White Male, Can’t Talk About Anything

Joseph Palmieri,
Framingham, MA.

As a white male, I feel like I have been subject to a sort of stigma just like people of other races and genders have. Some may think that white men are relieved from a form of discrimination, but this is not the case. I have been told multiple times that I was not allowed to participate in a conversation regarding race because “I’m white and wouldn’t know anything about it”, or a debate about gender because “I’m a man and wouldn’t understand”. Many people, mostly of other races and genders, have a sort of stigma that white men have never had anything wrong done to them in history as a people, and therefore would know nothing about suffering or hardship. This obviously is untrue, but many people feel that white people should never have anything to complain about because they have not been historically oppressed, which is obviously false. Another stigma I encounter frequently is my gender. Despite having a very high rate of death in combat, suicide, and work-related injuries compared to women, as well as a very skewed custody percentage (women almost always get the children in the case of a divorce), men are seen has having no problems and being the only ones who can oppress others, ignoring the fact that around 50% of rapes are committed by women. Men have had a historical responsibility of being in control and powerful, two hallmarks of oppression, so when men are oppressed they are typically laughed at, rather than empathized with. This stigma against white men isn’t one that should exist, because no stigmas against any races or genders should exist.

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