We All Have Our Challenges, So Why are Yours More Important?

It’s old news and stating the obvious by now: The Left loves to point out all the alleged obstacles women and minorities face unlike the “privileged” white men. They say that white men are the pinnacle of society, nothing holds them back while everyone else faces insurmountable challenges to equality and success in society. They label white men as “pale and stale” and in my assessment, label themselves as “brown and down” The Left also loves to capitalize on dwelling on past oppression, even when the pendulum has swung the other way going so far in many cases as reverse discrimination.

In the face of any backlash against these views, comes the argument that the “privileged”, those who are white, straight, conservative, men, or all of the above have no right to an opinion because they haven’t been in the so called “oppressed’s” shoes. Now, I have to admit one thing: They are right that we don’t have the same life experiences as people who are different from us. We can’t speak our opinions on their situations from our direct experiences if we’re not them. There are factors in our lives that determine how the world treats us, and our life circumstances that are beyond our control.

However, does that mean that an outsider to someone’s plight has no right to an opinion of their own or an outside assessment of the situation? Who says that the only people who are allowed to have an opinion about someone’s circumstances are the people in the middle of them? Yes, the insider knows intimately what they feel about it, but that same intimacy strips them of any impartiality about their situation in life. Someone may feel they live in an environment of rampant harassment, or discrimination and ostracism, but is one’s personal perception always 100% accurate? What if outside sources didn’t corroborate your perceptions? As I wrote about before many times, your reality is not always the reality! Of course, we should find out what makes them feel a certain way to see if there’s something we do need to change, but it needs to be done in a non-biased way by outside sources as well as insiders.

I want to propose another more unique point though to consider. Imagine some of the challenges women and minorities for the sake of argument are in fact, true as the Left says it. I’m sure some may be as society while not as dismal as the Left loves to paint it as, is also not a utopia by any means! Bias and prejudice intentional and unintentional, do exist, and I can agree that such inequality needs improvement. However, and here’s my new insight, why do your challenges matter more than mine? Why is it when the “majority”, whether it be white people, men, conservatives etc… say they have obstacles they face in life that need improvement they’re dismissed as over-privileged whiners?

Everyone has obstacles, challenges, inequality they experience in their life no matter what race, gender, sexuality, etc… they are. What you look like does affect how the world perceives you and treats you. No, I honestly can’t say I know what it feels like to face life as a black person. Men can’t know intimately what it’s like to be women in society.  However…. A black person doesn’t know what a white person faces in life either. A woman doesn’t know the social pressures men face that hurt them. A biological male (who is a trans woman) has never had to feel the fear a girl or woman does when a man enters her private spaces such as a women’s restroom. And why is it limited to just race or gender for instance as categories of challenges? What about a big overlooked factor? Socio-economic status. A poor white family faces challenges a middle class family of color may not despite racial differences.

Of course, many will ask, “What about stereotypes?” Well, what about them? Is it not a stereotype to assume all white people are privileged and snobbish due to some sense of racial superiority? Is it not a stereotype to assume men are insensitive towards women and think of women only as sex objects or property? Stereotypes do affect how we are treated, but there is a stereotype for EVERYONE, so why are the hurtful stereotypes you face more important then the hurtful stereotypes I do?

The answer to this double standard seems clear: selective outrage and virtue signaling. This has become a superficial war not about true equality and fairness, but which group can vie for the most attention in the “Oppression Olympics”. The excuse is “but we faced more struggles than you ever did!”, but isn’t any inequality and unfairness detrimental to society? Am I saying that women and minorities never faced unfair challenges? No! What I’m saying is why are some people’s obstacles deemed more important and noteworthy than others, to the point of invalidating theirs? To try to illustrate more clearly:

The family of color might face less opportunity related to racial discrimination, but does that negate the white family down the street who face lack of opportunity due to poverty?

A woman may have to be more wary of sexual assault in public than a man would, but a man has to be more wary of the accusation of such!

A white man may feel he faces his own challenges getting hired due to his gender and skin color too due to affirmative action programs and a rhetoric of “dismantling” his “privilege”…

A woman might feel constrained by unfair gender roles and expectations while men have more freedoms than her in some areas of life, but has she considered the ways in which men are expected to conform to their own set of rules?

Does it matter more having all your achievements doubted due to a “minority” race or gender than having all your achievements invalidated and deemed handed to you for the same exact reason only difference being you’re white or male?

The list could go on and on and on…. My point is, my counterpoints to consider don’t invalidate the original claims to obstacles by people of color or women or instance, but are presented to illustrate the point that no one is obstacle free, (even white men) and raise the question; why do the challenges of some matter more than the challenges of others? Why the selective outrage? And this doesn’t even begin to touch upon other factors like family upbringing and one’s health for example!

My last insight into this is everyone has their own unique set of advantages and disadvantages that can be due to things out of our control and circumstances like socio-economic status. There is no way that your life will be challenge-free no matter who you are or what you look like. So, why incessantly whine about it instead of accepting that life can be unfair and you have to find ways to work with your obstacles?

It’s a great thing when people try to change things for the better, other times though, you have to pick your battles and accept your life will be different from the next person’s whether it involves looking out for your personal safety more than others, realizing you don’t look like those around you most of the time, having to work harder than others to prove your merit, having to rise up out of poverty others don’t face, having your own crushing pressure to conform to what society expects of you as a man or woman, having to show others you’re NOT who they think you are among a myriad of other examples. Yes sometimes, you just have to suck it up and work around what holds you back…

Do I advocate for a lack of empathy for the challenges others face? Absolutely not! We should all be conscientious of how fortunate we are and how others may not be. Every one of us has their own life journey and struggles that go along with it, so why are your life challenges more important than mine?

Image result for conservative cartoon triggered SJW's

22 thoughts on “We All Have Our Challenges, So Why are Yours More Important?

  1. “However, does that mean that an outsider to someone’s plight has no right to an opinion of their own or an outside assessment of the situation?”

    This is particularly stood out to me. How is your assessment and your opinion of them going to help them? Will it pull them out of their challenge? Will it cure their suffering? What skill do you posses that is so important to this person’s challenges and how they overcome them? In psychiatrics, we believe everyone has their own answers, knows their best course of action, and can make their own changes for themselves because they know themselves best. When we carry out a therapeutic conversation, neither me, any techs, NPs or any other psychiatrist can tell this patient what “change” they should make. Our natural inclinations is to tell a person “you need to do XYZ and B to get your life together.” And assume that because you might be in a better position than them, that you know what is best for them. This is called “giving advice” and it does not work. If it did, no one would continue with their struggles since A Lady of Reason told them how they need to behave or live their life in her blog post. The decision to make a change in one’s life (it can be a way of thinking, physically, life long goal etc) can only come from the patient/person. This includes our most well functioning patient and even our most hallucinogenic schizophrenic patients. How is your opion of them going to help them?

    Liked by 1 person

    • As a therapist, do you think it healthy for a client to constantly wallow in feelings of helpless victimhood or work with them on real ways to solve or cope with their life challenges? That does in fact, require input from the therapist as an outside party… You might not tell them what to do necessarily, but suggestions actually require (gasp!) an opinion. Don’t pretend you never thought even to yourself that someone was making the wrong choice.

      Also, the difference between a good therapist and Dr. Feel good is one that challenges their client’s perceptions from time to time to promote growth and new insight.

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      • Okay, so me, or a random anonymous person on the internet with blog posts with a high need to make assessments of people and have them know it, will help fix their situation? Believe it or not, no psychiatrists do not put our own opinions into a therapeutic conversation with someone. If they do, this is not considered therapeutic conversation but it is considered what we call “non-therapeutic”. It is natural human inclination, as evidenced by this post, to want to shove our opinion and tell this person what to do. Unfortunately no, even if you think that’s what’s right (we call this “righting/fixing”), psychiatric practice does not back up your claim. We teach patients the natiral consequences of their behaviours. <- See what I did there? I brought you to reality by explaining how Therapeutic Conversation works versus what you think it is. I'm not telling my personal of opinion of you or your thinking. What I would like to understand is the quote I highlighted from you. What do you feel when you make an "assessment and opinion" of someone? What do you think you are doing to that person and why is it important to YOU that YOUR particular Assessment of them, will "fix" their life? You are correct, we challenge our patients perceptions of reality but not by telling them our opinion, we simply tell them reality. <- See, did it again, the response to your statement had no opinion, but simply stated the reality of how a therapeutic conversation is carried out.

        Simple note: Anyone can label themselves a 'therapist' and start giving "advice" to anyone. A psychologist needs a at least a masters, a psychiatrist is an MD with a residency in psychiatrics. Just a tidbit of information in case anyone is considering looking into the credentials of mealth health practitioners.

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      • Well, for a “non-judgmental” psychologist your tone for one is very condescending and rude. Therefore I see no constructive direction for our discussion as we’re clearly not on the same page nor will convince each other of our views. I also add, how is this conversation relevant to my post? My main point wasn’t the ins and outs of therapeutic relationships, but the idea that it’s a clear double standard when one wants validation and understanding for their life challenges, yet proceeds to dismiss and invalidate another’s life challenge. Also, I’m all for pointing out reality, which sometimes can clash with individual perceptions. Thus enlightening them to the actual reality is a challenge to their perception.

        I will note, however, I clearly mentioned in my last reply to you that no, therapists do not simply tell people what to do as some infallible authority. They can however, steer the client to challenge certain perceptions and ways of thinking as just nodding along and being a “yes man” to everything they say doesn’t help them gain any emotional, intellectual or psychological growth. You can do that in a constructive and supportive way, versus a condescending “you’re wrong and I’m right” attitude. I always thought that clients coming into therapy WANT suggestions of how to better change their thinking to improve their lives. After all, if they don’t want any ideas or thoughts than the ones they currently have why waste time and money on someone else’s perspective?

        Lastly, Has no one ever challenged a thought or feeling you had (not necessarily in a therapeutic context, but in life in general), and made you grow more as a person by having you reassess your opinion or perception? Even as simple as a friend saying something they knew you might disagree with, or even offends you, but taking that chance because they thought you needed to hear it to help you in the long run. Not once in your life did you benefit from someone else’s perspective on a challenge you faced in life? Because I have and am grateful someone challenged how I thought in that moment. Yes, they challenged my thoughts and (gasp!) judged them. I hope you have that experience too and realize the value of it.

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      • I hate to wade into the midst of this argument, as I only have one class in Child Psychology under my belt, but I think I can help settle this as a former patient of a psychiatrist.

        A few years back, I had some family problems that led to a lot of anxiety and depression, and after a few years of struggling to deal with this situation, I was unable to manage it on my own. After having two nervous breakdowns, I was finally faced with two options – kill myself or get help. I decided I’d try the help and was referred to a wonderful psychiatrist who really helped me.

        My doctor actually used a combination of both your ideas as to how to deal with patients, because at first I was completely incapable of making a decision as to what I should do, so first off she ordered me to shut down all communication with those family members who were making my life a misery, and to wait until we had worked on me a bit before we added them back into my life. It was the best move, and one I was incapable of making on my own at that time.

        After that, our sessions went forth in a manner where I was helped to come to my own conclusions about what I should do from there, but I didn’t add my family back till she thought I was in a position to do so, and had the tools to deal with them.

        Barb, I think you’re unaware that Lady is a student of Psychology at university, so she isn’t just some “dumb Conservative” playing around with a science she doesn’t understand. I think you’ve taken umbrage more with her politics than her learning in the field, as nothing you said overly contradicted anything she said other than to argue that doctors don’t tell their patients what to do, which I’ve just proven to be false. A doctor dealing with a case like mine, where my respect for my family was overriding my self-respect and making me take a lot of crap I didn’t deserve, it was absolutely necessary at first for my doctor to make the decision for me to draw a line in the sand and say “No más!” until I was in a better place. It was only a momentary tool, but my doctor used it, so please accept that Lady does have knowledge of that about which she speaks.

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  2. One statistic I love to give when people assume the white population is always the most privileged, or also when they’re casting stones at minorities for being “leeches” to government aid, is that the majority of people on Medicaid and food stamps is…boom! White Americans! At least that was the statistic for 2018. I’d love to hear an update on 2019 but perhaps the 2020 census might provide nore demographics on that.

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  3. Why are Yours More Important?….according to feminists, I should support women! (and yes, they cant see past themselves to understand that men suffer, have cancer, or even not win in the court system).
    The vast majority of men I know, even the biggest sexist/players, are more charitable and hard working than the feminist types.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. The power of the left will start to dwindle. They keep over playing their hand and claims and more people are waking up to how you can’t ignore them.

    When you call Ben Shapiro a Nazi, for example it cheapens the actual Nazi insult.

    A white supremist means and person that does not hate their nation. Even people with dark skin tones are considered white supremist by the far left.

    Antifa is scary because left media doesn’t want to condemn them. But Conservatives will condemn far right groups.

    The left needs to clean house of those thst used protection of them to bully others and to exploit ways of getting government money for themselves.

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  5. You chose the absolute right word when you said that the left loves to capitalize on past oppression. “Capitalize” best describes it because when the left talks about their alleged oppression or that of their favored groups, what they are really saying is “give me stuff” either in the form of handouts such as welfare or subsidies or privileged treatment such as affirmative action preferences. By claiming that their oppression is special and that the people whom they wish to extort are privileged they really are making a demand for tribute in the guise of a plea for sympathy. The oppressed darlings of the left realize that its easier to live off the labor of others than to work themselves so they keep demanding stuff from those who actually work. The purpose of the left’s “oppression” competition is material gain. When leftist community organizers talk about oppression and privilege, it’s the modern day equivalent of pirates hoisting the jolly roger and demanding plunder.

    That explains much of the SJWs demand for political correctness. By imposing ever changing speech codes and whining about “microagressions” they attempt to keep any opposition on the defensive and and force them constantly to apologize for some new “hate speech” violation. Having become dependent on handouts and preferences, the left feels attacked when anyone threatens to treat everyone equally. A basic law of economics is that you get more of what you subsidize and less of what you tax. So long as the left gains by crying “oppression” and claiming any disagreement is hate speech, we will keep hearing about how they are oppressed and we are privileged. Trying to buy these clowns off just leads to more demands. Kipling put it best when he said that when you pay Dane geld you never get rid of the Dane.

    While I have great sympathy and respect for those who do everything that they can to overcome their challenges, I couldn’t care less about those who expect others to support them because they or their great grandparents were oppressed. I have no interest in fostering dependency or paying Dane geld.

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  6. You have many valid points and observations. Unfortunately, I feel they’ll fly right over the heads of those engaging in this behavior. From my observations, the reason for that is because the very things you are pointing out that is wrong (invalidating the opinions and experiences of others, creating victim and oppressor classes, etc) are part of the goal. Basically, they are going by the Alinsky play book (even if some have probably never heard of Alinsky). Specifically,
    RULE 2: “Never go outside the expertise of your people.”
    RULE 5: “Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon.”
    RULE 8: “Keep the pressure on. Never let up.”
    RULE 9: “The threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself.”
    and most of all
    RULE 12: Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.”

    Ultimately, though, it’s Rule 6 that is a big part of it.
    “A good tactic is one your people enjoy.”

    And that’s a big part of it. Identity politics aficionados really, really enjoy what they are doing. They love destroying people. It’s not enough to destroy their target, but everyone associated with their target. So they spam a person’s employer with false accusations and threats, doxx their family homes, name their spouses and their spouses employers, name their kids and what schools they go to. There is a perverted pleasure gained from what they are doing. Rational responses don’t work. They can’t. Because the foundation of their position is emotionalism, not rationalism. Feelings, not logic. No, I’m not saying we need to dismiss feelings entirely. In fact, one of the observations I made long ago is that logic is what people use to justify their emotional response. This can be a bad thing, or a good thing. However, when emotionalism is the only thing you’ve got, logic, reason and evidence are all things to avoid at all costs!

    The down side of living by Alinsky’s rules, of course, is that they can be used against them, too. It’s pretty astonishing, in a car wreck sort of way, to see when the leftists eat their own!!

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  7. Brilliant as always! Adding a comment would be an understatement other than saying as a supposed privileged retired white male I’m still waiting for the privileges to start flowing my way.

    Liked by 1 person

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