Want to Write a Privileged White Male – Part 2

Okay, so here’s Part 2 in which, as promised I share some of the things men have said to me that just go to prove their PWM standing, though in some cases it’s more a case of just sheer stupidity, I’ll let you decide which is which.  Of course, there are levels of PWM extremism which is why I’ve given two definitions in some cases, also remember, some men are like this because they don’t know better and some are like this because they believe that they already know best.  Don’t cast them all in the same depth of shade.

What he says What he means
You seem to have misunderstood … You’re wrong and it’s your fault
I didn’t intend … It’s not my fault
… it’s a longstanding trademark… And I’m not going to change
… my lack of protocol is legendary… I’ll do what I want regardless
… I wasn’t bypassing you … I can’t see it so it can’t matter

OR

I was, and I don’t care

… I suppose this is typical of me … I’ve no intention of changing
I’ve never experienced… Therefore, it didn’t happen
I haven’t seen that You made it up
It’s just me being me You must make allowances

OR

I don’t see why I should change

What you need to understand is… Your tiny female brain can’t cope with the big male facts
Don’t worry your pretty little head… You’re a bimbo with no brain, let the big clever man take care of things
It’s not equality they’re looking for, it’s female privilege How dare any woman think they’re as good as me

OR

I’m higher up the ladder than my skills warrant and I’m under threat.

… shouldn’t dress provocatively. It’s women’s fault that I can’t control my sexual urges
Why Privileged White Males? Isn’t that racist? If I posted about … I’d be banned You’re discriminating against me and I’m going to whine about it.
I don’t have to put up with your attacks. Adieu! I can’t find a way to counter the valid statement you just made so I’m flouncing out.

 

Should you want to put the cherry on the cake of the PWM character – and let’s face it PWMs think they all deserve the cherry – you could always have him use a number of the above phrases in a so-called ‘apology’ then email mutual connections of some description to tell them how he tried and so that “everyone can appreciate [his] grovelling.”

What now follows is quotes from other people who shared their experiences with me,

What they said What I heard
Don’t want a baby? Keep your legs shut. Birth control is not my responsibility.
Slavery’s not too bad, they were housed, fed, and clothed Humans who aren’t like me are worth less, may not even be human.
Can’t do anything without it being some kind of sexual assault! I don’t respect women and should be able to grab what I want, when I want.
There’s no such thing as the gender pay gap Women aren’t as skilled as men so aren’t worth the same pay

 

As mentioned, feel free to use any of the above for inspiration, but here are two quotes from Val Portelli and her book “Story of A Country Boy”, that illustrate exactly what I’m talking about:Another perennial that I’m sure more then than a few can identify with, probably anyone who isn’t a privileged white male, in fact, is the repeating of your idea as if it’s their own.  Love that one.

‘… when I asked what was for dinner, she had the cheek to tell me to make it myself! Well, if that didn’t deserve a slap I don’t know what did.’

‘She didn’t apologise, but the next morning I came down to find a proper cooked English breakfast so I forgave her.’

 

Before anyone screams, yes – I know not all men are like this. I’ve given extreme definitions to illustrate the point. I suspect that this blog will offend a man or two, but if it does, perhaps those men should stop for a moment and question why they find this offensive.  I find parts of this offensive because it’s been used against me.  I find parts of this offensive because it’s been used against others.

The unfortunate truth is that privileged white males exist.  As it is a part of human experience there will be people who want to write about it, which is why I’m putting this out as what to consider if you want to portray a written character as a privileged white male.  In real life, most men, thankfully, do not think or act this way and hopefully, in a generation or two, none of them will.

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Want to write a Privileged White Male? Part 1

PWM2

Do you want to write a character who is a privileged white male?  No, I’m not sure why you would either, unless he’s the villain of the piece in the modern era. And yes, there is so much on this topic that I’m having to split this into 2 blogs.  Well, there’s probably enough for more that 2 blogs, but there’s a limit for most things.

Now I don’t claim I’m perfect, far from it, I have nasty little thoughts of prejudice, but I try to recognise and reduce them.  What I’ve found of late is that there are some men who think that they are being prejudiced against when actually, the level of the playing field is just being evened up.  They simply don’t see that they are the product of a system that actively promotes them over others.

Anyway, I’ve encountered a fair bit of this behaviour over the years, so I thought I’d share some of the things that have been said to me and if you want to use them, feel free. If I find a need for a loathsome character of this nature, I’d sure I’ll be trotting a few of these out too.

On the topic of positive discrimination:

  • It’s discrimination
  • If I did something for only white heterosexual males, I’d be locked up
  • The best women will always rise
  • Why should we have an International Women’s Day?
  • Why should I put up with something mediocre just because it’s from a woman?

It’s discrimination – yes, it is, but it only feels bad to you because you’re being excluded from a tiny, tiny race when you’re allowed to enter all other races and are in fact, given a head start in most.

If I did something for only white heterosexual males, I’d be locked up – Oh if only!  In the UK the vast majority of everything is still run, led and set up to support and promote white heterosexual males.  So, there are a few things out there that want to actively promote women – yey for them, everything else is already yours.

The best women will always rise – Yes, they will. The problem is that anyone below the best, including the very good and the good women, still get pipped at the post by mediocre or useless men.  Why should women have to fight for what men are handed on a plate?  A few weeks ago, I was talking to a woman working in the construction industry and she asked why a man younger than her with less experience was given the promotion she was after, and she was told that it was because she had children.  When she pointed out that so did the promoted man, she was told, “Well that’s different.”  You want to see how male-dominated all the major events/breakthroughs of the last 200 years are, go look who got the praise for putting men on the moon, who got the awards for discovering DNA, there are hundreds of examples, just open your eyes to them.

Why should we have an International Women’s Day?  – Because the other 364 days are year are all about men, 365 days a leap year, and let’s face it, even on International Women’s Day, some men still find a way to make it all about men. This is the same reason we need Black History Month because everything else is whitewashed.

Why should I put up with something mediocre just because it’s from a woman? – Why should put up with mediocre and rubbish from men, just because they’re men?  Despite 100 years of the vote and 30 years of Equal Opportunities legislation, we still don’t have equality in the workplace.

This is now a long blog, so I’ll finish here, but don’t worry, you won’t have to wait long for part 2 in which I’ll share some of the things PWM say and what they actually mean.

Also, I want to say that these examples are from a minority. I know most men, and women, out there are actually good guys trying hard to straddle the world our grandparents and parents knew to the one we live in and the one we want to make better for our children and grandchildren.

 

 

 

 

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January Review

So what happened in January – it started well, but finished on something of a low.

Locked Down is out for review, and the ebook is up for pre-order, the paperback will be up shortly, but Amazon doesn’t allow books to be pre-ordered if they are print on demand, seems odd, but it’s their game, their rules.  So that will be joining the ebook shortly.  I have one review on Goodreads already, so that’s good, and I’ll have to start the promotional stuff soon.

I have been working on Speed of Aether, but to steal a friends comment, Spead of Aether isn’t warp speed.  I’m behind where I wanted to be with this novel at this point.   I’ve reached 46k words, but I should have finished the book by now.

This isn’t because of the book, it is all the distractions, self-publishing especially.

I also took a week out of writing Speed to do a 5,000-word short story for an open competition I heard about. Now the bones of that were down quickly, but it took a fair amount of polish.  The problem was, I didn’t submit it because the feedback I got included the fact that I’d misrepresented a certain fetish.  And after looking into that fetish a bit more, I got the point.  I had.  And though the story was still a good read if you knew nothing about the fetish, I didn’t think it was the right thing to do to put it out there.  So more research needed.  Then I’ll re-write it, ignore the 5k limit and I suspect at some point it will be coming out as a novella.

I’m also down on wordcount, because I have barely been able to work on anything this last week.  I’m picked up a lung infection from somewhere and it’s laid me very low.  I can’t take a deep breath without it making me cough, movement or any form or exertion leaves me breathless – now I admit I’ve not been fit for a while, but I could walk up a flight of stairs without it making me call for oxygen, can’t do that right now. It’s seriously affected my ability to concentrate too.  You wouldn’t believe how long it’s taken to write this blog. Still, it’s an infection, I have been prescribed antibiotics and it will pass.  I just wish it would pass faster.

This year I promised myself that I would read and listen to more.  At least one audiobook and one paperback a month.  It doesn’t sound like much, but both are things that have suffered due to my full schedule.

This month I listened to “The Invisible Library” by Genevieve Cogman. I thoroughly enjoyed the story, Irene and Kai are such fun and the story had plenty of interest points to keep me listening.  The only downside was the narrator, her breathy voice worked well in some places and in others (which was, unfortunately, most places) it annoyed me.  It was like listening to a vicious argument spoken like an M&S Foood advert – This isn’t, an, argument, this, is, an M&S argument.  Really there are times when you want the action to feel active and that narrator lost that impact for me a few times.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s great book, I’d recommend reading it, I wouldn’t want to put you off listening to the audio either, but it was only a 4* for me.

This month I’ve mostly read an unpublished manuscript – which was brilliant!  It needs polish but if the author does what they need to do to get it published, I’m sure it will go down a storm. I’ve also read about half of “A Time for Silence” by Thorne Moore, very good Welsh-centric book. and part of “Dawn’s Early Light” by Pip Ballantine and Tee Morris, one of the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences novels.  These are very different genres and very different storytellers.  But that’s been a good thing because I’ve been able to match what to read to how I was feeling.  Both have their good points, have to admit I’m enjoying the steampunk more as it a joyous adventure story, but there’s a more of an emotional connection with Thorne’s characters.  To be honest, there’s a character in there that I really don’t like, mostly because he reminds me of people I know. But isn’t that what the writers set out to do, entertain and evoke an emotional response?

Anyway, that’s me done for now. I’m going to listen to some “Mortal Engines” now, as that’s about all I have the energy for. I’ll catch up with you as soon as I can.

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In the Bleak was Midwinter

I’ve been too quiet of late on my blog, and for that I’m sorry.  I’ve not, in fact, fallen off the edge of the earth.  I’ve been very busy.  The day job’s been taking a lot of energy, especially the commute, that’s really getting to me again. And I’ve been working hard, there’s the preparing for publication, preparing for agent submissions, arranging/attending events, the writers’ circle, the holiday season, the tax return, reading, and, of course, writing.

You may know that I’ve always self-published my steampunk work, but now I’m self-publishing “Locked Down”, the last of the Locked Trilogy, so getting covers and blog tours and everything else sorted for that has taken me some time.  I’m still waiting on the final artwork, but that’ll be with me soon, then I can put the paper back up for pre-order.  The eBook is already there for pre-ordering if you want it, find it at: Locked Down

I also finished the re-writing of another novel, stand-alone this time.  This one I wanted sorted as I sent it to an agent and wanted to be sure that it was ready and polished.  Though I suspect it’ll need other checks and edits yet.  The agent’s had it for a while, but I’m still hopeful.

I’ve also been arranging events, not just for me, but for other authors too.  That takes a fair amount of time and effort and an awful lot of e-mailing.  Can’t reveal the details yet, but I’ll be posting them up as soon as I can.

The rest, I’m sure you can appreciate just how absorbing they can be.  Still, enough of the poor me for now.

The other thing I haven’t mentioned above is friends.  Yes, shocking I know, but yes, I do actually have friends.  And I’ve been spending some time with them.  It’s surprising how many people I’m friends with who walk with the Black Dog and Christmas is always a bad time for such suffers, so there have been a lot of supportive chats going on in the background.  People I’ve helped and those who have helped me.  I just want to say a thank you to them and to let them and others know, that if you need me, I’m here.  Even if all you want is to unload, I’m here for you any time you need me to be.

Well, that’s it from me at the moment, I’ll blog again as soon as I can.

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The Third is Coming

Yes, it’s true, the third is coming.  “Locked Down” will be published by HanWill Publishing on February 18th 2019.  Here’s what you can see, the cover:

Locked Down cover

 

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A Halloween Tea Party for Unmarried Victorian Ladies

I found this from Mimi Matthews, and I found it fascinating, so I’m glad to say Mimi has permitted me to share it here, pictures and all.  If this stuff interests you, recommend following Mimi, and I have to say I was also connected to this particular story because one of her sources is also a ‘local’ paper to me.

Guest blog from Mimi Matthews:

Ladies Taking Tea by Joseph Scheurenberg, n.d.

In the Victorian era, Halloween parties were rife with games designed to help young ladies see into their marital futures. These games were generally played at co-ed Halloween celebrations. There were even some which could be played by gentlemen. The bulk of these games, however, were geared toward marriage-minded females. It is therefore not surprising to find descriptions of Halloween parties—or Halloween Teas—that were strictly for women.

The November 5, 1898 edition of the Western Mail describes a Halloween tea held by a young lady by the name of Anna Leighton. Miss Leighton is reported to have invited sixteen of her female friends to “an early candlelight tea.” The guests arrived to find the Leighton’s parlor decorated with autumn leaves, fruits, nuts, and ears of corn. There were jack-o-lanterns arrayed on the mantel and candles burning under crepe paper shades. As the article relates:

“The decorations of the dining-room were unusually pretty, the walls being draped in soft red and yellow, with wreaths and garlands of autumn flowers and leaves gracefully festooned on the wall, and from each corner were suspended Jack-o’-lanterns cut from immense pumpkins.”

Wax candles illuminated the table and, beside every place setting, there was a cluster of red and yellow roses tied with ribbons and accented with a “silver horsehoe stick-pin” that could be taken home as a souvenir. In addition, attached to each set of roses, was a hand-painted card which revealed the respective guest’s fortune. The Western Mail reports that one such card was drawn with four-leaf clovers and read:

“The man you’ll marry is full of pluck;
He has gone to Klondyke and had good luck.”

Teatime by Raimundo de Madrazo y Garreta, n.d.
(Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes de La Habana)

In keeping with the holiday theme, the menu for the Halloween tea consisted primarily of “nuts, fruit, and candy.” The guests were also served “fancy cakes” and ices which contained “either a needle, thimble, dime, or ring.” According to the Western Mail:

“The needle and thimble indicated that the ones who happened to take them would remain spinsters for another year; the dime and ring meant either an engagement or marriage.”

There were other chances for young ladies to divine their romantic futures, many of which revolved around cups of tea. For example, to find out how many years she might have to wait until she married, a young lady balanced a dry spoon on the edge of her teacup. A second spoon was filled with tea and “holding it above the balanced spoon,” she slowly dropped the tea into the first spoon until it overbalanced. Each drop represented a year.

Another tea-related marriage game was said to reveal how soon one’s lover might call. As the Western Mail explains:

“If a tea stalk floats in the cup it is called a lover, and when this is seen maids should stir their tea very rapidly round and round, and then hold the spoon upright in the centre of the cup. If the tea stalk is attached to the spoon and clings to it he will call shortly, and maybe, this very evening; if the tea stalk goes to the side of the cup he will not come, and you will not have a proposal this year.”

After an evening of tea drinking and marriage forecasting, the young ladies at Miss Leighton’s party gathered around a coal fire and roasted marshmallows. They then told ghost stories. The young lady who told the scariest story was awarded a prize consisting of a pair of toy slippers accompanied by a card which read:

“Before retiring to-night,
Place your slippers in the form of a T.
And to-night you, your love will see;
The colour of his hair and the suit he will wear
The night he is wedding to thee.”

Tea Party by Louis Charles Moeller, 1905.

Though I’m not a fan of the endless games of marriage forecasting, I confess that the idea of a Halloween tea party for ladies does sound appealing. I hope some of you might consider reviving the tradition. Who knows? If we all take part, one day Gallowen might even become popular enough to rival Galentine’s Day.

*Author’s Note: If you’d like to learn more about Victorian Halloween parties or Victorian tea parties, please see these articles from my archives:

A Victorian Halloween Party
An Informal Afternoon Tea

Mimi Matthews is the author of  The Pug Who Bit NapoleonA Victorian Lady’s Guide to Fashion and Beauty, and The Lost Letter. She researches and writes on all aspects of nineteenth century history—from animals, art, and etiquette to fashion, beauty, feminism, and law. 

Sources

Beard, Linda. How to Amuse Yourself and Others. New York: Scribner & Sons, 1893.

Chambers, Robert. Ed. The Book of Days. London: W. R. Chambers, 1832.

Ingalls’ Home and Art Magazine,Vol. IV. Lynn, Mass: J. F. Ingalls, 1891.

Leslie, Frank. Frank Leslie’s Popular Monthly, Vol. 40. New York: Frank Leslie Publishing, 1895.

Western Mail (Glamorgan, Wales), 05 November 1898. © British Library Board.


Thanks again to Mimi for allowing me to share and to you for reading this.

 

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Busy, Busy, Busy

I’ve been very quiet on the blogging front of late, but that’s mostly because I’ve been flat out in other respects.

Thought June I was working frantically to get “Echoes of Aether”, which has turned out very well for me.  I’m loving writing this series and it is being well received.  I had a lovely review from Never Was Magazine.

Through July I was away for a week on a training course for work.  Intense, but useful.  I was also desperately trying to organise several talks in South Wales for Dr Noirs Travelling Crime Show.  If you’re interested, here are the dates:

Date Venue Authors Time
24/10/2018 Octavos,
West Bute Street,
Cardiff,
CF10 5LJ
Micheal J Malone,
Matt Johnson,
Quentin Bates,
Rosie Claverton
7pm
25/10/2018 Waterstones
The Old Carlton Cinema,
17 Oxford St,
Swansea
SA1 3AG
Micheal J Malone,
Matt Johnson,
Quentin Bates,
GB Williams
7pm
26/10/2018 Theatr Mwldan,
Bath House Road,
Cardigan
SA43 1JY
Micheal J Malone,
Matt Johnson,
Alis Hawkins
7pm

 

Then there were the events to attend.

In July there was Harrogate, which was fun though I used it more as a weekend off than as a writers festival, mostly because I was shattered.  We found some lovely eateries in Harrogate, can whole-heartedly recommend Major Toms.

Asylum outfit

Then there was all the sewing that I had to do for my costume for the Asylum Steampunk Festival.  I haven’t fired up a sewing machine in a very long time and it took me a while, but I got it all done.  And then, of course, there was Asylum itself.  A wonderful weekend, four talks, four days of trading, and the best news of all, I did so well with the sales, I sold out of two titles.  I’ve had to quickly order more as I still have three events in September and four more in October to do.

Now I have to go, more writing to do.

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