Aaaand, go fuck yourself.
I hate this attitude of ‘well, somewhere in the world, someone has it worse’ because it’s such a brush off. Reasonable adults should be able to agree that, yes, somewhere in the world other injustices are being committed while at the same time retaining sympathy for injustices being committed in front of them.
Empathy is not a zero sum game.
I really wish it was possible to ask these people, “Should your rape be ignored?” and/or “Was your rape ignored?” But I know it would blow up and there would be no real discussion, I’d be accused of wishing they were raped or some other bs.
I assume the answer to the first question is “no”. Regarding the second question, I often find myself wondering if these aren’t comments from women who are “nice” and “good” who were assaulted in the past but just stuffed it down and pasted a smile on their faces. ”I shut up about what happened to me, so you better not complain because I’m good and you are not worth more than me!” It’s just so crazy.
Or maybe it’s simple silencing. One of Ladyblog’s favorite activities is shutting women up.
In theory, I agree with her second statement. I can think of numerous situations in which I might not have total control of my body during childbirth, but there’s no reason to accept it as a minor inconvenience. Bodily autonomy has been a hallmark of the feminist movement for decades. That control is not limited to whether or not to carry a child to term.
What I tend to find, generally, in people who toss out statements like this, is that they’re primarily intellectually lazy. They have an idea in their head (in this case —“women in 3rd world countries have it worse in childbirth”) that they are unwilling to think past.
Women are upset about the loss of autonomy during childbirth? BAM! Women in other countries have it worse!
Women in the US are worried about the rising rates of c-sections? BAM! Women in 3rd world countries have it worse!
Having to hold these two separate ideas in their head and give them both validation is tough. You have to think past your own kneejerkiness and engage the question, and, quite possibly, form an actual opinion on it.
And that’s hard. Like math. Or at least that’s what Barbie used to tell me.
Who Wins Gold in the Oppression Olympics?
Following on from this, if you are a member of another Marginalised Group™, you can also exploit it to indicate to the Marginalised Person™ how absolutely disdainful you are of their concerns and issues by making out that yours are far more important and imperative.
You can even suggest that your issues are more valuable than theirs, implying a hierarchy of oppression in which you always win.
You see, as a Marginalised Person ™ yourself, it is all the more infuriating to another Marginalised Person™ that you’re exercising the exact same prejudices and discrimination that Privileged People® exercise against you! The Marginalised Person™ will be tearing their hair out at your obliviousness and lack of perception and this will weaken their defences.
For the past decade and a half I have been making all my content available for free (and never behind a paywall) as an ongoing practice of ephemeral publishing. This site is no exception. If you wish to help offset my labor costs, you can donate on Paypal or you can subscribe to Patreon where I will not be putting my posts behind a lock but you'd be helping me continue making this work available for everyone. Thank you. Follow me on Twitter for new post updates.