White Whining

The latest mock outrage making its way 'round the internet is the term "white whine". If one is in a privileged position - and on a global scale, having internet access and white skin is a position of privilege - than any complaints about the trivial matters of life are labelled as a white whine.

Sure, most of these complaints are trivial. But does that mean we're not allowed to have them? This morning I got up, after a fitful few hours sleep with a ten week old baby, to discover our fridge seals have died, so the fridge door was essentially open all night and all the food inside went bad and had to be thrown away. Whilst I was cleaning it up and throwing out food we could financially have done without having to replace with a new baby, Christmas coming up, and a bunch of unforeseen expenses, BabyG added abundantly to the mess as only a baby can (I'm trying to be delicate), requiring a bath, change of clothes, and to scrub his bouncinette. And the ground coffee I'd bought to help cope with the lack of sleep turned out to be decaf.

Petty? Trivial? Hell yes. I know I am lucky to have a fridge at all, and a roof over my head, and BabyG a healthy baby; most people on Earth can't rely on any of these things. And yes I have had genuinely bad things happen in my life. But none of that makes cleaning up baby poop or rotten cheeses with a caffeine deprivation headache and chronic lack of sleep more fun. I like to think I'm not a selfish person. I've chosen a career in helping others. But dammit, it's important to let this stuff out; I'm cranky and exhausted. Accuse me of white whining and I won't deny it, but let me have it, please. As long as one remembers how good one really has it, the white whine is a harmless way to let off steam every now and then. Otherwise I, and others like me, will hoard all our anger in a tight little ball until it is released at an inappropriate moment, possibly whilst drinking. And we can't have that, can we?


  1. i don't see why anyone should be asked to apologise for vocalising their thoughts on their own lives, especially since we live in a country where we CAN do so.

    isn't it the same as the religious nut who goes to a liberal arts exhibition only to be offended by everything left and right?

    if people don't like what they read online, they can read something else more to their taste - perhaps these people might enjoy reading about non-white non-fed orphans in non-first world countries.

    yeah, we should be grateful for living in a decent country. but i for one don't feel the need to apologise profusely for it. at least not to finger-waivers.

  2. Exactly. Funnily enough most of the people who use the term "white whine" in a disparaging sense aren't those who do much to help those worse off anyway...


Post a Comment