Aside from the usual daily Trump shitstorms and the speculation over whether Teresa May could make my partner go back home, the main Internet thing that caught my attention in the last week was Becca Gronski’s GoFundMe campaign.

Becca Gronski is a young American woman, who calls herself a ‘spiritual teacher, life coach, reiki and crystal healer, artist, YouTuber, traveler and writer.’ She set up the page to raise $10,000 so she can go travelling – on a ‘spiritual journey around the world’.

She says: ‘This money will be used to sustain me while traveling, writing my book (about my personal journey), creating an oracle deck (something that has brought great clarity to me on my journey), putting out videos on my YouTube channel, creating my art and giving back to the communities wherever I go.’

Becca’s GoFundMe page has gone viral, with most people expressing outrage or simply taking the piss. She’s been called ‘lazy’, ‘entitled’ and ‘self-absorbed’. There have been numerous chants of ‘get a job!’ Some people wrote misogynistic rubbish about how she should consider stripping or prostitution. Some of us speculated about whether it was satire. One guy even set up his own GoFundMe page in response, his aim being to ‘just follow Bec on her Spiritual Journey with a megaphone in hand, constantly yelling “NAMASTE” at random intervals.’

I’ve been involved in debates about this on Facebook. Many people reacted as above. Some people defended her as ‘well meaning’ and pointed out, ‘Hey, she’s only asking. You’re free to ignore her.’ Some admired her ‘bare-faced cheek’. Others accused Becca’s detractors as being triggered by their own psychological issues around money or asking for help.

Gronski has since taken down some of her social media pages and posted a 33-minute YouTube video defending herself. Apparently, she just put a $10k target so she didn’t have to change it. Apparently, it’s hard to get work where she currently lives at this time of year (although this argument didn’t sound entirely convincing). She has clearly had a tough week and received a serious amount of abuse. However, she’s putting on a brave face, sticking to her guns, and attempting to meet the hate with love (I’m paraphrasing her here). At the time of writing, she has also raised $1,110.

I was one of the people who felt pretty negative about her campaign. So I’ve been thinking about it.

I don’t condone the abuse. I admire Becca’s steadfastness and refusal to hate back. It’s also worth noting that although vague, her intentions seem more honourable than other campaigns I’ve come across.

I can recognise and own some of my own baggage here too. I grew up in a single parent family, on free school meals, in a grubby bit of London. The tacit messages I received were that you have to struggle to get what you want and rich people are greedy. As a teenager, I took a gap year, intending to travel. I made pizzas, saved up, flew off to Canada – then ended up coming home early as I ran out of cash, and (unlike the other Home Counties kids I met on my travels) didn’t have Daddy’s credit card to rescue me.

But if I try to put my experiences and accompanying emotions to one side, Becca’s crowdfunding campaign still doesn’t sit right with me.

The fact is, a poor kid would be unlikely to do this – to brazenly ask and expect (I’m aware this may be more the case in the UK than the USA).

As one of my (many!) jobs involves working with inner city teenagers, I read a fascinating study by the Sutton Trust a few years ago, which analysed the personal statements British young people wrote on their university applications. It compared applicants from independent schools (private schools for which parents pay expensive fees) to those from state schools. This went beyond grades or quality of work experience. It showed how the tone of the personal statements was different according to social background. The kids from wealthier backgrounds did, unsurprisingly, show a sense of confidence and entitlement – an assumption that they would get into particular universities and go on to great things. The kids from poor backgrounds were humble in comparison, almost begging for a place (something I come across frequently when helping east London students with university applications).

That report has stayed with me. It showed in black and white how inequality is about more than how much money people grow up with. It’s also so much about beliefs, attitudes, behaviour and language – things that are much harder to measure and change.

I’ve realised that’s the main thing that bothers me about Becca Gronski’s GoFundMe campaign. It’s not about her personally; it’s about what this stuff represents. Crowdfunding could change (is changing!) the economic system we live in. But here, it feels like the same old inequalities are seeping through.