••• The International Writers Magazine:Life Issues
Why the Pissing Contest?
What could I possibly say that wouldn't make me out to be one of those brutish and selfish men that make me look bad by association?
I suffer too, and yet the woes I face aren't valid because others are more oppressed than I am. I realize that. I realize that basically everyone that isn't a white male has it worse off than them, therefore, I'm not allowed to have any problems at all. I live a relatively charmed life, so I should just shut up about any little thing that ails me. But is that really the way we should be looking at it?
I complain about having a broken heart. A woman pulled a 180 on me, and where I thought I was interesting and worth her time, I now feel like I deserve to be ignored. This is not a good feeling to have, but I can't talk about it to anyone other than my peers, because anyone else would tell me to take it. I told this to a woman I knew, and she told me just that, "Oh, poor baby. Well, every time I meet a guy, I have to watch out because there is a very real chance he'll try to drug and rape me."
She's perfectly right. Being a woman is terrifying beyond what I can think of. So much so that I don't like the idea of having kids, for fear that I have a daughter - a daughter that is at constant risk for being abducted and violated, just for being visible. These are very real problems. And they are, by far, much worse than mine. But what about people that live in third worlds that have it worse off than the women I know? They not only have just as much, if not more, chance of rape... they also often have the daily possibility of being viciously slaughtered, along with their family and neighbors by militias, or even their own government. Warlords have been known to force young boys to rape their own mothers or face death for both of them, just to break them and add to their militia's ranks. Does this happening make my friend's worry about being drugged at a bar any less valid? No, it doesn't.
Now right about now the majority of your readers is about to fire off an angry comment saying that my heartache has no business being compared to my friend being raped or third world families being slaughtered. You are correct, but that isn't what you just read. I illustrated that there is a long scale of problems in this world - ranging from a stubbed toe, to mass famine and genocide.
All of these problems exist, whether or not you're willing to get into a pissing contest about who suffers more. There's something that needs to be stressed: WE ALL SUFFER. AND YOU PROVING THAT YOU SUFFER MORE THAN SOMEONE ELSE WON'T MAKE EITHER OF YOU FEEL ANY BETTER. Unless... you're just calling attention to your own plight for the attention that comes. If that is the case, then go fuck yourself.
One thing we absolutely love to do in our culture is to lump large amounts of people together in an increasingly irrational manner. All millennials are self-centered, all white males are selfish children, all beautiful women are vacuous bitches, all Americans are loud, stupid racists, all black men are criminals, all Muslims are terrorists.
No, no, no, no, no, no. Grand generalizations of people are a bad idea, unless its purpose is to help people, i.e., women are being raped on a horrifying scale, and not nearly enough is being done to stop it. My closest friend was once raped, and the thought of it makes me want to find the person that did it and castrate them with a butter knife.
Why do I keep using rape as a reference point? Two reasons. First, rape is pure, unbridled evil and it needs to be talked about as much as possible to keep from its presence from falling into the shadows. Second, it's an extreme, and people only respond to extremes when a point needs to be made. My point is: a person's problems should be dealt with in an understanding way, rather than an abrasive "I have bigger problems than YOU" way. Dismissing someone's problems for their lack of seriousness compared to others does not do any good at all.
It's time we saw people for the individuals they are, and weighing their woes against their own lives rather than others. When that happens, the healing of the spirit can begin. For me and my broken heart, all I ask is that you listen and acknowledge, rather than dismiss and belittle. Is that realy hard for you to do?
I promise to do the same for you.