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.