ONTD Political

Oh God, Please Don’t Let White Male Victimhood Be the Next Big Social Movement

10:10 am - 12/06/2012


If there's one thing I'm always going to remember about the 2012 election, it's that it was the moment I first saw the white male monopoly lose its vise-grip on American culture. Not that white men aren't in charge anymore—they are, and they will probably always be a dominant political bloc—but there's a sense that they're no longer entitled to win just for playing. They're going to have to enter and roll, just like the rest of us (the dice are still weighted, duh, but baby steps). Mitt Romney was a white dude's white dude, and 62% of white dudes had no doubt that their dude would win. Because, hey, he "looked like a president." That fantasy imploded on election day—and, with it, a whole lot of never-before-questioned white confidence.

Perhaps not so coincidentally, over the course of Obama's first term, what started as a fringe dude subculture has flourished into a thriving online community—the self-described "Manosphere," a safe haven/echo chamber for men who feel discriminated against, ignored, and blamed. Potentially false rape charges and "unfair" child support payments deserve equal or greater outrage, they say, alongside actual rapes and centuries of systemic, enforced poverty. And I don't mean that those problems are bullshit—all injustices deserve attention and care—but we're trying to cure cancer over here. You have a stuffy nose.

When your philosophy—reinforced over and over by other men who are just as scared as you—dictates that men are the real victims and women are the oppressors, the only surefire escape is retreat into traditionalist behavior models where everyone "knows their place." Then everything will be okay again. Then we'll have a president who "looks like a president." But believe that all you want—we can never go back. You can't get the toothpaste back in the tube.

And the fact that there's metaphorical toothpaste fucking everywhere is profoundly frightening to a lot of men, whether they realize it or not. That anxiety seems to be so instinctual, it's beginning to seep out of the more absurd fringes of the blogosphere and into the thinking of otherwise presumably reasonable men. Mainstream manhood is starting to look a little shaky.

You can see the anxiety in sulky hand-wringing about old dudes' right to be found attractive no matter what, as in Richard Cohen's absurd column last week:

In "North by Northwest" and other movies, Grant - for all his good looks - represented the triumph of the sexual meritocracy - a sex appeal won by experience and savoir-faire, not delts and pecs and other such things that any kid can have.

You can see it faintly in even the most innocuous dating advice, which unfailingly advises women not to be "too loud" or "too funny," as though a blank canvas is the ultimate turn-on. And, as though, the very concept of "dating advice"—telling people how to artificially alter themselves so as to best attract a potential partner—isn't a normative idea that's damaging to both genders.

You can see it in the panicked traditionalism of the Tea Party. You can see it in the nauseating "Nice Guy" complex. You can see it in insecure young dudes who think big muscles and homophobia will make them "manly."

And you can especially see it in snide, boo-hoo editorials about how white men get a bad rap and it's just not fair:

From what I read, we're all the same, all guilty, all part of that hard-core white patriarchy, sitting here in the country club man-cave on our brown leather Chesterfields (apparently a fancy kind of couch), staring at the moose head over the fireplace.

We're all pigs. We all kept our women barefoot, pregnant and in the kitchen. We were Ward Cleaver, keeping June at home when she could have been a brain surgeon, expecting her not only to make dinner, but lunch, too, passing our 1950s porcine values on to Wally and the Beav.

Yeah, yeah, yeah—as though certain men deserve some sort of credit for not being completely entitled sociopathic assholes. Congrats, bro. That masterpiece of sour defensiveness? That's not from some obscure man-blog. It's from a mainstream newspaper. White male victimhood is going national. And I mean, okay, men, your feelings are hurt. I get it. Total strangers are making fun of you for being a big white dork. And they don't know you—maybe your life hasn't been easy like the proverbial "white guy" that everyone says is rolling around in megabucks and ruling the world. You're not running the world! You don't even have one megabuck! It's not fair!

But here's the thing. It's not that your life has been easy, per se, it's just that certain hardships have been absent—hardships that affect other groups in ways that are most likely invisible to you. You're not personally being blamed for anything, nor is anyone asking you to abandon your own interests and concerns. You're simply being asked to acknowledge and help dismantle a system that is rigged in your favor, because it's the right thing to do. Opportunity is not a limited resource—other people having stuff does not mean you don't get to have stuff. It'll be okay. In fact, it'll be better.

The so-called "War on Men" isn't a war on men at all—it's a war on inequality. Oh, you're feeling marginalized and underrepresented? Complain to me after you've been marginalized and underrepresented for 200 years. You haven't even made it a day (mainly because it's not actually happening to you yet—you have always had and WILL always have representation). And we can tell that you aren't really subjugated, because if you were you would be coming to us, the supposed dominant group, for help—just like we're forced to come to you, groveling, and beg for our reproductive rights, marriage rights, and equal pay for equal work. Instead, you're insulting and alienating us and trying to shove us back down where we "belong." Women and people of color and LGBT Americans have the right to complain because we've fucking earned it. And we're kind of busy here, working on a project called "equality." Let me know when you're done flipping out over losing 1% of your privilege. We could use your help.


Saucy Jezebel.
angelofdeath275 6th-Dec-2012 03:19 pm (UTC)
white men are so whiny and insecure and entitled and need to shut up
chaya 6th-Dec-2012 03:25 pm (UTC)
You're not wrong.

bnmc2005 6th-Dec-2012 03:52 pm (UTC)
When your philosophy—reinforced over and over by other men who are just as scared as you—dictates that men are the real victims and women are the oppressors, the only surefire escape is retreat into traditionalist behavior models where everyone "knows their place." Then everything will be okay again. Then we'll have a president who "looks like a president." But believe that all you want—we can never go back. You can't get the toothpaste back in the tube.


UGH.

My partner is teaching gender theory and having her fill with the entitled and poor confused homse-schooled fundie white boys in her class. They really are having to grapple with the fact that the real world has other colors and ideologies than theirs and yes - YES- It's TRUE, that some women - many in fact do want to have a job and take care of their own stuff and finances and they Don't want to stay at home all day...

This is really blowing their minds. Poor babies. Reality is sooo mean!



bnmc2005 6th-Dec-2012 03:56 pm (UTC)
Opportunity is not a limited resource—other people having stuff does not mean you don't get to have stuff. It'll be okay. In fact, it'll be better.

I wish this would fit on a bumper sticker. This needs to be shouted from the rooftops!
recorded 6th-Dec-2012 04:11 pm (UTC)
I was hoping this would be posted here. I have nothing to contribute but these handy misandry images.



[MORE GLORIOUS GIFS, I AM A GIF ADDICT]
































Edited at 2012-12-06 04:12 pm (UTC)
arisma 6th-Dec-2012 04:25 pm (UTC)
Omg that last gif set. Cackling. No lies detected.
a_phoenixdragon 6th-Dec-2012 04:43 pm (UTC)
I wanna hug this post.
bleed_peroxide 6th-Dec-2012 05:16 pm (UTC)
Poor widdle white men. WON'T ANYONE THINK OF THEIR SUFFERING?! ;A;
astridmyrna 6th-Dec-2012 05:30 pm (UTC)
Not all men have lost that sense of entitlement. See "that woman/WOC/POC stole MY job!"
silmaril 6th-Dec-2012 06:46 pm (UTC)
That phrase is a particularly resounding one today.

(TRIGGER WARNING: Lethal violence against women.)
girlwonderrobin 6th-Dec-2012 05:59 pm (UTC)
When your philosophy—reinforced over and over by other men who are just as scared as you—dictates that men are the real victims and women are the oppressors, the only surefire escape is retreat into traditionalist behavior models where everyone "knows their place." Then everything will be okay again.



poetic_pixie_13 6th-Dec-2012 06:00 pm (UTC)
Hey now, y'all, #WhiteDudeProblems totally exist and are a valid thing.

(Insofar as white dudes are a serious problem.)

Please Don’t Let White Male Victimhood Be the Next Big Social Movement

Wasn't that the Tea Party, tho?

This is also reminding me that I need to one day write a blog post about how 'Nice Guy' phenomena manifests in men of colour, particularly political moc or those who are super proud of their heritage/culture.

Edited at 2012-12-06 08:21 pm (UTC)
hinoema 7th-Dec-2012 04:25 am (UTC)
Do! That would be interesting.
recorded 6th-Dec-2012 06:08 pm (UTC)
Sharing this on facebook is highly recommended (feel free to add more privileged groups).

ATTN: white people, males, straight people, affluent people and christians.

"It's not that your life has been easy, per se, it's just that certain hardships have been absent—hardships that affect other groups in ways that are most likely invisible to you. You're not personally being blamed for anything, nor is anyone asking you to abandon your own interests and concerns. You're simply being asked to acknowledge and help dismantle a system that is rigged in your favor, because it's the right thing to do."
kitanabychoice 6th-Dec-2012 06:53 pm (UTC)
I just want to highlight that part over and over again. I rant to my bf all the time about how, for example, I don't expect white people of today to feel guilty over slavery, I just expect them to acknowledge that even though slavery is over, systemic racism is not. If you try to go back through history and connect the dots for some people, they just claim you're ~stuck in the past~ and so on and so forth. So infuriating!
borderline_mary 6th-Dec-2012 06:50 pm (UTC)
This post has improved everything about my day.
perthro 6th-Dec-2012 08:17 pm (UTC)
Don't you know that white male victimhood has ALWAYS been a social movement?

I'm not saying that men don't have problems. They do. But most of those problems were *caused* by misogyny, and with so many privileges, it's hard for me to feel bad for white men as a whole.
ascendings 6th-Dec-2012 08:26 pm (UTC)
i needed this post and the gifs today :)
stevie_jane 6th-Dec-2012 09:44 pm (UTC)
Urgh, will white men ever stop expecting to get everything their own way? They could at they very least stop treating women like shit when they don't worship the ground they walk on. It would be a fucking start.

castalianspring 7th-Dec-2012 02:39 am (UTC)
GIF love. Seeing Emma finally punch out that sexist asshole totally made my damn day. ♥
tabaqui 6th-Dec-2012 10:28 pm (UTC)
I've given up on responding to people about this, because the ones that trot out the 'fake rape' crap and the 'affirmative action' crap simply cannot see past their own self-entitlement to get...frankly...anything.
shad0wdr3am3r 6th-Dec-2012 10:51 pm (UTC)
Shots fired!!!

Such truth.

This just made my day.

Thank You.
masakochan 7th-Dec-2012 01:16 am (UTC)
Looks like I need to bring this image up again:

the_gabih 9th-Dec-2012 05:25 pm (UTC)


(basically that scene is my fave)
miss_makiba 7th-Dec-2012 03:35 am (UTC)
Potentially false rape charges and "unfair" child support payments deserve equal or greater outrage, they say, alongside actual rapes and centuries of systemic, enforced poverty.

Lies versus rape in the scheme of awful things in the world, and lies somehow win? What the fucking fuck.
coraki 7th-Dec-2012 03:42 am (UTC)
The poor white men need a break. It's been a long year for them.

*takes a page from Sonya's book*



I really don't advocate violence against anyone. This one fight scene out the horrid movie stuck with me all these years. Kano's a bad guy and has the upper hand in most of the fight, then when the tables are turned asks for Sonya to go easy on him. Men had no problem oppressing women all these years, then when the tide starts to shift ever so slightly. Oh boy, do they act like they're the oppressed victims.

Edited at 2012-12-07 03:54 am (UTC)
yndigot 7th-Dec-2012 05:29 am (UTC)
So, slightly off topic, but I had this trippy experience at a Halloween party this year where a (slightly drunk) guy approached me (a Hispanic woman) and started asking me (in a way that was obviously unfamiliar with terms like 'white privilege', but well aware of the concept) to forgive him for his white male privilege and tell him what to do to 'fix' it.

If he'd been less drunk, I might have tried to explain that the fact that he wanted to fix everything (or thought his oh-so-important white male voice was the one missing that would make the world right again) was kind of the whole problem. Instead I ended up reassuring him that recognizing his privilege was a good first step and gently trying to redirect him when he asked for my number.

My friend laughed at me later and said something about how I'd had 'a really serious conversation with that drunk guy'. Definitely not the conversation I was expecting to have at that party.
coraki 7th-Dec-2012 07:15 am (UTC)
:( I read that as he used it like a pick up line and try to get into your good graces.
hammersxstrings 7th-Dec-2012 04:36 pm (UTC)
my dad has posed the idea that the reason why there's so many mass shooting where it's a middle class white guy is because they're becoming so oppressed.

i never even know where to start with that. i usually just shake my head and leave the room
the_gabih 9th-Dec-2012 05:23 pm (UTC)
So that must mean that working-class black trans* lesbians have been committing mass shootings for years, right?

Oh wait...
kittymink 7th-Dec-2012 05:49 pm (UTC)
oh god THE POOR WHITE MEN
the_gabih 9th-Dec-2012 05:23 pm (UTC)
Potentially false rape charges and "unfair" child support payments deserve equal or greater outrage, they say, alongside actual rapes and centuries of systemic, enforced poverty.

There's a guy on tumblr who's going round harassing rape victims and saying that falsely accusing someone of rape is worse than actually raping them. Basically, I am so fucking done with this bullshit it is unreal.
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