“White Male” Shouldn’t Be an Epithet

A plea for fairness in the gender war.

Posted Oct 09, 2018

MaxPixels, CC0
Source: MaxPixels, CC0

We’ve come to a place where “white male” is usually used only derogatorily: “White males are the beneficiary of (unearned) privilege, oppressor of women and people of color, perpetrators of havoc, from Hitler to Kavanaugh.

White males aren’t even allowed to defend themselves, even to assert the obvious truth that white males don’t have a monopoly on evil. To attempt defense risks greater epithets: You’re clueless, elitist, racist, or sexist.

And writing a defense of the white male virtually ensures censorship by mainstream publications. For example, although I’m the author of 11 books and 3,400 articles in prominent publications, dare I write something that veers from the race and gender orthodoxy, I suddenly become unpublishable...or worse. Just one of a number of examples: I was a columnist at a prestigious publication and my editor asked me to write a column on which gender has it better. I wrote the column, concluding that, net, women do. For example, they have more lifestyle options: Women are more likely than men to be accepted for being a stay-at-home parent, while fully half of medical, law, and MBA students are women, 80 percent of veterinary students. Only men must register for the draft and serve in direct combat. My column also pointed out that when apples are compared with apples, for example, surgeons with surgeons, not pediatricians with surgeons, there is essentially no pay gap. When women have the deficit, for example, in engineering, there has been billions of dollars in redress. Yet, despite women living five years longer, the vast majority of gender-specific medical research for decades now has been on women. And in terms of outreach, it’s a sea of pink against breast cancer while many more men die and die earlier of cardiovascular disease. There are more than four widows for every widower. The editor liked the column and published it, but women’s organizations pounded away at him and he fired me.

Some men have tried to speak up. Men’s equality activists such as Dr. Warren Farrell, despite liberal credentials such as former Democratic candidate for Governor of California and member of the Board of the National Organization for Women in New York City, was shouted down at the University of Toronto, as was, in a violent protest, sociologist Dr. Charles Murray. I live near the U.C. Berkeley campus. There, the radical leftist group Antifa beat up would-be attendees and destroyed stores in protest of the rare conservative white male speaking on campus. Imagine if that had occurred with female speakers, let alone females of color, let alone liberal females of color?

It’s long been argued that negative media portrayals of Blacks hurt their self-esteem and self-efficacy. Well, today, so much of what men (and boys in formative stage!) see portrays white men as evil, boorish, and/or clueless: in commercials, in sitcoms, in TV dramas, in movies.  As a result, some of my male clients and friends (okay, me too) irrationally feel guilty. Candidly, in walking down the street, on seeing a woman, I generally avoid eye contact lest she think I am one of the invasive white men so often portrayed in the media.

Thus, it seems appropriate at this point in history to remind ourselves of how much white men have contributed to society. Most white men, like people of all races and genders, are hard-working, reasonably ethical human beings. They often feel great responsibility to family and society to do work that need be done, even if far less glamorous than being “Loud and Proud” for some special-interest group’s “rights.” No less than lesbian activist and Bernie Sanders supporter Camille Paglia wrote, “If civilization had been left in female hands, we would still be living in grass huts.” After all, how many women want to build concrete foundations, fix sewers, or rid homes of rats? How much of the room in which you’re reading this essay was created by men? And beyond the everyman, white males have inspired us: from Socrates to Shakespeare to Spielberg, healed us, penicillin to polio vaccine. White male Abraham Lincoln ended slavery. White male Winston Churchill saved the world from Nazism. White males invented the telephone, the TV, the computer, and the internet, and were core to GoogleSearch and the iPhone. White males even created breakthrough women’s reproductive health products: the tampon (Earl Haas), the birth control pill (Gregory Pincus and Carl Djerassi,) and in-vitro fertilization (John Leeton and Alan Trounson.) Far fewer people have heard of them than, for example, Pocahontas, Florence Nightingale, Betsy Ross, Harriet Tubman, and Sally Ride, let alone Kim Kardashian, Oprah Winfrey, or Lady Gaga.

We speak of polarization as between liberals and conservatives, but a perhaps larger and certainly faster-growing divide is between white males and everyone else. Women and minorities, inflamed by society’s mind-molders (the schools, colleges, and media), have been urged to organize in loud-and-proud activism: from corporate women and minority caucuses to the Pussy Brigade to the National Coalition of 100 Black Women. Meanwhile, men’s organizations, including even middle-of-the-road public-service organizations such as Rotary and Kiwanis, have been ridiculed or pressured into being mixed-gender while their female equivalents, for example, Soroptimists and new ones such as The Wing are allowed to exclude men. And dare someone today attempt to create a male-only, let alone white-male only organization, he would be assailed as racist and sexist, downright Neanderthal.

But many white men feel unfairly attacked, denied jobs and university slots despite their merit, and quietly are not just dispirited but angry. Ironically, this is making them less likely to do what feminists heretofore have wanted them to: champion women. And whether in the workplace or relationships, increasing numbers of men are minimizing interactions with women: polite but distant. Maybe that’s what some feminist leaders wanted all along.

I read this aloud on YouTube.

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