I wish I had a dollar for every time I heard that. Because the arrogance that concept “Don’t like it? Stop complaining and fix it” carries is mind-boggling.
I’ve gotten a lot of shit changed or helped move it along without having any of the skills to actually fix it. But complaining? I’m good at that shit.
I’ve gotten security holes patched. By complaining.
I’ve helped fix a company’s installers, alleviating low-level pain for millions of people year after year. By complaining.
What do you think BLM is doing, at its heart? Complaining.
What do you think a strike for better working conditions is? Or a boycott of a company doing bad things? Or a demonstration?
Complaining, far from the useless cynical exercise that the people in power want us to think of it as, is actually quite powerful in and of itself.
One person says “Enough of this. This shit is fucked up, and it’s fucked up whether or not *I* personally can or will fix it”. The ability of the person complaining to fix it, or even their motivation to do so does not delegitimize the problem.
But I do know what “don’t like it, stop complaining and fix it” does do. It allows people, like you, to ignore the problem because after all, if that person griping about it really cared, if it was a real problem, they’d get off their asses and fix it. All the while pretending that in reality, the first step of fixing any problem is recognizing that a thing is a problem in the first place.
Maybe one should stop dismissing complaining.