Things that people in the third world have:
- mobile phones
- air conditioning
- medical care
Granted, many of these things are in short supply occasionally. But permanent deprivation of all of these things isn’t a third world condition.
DESPITE WHAT WHITE FIRST-WORLD TWITTER USERS LIKE TO THINK
Particular local conditions, especially the fact that A LOT OF THESE THINGS ARE ACTUALLY PRODUCED IN THE THIRD WORLD make them cheaper and more abundant than they are in the first world. Not to mention, unfair terms of trade with the third world is often the reason why gluts and famines occur.
Many of the people I’ve seen use the hashtag are actually aware of this. But they suspend their awareness when it comes to twitter because:
- they demonstrably think that displaying their wit is more important than showing respect to actual people;
- misrepresenting the majority world makes them feel better about their own privilege in a “there but for the grace of god” kind of way;
- misrepresenting the majority world makes them feel better about their own privilege because if you can joke about it you must not take it that seriously and therefore you’re cleverer than your privilege, booyah! (i.e. they think they’re so special that their rhetoric trumps reality);
- misrepresenting the majority world makes them feel better because they can act compassionate, thereby justifying their conspicuous and gratuitous privilege;
- they assume that people in the majority world don’t use twitter and therefore it’s like making racist jokes with just white people around! Nobody will ever know!
All of which are spectacularly arseholish things to do.
STOP BEING SO FUCKING PATRONISING AND IGNORANT ABOUT OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD YOU OVERPRIVILEGED DOUCHEBAG because the REAL ‘firstworldproblem’ is YOU.
there needs to be a better hashtag for “problems that are really insignificant in the long run”. #justwhining?
I think for many people the terms ‘developing world’ and ‘developed world’ are preferred (although they seem more biased to me) but otherwise I like this post :)
To be honest, the 1st vs. 2nd vs. 3rd world and developing/developed/undeveloped naming schema are all pretty problematic. The former is actually based on Capitalist/socialist/unaligned from the cold war (so it’s not only objectifying, it’s ridiculously inaccurate now) and developing/developed pretends that technological and economic power are the measure of a country’s development as a country, something that really spits on low tech cultures who maintain low technology and barter economies because they do better that way and it’s their way of life.
It’s hugely western culturocentric and probably even colonizing. Some new way really needs to be figured out to handle it.
Way to erase history, ugh.
Oh wow, I had no idea it had been reclaimed so deftly.
My bad, consider my complaints retracted.
Read it and check out the links too, really good stuff.