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.

Show Me Your Hub, Baby

Things to be grateful for this week: I had a serious breakthrough in how I can be more aligned with the Center of the Tree of Life known in Qabala as Tifareth (aka the Christ Consciousness).

Tifareth is the Sun/Son, the Center, and is known as Beauty or Harmony. This sphere rests in the center of the Pillar of Equilibrium and operates much as the hub of a wheel. It keeps all the spokes together and allows the vehicle to move forward. All influences, whether the source is the All or a reflection of the All (from Earth/Malkuth), pass through this sphere. This is where we find the Holy Guardian Angel, the Savior, and the Vision of the Harmony of Things. Everyone has a personal Tifareth, a God-spark, within them and this is one of the greatest gifts from the All.

what you were born into

So how does this relate to my amazing week? I’ve been struggling. I’ve been trying to reconcile love and hate and the issues of race, gender, religion, and anything human-made that divides us from each other. Trying to have conversations with people about these topics is difficult (understatement) and very few people are ready to have this kind of conversation without getting upset.

I must explain that I’m a relentless sort of person and I lack a certain polish (it’s called tact). One person, offended by my relentless lack of tact, indicated that he could not believe I was bringing up the matter of skin color or gender as it was irrelevant. I wanted to know why? If I have to ask these questions about skin color or gender, I reasoned, a problem exists. I can’t pretend racism doesn’t exist. I can’t pretend that sexism doesn’t exist. I want to understand and I want to challenge the idea that merit is earned by an accident of birth.

Then I had the discussion with a new friend I met on Saturday. He said that color doesn’t matter either, but he acknowledged that there were problems. He spoke about “back in the day when co-workers and friends were just co-workers and friends – not Black, Hispanic, or White.” I remember that time too, but I also remember my grandfather using the “n” word and afterward, my father having to explain to me that I didn’t have a “black friend” but that I had a “friend who happened to be black.”

Some people don’t get that I’m exploring. They tell me to stop asking questions because it’s not going to do any good. Well, I have always been the person to say, “Hey, does anybody else see the big white elephant in the middle of the room?”

My new friend finally let me ask questions until I didn’t have any more questions to ask. He was patient, funny and outspoken. He could see the white elephant too. I felt much better, but the amazing thing is that he stripped color away. He stripped gender away. He made me see that no matter what the physical vehicle looks like on the outside, we are all suffering to some degree on the inside. We all have our challenges. Some of us more than others, but we choose how we overcome them.

baby knows what you teach it

My new outlook is not color based or gender based. When I see people now, I will seek that inner flame, the hub of the wheel, the God-spark, and I will give them the opportunity to show me how they have tended it. Because that’s what truly matters at the end of the day. How will you show the world your hub?

Racism: Like breathing air

Racism is like trying to see air. That’s what is so frightening about this illness of heart and mind. It exists, just like air, and we breathe it but we can’t see it. Sometimes we can hear it like a rattling against the windows or we can see its effects as it disturbs leaves or rips apart homes, but we can’t apprehend racism directly. We experience it and if you are on the “white” side of it, it is harder to acknowledge the inequity of it because it doesn’t reduce your comfort. The tornado or hurricane, as it were, has touched down in someone else’s neighborhood.

I have experienced sexism and understand the obstacles to understanding on both sides of a polarizing issue. I have experienced racism once and my heart goes out to anyone who has been subject to the following description:

As Black Irish, I have been told I look Puerto Rican. When I was in San Antonio, it was if I did not exist. Caucasians looked past me because I wasn’t blond and blue-eyed. Latinos looked past me because I had white skin. I had never felt anything so disturbing in my life. It shook me to my very center. My physical attributes, unchangeable genetic coding, were the basis of their judgment. My character, my heart, my mind, and my actions played no part in the opinion they formed of me. What frightened me more was how UNCONSCIOUS their behavior was.

Racism is too complex, with its centuries of inculcation, to dismantle in a few short decades. MLK and Rosa Parks, symbols for the struggles of many unsung activists, started the process but it’s not over. This recovery idea has applicable wisdom: It takes half the time of the duration of a relationship to truly get over the breakup, sort of like the half-life of plutonium or uranium to give you a more scientific parallel. So we have a ways to go in fixing this and it’s one plodding step at a time, one day at a time, and you have to stay on top of the issue.

Bottom line: Racism exists and as long as it does, NO ONE is free.