If you want change, make white men comfortable

Make white men comfortable

Yeah, it’s a facetious title.

But this is, at least, my interpretation of the narrative from some white men surrounding gender, race, LGBTQ+, and disability.

My further interpretation is that these white men (I know, #NotAllWhiteMen) could be allies if only the world listened to them more.

Somehow the inability to hear them is the very reason they can’t support a cause – actually any cause that isn’t about them.

It’s amazing that marginalised groups don’t self combust in frustration. 

We just need to talk more

What we need to do is book a conference room at a local Ramada and hash it out.

We’ll get five white men, two brown people, a few gays, and a woman. Might be nice to arrange some pastries and hot beverages, you know, like a proper meeting.

And what will we talk about? Our collective difficult experiences.

This meeting will be a safe space for white Derek to mention that time he was on a train and thought he was going to get pissed on by a drunk. And that relates nicely to Black Jeff getting continually stopped by the police because, coincidentally he just happened to fit the description of a wanted criminal – like every. fucking. week.

We all have individual, unpleasant experiences, don’t we?

Yes, we do, #WhiteMenSufferToo. See, we’re the same!

Those individual experiences of white men are exactly like the experiences of marginalised groups.

Except they’re not.

Truly, I do sympathise with unpleasant experiences faced by white men but they haven’t been because they were a) white and b) men.

Let’s discuss this rationally

I love the idea of meeting rooms being booked across the world, all of us finding common ground.

What a sweet, altruistic idealistic dream.

And it’s just the sort of thing dreamt up by people who already have power and privilege.

Thing is, dreams aren’t real.

And I doubt this approach would yield any tangible results. That isn’t just me being a negative Nancy, history bears that out.

The very sad reality is, equality rarely happens with nice little chats (believe me, I wish it did). The people in power like to keep it, they certainly don’t like to share.

Votes for women happened through protest. The first Pride march started on the anniversary of the Stonewall riots. Quite often people have to take what’s rightfully theirs because the law doesn’t have their best interests at heart.

Hell, the law actively seeks to keep certain people in their place – a place of disenfranchisement.

And whilst I appreciate that we do have some white men that get it, others still feel “under attack” and not heard.

If eyerolls were cash, I’d be a fucking millionaire.

White men: it’s not about you

I guess they don’t want to hear that because it’s always been about them.

So, let’s make white men feel comfortable, then they might believe us. Then they’ll stop with the faux platitudes and empty sympathetic phrases.

Make them comfortable and they might stop trying to level the playing field between their lived experiences and the experiences, for example, of most women.

I hate to break it to you fellas, but it’s not the same thing.

And if you think it is, you don’t understand or you have no desire to try.

There are a few whataboutery arguments from white men when discussing the terrible hardships they face. One is that men are more likely to be victims of street violence.

That is absolutely true.

What doesn’t support that argument so well is the fact that those crimes are perpetrated by other men.

I touch on this in a previous article

So, yeah. That only really proves there’s a problem with male violence.

It further confirms that a lot of these issues are because of men. The facts and stats will attest to that. Why that might be is for another article.

I guess what I’d like white men to accept is they have always been the default.

They have historically (and presently) made the rules, and those rules nearly always benefit them the most.

They have written all the history.

Often manipulating the truth which places them as the victor. They have stolen or taken credit for work they had little or no part in creating.

If you think this is some fantasy of mine, please feel free to do some research. 

Instead of feeling defensive and emotional, I want them to feel a sense of accountability.

An acknowledgement of what has gone before and what continues to go on, despite them, as individuals, not being directly responsible.

I’d like them to admit they’ve benefited from white supremacy and misogyny, then maybe we can do something about it.

I want them to become allies, not when it makes them feel comfortable or because “they have a daughter” but because it’s the right thing to do.

I’m tired of trying to speak in a language that will reach white men. I’m tired of it being my job to educate them.

I’m sorry that white men are butthurt about being the bad guy, but they’ve been dictating how the rest of us live our lives for generations.

So my advice to them is to just do what we’ve been doing for years, suck it up buttercup.

Published by Sarah Wilson-Blackwell

B2B SEO content writer, copywriter and business blogger. Reviewer of useless blogs and tired-ass websites.

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