When White Men Lose their Monopoly on Power… It’s Good for White Men, Too

A second column went up at Jez this week: Why the End of White Men is Actually Good for White Men. Excerpts:

The day after the election, I tweeted that I was glad that “middle-aged, middle-class white men like me no longer have sole control of the levers of power.” A friend in my same demographic shot back grimly that “after all, we are the cause of all that is wrong and soul-less in the world, or so the narrative goes.” We’ve all heard a variation on that point before, as white dudes complain that they’re unfairly held accountable for historic and contemporary injustices. Whining about “reverse racism” or about being “blamed” for the exclusionary practices of those who shared (and share) our color, our class, and our sex doesn’t change the reality that we’re the ones who’ve enjoyed unearned advantages for eons.

So instead of mourning, it’s time for middle-class white dudes to look on the bright side. Not only do we get a more inclusive, fairer nation, we also get these priceless benefits that come along with the loss of our once vaunted power…

3. Women –- and everyone else –- will be more likely to tell us the truth. The more privilege you have (or are perceived to have) the riskier it is for someone who doesn’t share that privilege to be honest with you. Anglican feminist theologian Janet Morley suggests that when the privileged use power to dominate, they force the less privileged to use their “weakness to manipulate.” Most people dislike being manipulated — and yet a system in which women and non-whites lack equal access to power is one in which honesty often comes with dangerously high risks. We soothe people whom we fear, and we flatter when we’ve got few other options to get what we need. The more power white men hold in public and private, the less likely that they can fully trust the smiles and the nods and the “yesses” of those who don’t share their privilege. Put simply, when we lose our privilege, we’ll start to be able to trust what we hear.

Read the whole thing.

13 thoughts on “When White Men Lose their Monopoly on Power… It’s Good for White Men, Too

  1. How exactly do “WHITE MEN” have power in the US, after all, MEN are a minority and a huge minority of voters, therefore they don’t actually have any power. Sure a few white men, (couple of 100) have power but the vast majority don’t have any, have never had any and won’t ever have any.

    Logical Fallacy is such a easy weapon to use when you don’t have anything else. HUGO, just because some white men have power doesn’t not mean ALL or even hardly ANY white men have.

    I have asked this question before , What RIGHTS do MEN currently (or in the last 30 years) possess that women don’t.

  2. When was the last time you were criticized not for your job performance, but for your appearance?

    When was the last time you heard Rush Limbaugh (who’s married to a woman 30 years younger) say we’re not ready for you to be president because we don’t want to watch you grow old?

    When was the last time you saw someone like Viola Davis play the romantic or action lead and get top billing in a summer blockbuster?

    How often are you warned that you have a sell-by date?

    How often are you told that you’re at your most powerful when you’re in your twenties (and it’s all down hill from there) because that’s when you have the most “erotic capital?”

    When was the last time you were told that your erotic capital is the most important asset you have and that your accomplishments and experience don’t contribute anything to it?

    • There are plenty of women who possess no “erotic capital” and still go on to live successful, fulfilling lives. I have a cousin who is a frump of a woman if there ever was one and co-owns an air conditioning company. Despite being unattractive by most standards, she has managed to hold her own in our culture of social-Darwinism. I’m sure she feels like a goddess in her multi-million dollar home. You are over exaggerating this non-issue.

      Rush Limbaugh can do whatever he wants within the boundaries of the law. If he chooses to shack up with a woman who he finds attractive then that is his business, no one elses. Feminists scold men and society for criticizing women’s choices in their sex lives, yet many of them lament on examples just like the one gave. Amanda Marcotte bashed David Patraeaus for being a pathetic, dirty old man. Her transparent bitterness is what is truly pathetic. Just look at her. Notice how women that look like her will attack men for wanting the women they are biologically programmed to want while understandably avoiding the women they don’t want, namely Amanda? Are you one of those women, Ellen? I hope not, because it is quite unbecoming, and the last thing this troubled world needs is another Amanda Marcotte.

      Speaking of that parasite, do you two still keep in contact, Hugo? Or did she throw you under the bus too?

      • Re: Are you one of those women, Ellen? I hope not, because it is quite unbecoming, and the last thing this troubled world needs is another Amanda Marcotte.

        Amen. I couldn’t have said it better myself.

  3. Heh. One more:

    When was the last time you were told that no one cares about your experience or accomplishments or your degrees or your work or anything you worked very hard to obtain and that you are proud of and passionate about?

  4. So your big answer, Ellen, or Hugo, is that some people say mean or ignorant things about women?

    ‘Cuz no one ever says mean stuff about men.

    Are you really asserting that with a straight face, Hugo or Ellen?

  5. > What RIGHTS do MEN currently (or in the last 30 years) possess that women don’t.

    Adopting “Ellen’s” rhetorical style for a minute:

    – The right to die early – on the battlefield or on the job.

    – The right to be expected to support yourself financially and even if you cannot, to be compelled to financially support others whether you consented to or not (alimony, child support). While women have lots of options available to avoid this, a man’s only ways out are prison or the grave.

    – More recently in the US, the right to pay for your preventative health care, while Obamacare provides for insurance companies offer free health screenings for women.

    – The right to no shelter (other than jail) if you or your children are victims of domestic abuse.

    If anything, over the past 30 years our laws have favored women over men. Hugo trots out the usual straw-man of the atavistic stereotype who is indignant about losing his “privilege”, but time and again over history, if men really did run the world (and feminists are quick to say so in a negative light), we have seen a progression towards increasing FAIRNESS in western society (with a few notable exceptions).

    The angst that many men feel (and calling us “whiners” is silencing language by the way) is that when political correctness takes control, that sense of fairness and equality goes out the window and we are told it’s payback time.

  6. Women are dying on the battlefield too, but unlike men, they not allowed to say they were in combat. Also, many women want to fill recognized combat roles and are fighting to do so, which is something I support. I also support requiring women to register for selective service.

    As for child support, men have options too: they’re called condoms. How many women throughout history have ended up pregnant because their partner promised to “pull out?” Same deal.

    And it’s not just a few people saying mean things, it’s an attitude that’s embedded in our culture. Quick: what are your odds for getting married based on your age and race? Are they getting better or are you sliding downwards towards a sexless, loveless, isolated doom? The rare woman that doesn’t know it off hand *will* know it down to two decimal places by Valentine’s Day.

  7. Re: Are they getting better or are you sliding downwards towards a sexless, loveless, isolated doom? The rare woman that doesn’t

    You are aware, right, that historically (and, I’m sure, today) more women reproduce than men? Most women can have children if they really want to, that’s not the case for men. (I.e. the variance in reproductive success for women is much greater than for men). This is why under stressful conditions, women produce more daughters than sons, because girls are a lower-risk bet than boys. I mean, I assume you’re aware of all this stuff.

    So on this issue, it’s very much more fitting for men to be the ones complaining. And no, you don’t need to slide down to a loveless, sexless doom, you just usually need to settle for a lower-quality partner.

    Re: When was the last time you were told that your erotic capital is the most important asset you have and that your accomplishments and experience don’t contribute anything to it?

    Uh, yes, accomplishments and achievements don’t really contribute much to a woman’s erotic capital, though they do for men. That’s simply the laws of nature. Men are attracted to looks, youth and fertility, as well as to appealing personality traits: women are attracted to status, experience and power, which often makes them want to date older men. I don’t see that there’s anything wrong with that. And I have zero respect for Rush Limbaugh’s politics, but what in hell is wrong with him marrying a girl 30 yrs younger?

  8. I Amanda Marcotte. She rocks.

    As for:

    “Uh, yes, accomplishments and achievements don’t really contribute much to a woman’s erotic capital, though they do for men. That’s simply the laws of nature…. What’s wrong with Rush Limbaugh marrying a girl 30 years younger?”

    …I think you just proved my point.

  9. P.S., guess when Suzanne Venker’s new book “How to Choose a Husband: And Make Peace With Marriage” is being released?

    February!

    A.K.A., Beat Up On Single Women Month!

    *Just* in time for Valentine’s Day!

    Of course!

  10. Ellen,

    I’m no love guru, but here is some honest advice for you, free of charge. Focus your energy and emotions on the more gratifying things in life that don’t necessarily have to do so much with this gender wars crap. You may bump into someone who compliments you nicely. But until that time comes, you need to consider how you may come across to men.

    Think about it. Men are not as simple-minded as Hugo and Amanda make them out to be. We know a manhater when we meet one, and we know when someone is condescending to us. It is not a particularly inviting character trait. Why do you think Amanda exudes that Miss Gulch persona of hers? Her self-perpetuated solitude has made her into a haggard sneed. It’s detrimental enough for her to be homely, but her misandry makes her intolerable. Many of her lemmings, you included, defend her by saying that there is nothing wrong with her, but it is painfully obvious that there is.

    Of course, if you want to play that role, go ahead. I’m sure you’ll have your pick of these beloved self-deprecating mangina sychophants. You could find a Hugo of your very own-thrice divorced and an attempted murder under his belt. Throw in the possibility of an unclaimed child and a drug past that has left him twichier than Michael J. Fox, and you’ve got yourself a real stud.

    Seriously though, stop listening to these weirdos. Marcotte is a miserable hag who is looking for anyone pathetic enough to keep her company. Schwyzer is an ass-backwards yin yang. He’ll be fighting his demons for years to come. His self-worth is entirely dependent on women’s approval of him. Ironically his struggle for this approval is starting to catch up with him.

    Get a life of your own. A life separate from these Neurotics. Then perhaps things will start looking up. Merry Christmas.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>