Why White Men Might Be Pissed Off

I’m just taking a stab in the dark here, but I think I might know why white men might be pissed off—at EVERYBODY, including other white men.

Imagine this scenario:

You are told that you are the root of all that is evil in the world—sexual objectification, racism, oppression, economic inequality, and every other –ism, –ion, and -ity you can imagine. When you can’t see it because you are also marginalized by a ruling class that happens to have the same colored skin and secondary sex characteristics as you, you are further subjected to the contempt of the people around you.

It doesn’t matter that you are kind to everyone you meet and give them respect regardless. It doesn’t matter that you’re willing to hear another’s point of view as long as they don’t objectify or oppress you. You’re a white man and you have the power to change these things.

angry white male

NOT. I’m not buying this crap that white men are the root of all evil anymore. I am a feminist and that means I want equality and respect for EVERYONE. I know which demographic is perpetuating the lie. I know that all of us are responsible for our own awareness. Just because I recognize that a few wealthy, white males are actively perpetuating this systematic oppression of EVERYONE ELSE, I’m not given the license to slander all men with white skin.

White men do not have the power to change these things unless they join the rest of us: black, brown, red, yellow, female and bleeding freaking rainbows. Blaming others for something they had no hand in dreaming divides them from us. It gives those who truly want to defeat us the power to do so.

See what this lovely white man has to say. He has identified the problem beautifully:

America’s White Male Problem

We are destroying our ties to each other with blame. Several white men I’ve spoken to have commented on how they feel marginalized and useless, and it stems from the idea that they are somehow empowered to change what is happening and should do so immediately. These white men are just as disenfranchised as the rest of us. This privilege is mostly myth, perpetuated only by the media and how we respond to it.

And just to show you what I’m talking about, about how all of us suffer because we are constantly blaming and judging each other by standards we didn’t even create, check out this article:

Defining A Modern Masculinity

I am raising two emotionally literate young men and what has surprised me is the anger they feel. Fortunately, I’ve given them permission to constructively express this anger at home. The outside world is brutal not just to people of color or women or homosexuals, but to just about EVERYBODY. There are very few people on the face of this spinning planet who have not been harmed by the damage we do to each other on a daily basis.

bikini rainbow

This is the article that started my rant:

The Actual Difference Between Women Who Are Hot And Who Are Beautiful

What man is going to read this rant and feel empowered to see the beauty of women? Does she have valid point about women’s beauty? Absolutely, but this article has painted men as the ugly creatures when its true intent is to empower women in their own beauty. Are there ugly creatures like the men this article has described? Absolutely, but they are few and far between, though most unfortunately vocal in their opinions. Since these kinds of men react out of a deep seated sense of fear of losing their man-card, the real key to avoiding such ugly creatures is to love yourself and know when to walk away.

This article’s anger is every bit as valid as the anger white men feel. This author has every right to express her rage at how things are and to demand change. I just wish she had done it in a way that empowered EVERYONE. That’s the true sign of being comfortable in your skin—of being beautiful. You take full responsibility for how you experience the world.

We are all beautiful, amazing human beings with different talents and capacities. I want to live in a world where we build each other up. I want to live in a world where we compassionately and constructively become the change we want to see.

What are your thoughts on -isms, -ions, an – ities? Hit me up in the comments below.

©2014 iokirkwood.com “Why White Men Might Be Pissed Off” All rights reserved.

savedpicture-33.jpgIn between bouts of writing for metaldescent.com, blogging, and banging her head, I.O. Kirkwood is the author of “Subatomic Revolt” in Mike Lynch’s No Revolution Is Too Big series and the short story “The White Carpet,” a finalist in the Scribes Valley Publishing Fiction Contest in 2013.

14 thoughts on “Why White Men Might Be Pissed Off

  1. Kat says:

    I actually hadn’t thought from that perspective, that men might be a little upset about being called evil all the time. While I do think that in our society there are distinct advantages to being white and male, I don’t think of them as being “evil.” There are evil individuals, but that is irrespective of race or gender. If people just treated one another as people deserving of respect, maybe we would have fewer problems….

    Excellent, thought-provoking post!

    Also, I nominated you for the Liebster Blog Award! Please click the link for further details (although it may have already popped up in your news feed. ^_^;;) http://kvclements.com/2014/06/02/liebster-blog-award/

    • Wow, Kat, thanks! I was a bit concerned about this post causing all kinds of negative feedback and it just didn’t. So many people have read it and I think walked away with a new perspective. Absolutely, there is a greater privilege in being white and male. There is a greater privilege in being male, period. There are certain assumptions that we are socialized with regarding men just as there are with women. If we transform these programs into awareness and yes, mutual respect, we can break the tradition of misogyny and patriarchy that has plagued us for millennia. Everyone could be *gasps* A PERSON. I just wanted to point out that we all contribute to this reality so let’s be nice to each other if we can. And thanks for the nomination! I don’t think I’ve ever been nominated for an award before!

      • Kat says:

        I think that, as a society, we are starting to reach a point where a lot of gender stereotypes are starting to look silly to a younger populace. I’m hoping that, as time progresses, we’ll stop dividing ourselves up into these arbitrary groups that want to bash one another.

        You are welcome! ^_^

    • matt newsome says:

      Interesting. I am a white male. I am not prejudiced toward anyone. Look at history. One race is always trying to dominate another. When the dominate one tries to be peaceful, they are taken advantage of. Someone else either dominates or the original party fights back. It is a human problem of self centeredness. When everyone wants everything then no one is going to get what they want.
      This is going to seem harsh, but think about it a second. If men really hated women, they would have killed them a long time ago and we wouldn’t be here. If the southern states really hated black people then they would have killed them instead of fighting the north.
      If I were a woman or black slave, I would kill someone that was beating me. I guess that is what is dangerous about white men. We will fight back. The media is always trying to instigate a fight by pitting someone against another as well.
      Recently, in the south; it is gays against Christians. Gays say “I just want to be left alone”. In fact, no one is beating their door in, dragging them out in the street, and killing them. The gays want to shove their homosexuality down Christian’s throats just as badly as fanatical Christians want to shove their religion down the gay’s throats. Meanwhile the majority (white males if you say so) couldn’t care less who marries whom.
      Like I said the harshness was not meant to offend anyone. It seems to me to be the elephant in the room that no one is talking about. Truth/reality.

  2. Rose F says:

    Oh, thank God, I’m not the only one saying these things…

  3. Rose F says:

    Reblogged this on Rose B Fischer and commented:
    Just thought I would put this out there. I’ve tried to make similar points in the past but haven’t been so eloquent about it. We can’t succeed at empowering or advocating for equality by making broad generalizations and attacking another group of people.

  4. […] even among people who claim to want social equality and how those things make posts like this and this necessary. Also about how angry I am that it’s 2014 and we actually need a #WeWantLeia hastag […]

  5. Thank you for this thought provoking post. I think that the issue with “overwhelming white male presence” shouldn’t lead to “white male bashing”. I tend to be concerned about “overwhelming white male presence” and I support greater diversity, but I don’t believe that white male presence should be simply erased or be considered a singled out evil as it would be counter intuitive and wrong.

  6. I think the problem is in tone and wording. Rather than saying “white men tend to have this privileged,” we say “you have this privileged.” This comes across as an attack. White men do tend to have more privileged as a result of how western society has been set up, but not all white men have the same privilege and they didn’t exactly ask for the privilege. Changing our wording and tone can help. But it is still important to let white men know that they have privileges that the rest of us do not. If they aren’t aware of their privilege, then they won’t understand what we are complaining about.

    • You have hit the nail on the head. I’m not trying to diminish the privilege that is attached to the white male mythos. This is a very real phenomenon that is actually mirrored with greater effect in the extremist sects of Muslim and Indian societies. However, we can no longer blame this privilege on how Occidental societies are set up or on the system. We’ve done so much as women and as oppressed minorities here in the West to fight the institutionalized privilege. The way that white men feel right now is a harbinger of how far we’ve come. Now it’s up to us to raise our own awareness on how we contribute to the mechanism WITHOUT diminishing other parties involved. That includes white men. The issue is out there, it’s real, and denying it or saying that women are hysterical isn’t going to cut it anymore. If you treat everyone with respect, how they treat you will determine how you will interact with them (or not) in the future. I’m also not saying that institutionalized prejudice no longer exists because if you have a bunch of ignorant individuals running the show, you’re going to have problems. I just want everyone to be aware that white men aren’t the problem anymore. People of all colors and genders contribute to the problem. It can only exist if a portion of the population consents to the pathos.Let’s be the change we want to see instead of creating obstacles to solving the real problem.

    • wes crowder says:

      I am a white man, my name is Work Eat Sleep. Your interesting article is very thoughtful….when I talk to white men who have worked as hard as i have, we arent angry….the ones who are angry are the ones who dont work… I have a religious upbringing, ya its me ,4 years of college,technical education, start at the bottom employment, worked overtime out the ASS, earned , saved,put three children through school (college) 2 daughters who are empowered, detest porn,paid off mortgages,now own LOTS OF property n vehicles, plenty to retire on, always given to charity, 50 years old, always attended memorial day services and place great honor in military service to country, as my father was wwII vet…now an artist, and damn…….Ive got it made. WTF LOL Im not angry, Im overjoyed. I need investigated. LOL.Hey boys and girls, good luck, suggest you get an education and work hard. …as they say, “the harder i work, the luckier I get”. Love you G girl. say hi to Bon Bon too. text me.Work Eat Sleep.

      • That’s awesome! Your outlook is a blessing. I’m addressing the angry men and the puzzled women. Interestingly enough I’m talking to men who work, eat, and sleep. They raise children, pay their bills, go to college, and try to live life. They feel like they have a target on their backs. Everyone has different experiences. That you’ve embraced yours instead of getting angry is a sign of emotional maturation in how you approach life. No one says you have to be angry, but the people who are just need someone to say, “Hey, I know why you’re angry and it’s valid. Let’s do something life-affirming about it.” I gave your message to the Bonster! Hugs!

  7. […] With that said, equality is for everyone, including straight white people. As I’ve said before, we can’t and won’t achieve equality by lashing out against white men or straight people or anyone else.  I.O. Kirkwood has a great post about that here. […]

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