In recent months, I’ve heard a particular argument from white American men about women’s rights. It goes like this:
“You shouldn’t be complaining. Do you have any idea how horrible it is for women in Afghanistan and in India? They have real problems. Not like you whiny US women.”
I hate this argument. The main reason I hate this argument? It is terrible logic.
Let’s extrapolate outwards. The argument these gentlemen are making can easily be applied to other parties — not just women. It implies that X person is not allowed to make a complaint about a certain condition, if Y person is experiencing the condition to a much worse degree.
This logic can, in fact, be applied to petulant white men.
Angry that a woman rejected you? Shut up, do you realize what the gender ratios look like in China, and how thousands upon thousands of Chinese males can realistically never expect to marry?
Angry that you could potentially be drafted to fight in wars? Shut up, do you realize what men in North Korea who are drafted into the military have to go through? Are you familiar with the notion of “starvation” and torture”?
In fact, if we take this iffy logic through to its obvious conclusion, there is only one person in the world ever allowed to complain about an unpleasant condition: the one, unlucky individual, who is experiencing it to the worst degree.
I imagine this One Person Ever Allowed to Complain as a transgender Somalian refugee starving from starvation and bone cancer, but insert your own Unluckiest Person in The World analog here. It sucks to be her, but she is given the small solace of complaining a lot. If only if she had the Internet. Or functioning hands.
So, if we accept the Shut Up, You Whiny White Woman, You logic that I am at times presented with, we would in fact reside in a world where only person was ever allowed to complain.
What a dismal, miserable world that would be, wouldn’t it?
Stop using that argument.