I sat in a meeting with a female supervisor a couple of days ago where she lamented that all of the idiocy of the administration that she endures is the result of “misogynistic” males. She then proceeded to go on a rant about who wants to listen to/respect “old white guys” (i.e., Caucasian, middle aged males).
As an “old white guy” I couldn’t help but think: “imagine if this rant was about black people and I was an African American?”. I was tempted to say in a good natured way “uh, I resemble that remark” but thought better of it.
I’ve listened to endless ranting about “white people”, “males” and now “old white guys” for the better part of 40 years. The first experience I recall was when I was only 16. I was denied a full-ride scholarship because I had been “bumped” from my top spot (along with 5 others) to favor women and minority candidates who didn’t score as highly. Many other confirmed and similar incidents would follow throughout my life.
So I’ve lived my life and pursued my entire professional and academic career in an atmosphere of the “great equalization” of affirmative action. But it hasn’t been enough, and I suspect it never will be. Now as I near the end of my working years, I have to listen to misguided rants about “old white guys” – I didn’t have the heart to tell her we all put up with the same bullshit regardless of sex, race, or national origin. The administration of the institution I work for is utterly feckless, and stupidity has few boundaries.
So here I wait, for all of those accumulated “privileges” I supposedly was given or will receive – still waiting…. while more, and more goes out the door. I’m perplexed. I guess I didn’t get the white male privilege memo on the big giveaway.