Old White Men Syndrome
I’d like to discuss a problem I feel we here in the USA seem to have that most other democracies do not. Old White Men Syndrome.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I love many ‘old white men’. My husband is on that list. I suppose I should change it to read, Old White Republican Men Syndrome.
My husband and sons and male friends are more about equality than oppression of ‘the weaker sex’. I’m not talking about niceties like opening a door for someone being a problem, that’s simply good manners and if I’m at the door first I will hold it open for any man or woman.
No, what I’m talking about is the old white men who are stuck in the mid-century when ‘the little woman’ cleaned and cooked and took care of their men. My in-laws were the perfect example of that era. Dad was the bread winner and mom was the perfect house wife.
I got married in 1968. The Viet Nam war was the lead story on the news every evening. I was grateful my husband had gotten a deferment for flat feet. We were very much against the war and got as involved as we could considering we were essentially children ourselves, starting our own family.
I remember our POW bracelets being our way of showing our resistance. Then when the POW we were, in our minds, honoring came home he bashed all the protesters. Irony! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_H._Kasler.
My husband and most of our contemporaries at the time were like minded in our protest of the war. It didn’t sit well with some family members but, that didn’t deter us.
I’m not sure if the war had anything to do with the ‘women’s movement’ at the time but, they were part and parcel in our home. Dave’s brother-in-law, an Air Force officer, died in a plane crash in the war shortly before we were married. That didn’t change my in-law’s feelings about the war and didn’t deter our protests of it.
I think my point here is, the Viet Nam era became a defining factor for the men who embraced the ‘50’s mentality and the men who supported women’s liberation. My husband was the latter and I’m grateful for that.
The old white men who are currently running our country have never left the mid-century. The cabinet members 45 has placed are the best example of the regression we’ve seen since he became president.
But, here’s what makes me hopeful in this crazy time. I’ll let Rush Windbag tell you…
On his radio show yesterday, Rush Limbaugh launched a gendered attack against the three moderate senators who announced that they would not vote for full repeal of Obamacare: Susan Collins (Maine), Shelley Moore Capito (W.Va.) and Lisa Murkowski (Alaska). “Now we find out the Republican caucus in the Senate is infected with essentially leftist members,” Limbaugh said on his program, which attracts millions of listeners each afternoon. “Collins, Murkowski, Capito – these three female leftists in the Republican caucus are running the Senate, not Mitch McConnell. Mitch McConnell is not running the Senate! These three women are running the Senate. The conservative Republicans in the Senate are not running the Senate. Three liberal women who call themselves Republicans are running the Senate!”
Imagine his shock and awe! Three ‘liberal’ Republican women are running the Senate! I guess what makes them liberal, in his world, is having the gall to stand up to power and speak truth to it. Welcome to the ‘Old White Man’s Club’ where having a shred of compassion makes you a liberal.
What can we do about this? How can we, women and men of like mind, change this unbalanced slanted way of thinking?
I say we start with term limits. My hope is the 2018 elections brings in fresh thinking moderates and liberals who will create balance by implementing term limits. Run on that platform, even.
Let’s face it…the members of congress who have been there most of their adult lives have lived in a bubble. They make laws that don’t apply to them. You only have look at their wealth, as reported here by Time magazine, http://time.com/373/congress-is-now-mostly-a-millionaires-club/, to see why they want to stay. They’re not worried about health coverage!
Then you get Rush Windbag attacking women legislators for trying to create a fair and balanced approach to health care. Isn’t that his slogan, or is it Fox’s slogan. Anyway, it’s not what either of them believes.
But, here’s what a bipartisan group of women legislators is currently working across the aisles to do:
In a rare moment of bipartisan agreement, Democratic and Republican lawmakers argued that too many women are being incarcerated for low-level offenses. Vanessa Williams reports: “From Democratic Sen. Kamala Harris (Calif.) and Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (Tex.) to Republican Rep. Mia Love (Utah) and Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin (R), there was bipartisan agreement that most of the women in jails and prison would be better served by drug rehabilitation and mental health services, rather than harsher sentences. They noted that most women in the criminal-justice system are victims of domestic abuse or sexual violence. And because most incarcerated women have small children, locking them away can destroy an already fragile family. The discussion came during a day long conference called ‘Women Unshackled.’”
I don’t know about you but, this makes me proud to be a woman. Proud that I, and my husband and many other upstanding men we know, agree that it’s time for a fresh look through compassionate eyes.
It is time for the ‘Old White Men’ to step aside and let common sense and compassion for ALL American’s to take over.
Now it’s your turn…tell me what you think.