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White Men Really Do Have Reasons to Complain After All

A reasonable take in unreasonable times

The Face of American Complexity 

While watching a politically based cable program, a woman made a remark that stuck in the air for me like the smell of something old and rotting.  She stated, with an odd distorted grin on her face, that everyone has a right to complain, except for White Males.  Said in a half mocking condescending smirk of smug self-importance, her stance underlined the ludicrous nature of the statement.  The studio audience created an uncomfortable silence. She was the only one laughing. The mood that followed was the kind that follows aggressive stances masquerading as wit that flop. 

There is a “peculiar” victim based version of feminism that conceals a contempt for men and a underground envy of them.  In some incestuous hot house melting pots of sameness there are lazy so called academicians that see anything “Masculine” as the ultimate source of all subjugation.  The flawed and over worked narrative is that if women held direct power their rule would be far kinder and far gentler.  Overlooking the historical fact that some women in power have been every bit as cut throat as their male counterparts, the simplistic view persists that it is always Men who dominate and women dominated.

White Male American's Fear, Frustration and Anger is not never fully explored except in the most crude ways.

The grand conspiracy to omnipresent Male domination tends to overlook one glaring point that some women benefit greatly from the “male hierarchy.”  It is no mystery that woman have gone to great length to defend systems being that they benefit from being a part.  There is a disturbing dissonance when one enjoys the privilege and status that comes from being part of a ruling class that at the same time takes pleasure in mocking those who created it in the first place. 

It is from a lofty cloud of illusions that certain women of position complain about  the wrongs they have endured while their economically challenged counterparts deal with the “the real” issues that the hoi poli of the female gender endure. 

The idealistic Face of Feminism before its reshaping  

There is nothing imagined about the hard realities that many women are faced.  Low pay, lack of respect, sexism, racism and often being the only income earner in single parent homes.  The situation is not all the much better for married couples.  The cost of living eclipses wages. Incomes are at a stand still.  Decent jobs, employment security and health care are pipedreams for many, both male and female.   The much praised “middle class” is becoming  the working poor.  

      Even with the advantages of being Male, White and heterosexual, these men are struggling to live.  Foreclosures, repossessions and homelessness were the one time domain of the poor.  Now, one time affluent Middle Class that is now living a reality that is more familiar to the oppressed, the poor, the mentally ill, the sick and discarded Vets who cannot find steady work.

Some American Males see a product of the most Elite of East Coast Establishment as being their spokesman

     Somehow, feminism, which started out as a way to create true change  has morphed into a “man haters” club of delusional patrician women who feel that they must have a man to blame for the emptiness and shallowness that their manicured nails and Ski trips to Zermatt cannot erase. 

    History certainly proves that there have been, and still are, men of the most despicable nature of every hue.   There are pages that tell us who did what to whom and for how long.   Yet in the lurid pages of history  past and still forming, American White Men do have legitimate reasons to cry out in pain.  To all of our disadvantages, the voice of White Male pain is viewed as narcissistic.  This is the true contemporary tragedy of American life that dare not speak its name.  

    Revised feminism has done little to nothing to make us more caring, more political or even able to listen to others across the aisles.  The deep divide of America is racial. However, the most powerful and most overlooked is the economic.  Class divisions have us all contained behind walls of conceit.

   Please make note, I am not trying to side step or make light of the suffering of others.  Black Americans are being jailed at alarming rates.  No one in D.C.  is doing anything to fight urban crime or fix the Dickensian social systems that have turned once thriving areas into wastelands.

Woman As a dangerous Femme Fatale and the Black Man As Sex Object. 

    Parts of American now look like sets from a dystopian teen novel. Only a small few benefit to the detriment of nearly everyone else.

    What is so often missing in these discussions is the either or problem.  Somehow if you support Black Lives Matter, that automatically means no one else matters.  We have to be realistic. Black people, law abiding people, are being shot in cold blood.  Until digital cameras came along, this was fact of American life was swept aside as if it never happened. Ferguson is a city that is a bitter horrid reminder that Blacks were not complaining without sound good reason. Lives are being lost every single day, and there is a lot of blame to go around the entire nation.

    What has happened for too long is that politicos and image makers and hucksters and money grubbers have made a fortune pitting Americans against Americans. The political world wants to have an overly simple childlike view of an America. Our is a nation of  complex, nuanced and  at times incomprehensible confusion. There are not quick fixes for neglected problems that few in government have had the literal "balls" or "vaginas" to tackle. A few do make a difference.  The mavericks that do often find themselves alone and not supported by those who benefit most from what they do.

Woman As Sexual Animal, Sex and Fear.

    Even academicians have painting these distorted views that America is at heart a simplistic world where there is no room for subtlety, or even empathy.   The vision of America that is forced on from all sides sees everything as disconnected.  Problems in the Rust Belt are invisible in the green lawns of Atherton or Bloomfield Hills.  The foot hills of Appalachia, a place that was home to my family in Kentucky, has been reduced to a jobless void where everyone has food stamps and no one has a future.

   Overly simplistic views are what ultimately cost the Democratic Party a Presidential win.  The blindness of the party of to  the White working man's problems of  disenfranchised was an oversight that was not only monumentally stupid, but it allowed the already “messed up” dirty waters of the political system" to get just that much filthier.  

   Playing on imagery that has been crafted for years, an elite party became a populist party. The divisions are blatantly visible now to anyone with a discerning eye.  Even though they have won the election, they may have lost the nation.  I am almost certain this will be an administration fraught with corruption, nepotism and hypocrisy of the most seedy kind.  I cannot imagine a World War II Vet happy to see even the hint that a sitting President and his associates were in collusion with the Russian Government to tamper withou our American Electoral System.

    When an American politician on television reduces  all nations to being equally flawed, it is an equivalence that is false.  Yes, we do not have glaring issues. However, we do not have government sanctioned honor killings, legal protection for murdering gays and lesbians and we do not have legal bans on what one can say, do or read.  We are not, at least not yet, an authoritarian state that jails dissenters. Although politically correct speech and fear of conservative speakers at college campuses makes one wonder just how free are we to discuss anything without the fear of violence and death threats.
The Sexual Revolution, Profits, Exploitation and the influence of those values in America that linger.

    There are   White Men who feel their voice was finally heard. As the days pass, they were placated with a panacea of xenophobia that promises everything and delivers nothing.  Draconian tax cuts, and demonizing the poor played into the concept of an America that never was. It is a sophisticated path to divide and conquer that diverts attention from the real problems in the U.S.

   An inconsistent to nonsensical foreign policy, excuses made for the excesses and oppression under Vladimir Putin’s Russia, wavering stances on our relationships to Asia, Africa and Europe and a lackluster approach to standing for anything except that which is expedient, conservative and Republican do not feel accurate in describing a Party that endorses climate change denial and gutting the EPA, a Republican Party  Nixon era creation to protect our natural resources.  Now it is cut, kill and do whatever.  No one seems to care that our air is tainted and the water sets itself on fire. 

   The politics of popularity and populism has ignored all forms of social inequity. A  decidedly un-democratic redistribution  of wealth hides behind a laisse fair approach to regulating anything.  The undisciplined approach to government brings  obfuscation to the point where stands are negotiable and diplomacy and statesmanship are dying art forms.

The misunderstand that people are not blaming entire groups, a point missing in the current dialogue. 

   For some inexplicable reason, complexity and duality do not exist.  It is as if two non-conflicting ideas cannot exist at once.  Someone has written the narrative that if you show concern for White Men struggling you cannot have concern for blatant police brutality against Black people, support Equal pay for women  or even advocate Universal Health Care.  

We have allowed ourselves to be so taken in by constructs that are divisive and insensitive to the point where we cannot see a White Male Vet and think, just maybe he has a right to be really angry now and that his voice is not being heard, by anyone.

The Question Everyone Avoids.

Kurt von Behrmann is an Artist and Writer
and Social Commentator 


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