Things that frost my shorts: defending Mum edition

Jul 01 2014 Published by under Uncategorized

There is no secret that I love my blog-mom, Isis. She has done wonderful things for me in the way of mums everywhere.

It is no secret that she loves shoes. Not the kind of shoes I wear, but the kind of shoes I'd like to wear. When things go bad she consoles herself with shoes, and when things go good she celebrates with shoes. It is certainly a more benign activity that say beating your children. or taking drugs. or drinking too much.

She is moving, and had to clear out her closet. Thats sad. But then some asshat wrote the following comment (which has slowly gotten under my skin):


Fuck you, you sniveling privileged bitch. Some of us are on job search three and your biggest problem is your shoes. Fuck you.

So first off, we don't use the word Bitch, as it is a gender specific insult. Maybe Ms. Bitch is reclaiming it. Not sure.

Secondly, Ms. Bitch, or Dr. Bitch, not clear which, does not get that some things are harder for some people. That everyone sees stress, challenge and hard in the context of their own life. Moving is hard. Doing science is hard. Isis has certainly paid her dues, and that things are going well for her is something for her, and the rest of us, to celebrate. If shoes are her biggest problem: I'm glad. It won't be for long, because thats not how life works.

Thirdly, I feel for Dr. Bitch's problems. I do. I have trainees. I have looked for jobs. I am grateful for that I am not on my third job search. At some point Dr. Bitch will have both more and less painful biggest problems. That is how life works.

Finally, comparing one's problems to someone else's is incredibly problematic, and leads to an ethical problem. Please see this. But two paragraphs to repeat myself:

We can’t judge the ultimate value of our tasks, but to me and to her, these problems are perhaps equally hard, equally challenging. Maybe climbing up a slide is a first world problem, let alone crafting a precise specific aim. But, they are the problems that confront me and the little girl, right now.


I try and remember that my problems are my problems, and frequently they are first world problems. Sometimes I need to be all two year old, and focus on the here and now. But sometimes I try to remind myself that there is about responsibilities to other  human beings whose problems are not of the first world .

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