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Op-Ed: You’re a white male and it’s all your fault – Polarization

Before we start I’m a white male, and an older one. I don’t know what you expect me to do about that, but that’s the way it is. I do not accept, or like, white male stereotypes in any form. White males are not some sort of uniform mix of views. We’re not all redneck racists, smug rich things in suits, etc. This article is about the core fallacies of the media image of white males.
We’re not talking about “fake” media here. We’re talking about a total media environment where racial and gender stereotypes are the only subjects under discussion. The “Left”, for example, is actually anyone who’s not on the extreme Right, but hey – You’re an instant communist, right? That sort of definition is THE problem, and the cause of so much polarization.
The sheer number of issues automatically associated with white males by media is pretty vast. In most cases if you’re a white male, you should be someone else ethically, spiritually, culturally, and physically, according to everyone who uses the expression.
The white male is now a collection of mainstream media brand stereotypes, direct from Overpaid Can’t Be Bothered Demographics R Us. This is where those absurd OK Boomer, Old White Men, “The Left”, and other simplistic or simply false categorizations come from. Everyone is politically something, according to this sloppy process of definition.
The media has been selling these stereotypes to political marketing. This is why political parties pitch to demographics rather than real people. They’ll sell to the numbers, not the people. The neo-McCarthyists in particular focus on a male stereotype which is about 70 years out of date. This is the Instant Male Redneck category, which may be familiar to some.
This market image is the original Joe Six-Pack, the ghost of the sitcoms. He’s ignorant, stupid, and can’t understand anything that happened after his early teens. The alternative image is the stereotype white male executive, basically the same thing, but wears a suit and tie.
All white males are considered to be in these categories by default. Never mind decades of life experience. Never mind insights from reality. You’re a white male, therefore it’s all your fault.
Above all, let’s overlook the fact that you’re not female, not a member of another ethnic group, and that’s your fault, too. You should be someone else by definition. You’re instantly a bigot, a conservative, a radical, an extremist, a fanatical upholder of the status quo, etc. You are therefore the easy description of what’s wrong with the world.
If you’re a white male, you simply can’t be:
• Unimpressed by political skanks of all kinds.
• Unbiased.
• Socially responsible.
• Interested in anything but white bread issues.
• Aware of anything at all, particularly current issues.
• Able to express your own opinion.
• Literate in any form.
This terminology is the basic mechanism of polarization. White males are Them. Nobody else could possibly be wrong about anything. Nor can anyone who’s not a white male be criticized for any reason, because you’re a racist or a misogynist if you do. It’s all about an easy description. As usual in mainstream media, objective discussion and any kind of thought on any subject have no role.
The subcategories for white males are pretty basic and can be summed up in three words:
Old white men
This definition is pervasive. It’s based on older white men in the public eye, not real old white men. Hundreds of millions of men are mindlessly made into this image. All older white males are instantly associated with conservatives, talk show hosts with rabies, maniacal evangelists, hate groups, etc., and that’s quite normal in all media.
You are personally responsible for:
• History’s horrors, like the Vietnam War and everything else you protested and voted against.
• Racism, hate speech, misogyny, discrimination and everything else you despise.
• The pollution you’ve tried to mitigate since you were in your teens.
• The total obliteration of a dumb but harmless society which you didn’t like, but was so much better than this sleazy criminal version.
• The destruction of the global environment and its replacement with a pole-to-pole sewer that you loathe.
• The huge rises in the cost of living you’ve been battling all your life.
• Other people’s poverty, as though you personally caused it.
• Anything else people don’t like and do nothing about.
Just say it’s an encyclopaedia of everything anyone is complaining about. Your own views are ignored; your views are supposedly those of your demographic according to other people who aren’t in that demographic.
College and non-college
The other big divide is education. Sure it is. Most of the white male gerbils in public office around the world are college-educated. Whether these cretins can read, write, or understand simple sentences isn’t an issue. The issue, according to mainstream media, is whether they’re college educated.
So as a white male, you are:
• College-educated, therefore a member of an “elite”. Sure you are. Can’t manage anything, can’t do anything right, but you’re an “elite”. What a joke.
• Not college educated therefore a member of the blue-collar slobs. Like hell.
• Prejudiced for and against others in your demographic, based on this dichotomy. Obviously.
• Prejudiced anyway. You must be. It’s what you do, remember?
As a matter of fact, there are other avenues of education. A lot of people don’t feel the need to go broke to get a degree. A lot of people work outside the mainstream, and many billionaires don’t have college degrees, as is well known.
…But you’re white and male, so you must fit the stereotype. Otherwise people would have to guess what you think.
White males vs women
If you’re a white male, you must hate women, according to mainstream media. You can’t possibly be aware of any women’s issues. You may never have had a mother or other female role model. You can’t possibly have a wife, daughters, etc. You’re just a statistically defined jerk, right?
This stereotype groans into action on any subject. It is perfectly true that women do get the wrong end of a lot of things. Equal pay, for example, is the perennial issue. Abuse etc. is usually by males, true enough.
…So again, it’s not individuals being subhuman that are the problems. It’s the entire white male demographic. The media dutifully lines up to point this out, and nothing at all is done about any of it, as usual.
You’re mistaking the depth of male ignorance for rampant misogyny. What the hell would we guys, white or otherwise, know about personally being female? Very little at best. It’s another useless stereotype, occasionally fanned into flames by people who should know better.
Just for the record – A lot of men voted for women’s suffrage. Men supported equal opportunity. Most guys have women in their lives who are very important to them. And you assume white men are anti-women? Any brain cells working, yet, or do you need a crankshaft?
White males and other races
Also in the definition of white males is the “racist by default” image. In practice, we don’t know a damn thing about being part of other racial groups. Why exactly anyone believes that white males have a clue about being black or anything else is debatable. How, exactly, do you have that experience?
Doesn’t matter. You’re white, therefore you must be a racist. You can campaign for civil rights, support it, and support Black Lives Matter 60 years later, but you must be a racist according to the image.
This is the sole, unchallenged, image of the white male in media. Anything else would be off script. Neither the raging psychos of the Right nor the sedate (sedated?) patter of the so-called Left would have it any other way. It’d be too difficult.
We think what? Do tell!
You could help by not being so utterly dismissive of people’s views. You could help by acknowledging that some people can read and understand what they read. You might even consider that some people have a lot more insight than you could possibly have into just about all issues. You could help by not mistaking all white males for this ridiculous image. …And you won’t, will you?
When you finally get around to the usual post-mortem marketing after an election, a war or a major period of change, you’ll notice one thing also as usual – You ignored the facts. You assumed an entire demographic would follow the script. You again didn’t recognize when the demographic moved on, usually years ago.
So – To hell with you lazy inattentive idiots. Don’t devalue human life experience. Don’t ignore the total contemptuous distrust that comes with being categorized like some damn commodity. Don’t tell people what they think, what they believe, what they want, or why they do so. People vote and act the way they feel, and there’s not a damn thing anyone can do about it.
Just think – Other groups may feel the same way. You’ve buried them in clichés, too. You could ask them, but you won’t, will you? Pleasant dreams, stereotype manufacturers.

Written By

Editor-at-Large based in Sydney, Australia.

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