August 12th, 2015
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Ah yes, it’s the old “I’m not expecting, I’m just pregnant”
Nice! But… are you sponsored by Apple? I hope not as it is a false religion in its own right.
Whataboutery isn’t always inappropriate. In fact it can sometimes make a lot of sense if the “what about” problem is something related to what you are trying to accomplish.
For example, if I’m obsessing about some guy who owes me a hundred bucks and won’t pay, it might not be inappropriate for you to point out that as an unemployed drug addict with anger issues I have much bigger problems to worry about, and that I might be better off if I stopped putting so much effort into trying to get my money back, and focused more on the things that really matter.
@Author, excellent, again. I’d forgotten the term “whataboutery” and maybe never really appreciated its meaning, but it does functionally come up often enough that I need it. I need a term that says exactly what whataboutery does. Thank you for clarifying it.
And, while we’re on the subject, what about “double-0 stupid, licensed to die”, abbreviated “st00pid”? I actually invented that one a few decades ago (then made the mistake of posting it to Urban Dictionary a few years ago). Don’t you think that’s just as important, or moreso, than “whataboutery”? ‘
Maybe not. I just wanted to “whataboutery” something, here. 🙂
I came across an excellent example of whataboutery last week, with more than a whiff of deliberate misdirection. In response to suggestions that apostasy is a capital offence in the Qur’an and hadiths, an apologist for Islam (i.e. a muslim) neatly sidestepped the issue with the classic line:
“I am equally miffed by the millions of Muslims killed in the unjust invasion of Iraq in 2003, which has subsequently led a complete destabilization of the entire region and millions of other lives lost – buried under rubble or from depleted uranium.”
Eh? What’s that got to do with the price of fish?
Check that comment. When I said ‘an apologist for Islam (i.e. a muslim)’ I was being a smartarse, implying that all muslims are apologists for Islam… which they clearly need to be, as all christians need to be apologists for Christianity, and all jews… you get the idea.
But, of course, there are many non-muslim apologists for Islam. Like the Dave Spart who told me that it doesn’t matter that lots of young British muslims believe in the death penalty for apostasy since people aren’t ACTUALLY being killed in this country.
I’m surprised someone didn’t write: “Dear Muslima,…”
I suspect the government is indulging is some whataboutery with the investigation of Jimmy Savile, Ted Heath, etc., for alleged sexual crimes against minors.
It’s a distraction from the current grooming and gang rape of young girls in Bradford, Rochdale, Oxford, Manchester, and many other towns, and is seen as necessary to avoid civil unrest…
Interesting idea, but first, what about that cup of hot coffee / tea that Mo has precariously balanced next to his elbow on the arm of the sofa?
That’s the best elbow you’ve illustrated in a long time, what about that?
And whatabout “howaboutery”, huh? In an effort to completely change the subject to something innocuous, as in, “How about those Jets?”
The internet encourages insanity
Through vacuous anonymity
Fools with thoughts that don’t matter
Internet forums they splatter
With low grade spewings of banality.
whatabout the computer game Mo is playing
Total war Barbarian invasion?
That one where you shoot gays ?
LOLMAOFOF! This one ranks among your best, Author.
Whatabout money in politics? That is a whataboutism that should put all the other whataboutisms to shame–it’s the whataboutism that all other whataboutisms strive to be. 😀
I’m glad to learn the term “whataboutery” . No doubt this term will be useful and I shall add it to the more recently coined, possibly by me, “Dear Muslimaing”. The latter is used whenever a person points out some social problem affecting their life and is informed that some other person or group has it much worse. I suppose “Dear Muslimaing” is a subset of “whataboutery”, but more personal and dismissive.
Dismissing and trivializing the concerns of others seems to be epidemic these days, often under the banner of “first world problems”. Fortunately, all of my troubles currently fall under the first world problems category, or spring directly from the human condition. So there’s little point to complaining. Not that this stops me.
All very well, but what about my noisy neighbors? Eh?? Eh??!
What about ME?
I was thinking of Dawkins’ whataboutery as well.
whatabout extinction level events – asteroid impact / sun going nova
nano-machine apocalypse, pandemic of ebola, runaway greenhouse making the earth cytherian
would make isis/religion into the trivia it really is
Oh just try having a conversation about feminism for a massive taste of Whataboutery. It’ll happen within 30 seconds, guaranteed.
I love all your comments as much as I love J&M. I always go away smiling. thanks everyone.
Feminism-that just tends to be female exclusive
whatabout Radical feminism -which tends to be lesbian exclusive
whatabout TERF which is TERF a CIS t exclusive
Cecil The Lion, Re:”What about ME?”
Exactly. Everyone else is just thinking about themselves. I am the only one thinking about me.
What about the tendency we have to think that the sum of problems is constant? That if you add one more to the list somehow one of the others magically disappears?
re Mo’s ‘I think there are more important things to worry about’
No believer in ‘god’ would say that!
That’s what they invent ‘god’ for, to do all their thinking and worrying for them, to save them the effort.
Formally known as the Tu Quoque fallacy. Splendid examples can be seen daily in the Guardian’s Comment Is Free section.
@Mr+Gronk I would draw a distinction between the tu quoque fallacy and whataboutism. Tu quoque is the invalid defense of saying “I can ignore your criticism because you’re not perfect either”. The term “Whataboutism” seems to cover that and more, including things that are probably not a bad idea at all, like a general desire to get one’s priorities straight. It depends how you define it of course, but certainly when a person uses the words “What about…” they could simply be appealing to priorities.
white+squirrel, I think that many believers in ‘god’ think that it’s more important to worry about whether their souls will go to heaven when they die than to worry about whataboutery. ‘Born again’ Christians aren’t among those believers (because they’re sure they’re going to heaven) but they, too, probably worry about things. No human is perfect, and no believer’s trust in ‘god’ is so perfect that they don’t worry about anything.
As for myself, I prefer to do my own worrying. I try to manage it by reminding myself not to borrow trouble, for I will surely get some for free without even trying 😉 .
hmm whatabout heaven – as I understand the bible its uninhabited
because the text says that ‘god’ existed before heaven was made – therefore ‘god’ does not need it to dwell in, and humans were ‘created’ immortal
so heaven was not ‘created’ for them either
if you take the text as being accurate it makes no sense even within its own internal logic
so what about ‘heaven’
Scripture: A repository of ancient ideas where reason is a suppository, melted by the heat of faith.
Whataboutery: The first line of defence of the obfuscator and people who cannot chew gum and walk at the same time.
You wanna complain? Look at these shoes! I’ve only ‘ad three weeks……And my back hurts.
(not to mention the four yorkshirement)
Sounds like Dawkins and his Muslima “whataboutery.”
If none of you believe in God or it’s teaching’s in the Bible itself then you will go straight to Hell!If you don’t understand the Bible itself in general then you must look back on it and give it another try.If that doesn’t work out for ya then choose another religion to believe in.Don’t sit here making discussions and opinions about the religion “Christianity”.Instead keep it to yourself or in your own head,don’t let others judge you for seeing what you have posted over the internet.Respect other people’s religions and in return you won’t have an argument over who’s belief is right or wrong!