Added: Tejal Suarez - Date: 01.01.2022 12:52 - Views: 33502 - Clicks: 3941
Writer Ijeoma Oluo says this quote is more than a pithy line about mediocre individuals given unlimited power — and instead, a system everyone plays a part in.
White male mediocrity protects the belief that white men are perceived as stronger and more successful than women and people of color regardless of skill or achievements, she says. White men believe that greatness and prosperity are coming despite the realities of their financial situation or career, she says. In the book, Oluo highlights key moments to show how this system works from the way women were kicked out of the workforce after the Great Depression, to how women of color in politics are challenged for holding different views on equity than their white male colleagues.
She collected hundreds of stories and looked for common thre. Race and gender are inseparably linked, she says, and protect both white supremacy and patriarchy in the U. But this le people who are only impacted by one part of the white supremacist patriarchy to make a deal with the system. Conversations around intersectionality must recognize that white women, for example, often use their proximity to white men to uphold white male power, she says.
That can mean marrying, giving birth to, or emulating white men. Oluo notes in the book that white male mediocrity is also killing white men and calls for a new vision for white masculinity. But she says white men and the people who raise them will decide what this looks like.
That's no way to think about yourself. There is no self-love in that. Valuing the work done outside of the system by both communities of color and white men can help folks separate from this conditioning.
And we can create so many more. Cristina Kim produced this story and edited it for broadcast with Tinku Ray. Allison Hagan adapted it for the web. The s started coming in They would usually arrive after I had posted an article on race or gender, but sometimes they would appear at random. I still remember the first one, which shook me.
The listed the various hardships the sender had endured. Poverty, mental illness, discrimination. But none of that mattered, because I had shown him that the problem was that he was a white man and he should die. And so his death would be on my hands. The continued, describing how he was going to kill himself with a Glock that he kept at home and reiterating that it would be my fault. I have received many violent s from white men over the years, but I sat with this one for a while. I tried to process what I was reading and tried to figure out what I should or could do about it.
In the end, I placed it in the same folder as all the death and rape threats. A few weeks later I received another from a different sender. The message, with slight wording differences, was essentially the same. This white man was going to kill himself and I was to blame. A few days later I got a similar message via Twitter messenger. A few days after that, another.
As the threats of suicide piled up, I began to see a coordinated campaign to harass me, and as disturbing as it was, it was also sadly fascinating in what it revealed. These men were trying to terrorize me with what they saw as the only logical conclusion to my anti-racist, feminist work: the mass suicide of white men. They wanted me to know that they saw my work to end violent misogyny and white supremacy, and they saw that it was a threat, not only to their norms and their status but to their very lives.
These men wanted me to know that they were miserable, they felt screwed over, and they felt demonized. They wanted me to know that the only option available to address white male patriarchy was either to maintain the status quo that was making us all miserable, or death.
They wanted me to know that they were not capable of growth or change and that any attempts to bring about that growth or change would end them. I am the mother of two boys. Two beautiful young men who were born as beautiful babies full of endless possibility. It was shocking to watch how quickly the patriarchy came to claim my sweet little boys. I watched my older son, who had the most brilliant smile I have ever seen, struggle under the weight of being repeatedly told by society that his loving, open nature was a weakness.
The teenage brain can be a very White male looking around place. As young people grow and get ready for adulthood, their world is rapidly changing—as are their hormones. A great day is often the best day of their life and a bad day is often the worst.
Teenagers often have difficulty projecting themselves into a different, better future. It can be a very scary time, and the consequences can be very real. I could have lost my son, the driving force of my heart and soul, to this despair. It has been years since that terrifying time for my family. We worked with some great therapists, spent a lot of time healing together, and my son grew out of his hardest phase.
Not all families are so lucky. Sometimes there is no intervention that can save our children from the claws of anxiety and depression. I was across the country, getting ready to head home from a conference. But what if. They were going to send officers to my home. My son had been sound asleep, unharmed. But the police had received a call from someone pretending to be my son and stating that he had killed two people in the house.
They were going to send an armed response. To my home, where my son was alone and barely awake and very confused. What if we had fought so hard to save my son only to lose him because an angry white man decided to send armed cops to our house at six a.
When I read the s I receive from white men threatening suicide, I read them as someone who knows what the despair of suicidal thoughts looks like. I think they were just having some sick, twisted version of fun. But when I look at white male identity in America, I see it all. I see the desperation, the disappointment, the despair, the rage.Transgender Weightlifter WINS Sportswoman OF THE YEAR!
White male identity is in a very dark place. White men have been told that they should be fulfilled, happy, successful, and powerful, and they are not. They are missing something vital—an intrinsic sense of self that is not tied to how much power or success they can hold over others—and that hole is eating away at them. I can only imagine how desolately lonely it must feel to only be able to relate to other human beings through conquer and competition. The love, admiration, belonging, and fulfillment they have been promised will never come—it cannot exist for you when your success is tied to the subjugation of those around you.
These white men are filled with anger, sadness, and fear over what they do not have, what they believe has been stolen from them. And they look at where they are now, and they cannot imagine anything different. As miserable as they are, they are convinced that no other option exists for them.
It is either this, or death: ours or theirs. When we look at the history of white male identity in this country, it becomes clear that we are only stuck in these cycles of reactionary violence and oppression because we have not tried anything new. We have become convinced that there is only one way for white men to be. We are afraid to imagine something better. Republished with permission of Seal Press. Close close Donate.
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I Wanted to Know What White Men Thought About Their Privilege. So I Asked.