I:MComment

It's Hard Being White, Male, and Middle Class

I:MComment
It's Hard Being White, Male, and Middle Class

As a so-called group or collective, the ‘White Middle-Class Male’ has, of late, come under increasingly heavy scrutiny. Such a sentiment of disdain manifests itself chiefly on social media, more specifically online spaces such as Twitter and Tumblr. Scores of posts detailing faux-pas after faux-pas committed by politicians either ‘mansplaining’ or using their position to defend a minority group or issues relating to a class separate to their own, only to be shot down for appropriating a struggle that is ‘nothing to do with them’, are there to be seen.  The main perpetrators of these accusations and attacks tend to be the those who take their gender-identity, political sway or social class to the extreme in an almost isolationist manner. To me, this is highly bizarre. It would be ignorant to say that their struggle and the issues they raise are not genuine or existent (they obviously are), however, there seems to be a contradiction in their action and their message. To attempt to affirm your own group and identity as part of a collective society through alienating another more established grouping is surely counterproductive. It’s a call for progression through regression.

It seems that those attacking the ‘White Middle-Class Male’ are so far disconnected from a sense of unified, inclusive society that they are not afraid to attack anyone or anything that could be deemed to cause offence to any portion of society. Take for example The Fader- the New-York based music magazine. They recently attempted to expose the online music journalist Anthony Fantano (theneedledrop) for pandering to the alt-right through using certain images or memes and making fun of the mental health of the black rapper Hopsin. Anyone familiar with Fantano and his politics will do well to note the obvious left-leaning sway of his politics. The magazine in question is obviously too, in nature, left-leaning. For a music journalist to attack another music journalist, essentially on the same side of the political spectrum and united in a common cause, is most peculiar. Fantano, in fact, deconstructs the argument perfectly in a response video on his Youtube channel. However, the point is that no one is safe from the onslaught of those seeking to serve justice and correct all the world’s wrongs, even those perceived to be in an identical grouping.

This example brings to light, in my eyes, the crux of the issue. These outspoken voices are in the minority. They are a select few who have started out with good intentions, but have found themselves inciting increased conflict at any opportunity. Their arguments based on a superannuated form of identification and grouping that the emerging generation (my generation) have no interest in. They are in denial of the polycultural society that is becoming more and more prevalent. There is no attempt to engage in dialogue with the groups that they attack; all this serves to do is deepen the schism between the minority groups and the ‘White Middle-Class Male’. In essence, by relentlessly attacking this perceived group of people you tend to tar all with the same brush. Those who come under such a category but have no interest in identifying as such for desire of a more unified society grow tired of such witch-hunting and those who actively identify as a ‘White Middle-Class Male’ find themselves as a dying breed. They see their species as on the brink of extinction, their own prejudices are intensified and consequently fight back. All this culminates in the opposite of the perceived aim: Society becomes more separate and archaic divisions and systems remain in place.

HARRY ROBERTSHAW

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