In Response To The Allegation That Pointing Out White Male Dominance Is Racist And Sexist

Is it racist and sexist to point out that white men are dominant? Since launching the Tumblr white guys doing it by themselves, I’ve been called a “racist bitch” and told I’m sexist, too.

I welcome the opportunity to respond to these comments because while they lack decorum, this strain of thought is out there in less aggressive forms and it’s important to address it.

No one is a bad person for thinking that it’s racist or sexist to point out differences between advantaged groups and disadvantaged groups. Rather, they are tuning into decades of right-wing messaging gone mainstream: That equality has been achieved, that racism and sexism are wrongs of the past and not the present, and that the true victims of racism and sexism are white men who are less likely to get jobs and all the other things they might otherwise rightfully achieve on this planet were it not for misguided affirmative action efforts. None of these messages are true.

In a hypothetical world, it could be racist to exclude white people in order to prioritize people of color. It could be sexist to exclude men in order to prioritize women. We do not live in a hypothetical world.

We live in a real world where white men are so dominant that it’s easy to overlook how often they dominate to the point of excluding everyone else unless it is pointed out.

Pointing out white male dominance is not an attack on white men. It is an attack on the centuries-old practice of racism and sexism excluding everyone but white men from the levers of power, and the invisibility that allows that discrimination to continue.

The ability to be taken seriously as a leader, as a white man, is a privilege. It is not earned, although many white men work hard and do good things on top of this privilege. With this unearned privilege must come awareness and responsibility among hard-working white men to insist others are included in discussions affecting all of us. This is why white guys doing it by themselves exists.

Comments

  1. Thanks for being so awesome.

  2. Great post and I love your Tumblr, too. Pointing out the power structure and suggesting it should be changed is really important. I’m glad you’re out there doing it.

  3. When someone holds up the mirror, people tend to blame the mirror The Tumblr “WGDBT” is the mirror in the department store and these guys are trying on bathing suits. Just like everyone else, blaming the mirror instead of admitting their bikini days are over.

  4. You can’t hear me, but I am applauding.

  5. I’m a straight, white, middle-class, cisgendered male and I approve of this blog post.

  6. Reblogged this on Central Oregon Coast NOW.

  7. Can such a hypothetical world even exist, if whiteness is not biologically based but best seen as a “strategy for securing to some an advantage in a competitive society” (Ignatiev)? “Without the privileges attached to it, the white race would not exist, and the white skin would have no more social significance than big feet,” no?

  8. I have been a propeace activist for 42 1/2 yrs., men love the bitch to throw around at women who are strong, determined, hard working, yet if we have strong opinions we’re bitches, female dogs. Now with the other side of the aisle trying to round up all women pack them into a wayback machine, some want us in the ’50′s, others the ’10′s,

  9. I love this.

  10. Have you ever heard of La Barbe? A french feminist action group denouncing male supremacy in all circles of power. They invade one white male panel per week, wearing fake beards, and it works!
    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2011/jun/29/la-barbe-feminism-france

  11. Often the debate boils down to equal rights vs. equal results. The people who disagree with you believe that in the US today, women and minorities have equal or greater rights under the law as white males. Everyone agrees group outcomes are different, but people disagree as to why.

  12. Guess my race and gender says:

    It’s called confirmation bias. It’s a well-documented cognitive phenomenon. It’s a condition of being human. Think about that for a moment and how that could possibly relate to this site.

    Do white men hold power in society? Yes. Absolutely. But by constantly pointing it out such that you eschew every other possible characterization of whiteness, power, and masculinity (including, say, that of a homeless, white, male meth-addict war veteran), you run the *serious* risk of blowing things out of proportion in your mind thanks to that pesky cognitive quirk called confirmation bias. White men symbolize power to you because the only time you *notice* white men is when they’re in power suits and speaking on CNN. Take a look around you. We are not all neoconservative heteronormative mysognistic assholes. In fact, most of us aren’t. We’re actually people. Just like you. With the same pesky cognitive quirks. Do white men have an advantage in our society? Yes. Does that mean that it’s okay to completely overgeneralize about all of them them? No.

    Ultimately, the level of critical thinking on this site (and in your essay above) is comparable to that of a first-year Sociology master’s student (or maybe just an upperclassman undergraduate). You feel righteous indignation at all the horrible shit happening in society and have, through critical thinking and reading a few essays that do nothing to change your world-view, identified a culprit. Your reasoning about things is correct here, but only partially. The problem of social inequality and injustice is more complex than you’ve reasoned. And your failure to realize that (or at lease convey it to the public) makes you guilty of scapegoating a particular race and gender, which makes you (you guessed it) racist and sexist, by really any definitions of the terms.

  13. I strongly agree with “Guess my race and gender’s” comment – well said!!

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