I'm a victim, too!

I get what you’re saying, but as you also seem to acknowledge, there’s a difference between hating normalized white masculinity and hating actual white men. I for one assume that in a place like bbs, where actual rural, “uneducated” white men are unlikely to hang out for long,the general consensus is that if I complain about or ridicule or lambast things “white men do,” I’m not talking about all white men. I don’t sense that I should overtly signal that distinction here between normalized white masculinity and actual white men. In other contexts that include men more likely to not see or assume that distinction, I do speak differently.

How do you suggest complaining/pointing out noxious things that (some) white men do without complaining/pointing out things that (some) white men do?


And somehow we’re back on topic for the original discussion!

I think I understand the plight of people who voted Trump because the system has let them down. Well paying jobs where people made useful things have been replaced with poorly paying jobs that don’t give people anything to be proud of. The opiate crisis has created areas where everyone knows someone who is dying or who recently died. Infrastructure is crumbling. And all the while they are being gaslighted by economists, being told the economy is doing well, or told that “those jobs are never coming back,” as if the solution to the problem was them dying off.

America went into fight or flight mode. Fight or flight mode leads to bad decisions.

But at the same time I’m not sure what I can do (especially not being American). I don’t know how democracy can survive when people will not vote for their own interests. Trump’s America is right that there is an elite getting rich at their expense and dumping on them, but they keep voting that elite into power. The Tea Party revolution kicked out some of the elite in the Republican party but like a lot of revolutions it just put in a new and even worse junta. Michigan voted for the party of poisoning Flint’s water.

I’m honestly not sure America can be saved, or that it is in any way worth saving. I think maybe it needs to break down into tiny little pieces, pieces so small that people can no longer blame distant others for their problems.


Well, A system has let them down.

That’s what I am working towards. But many people see that as failure rather than opportunity. Many on the left simultaneously complain that a truly egalitarian country the size of the US would be unrealistic - yet refuse to organize into smaller communities which have any chance of being fair.

If the disenfranchised really choose to fight, they need to try different systems rather than choosing a different vampire to run the one that is oppressing them now.


That I’m unsure of since there’s enough intersection that makes untwining the two especially for folk that are already irritable and prone to seeing issue that might/might not exist (ie me in this instance as a prime example) difficult. I just know that I linked to a simi-random thread here to my partner who responded by ‘after ten minutes I have to ask… why do you go there? They flippin hate you.’ If i have to sit and explain to someone that ‘oh it’s not what they REALLY mean’ or ‘it’s not like that I swear’ or otherwise use language that sounds creepily close to someone talking about an abusive relationship, there’s problems.

I wish i had something constructive on how to help beyond bleat about it, probably get pissed off, which likely leads to another ban.


I’m a rural white man but not uneducated. Rural uneducated white men are half my friends, family and neighbors We’re not all benighted rubes with no interest in the outside world. I understand that few people (if any) here are saying all rural uneducated white men are the problem, but sometimes the conversation needs to be reined in before it actually goes there.

What especially irritates me is that whenever someone (not even me necessarily) who is familiar with rural white people tries to explain what rural white people feel, they get shouted down by people who don’t know. I didn’t vote for Trump, obviously, and I’m not even sympathetic to people who did, but I understand what they feel. I can’t provide some magic numbers that miraculously explain why people voted the way they did, but there’s a feeling in the air that’s palpable. Anyone who’s living in Trump country can feel it right now.


I hope not.

I get that vibe sometimes, but I hope it’s just all in my head.


Pretty much this. Even as a Clinton voter, I felt my decision was made out of fight or flight. There was no reason for me to vote for Clinton except for fear of Trump, which is exactly why I voted for her. Clinton Derangement Syndrome is very real even though it’s based on lies, so fear of Trump vs fear of Clinton = ??? :confused: I’m not sure how that would balance out, but it’s a very precarious balance.


I see…or I think I do. It seems that at some level, you really do think “we” really do hate “you.” Is that possible? While at the same level, as you say to your partner, you know “we” don’t?

You say that your relationship with “this place,” this bbs hive-mind, is creepily close to abusive, apparently because you’re a white man, and as such, you feel repeatedly bashed here simply for being a white man. If so, that’s a response that suggests to me that you don’t consistently maintain while here the distinction that I mentioned earlier, between toxic white masculinity and actual white men (many of whom, it seems obvious to me, are clued into what’s wrong with toxic white masculinity, and thus are totes cool to be around and interact with). If so, yes, “there’s problems,” but maybe they’re your own problems?


The problem might be that we’re assuming rural whites and poor whites are the same thing? It’s not like everyone out here in flyover country is living in a tarpaper shack. We do have middle-class and upper-middle-class people here, after all. Even though we’re not poor, and do not stand out socioeconomically in any way, we are still more culturally connected to each other than to middle-class people on the coasts. We also have people who came from poor backgrounds but are now upper-middle-class (for example, me) who have to deal with the cultural biases of their co-workers and current neighbors who never knew anything other than privilege. When people get all smug with me just because they grew up in a nice suburb or whatever, it’s really hard for me to not dig in deeper.


Yeah, I struggle with this kind of thing too. It seems to me that in this space, and in “educated,” politically liberal spaces generally, there’s a lot of what I would call classism, mixed in with some “regionalism,” or regional bias. I hate humor that’s based on laughing at “stupid,” “inbred” and so on lower-class rural white people, and I do my best to refrain from expressing scorn for working-class and/or rural white people. I also think that this kind of elitist laughter and scorn reserved for and constantly heaped onto uneducated rural white people helped Trump win – he spoke to their sense that they’re the “forgotten” ones. I know that they’ve been screwed economically (if not as badly as people of color have always been screwed economically), and I know that preaching to them about white and/or male privilege is mostly a waste of time, especially when not accompanied by an understanding of their class-based problems. If all of that is any part of what you’re talking about, I do agree that bbs, like other tolerant, supposedly accepting and open spaces, could do with less classist regionalism.


Why do you complain to us of receiving bullying and emotional abuse from family, and then lecture us about those same persons’ righteousness?

We should be more on the same side here.


Yep. My biggest issue with the concept of white privilege is the term white privilege. It can be misconstrued (willfully or not) to mean that all white Americans are WASPs from Connecticut. Also explaining privilege as unearned social advantage falls short when dealing with people who feel they have no social advantage to speak of. Instead, I think of white privilege as a lack of unearned social disadvantage based on race. My life hasn’t been perfect, but I have to admit it would have been worse had I been a person of color.


It’d also be nice if persons didn’t confate hate with decency and “rural values” and try to claim that attacing these values and associated white supremacy was attacking class. Not saying you are here, but there’s plenty of muddied waters from victims posting in this thread.

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I agree.

I also find it vexing how careful the liberal/left side apparently needs to be when approaching the white working (or former) working class, while Trump’s (winning) appeal to them was so blunt and simple.


In discussions of toxic white masculinity both here and elsewhere, I feel like an outlier because I have never bought into the values of toxic white masculinity. It’s not even that I did at one time and rejected them, it’s that they seemed both repellent and inaccessible to me. I have always been aware that such a thing exists, but have felt that it’s something other people did, and something I wouldn’t even be tempted to do if I could.

I can’t possibly be that much of an outlier on this issue. Surely there are more than a couple other men who have rejected toxic white masculinity and rejected it hard. Yet when I’ve discussed this in the past (elsewhere, not here) it’s always been framed as if I were still part of the problem, even though I’m clearly not.


Living in the Dust Bowl was a special case, but usually rural people (you’re talking the south here, after all) are much more likely to be able to grow their own food. Try living through the Depression in a major city.


They are told these lies by the right wing media. City people do not sit around saying such things (barring the occasional outlier, which ever community has).

Food? Don’t you mean cotton and tobacco?


And that is the lasting result: those of us who pay higher proportional taxes that go to those welfare-based states, now that we know exactly how much they hate us…yeah, a lot of us are done thinking of them as equal citizens. Prove to us you care about being part of this union and are willing to pull your own weight, first.

If you’re going to fall for the lies you’ve been told, and stab your fellow citizens in the back as a result…don’t come begging anymore.


Well…in my experience, white men who think they’ve been able to fully reject toxic white masculinity strike me as less trustworthy, less credible, than those who say they recognize that while they try to reject it, some of it has nevertheless seeped into them, affecting their thoughts, feelings and behaviors towards others in more or less daily ways.

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But they’re engaging in friendly fire. At a very basic level, they don’t respect a majority of the population. There’s only so long someone like me is willing to understand and wait patiently and excuse why this is. Yes, they’ve been coached for a long time. But they’re not stupid. They can read, and they have access to unbiased sources from all over the world. At some point, you have to admit that the hatred they’re feeling is voluntary and chosen.