Why Are You So Angry?
If you do not consider yourself a failure, that is great. Why then are you so angry about this situation? If it has worked out well for you, what is driving your passionate hatred for our patriarch society?
Like many gender discussions/arguments, your approach has made me feel guilty for being a man. This doesn’t accomplish anything positive since I soon get defensive because I cannot help it that I am a man and I shouldn’t feel guilty about just as you shouldn’t feel guilty for being a woman.
This is hilarious in so many ways. Let’s recap. I explained how petulant whiny white d00ds make the same boring complaint over and over and over and over and over and over and over again, believing themselves to be the first clever souls ever to have come up with it, and then listed several calm responses I often used, each of which, even the pissy one, were intended to engage the petulant whiners in some reflective thinking. Then I described what was going on in my mind while I was spoon-feeding Diversity 101 to the petulant whiners, even though we all know I never allowed myself to say any of those angry thoughts out loud. Because part of my job was, in fact, the spoon-feeding. We may debate whether the spoon-feeding does much good at all, but in any case, I was paid to spoon-feed.
So, my dear Zuskateers. While I’ve been away, occupied with allergies, migraines, and the Morris Arboretum plant sale, you have apparently taken on Zuska’s Outreach Project for D00dly D00ds. I stand in amazement at your handiwork. Through over 250 comments now you have explained, reasoned, provided links, illustrated points, discussed. And Thegoodman, who has trotted out every tired douchey trope we’ve all encountered eighty bazillion times before he showed his sorry self on this blog, is puzzled by the presence of anger. Oh, he occasionally will acknowledge that you are passionate about this subject, in a most condescending fashion – it’s a sweet way of saying “I see you are all emotional about this, and so I can’t expect you to be rational, or draw upon facts, the way I do, but that’s okay, I excuse you, and admire your feminine passion.” Calling what he’s seeing “passion” has two effects: it dismisses the arguments being made as non-logical, non-intellectual, and it downgrades the seething anger many of us are carrying around from dealing with douchey d00ds all our lives to just a quaint little “passion”, something sweetly feminine.
I have news for you, Thegoodman. I am not passionate about discrimination and inequity. I am fucking angry.
So many things in that epic thread caught my attention but I’ll just focus on a few things here.
“What do you think men need that they aren’t getting, that a men in engineering program [could] provide?”
Education about the advantages people who aren’t white men don’t have, and why helping women and minorities gain a foothold in the sciences shouldn’t be threatening.
Hahahahahahahaha! If only!
Another awesome answer to a nagging, trollish question:
“But, back to the question: is the most effective means of doing away with systemic discrimination name calling?”
Well, in a way, yes : I mean, calling discrimination by its name.
Thank you, Christophe Thill!
Ruth provides a much-needed correction:
“The story about the people dismissing resumes simply because they are women or not white is just ridiculous. I am sure it is true,”
Well if it’s true, it is hardly ‘ridiculous’, is it?
if people could just “do it all on their own”, then it would be done by now. There wouldn’t BE any disparity between numbers of male & female CEOs, or black & white scientists.
Cara weighs in with welcome comic relief:
Oh, good grief.
I am trying to help you understand how they [affirmative action programs] are perceived [by white men].
Of course you are. How useful to have this heretofore completely secret knowledge. It’s not like it’s in the fucking water or anything.
Which of course makes Thegoodman wonder, why are you so hostile?
Really, ladeez! Why so angry and mean? Why can’t you just spoon-feed with nice, soothing, silky-soft friendly language and avoid curse words and not make AllGoodMen feel bad about themselves and not make them worry that anything might have to change in any substantive manner? Why? Aren’t you getting paid to do that? Oh…..wait…..no, you’re not. That was MY job as a Professional Diversity Person, several years back. You aren’t being paid anything to listen to Thegoodman be a clueless douche, are you?
Which brings me to these three comments I’d like to link for discussion.
Thegoodman is very concerned about all us ladeez. “Bitching about how its a white mans world won’t get you anywhere.”
DK later tells us this:
I’m sorry, I can’t let this one pass up.
“Affirmative action pisses off white guys more than it helps minorities get jobs. Is that worth it? It causes every single woman and minority to be questioned if they belong or not.”
Reread this statement. Please. It is arguing from an inherently privileged position. There is the tacit assumption that these white male opinions *matter*. Because they do. Because white men run the show. It is such a base assumption that “what white males think” = “what people think” that they are interchangeable.
When has the opinion of black people towards white people ever mattered? Maybe when they make white people feel guilty.
Part of being a disadvantaged group is worrying about pissing off white males.
Then Samia observed:
Of course, what they don’t know is how much problematic, hurtful shit comes out of their mouths (in the classroom and office) that I can’t comfortably comment on because of the power imbalance between us. When I’m relying on someone for rec letters, networking opportunities, or general career advice and support, I have to decide whether or not I want to risk a beneficial professional relationship. And when I’m like, 30-40 years junior to some of these guys, I’m gonna tend to let some of the fuckedupness slide. It sucks because we have to let SOME things slide to get ahead, but then the people who fuck with us get to keep thinking they’re Totally Progressive, Y’all! and hold us up as little token examples. *sigh*
But I’m always thinking pretty much exactly what you wrote here. It’s like damn, y’all want MORE?
Anyway. Thanks for vocalizing something I’ve been thinking and feeling for a while now. I found this post cathartic and validating.
Why are we so angry? Because we have to make strategic choices, far far too often, about letting the “fuckedupness slide” to get ahead, and risk letting the perpetrators think they are Totally Progressive. Because even if we are getting one little table scrap labeled “Scholarship for Others” or “Women’s Program” or “Multicultural Student’s Pizza Party” out in the alley behind Maison Blanche Très Exclusive, listening as the revelers gorge on the carefully prepared delicacies of a world rendered to their liking, some helpful douchebag is going to come along and tell us how our table scraps are poisoning us, and pissing off the revelers to boot.
Perhaps bitching doesn’t get us “anywhere”, per se, but it relieves the throbbing vein in the forehead. As Samia notes, it is cathartic and validating. And as can be seen later in the thread, non-completely clueless d00ds may pick up a point or two when we gather together and disgorge our anger in a safe space in public.
But wait, you may finally persist in asking. What about the poor white d00ds? I mean, the white d00ds who are actually poor? Let’s let skeptifem answer:
Class isn’t a separate issue. bell hooks writes a lot about “white supremacist capitalist patriarchy” and does an awesome job of showing how connected it all is. The domination of others via class and the valuing of shit like military spending over social programs is directly related to institutionalized sexism and racism.
I don’t know why the lower class white dudes can’t just do some labor organizing, that includes all sorts of people screwed over by classism. Lower class white guys are more likely to be hired for jobs, period. They are more likely to have a way out of poverty. That doesn’t make poverty suck less, but it does illustrate that poverty isn’t experienced the same for everyone, and that not being a white dude can make poverty harder.
Yes, the poor white d00d. I will shed many more tears for him when he becomes less inclined to see his skin color as an important marker of his status and more inclined to understand his economic status as the salient factor that connects him to other poor people, no matter their skin color or gender. Then, of course, his rallying cry will not be “what about poor white d00ds?” It will be “what about us poor men and women of all backgrounds?”
Wake me up when that revolution comes. Till then, I’ll be
ranting moronically ranting about morons for your pleasure, here at the blog.
Hugs to you all, my dear Zuskateers, for creating such incredible conversations with and for each other.
Bunny Rock in Zuska’s Garden
Zuska is the kick-ass alter-ego of Suzanne E Franks. When not dispensing Zuska's wisdom, Suzanne can often be found gardening, reading, or having one of her thrice-weekly migraines.
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