A saying of mine got me on some interesting thoughts. The saying is:
“I’m tired of being told how this country is everyone else’s in the world”
Never have I been told its mine nor does it seem to be mine nor does it feel that its mine. Everything is about how its someone else’s.
A DILEMMA OF THE WHITE AMERICAN MALE
This dilemma, it seems, appears to center around the white American male. Ironically, this is the person who basically built this country and created its ideals but it seems that their only function is to blame when something goes wrong. Not only that, nothing we do is ever acknowledged. Just some months ago I went to the library and saw that they had “women’s history month” and “black history month”. This infuriated me. I just about went up to the librarian and said, “when are you going to have ‘men’s history month’ or, better yet, ‘white American men’s history month’. With the contributions we’ve made it shouldn’t be a month but a decade long celebration! When is that going to happen?” Never is there any acknowledgment of what we did. You go to the library and there are literally thousands of books that have titles like “The women in so and so (such as art or medicine)” and “Black Americans in so and so” but you never see “The white male in so and so”. And then they have all these programs directed toward everyone else (females, black people, minorities, etc) but never for us. I’ve been told numerous times that there are almost no programs to help or inspire males at school . . . but there is for everyone else! And yet they tell us we have preferential treatment! Its like this country is for everyone else but us. I often joke how they ought to make anyone who crosses the border an American citizen or, better yet, they can make everyone in the world a citizen of the U.S. And guess who gets to pay for most of it? And if anything goes wrong, guess who gets the blame? And if there are problems, guess who is not allowed to say anything bad about it? And god help us all if we say something bad about people . . . the worlds going to come to an end!!!
The basic message . . .
But, from where I stand, I’d say that the basic message this society gave me, and the white American male in general, would include:
- All the problems of the world is our fault.
- All the problems of the country is our fault.
- We’re often treated like we’re bad people, tyrants, oppressors, victimizers, and such. For example, people seem to see hatred in things we do when there is no hatred.
- People put words in our mouths.
- We’re accused of a lot of stuff that we never did.
- People act like we’re plotting against them.
- People act like we’re trying to hurt them in some way.
- We have to be careful of everything we say and do or we’ll be villainized. Its like we got to walk on pins and needles around people.
- We can’t get mad, show anger, or express dislike of anyone and in any way. It seems to scare people and, sometimes, they act like the world is going to end.
- We can’t complain about things, especially people. If we do then its for some sinister reason.
- We can’t say things against people or criticize people but other people can sure do that to us.
- If we do something perceived as wrong its made a big deal out of, often to the point of ridiculousness.
- We often end up paying for everything, in one way or another. We tend to pay for everything in this country and we’re paying to “save” the world.
- We often have to give all that we create away . . . its like nothing is ours. Sometimes, I feel that we can’t have our own things. We can’t even have our own club or have a Boy Scouts made up of only boys. Many males, such as myself, have no choice but to “go our own way” without society. And its best that this society knows nothing about it . . . they’ll just criticize what we do and find fault with it.
- There has been a lot to help, pay for, and give things to everyone else except ourselves. I’ve sat and watched how other people are given preferential treatment. I’ve sat and watched how other people are given things for free. I’ve sat and watched all these programs to help other people but never us. I’ve never seen that directed to us. My observation is that most males have to “fend for themselves”.
- If we do get something beneficial we are often criticized and condemned for it. One of my jokes is: “If a white male is hired then someones rights have been violated”.
- Nothing we say seems to matter. I’ve never felt my opinion matters.
- Often, we are treated like we don’t even exist, but everyone else exists.
- People act like we have all this preferential treatment. If we do I don’t see it.
- In general, the white American male is not allowed to be a male and many “male things” are nothing but criticized. Its amazing how something like having a gun is made a big deal out of. I tell people I have about 15 guns and people freak out. They act like my intention is to go out and shoot people!
- The male has basically become emasculated in this country.
None of it says that its my country nor does it convey support nor does it convey a message of acceptance. To be frank, I have never felt accepted by American society even though I was born and raised here. The country makes me feel like I’m a “bad guy”, oftentimes, as if I’m at fault for all the problems.
Overall, I’d say that this mentality creates an environment of apprehension in the society where people act like we’re going to hurt them or something, as of we’re threatening them in some way. I often get this feeling around people and its even made me not want to associate with certain people. The people that are worst are some females, then black people, then some other minorities. But there is also a type of white American male character that is part of this as well. The words I would use to describe him would be a “pussy whipped castrated self-righteous liberal”. This character seems a product of the hippie movement. When I’m around these type of people I feel I have to be “very careful”, like walking on pins and needles. God help us all, I don’t want to say the wrong thing and be called a racist or accused of something! Basically, I don’t feel “at ease” with many people in America. Its like everyone is too “touchy” and quick to find fault and blame. The problem is that this seems to be a large part of the population.
The effect of the message
The message, described above, has had great impact on the white American male or so it seems to me. Its can cause things like:
- They feel disconnected.
- They feel alone.
- They tend to become very much “to themselves” and don’t do a lot with society, often focusing on a few friends often “doing their own thing”.
- There’s little or no ambition to do anything.
- They become apathetic.
- They don’t want to participate in things.
- Their growth is stunted.
- They become apprehensive or very “careful” around people.
- They develop a contempt for society, people, and things.
- They repress their anger.
- They tend to show little or no emotion.
- They won’t voice their opinions.
- They feel that nothing they do matters.
- They become “yes men” and agree with everything whether they believe it or not.
- They lose a sense of themselves as an individual person.
- They feel lost in life.
- They find other outlets that can often become extreme and excessive.
These have all adversely affected the male. Its caused a general “repressing” of the male in this society. In some males, its destroyed them and turned them into a shell of a person. They become almost like a “nobody”. I have always felt that this is an unspoken problem in this country.
The problem of the image of authority
I tend to feel that the message given to the white American male, in the way described above, really reflects how people in authority are often treated. In other words, the white American male, as a group, has become an image of authority in the U.S. The problem is that this is a very large part of the population and most have no authority whatsoever. I have always felt that the reason why the white American male, as a group, is treated as “authority” is a result of the ideas of democracy. Previously the King or other people in power were the “authority” and received this treatment. In a democracy, this does not exist so the feelings that went to the King or other people in power is now given to a group of people who are associated with the image of authority: the white American male.
People in power are often treated a number of unique ways, such as:
- They are blamed for problems, whether they are responsible or not.
- Any difficult feelings are directed to them and often in a deep serious way, even to the point of violence sometimes.
- They are as if “split off” and removed from everyone else and treated as a separate group.
- They are expected to miraculously solve problems.
- The people tend to give “authority” no help whatsoever.
- They tend to be scapegoats for problems.
These qualities describe many of the traits of how the white American male is treated. In some ways we have become trapped in an image of authority when we don’t have any authority.
A tendency of denial . . . a taboo subject
I’ve talked to people about how we are treated and many people are aware of it. I see it referred to all the time but it tends to be “trivialized” or denied if you get serious about it, even by white American males. I sit and hear white American males talk or complain about these things all the time but that’s all they do . . . they never formerly acknowledge it. Its something that’s talked about “under the table”, so to speak. Its really weird. If you ask them about it they deny it . . . even after they just complained about it! Its almost like a taboo subject, something no one wants to talk about.
To be frank, I’m not exactly sure why its a taboo subject. One thought involves the attitudes given to “authority” above. As I said, the male is trapped in the image of authority but he knows he’s not authority. In this way, he is “half authority, half not”. As a result, he “notices” these qualities being directed against him but because he views himself as not being authority it is “passed off” as nothing because “authority” is treated as a separate group and he doesn’t see himself as a part of it.
A SOCIETY OF FEAR AND APPREHENSION
If one looks further one can see that this mentality describes a condition that reflects how American society is a society of fear and apprehension. Its a society that is deeply frightened, though it doesn’t think it is.
I would say that I seem to feel that there is a growing dissatisfaction in many people. Most of these people seem to be white American males. Much of this dissatisfaction, it seems to me, is based in this ridiculous fear and apprehension and its effects. I often feel that one of the reasons why the white American male is more dissatisfied than most people is because he is treated with all the attitudes given to “authority” which makes it more frustrating and ridiculous.
The problem is that this dissatisfaction has no “voice” yet. The feeling is there but it has no form. Like I said above, you can’t even talk about it. I’ve even seen a particular look in young boys, as if “waiting for the moment” to unleash their dissatisfaction. There’s a quiet restlessness. I also think that, with some males, there is a growing silent anger growing within them, an anger that has no outlet as, remember, we’re not allowed to be angry.
I don’t think people recognize that they are tired of a fear, though. Its just perceived as a “something”. Its like this mild fog that hangs around but isn’t solid enough to define. This may because of the unique quality of the fear . . .
The cause of the fear – the 20th century
The fear and apprehension of this society originates, I believe, from the last century and includes the horror caused by these things:
- The horror of modern warfare
- The Nazi’s and the holocaust
- The cold war and the threat of nuclear annihilation
- The problems of overpopulation
- The problems between peoples and countries
- The awareness of humanities destructiveness to the world
In other words, the fear is a conglomeration of many fears originating in the last century. This makes it hard to define and delineate. Its probably why it remains an undefined “something”.
But these fears have left a lasting “shadow” that is cast on this century. Since the white male is often involved with many of these things, and associated with an authority image, he is associated with them. He is, in a way, blamed for it all. The white male has become the scapegoat of 20th century fears.
But all this is yestercentury stuff . . . its gotten old. The fears of the 20th century have gotten old. The blaming of the white male has gotten old. By maintaining the fears of the last century, and in blind blaming, we as if remain in the last century, as if stuck there. I think this “being stuck in the last century”, with all its fears, is one of the causes of the dissatisfaction of many white American males, though he doesn’t know it. I often think that many white males, deep down, are wanting a new “era” to appear and are tired of the last “era”, the last century. Its as if many white American males are waiting for “something new”, or so it seems to me.
THE NEED TO MOVE OUT OF 20TH CENTURY FEARS AND MENTALITY
I think this is reflected in me as I tend to think that this dissatisfaction is one of the origins of my belief that we need to move out of the 20th century mentality and its fears. But we’re almost a quarter of the way into the 21st century, already, and we’re still living in the last century and I don’t see any change. In fact, it seems that the 21st century is sinking deeper into the fears of the last century. In fact, it almost seems as if the 21st century is going to be a “shadow century”, living in the shadow of the last century and not developing its own unique quality with its own character and ways. In other words, the 21st century is going to be an imitation of the 20th century. That’s what it looks like to me anyways.
I sometimes think that the breaking out of 20th century fears and thinking may take a major dramatic event, perhaps even a violent one. It doesn’t seem to be happening in a slow easy naturally changing way. At least, I see no evidence of it. I wouldn’t be surprised if it will shake the very foundations of society. This is because 21st century society is too rooted in 20th century fears and thinking. Any change is going to affect it deeply, possibly to its core. In other words, what I suspect is that 20th century fears and thinking are so ingrained in the society that to change to a new “era” is going to require a dramatic, and possibly violent, breakdown of 20th century fears and thinking.
Since the white male is dissatisfied with it, and so associated with it, its very possible that he may be instrumental in the creation of this new “era” but its difficult to say at this time. My suspicions is that when the “cause” appears many will jump on it.
Copyright by Mike Michelsen