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Wed Jan 9, 2013, 10:26 PM

Privileged White Guy seeks non-judgmental website for compassion, intelligent discourse, maybe more.

This discussion thread was locked as off-topic by REP (a host of the General Discussion forum).

I am tall, light and handsome. And I‘m sure you’re wondering—I do have a very small penis. Lately, I have repeatedly been told to pack up my gun and drive my Hummer right back over to Free Republic where PWG’s rule. Unfortunately, I drive a Prius, I don’t even have a gun and FR banned me because I once attended Pride weekend in NYC. And you know what that means.


I make this post amidst what I see as a pattern of gender backlash that has surfaced here on our socially liberal website. Yes, it’s true that us white guys ave been the root of pretty much all social inequities. But with some exceptions, perpetuating these inequities is really is not the goal of the guys who like to drop anchor here on DU. So why do I feel like I have a bullseye on my back?

I’ve been trying to distance myself from the PWG tag for a long time now. But since I am genetically clumped in with this unseemly group of elitists, I’ve concentrated on trying to refine the image. Recently, us PWG’s were called pule-r’s or whiners (to snivel or complain in a peevish, self-pitying way). Imagine being labeled and stereotyped in one post on a liberal website! Despite the stereotype, many of today’s PWG’s like me neither want nor exploit the advantage we hold. We certainly benefit from it, but we didn’t ask for it and it’s unsettling to us that this inequity persists. Unfortunately, we can’t really change our uniform, so we go to websites like DU in search of like-minded people to join them in advocating for social, gender, political, racial and all other forms of equality. But lately, the usually-inviting DU debates and OP’s have been a increasingly devaluing—sometimes patronizing--of us PWG’s and men in general. Does this really help the cause?

Sometimes it’s over the top—you know incessant small penis references regarding guns and Hummers. It’s tongue in cheek, but a clear double standard. But what if the meme “Only women large breasted women really need mace” was the mantra? Probably just as true, but who here would put up with that?

Sometimes it’s less overt, but more powerful. It occurred to me on the recent thread about the pervasive impact of the “threat of rape.” While I agreed that this phenomenon is a stark reality, I was nevertheless flat-out intimidated to post anything on the thread that wasn’t a wholesale endorsement of the OP. There’s wiggle room on most every topic, but it feels like it’s just not worth it to politely disagree with points made on gender-based threads because it quickly gets angry and personal. I’m still shell shocked over the asskicking I took on the Duke lacrosse posts. How ironic is it that a Privileged White Guy like me has been conditioned to feel oppressed to not post on threads of this nature? I’m certain that there are other men (and women) who also won’t post on gender-related threads for similar resons. And no, I’m not asking for pity.

So now men’s opinions are being “qualified” because we are not, well, female. (In case you missed it, Alan Alda has just been tombstoned.) This is a slippery slope. It’s a none-too-subtle form of diminishing the value of someone’s input. And on a progressive site like DU, there are babies in that bathwater. Do we really want to establish which animals are more equal than others here?

We should be welcoming of diverse experience here. Trolls aside, we are allies on this website even though we don’t always agree. So, stop with the misplaced anger and take your battle to the street where the real enemy is. Otherwise, we’ll never really drive the Privileged White Guy to extinction.

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Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 20 replies Author Time Post
Reply Privileged White Guy seeks non-judgmental website for compassion, intelligent discourse, maybe more. (Original post)
joeunderdog Jan 2013 OP
alcibiades_mystery Jan 2013 #1
LisaLynne Jan 2013 #2
gollygee Jan 2013 #3
alcibiades_mystery Jan 2013 #5
ismnotwasm Jan 2013 #12
VanillaRhapsody Jan 2013 #4
RobertEarl Jan 2013 #6
backscatter712 Jan 2013 #7
alcibiades_mystery Jan 2013 #8
hunter Jan 2013 #9
hfojvt Jan 2013 #18
Jim Lane Jan 2013 #10
RobertEarl Jan 2013 #11
hunter Jan 2013 #14
sabrina 1 Jan 2013 #16
blogslut Jan 2013 #13
cecilfirefox Jan 2013 #15
DogPawsBiscuitsNGrav Jan 2013 #17
Pretzel_Warrior Jan 2013 #19
REP Jan 2013 #20

Response to joeunderdog (Original post)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 10:27 PM

1. Oy vey

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Response to alcibiades_mystery (Reply #1)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 10:28 PM

2. Yeah.

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Response to joeunderdog (Original post)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 10:48 PM

3. Yes, I'm going there

So now men’s opinions are being “qualified” because we are not, well, female. (In case you missed it, Alan Alda has just been tombstoned.) This is a slippery slope. It’s a none-too-subtle form of diminishing the value of someone’s input. And on a progressive site like DU, there are babies in that bathwater. Do we really want to establish which animals are more equal than others here?

I'm not even sure where to start here. Men's opinions on feminism are not as valuable as women's opinions on feminism. Why is that strange? Why should men be in a position to define feminism, or say what feminists should be concerned with? My input is not as valuable on race-related issues as the input of a person of color. It just isn't. The value of my input is not diminished. It is simply less.

It has nothing to to do with "which animals are more equal than others." You have to have feminists agree with you using the title of "feminist" in order for you to feel equal? You are that offended by us wanting to control our own movement?

I am married. I have many men I care about in my life. I don't hate men. I value the opinions of allied men, including about feminist issues. But that doesn't make them fit into my definition of feminist.

I'm especially bothered by how all of this is turned around to how we should be making men feel good about themselves. Feminism isn't OK unless we're stroking men's egos all the time?

As for supposed misplaced anger, I'm not angry. I've been surprised by how many people don't get it, but just to the point of a bit of frustration, not anger. It's frustrating to be on a progressive website where you feel like people are going to be allied with feminist views and find out that a few aren't, a number of others feel like they are but have what appear to be very conflicting views on some feminist issues, and that a large number of them seem to be at least somewhat allied but feel like feminists should only be able to speak about things that concern us if we don't distract from issues they find more important, and speak sweetly to them and keep them happy while they do it.

And then get offended when we say, "It isn't about you." That isn't intended to be offensive. It's just an observation. Feminism is about women, not about how men feel.

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Response to gollygee (Reply #3)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 10:56 PM

5. "all of this is turned around to how we should be making men feel good about themselves"

Exactly right. Exactly goddamn right.

In fact, this becomes the nub of the issue, since the people making these claims are really trying to position women as their nurturers yet again. Make me feel good! That's your role. They don't say it, but they say it implicitly, even if they don't know it. Why aren't the women making me feel good! Why aren't they nurturing me! In every one of these complaints, that sentiment lurks.

Feminism is about women, not about how men feel.

Yes!!! In fact, it's precisely not about how men feel. The fact that everything gets turned to a matter of "how men feel" is one of the major problems that feminism is seeking to address.

Great post!

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Response to gollygee (Reply #3)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 01:19 AM

12. I know right?

I walk through life happy and content, with the strength to fight for inequities, but because I'm a feminist I'm supposed to have deep rooted anger. And Hate Men. Or something.

Couldn't have anything to do with having gotten an education ranging from college to life experience to helping women in need---no, no I have to be angry and, what's that other word I hear? Oh yes, bitter. Angry and bitter Leads the typical anti-feminists screeds and goes downhill from there.

As for privilege? White privilege, male privilege, economic privilege--- For Gods sake why does that even need to be defined on a progressive board?

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Response to joeunderdog (Original post)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 10:56 PM

4. What ^^^ she said !00+

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Response to joeunderdog (Original post)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 11:02 PM

6. Was told by women friends more than once

.... and by sisters, that women rule this society. I could not argue that.

Yeah, they have problems with how they are treated (who doesn't?) but all in all that they as women most times get what they want.

Just relating some feminist views here... and until today I thought I was at times more 'feminist' than some women. Looks like I was wrong. Fine, won't make that mistake again. Not here on DU anyway. In real life, I will continue to espouse equal rights for all.

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Response to joeunderdog (Original post)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 11:12 PM

7. Here's a website for butthurt, privileged white guys to whine about "being oppressed"...

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Response to backscatter712 (Reply #7)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 11:22 PM

8. But he just wants to have a conversation

about *his* needs.

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Response to joeunderdog (Original post)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 11:58 PM

9. You should write for the Onion, man. That was great!

Oh. You were serious???

Sorry, must be the "Privileged White Guy" in me speaking... many of us are truly assholes.

"Trolls aside," what you wrote sounds rather trollish.

I don't agree with many things posted on DU. Some posters here irritate the hell out of me, just as I probably irritate the hell out of many posters, five of them enough they've put me on ignore. And maybe I'll pick up some more with this post.

But seriously dude, there is no war against Privileged White Guys here. What usually happens is that some PWG says something stupid that only a PWG would say and then he gets flamed for it. Or rarely, people misread something a PWG says and they flame him, at which point he clarifies his position. This clarification is accepted or he doubles down and proves to everyone reading that he's a clueless Privileged White Guy who isn't worth listening to.

Babies don't post on DU so they can't be thrown out with the bathwater. Most people are fairly kind to the clueless at first, but once it seems they are being deliberately obtuse and ignorant, then they lose patience.

I'm going to ask you a question here, and you can ignore it, you can divert, or you can put me on ignore.

The question is, "What don't you get?"

TalkingDog made an excellent point here:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/10022155252#post10

Read the article he links to and contemplate the animated gif before you answer.



If you come back saying something only a clueless PWG would say, expect flames.





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Response to hunter (Reply #9)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 03:42 AM

18. what I don't get

is why I should not consider that gif to be insulting?

The message there is "winner! winner! winner!" and look how frigging EASY it is to win. It's a fricking cakewalk.

Now, look at the census of wealth from 2002. Out of 81.8 million white non-hispanic households, 13.1% had zero or negative net worth, 7.2% had less than $5,000 net worth, 4% had less than $10,000 and 7.1% had less than $25,000. What a bunch of losers. There they were playing at the "lowest difficulty setting" and they still lost.

I know what we should do though. Instead of trying to help those people, or even expressing some sympathy or solidarity with them. Let's make sure they know how privileged they are and how easy they have had it in life.

Of course, some of them are perhaps just starting out. Out of 18.3 million households with zero net worth, 8 million of them are headed by people under age 35. They are starting the game, rather than having lost the game.

But the bigger point is that having lived for 50 years as a heterosexual white male, I do not believe I have been playing at the lowest difficulty setting. Not for one second.

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Response to joeunderdog (Original post)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 12:58 AM

10. DU's single biggest problem is people attacking points that weren't made.

The OP says that he shouldn't be made to feel as if he has a bullseye on his back. This, in the opinion of more than one responder, means that the OP thinks "we should be making men feel good about themselves."

That's simply not what he said. DU should be a welcoming environment, where members feel free to comment from their different perspectives (different sexes, different races, different regions, different occupations, whatever). Creating and maintaining that welcoming environment means only that people shouldn't be made to feel targeted. It doesn't mean that the purpose of the site is to make men (or any other subgroup) feel good about themselves. The OP made no such request.

Disagreement is perfectly OK. Anyone who can't stand to be contradicted shouldn't post here. But it undercuts the site when, as happens all too often, someone posts something going (metaphorically) from Maine to Massachusetts, and he or she is then criticized for going to Florida.

And, yes, I'm a straight white male, a datum I offer for the benefit of those who consider it relevant here.

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Response to Jim Lane (Reply #10)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 01:07 AM

11. .....attacking points that weren't made

I wonder sometimes what glasses some people are wearing when they read posts here.

Mostly, I figure, they are hate-colored glasses.

At least dull dingy and clouded with *attack* smeared across the lens. So they then attempt to set up a strawman just to give them something to attack. If it wasn't so stupid I'd consider it hilarious.

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Response to RobertEarl (Reply #11)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 01:31 AM

14. What point do you think he was making?

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Response to Jim Lane (Reply #10)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 01:41 AM

16. Thank you, I was reading this thread and wondering if some of the responders even read

the OP. I personally don't know any PWGs, most of them are struggling to survive right now and would love to be privileged enough just to be able to pay for their children's doctor bills, or their elderly parents increasing needs.

Maybe someone can post a description of what PWG means.

Broad brushing seems popular around here these days. Sometimes I get the impression that there are people here who work very hard to show 'how liberal' they are. Too hard actually.

Human beings are human beings, some are good, some not so good, regardless of their ethnicity, age, gender, country of origin or anything else.

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Response to joeunderdog (Original post)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 01:23 AM

13. It's a walk off!

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Response to joeunderdog (Original post)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 01:32 AM

15. K&R

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Response to joeunderdog (Original post)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 02:32 AM

17. I welcome your views and opinions as much as any other. Creating division amongst ourselves

 

only hurts us in the long run. We're all equally important and that should stand out here more than anywhere.

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Response to joeunderdog (Original post)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 03:51 AM

19. I, like you, don't suffer from white guilt

 

Or male guilt. I care deeply about inequalities due to race, gender, and other distinctions. But it does feel insane that now someone is being profiled as having nothing of value to add in DU because we're white heterosexual males.

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Response to joeunderdog (Original post)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 04:17 AM

20. Locking

This violates the SoP of this Forum. It can be reposted in the Meta-Discussion Forum if so desired.

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