White Men are Being Treated Unfairly. Really?
White men are appalled and pissed off at the unfairness of it all. How can the rest of us look at them as a group and declare they are ALL misogynists, racists, abusers, harassers, predators and other monsters? White men, how did you become so thin-skinned and sensitive? You are now the recipient of what the rest of us have dealt with our whole lives. We have the thick skins, toughness and perseverance to show for it.
Just ask any woman or person of color how they feel about being lumped into a completely inaccurate, stereotypical and long-held cultural belief about the group they belong too.
Of course, not all of you are horrible human beings. But the rest of us have always been unfairly labeled and knew that we had to be twice as smart and upstanding just to be seen as the exception to the rule. Now it is your turn to prove that you are above reproach. Prove that you don’t privately or openly disparage women or people of color for being less than or sex objects or simply not worthy of operating in your spheres.
We have lots of lessons to share with you so you can become more adept at proving a negative, which lawyers say is impossible. But if you want to become the exception to the stereotypical awful white man, here is some help.
Select your clothing very carefully. When you get ready for work each morning, pick something that is not too formal, not too suggestive, not too casual, nothing that will draw attention or remarks. In other words, try to look invisible…but not too much.
Measure your words and tone religiously. Be constantly mindful to sound even toned and never ever angry or emotional in any way. (Remember, anger is the privilege of awful white men and all others will be called names.) Be as obsequious as possible without sounding like a complete kiss-ass. Find that fine line to walk on.
Ignore others ignoring you. Don’t react when others take credit for your ideas, act as if you hardly exist or pass you over for great assignments at work. Just suck it up and tell yourself that next time will be different. (You can’t lose hope, buddy! There is bound to be some good man out there who will miraculously notice your achievements.)
Ignore others inappropriate attention. Don’t throw a fit every time someone crosses the street to avoid you or you are told to smile by total strangers or someone touches you aggressively without your permission or you are mistaken for the janitor. Let it go! No biggie.
Never, ever complain. It will backfire in the worst way! No one will believe that anything bad or out of the ordinary happened to you. You will be seen as a liar, trouble maker, uppity. How dare you suggest that any horrible white man might have done something horrible? If you complain, there will be negative consequences for you…not your offender.
I know it sucks to have the shoe on the other foot. You have managed to live this long without having to think about or deal with so many things. You don’t have to worry about walking home late at night. You don’t have to worry about a system that is stacked against you. You don’t have to worry about being shut out of opportunities. You don’t have to worry about traveling alone or in places that are all white. For sure, it is exhausting to have to be conscious of pitfalls and dangers everywhere you turn.
You have lived with the luxury of Jeffrey Dahmer, George Wallace and Harvey Weinstein being the exceptions rather than the norm. Sadly, women and people of color have never had that advantage. We have always been judged as a group or individually as emotional or dangerous or lazy or incapable of success without quotas and assistance programs or naturally suited for certain roles and not others. And when one (or millions!) of us doesn’t fit those stereotypes, it doesn’t add up to a shift in how our group is perceived.
Good luck proving that you are an exception to the horrible white man norm. Maybe if enough of you succeed at being truly decent human beings, you can change the perception that white men aren’t so bad after all.