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To be sick of the phrases First World Problems and Check your Privilege?

(56 Posts)
LordScuttlebutt Thu 06-Apr-17 17:00:20

Trivial problems can drive you nuts too. A trivial problem may indeed by the last straw for some.

Why does having certain privileges stop you having an opinion according to some?

Anyone else annoyed by this? Either help or don't help, I say.

BeALert Thu 06-Apr-17 17:05:26

That's a first world problem if ever I saw one :-)

CaoNiMartacus Thu 06-Apr-17 17:06:11

It doesn't annoy me inordinately. I think it's good to bear these things in mind.

LordScuttlebutt Thu 06-Apr-17 17:06:36

LOL! BeALert

TheBogQueen Thu 06-Apr-17 17:09:09

It's usually the first world privileged folk who use these phrases. I find they are used in place of discussion/explanation just to 'win' an argument.

bigmouthstrikesagain Thu 06-Apr-17 17:12:24

Nah, it is a good reality check imo.

There are first world problems. Taking a seat before you order at a cafe is a good example, trivial but the cause of much discussion and irritation. But not of world wide importance or a matter of life and death. Doesn't mean you can't discuss it - it is good to have perspective though.

Checking your privilege is not about shutting down debate (again imo), it is about acknowledging the context and background your opinions have been formed in. As it will have an impact on how you view the world - I don't have a problem with that. White male opinion has been the "norm" for so long that it is healthy to have that challenged even when it is uncomfortable.

Camomila Thu 06-Apr-17 17:16:59

I recently saw a thing on Facebook by a guy in India who said he found the whole idea of 'first world problems' patronising because people in the developing world can also be annoyed they accidentally got given Diet Coke/have poor wifi/stepped in chewing gum in new shoes etc.

'Check your privilege' seems to be used to be undermine women (like me) a lot....I know there are women worse off than me, but I'm still allowed to want to make things better for me and my peers as well, - I'm thinking things like flexible working, affordable childcare, 'leaning in' as a working mum etc.

Reow Thu 06-Apr-17 17:19:06

PC Principal says check your privilege grin

SheSaidHeSaid Thu 06-Apr-17 17:20:32

I do think it's good to have a reality check but it can get on my nerves when something is actually annoying or has upset you or whatever and someone makes a comment like that. It's as though you're not allowed to be a agreaved by anything unless it's seriously seriously serious.

LordScuttlebutt Thu 06-Apr-17 20:16:05

I recently saw a thing on Facebook by a guy in India who said he found the whole idea of 'first world problems' patronising because people in the developing world can also be annoyed they accidentally got given Diet Coke/have poor wifi/stepped in chewing gum in new shoes etc

Excellent point!

I am sure we can all rearrange our priorities when it would make a difference. Just that sometimes, in the moment, poor wifi IS the problem.

WhereYouLeftIt Thu 06-Apr-17 20:37:30

Anyone telling me to check my privilege will be privileged to witness my deathstare hmm.

Barcoo2 Fri 07-Apr-17 01:19:09

Yanvu. Check your privilege is an arrogant phrase aimed at shutting down critical discussion. Goes with being "called out". Fuck off.

IAmNotAWitch Fri 07-Apr-17 01:20:49

Both said by try hard wankers IME.

emmyrose2000 Fri 07-Apr-17 01:26:29

I agree those phrases are annoying.

Recently someone complained on my local Facebook page about someone constantly letting their dog poo all over his lawn.

Most reasonable people would agree that it's annoying. But no, one of the first responses was from some wanker telling the original poster to "get over it, and think about all the poor children in Aleppo who had nothing to eat!". WTH?? The two aren't remotely related. And someone can be sympathetic to people in other countries having a hard time, but still be pissed off that dogs are constantly pooing on their lawn. Some people need to get a grip.

MovingOnUpMovingOnOut Fri 07-Apr-17 01:36:40

Check your privilege is to remind people to do exactly that.

Sometimes we forget the our personal lived experience is not the same as everyone elses' lived experience. Reading about "all women" when one means "white, educated, middle class women" or "people" when one means "men" is disrespectful and ignorant. A curt reminder to check privilege is important in those circumstances.

Telling people off for sweating the small stuff is twattish though and not the same thing at all. it is possible to care about more than one thing. Anyone who does a bit of competitive sadding or faux outrage that someone is upset about something because they have a tenuous and unrelated link to the op (like they once had a mil but she died and they would give anything to have her back and how dare you complain about your mil who hits the children when I don't even have a mil to complain about) deserves a ticking off.

Feminists often get this. Shit like "why are you bothered about wolf whistling when there are women being stoned for adultery in the Middle East?". Because I can care about more than one thing simultaneously.

So yabu op. I also like the short hand of first world problem but only when used by an op. I don't like people using it as a put down.

Barcoo2 Fri 07-Apr-17 01:42:41

"Lived experience" is another code phrase used to shut down critical debate.

almondpudding Fri 07-Apr-17 01:44:29

I consider mentions of privilege or calling out to be the end of useful discussion. It's the equivalent to Godwin's law for me.

MovingOnUpMovingOnOut Fri 07-Apr-17 01:49:47

Like everything on the internet whether it shuts down discussion depends how it's used.

I think your post quoting a tiny part of mine is trying to shut down the discussion Barcoo2. You certainly didn't try to engage at all.

AteRiri Fri 07-Apr-17 01:55:19

That's a first world problem if ever I saw one :-)


LonginesPrime Fri 07-Apr-17 01:55:49

I've never been told to 'check my privilege' and wouldn't say it to someone else (well, not to their face, anyway) as it sounds really cliched now.

However, I did ask someone the other day whether a racist incident she was minimising was only not a big deal to her because she was white (and this was absolutely the reason).

I think it's important to acknowledge that each of us bring our experiences with us and see a situation through our own subjective lenses. So I think checking one's privilege is very important, although the term itself is confrontational and wanky.

AteRiri Fri 07-Apr-17 01:58:10

I understand how it can be annoying ( reminds me of an Ally Mcbeal quote "Georgia: Ally, what makes your problems so much bigger than everybody else’s? Ally: They’re mine.")

However, they really are first world problems. I see them as a reminder that you have it better than majority of the world, so if these first world problems are your only problems (no starvation, war, etc) then you are in a good place.

MovingOnUpMovingOnOut Fri 07-Apr-17 02:07:00

I don't think I've been told or used the phrase either Longines. Still doesn't bother me if others do and use it properly. It's a quick way of conveying meaning in just a few words same as any other well known phrase.

Use either phrase and everyone knows what you mean. Use either as a put down and you run the risk of looking like a twat.

Teabagtits Fri 07-Apr-17 02:35:18

I thought "check your privilege" had gone out of fashion now?

A few years back on twitter it was huge and uttered every second tweet but it's rarely used at all there now. I've never heard it used in a real life context.

I've only ever seen "first world problems" used in an ironic context too.

AteRiri Fri 07-Apr-17 04:03:46

I've only ever seen "first world problems" used in an ironic context too.

I've only seen or heard it used humorously.

mimishimmi Fri 07-Apr-17 04:04:57

I find it annoying because the 'First World' has incredible disparities in wealth and not everyone is privileged.

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