Reactionary men (typically white) and mothers of sons worry that, because of the #MeToo movement and Kavanaugh’s accuser, they might soon suffer from being “wrongfully” charged with rape or sexual misconduct by a scheming accuser. Their meme war litters my social media. Funny, I don’t wake up to daily rants about all the rapes committed in our country.
I have never seen a man post anything about the problem of rape in this country. Because most men, though they suffer from this violation at a shockingly high rate themselves, don’t worry about such things when they walk from a grocery store in the early evening to load their groceries in their car. They don’t glance around the platform at the subway, wondering if they will lose a battle against a rapist that day. They don’t worry about working late alone with an aggressive male coworker.
Yet, this “chance” of being accused is threatening them. Daily examples of rape in the news? Nadda. No reaction. However, one very public example of a possible lie and news shows erupt with the certainty of future possible victimhood of men.
This overreaction is nothing new.
In recent decades (white) men have often felt the fearsome pinch of prejudice rooted in something they believe is beyond their control to defend: other people’s experience, beliefs, and accusations as it relates to them. And they do not like it! Even on the soapy comedy “Modern Family” this week, a male character makes a comment about how hard it is to be white man today.
Surely, we’ve all listened to handfuls of unhappy whites as they raise their voices against “reverse racism” due to what they perceive as unfair laws that could possibly block them from jobs or promotions. Social justice measures such as the Equal Pay Act, Affirmative Action, or Title IX worried them: could someone else block their open field of play, a huge field that had once been supported by Jim Crow Laws, The U.S. Constitution, School policies, and centuries of tradition?
Over fifty years ago, when U.S. law began supporting people other than white men alone, their world shifted: these white men could no longer wake up in the morning and say, “All the things that I want, I am first in line no matter what the others have to offer. I will always win, no matter the case.”
Once this shift happened, ironically, they began spouting the same words men of color and ALL women had been complaining of for centuries: Shouldn’t my record, my abilities, matter more than my race or gender?
The fact that laws like Affirmative Action had to be asserted to make sure that people of color could have any spot in the line, not just a spot at the front of the line seems lost on these white men once their place in the universe began to lose its footing. “Where are my rights, laws that protect me?” they shouted. (Recall Charlottesville?)
The fact that white men had such laws for generations that assured their previous footing seems forgotten. As if turnabout is fair play only if they are the referees of that very game.
So here they go again; a new dynamic has erupted in the last few years as people other than white men have fought for more rights. Issues from #BlackLivesMatter to sexual discrimination and exploitation in the work place, while not fresh, but rather, Refreshed, have started fires.
The latter issue has reached the Supreme Court, not as a considered policy or a law, but still. . .there it is: #MeToo. Better known as Women’s Rights. An issue that should be about Kavanagh’s fitness to serve on the Supreme Court has been twisted into an argument about poor, poor victimized men, not far from the same poor, poor white men argument of yore.
Oh My, these “innocent” men might actually have to deal with a lie, or a misjudgment, or a false accusation.
Yes, social media and the news are ablaze with fear. I see posts and news “experts” state how, if Kavanagh isn’t seated, anyone could be fair game for a lie or false accusations willy-nilly. Reactionaries advise carrying cameras or recording devices at all times now to protect themselves from a threatening woman with a dishonest voice.
Hilarious and so Pathetic. I guess those same people who worry about false, unfair assumptions and attacks know now what it has felt like to be a black person in our country for centuries. Or to be a woman who is often dismissed as emotional and histrionic, so therefore wrong. (Remember Geraldine Ferraro’s tears? Oh, Turn-about, you vicious play, you.)
So, go ahead and carry your tapes to protect yourself from liars. The automatic overreaction of some police in some situations just because someone is black might be more believable if those accused had it on tape. Oh, wait. Even when on tape, the victim is still somehow not considered the victim in many of these confrontations.
Would a tape have helped me when I was told as a teenager by the owner’s manager that if I wanted to keep my job I should date the line cook who had a crush on me? Probably not, for there has to a be a chain of people willing to accept the tape, right?
Or how about when a buddy with an accent was declined from a job for being a “towel head” even when his accent and coloring are Greek? (Both bad, but shows how ignorant some of our citizens are.) Again, maybe not. Or how about when I was rejected for a job because I sounded on the phone like a petite woman, and “the boys at our school are big, you know, Little lady?” If only I had that shit on tape.
Or maybe when my African-American Literature teacher kept a special cassette recording of mine because “little white girls from the south don’t need this stuff” A tape of his words probably still would not have mattered. (It was a boot leg Zora Neale Hurston interview that I still have never heard since.)
Reverse racism is a lie. There’s racism and prejudice. To me the guy was just a man who was being a dick-swinging rat, as some people can be; dickhood is something some people are victimized by more than others. And some people look for a variety of ways to be a dick. A tape won’t protect you from that.
That’s my point: you think that because of your gender and race and politics and family of origin, faced with #Metoo and #blacklivesmatter, you are now a target? You want to rant about how it is unfair?
I say to all those men (and mothers of boys) who are afraid that they now will be subjected to unfair and dishonest treatment because it has finally come for you: Welcome to OUR world, Baby Boys. Where were you when you thought you had all the power, where was your defense for the underdog, the legally exploited, the innocents then?
Funny enough, no matter how you feel mistreated, you men, white men in particular, still have the most power. Scary to think you might lose a little more of your footing, isn’t it?