@WhyHelloThere That's true, and it did occur to me after I wrote my comment that saying "you should complain to someone who can do something" is definitely coming from a privileged place of being a white woman with a high level of education and the beginnings of a middle-class career, who people tend to take somewhat seriously (well, sometimes). Sorry if I sounded sanctimonious!
@WhyHelloThere As a Righteous Non-Complainer (I love having a word for this now!) I personally draw a distinction between complaining with a goal of making a difference vs just having a whinge. So complaining to someone outside of your local Democratic party about their venue choice is different to complaining within the party and wanting them to change.
@AlexaV Yes, I remember being a first-year grad student, and not realizing that talking about $$$ in academia is nothing like talking about money in normal life - at least in my physical sciences subfield, the normal thing to do is to just say "I want to do ABC, do you have a budge for it/can we put it on XYZ grant/etc?", but I'd be all "so I think there might be a cost for this maybe perhaps I dunno can we talk about something else now" and wonder why I wasn't getting anywhere :) (Also, it seems a lot of the time, grant holders are desperately trying to spend money before the grant expires, so you're doing them a favour by suggesting something they can use it for!)