Sat | Oct 19, 2019

Classism fuelling pregnancy debate

Published:Wednesday | July 18, 2018 | 12:00 AM


Motivational speaker, entrepreneur and media personality Krystal Tomlinson has been the topic of discussion over the past few days in the media. It is not because of her lovely 'Good Gas Monday' sessions, her business acumen, or the fact that her make-up is always on point.

She recently announced that she is expecting her first child. And while most of her supporters gave their congratulations, many were quick to pass condemnation.

I do not think we talk enough about the classist undertones surrounding her pregnancy. The fact is that while sexism and misogyny permeate all classes of women, we don't treat all women the same, and we don't have the same expectation of all women.

We lump different groups of women into 'decent' and 'ghetto' categories and project problematic expectations accordingly. The problem surrounding Krystal's pregnancy has a lot to do with her supposedly falling short of the classist expectations projected on to her.

Certainly, this must be the reason why Shawna Kay Williams-Pinnock felt so emboldened to pen a piece titled 'I had higher ambitions for Krystal'. What are these ambitions, who created them, and do we apply the same measurement to everyone?

The answer to this last question is obvious. Had Krystal been a Grace Hamilton or a 1990s Marion Hall, the hurrah around her pregnancy would not be happening because we generally do not care about the poor or their actions. But we become agitated when the highly respected 'act' in ways that blur the lines between the rich and the poor, which we cannot allow.

It also has a lot to do with who the father of her unborn baby is. How can nice, 'decent' Krystal end up getting pregnant for a nappy-head dancehall artiste? And worse, she's not even married. She's just another babymother.

It is disheartening that we have allowed sexism and classism to overshadow this glorious moment.