Whataboutism: A Hinderance to Social Development

Whataboutism is a derailing conversational tactic that is unknown to a lot of people. This article explores its examples, history and why its wrong.

Whataboutism is a conversational tactic that involves the reversal of an accusation in response to a difficult question or accusation. It is considered to be a way of accusing your accuser with whatever it is that you have just been accused of. This is considered to be a logical fallacy (a philosophical concept).


“Black lives matter.”
Response: “All lives matter.”

“Toxic masculinity needs to be addressed more often.”
Response: “What about toxic femininity.”

“Women have been victims of sexual assault so much this past month.”
Response: “WHAT ABOUT MEN”

“Donald Trump is an immoral and corrupt politician”
Response: “What about Biden.”

History of Whataboutism

The ideology has been closely associated with the Soviet Union during the Cold War. The concept was formulated back then when attention would be drawn away from particular wrongdoing. The person being questioned accuses the accuser implying that nobody is without fault. Therefore the individual is left off the hook without being held accountable for the wrongdoings.

Everything wrong with Whataboutism

This phenomenon is a form of devolution as it hinders progress in a forward direction because the accused do not want to be held accountable. If one particular issue is being addressed, instead of throwing more of them in response, focus on the initially raised one in order to reach a positive outcome.

If a person raises a particular issue, it in no way indicates that they are being ignorant towards other issues. However, it Is imperative to understand that if people raise other issues on their separate personal platforms, they do not classify as whataboutists. Whataboutists only use situations where an issue has already been raised to raise other issues. There is a dire need for using the oppression of other people as a derailing topic to be stopped.

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