *shudders* dating circuit. There are just hordes of nerdy computer boyz who hit on me….more because I’m the typical short, shy, Asian. It would grind at me because I didn’t want anyone to like me because I was Asian. I want you to feel neutral about me and I will consider it a bigger accomplishment when I finally win you over, not because I was given a creepy “advantage.”
OK, well I calmed down from when I started writing this. I’m also sleepy! Goodnight…oh man I hope I wake up tomorrow with no death threats…