White Male

I share the sentiment of frustration in this poem but what I don’t get is the (currently obligatory) reference to white male colleagues. Does this crap feel any better when it’s done by non-white or female colleagues? Because it doesn’t. Their shit stinks just as much as anybody else’s.

Or is the idea that female or non-white colleagues don’t do this kind of thing? The only way you’d think that is if you are making efforts to avoid all contact with them. They are as human as white male colleagues and as prone to all human follies, including annoying dogmaticism.

I hate this current fashion of using the the words “white male” as a stand-in for “evil.” “White male academics are so sexist!” I’m sorry, have you spent much time with, let’s say, non-white Hispanic academics? And what, you found them to be less sexist than white academics? If so, you are either a liar or on drugs.

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12 thoughts on “White Male”

      1. Oh, I would say diversity officers count as white no matter how they look. I can’t stand mine, either, and she’s black, and everyone thinks she is heroic and I think she’s very nice, but the job of a diversity officer is to defend whiteness while mouthing certain pro-POC formulae.

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        1. See, this is the weird definition I’m talking about. The guy is black. It’s a fact of reality. He’s a power-hungry, mean pest but that doesn’t mean he’s any less black.

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          1. I don’t think you get it. All of these things are attitudes, politics, etc., not what you see in terms of “race” or color and “race” is far more a set of practices (and circumstances) than it is a thing although yes it is a visual marker of difference [which makes things confusing, I know]. But look: the diversity office is there to say the university does not discriminate, while also helping to maintain, if not white supremacy itself, some arrangement that will not upset the status quo, including the racial status quo. To that end, they hire persons of color who know how to do a certain kind of PC speech, but think and act in service to white supremacy or at least white supremacy-lite.

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            1. Why not just use the words that actually describe the practices themselves? Why not call them bad, useless or discriminatory? It’s like calling a cucumber a cat to signal you don’t like cucumbers.

              And no, the CDO doesn’t say we don’t discriminate. His position is that we discriminate all the time because we are evil by nature. And my position is that this approach destroys solidarity and instead we should assume that our coworkers proceed from the best intentions and not suspect the worst.

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              1. Just like “don’t be such a Jew, this is so gay, you throw like a girl” were shorthand to use characteristics people don’t choose to refer to undesirable qualities. I thought we moved past this by now.

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  1. I believe the idea is that any show of sympathy for the ’cause’ from the ‘oppressor’ (white male in this case) is suspect. This is because what is primary is not the content of what is being said but the social power context in which it is being said. Sympathy for the cause is just another way for the white man to exert and maintain his power.

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    1. Oh, yes. And it is possible for white man to actually be part of cause, but that’s different. What’s irritating are these shows of sympathy, always condescending, and always presented as enough. Say the right words and you can shut other people up AND prevent action / maintain status quo – it is perfect!

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