White straight males have been the subject of intense scrutiny this week.
First Jennifer Oriel wrote a column, White Male and Increasingly Discriminated Against for The Australian where she argued hat discrimination and affirmative action laws have made heterosexual white males the new targets of bigotry and bestowed “state approved minorities with rights and advantages denied their fellow citizens”.
Oriel argued that the kind of statements bandied around today about white, heterosexual males would be “classified as hate speech if applied” to any other group in society.
She reported on university lecturers calling to “push dead white men like Shakespeare out of the limelight” and how, when suicide rates among white men showed a spike, rather than offer sympathy sections of the Left blamed the victims, claiming their early deaths were caused by these men losing some of their “white privilege”.
Then fellow journalist for The Australian, Caroline Overington, responded with a column: Straight, White Men Don’t Deserve Sympathy and the reaction from straight, white men – and some women – has been huge with around 730 article comments and over 100 Facebook comments.
Here is an extract from Overington’s column.
I see [straight, white men] taking 90 per cent of the seats in the Business Class cabin, scoffing down warm peanuts while somebody hangs their jacket, and I think: hmm, yes, poor souls.
I see them on the weekends. Playing golf, usually. Or else cycling, or surfing, while their wives are busy, still being Mum.
I see how they have children, without having to carry or deliver them. Or feed them, or find the child care centre, or the school (unless it’s the old, all-boys school, with the stunning facilities.)
A submission to Mamamia from an anonymous commentator said, after reading the column, she wanted to speak up for her husband.
In defence of my husband:
My husband is a white straight man. We talk about his unfair advantage all the time. He went to an elite private school in Los Angeles, an Ivy League school in Boston, and at 23 years old landed a job at one of the largest hedge funds in the world. He’s the one scoffing peanuts in the business class cabin. He’s never done a load of laundry in his life.
My husband is one of the most passionate feminists I know. He’s involved with hiring new recruits to his company and he tells me about the marked differences between the men and women. The men, full of braggadocio and rhetoric, the women.. self assured but lacking outward confidence. He says that too often confidence is mistaken for competence.
This alone doesn’t make him a feminist. I see the way he takes our daughter to school in the morning (on the days he’s not flying). I see the way he talks to her about her feelings, her abilities. When she is demanding and unreasonable he doesn’t scold her for being bossy.
He is also one of the hardest workers I know. I spent a week in Bangkok on a work trip with him and he was up at 4am writing briefs. I may multitask better but he has the focus of a hawk. My husband doesn’t expect any sympathy while he quietly toils providing for his family. But he always asks for my understanding, and that, I can give.
The comment thread from Overington’s column also ranged from anger to sadness.
Everybody is responsible for making their own lot in life. Don’t hate on white males because they better at it – PAUL
I’m a straight white male, don’t wear a suit though or fly business class, neither do my friends. The vast majority of us straight white males don’t, we work in factories or drive trucks. We work for wages, pay tax, support our families.
My wife and three kids depend on me going to work each day, sometimes it’s scary having that responsibility.
What if I get sick or have an accident? Who will look after them? Caroline, the straight white males you observe and resent are a small minority.
Most of us are just good blokes doing our best. You should be ashamed, what would your dad say? – JOHN
In your mind, what is it that allows you to group an entire demographic based on their skin colour and sexuality?
If your answer is; ‘well they did it first’. You have adopted the very behaviour you simultaneously attack.
Astounding hypocrisy in print. – QUENTIN
When asked about the response to her column Overington said it was written after reading Oriel’s because in her “experience if you are a white, heterosexual male you are in a position of relative privilege and you can’t really complain too much about being a victim.”
What was the last text you sent to your partner? We reveal ours in the video below Post continues after video.
Overington – who doesn’t read comments – says she knows people may not agree with her.
“I’m in an absolutely privileged position to be able to write a column and of course people should be allowed comment, and they may not agree with me and that is fine.”
Do you think white, straight males are discriminated against?