In a case of spectacularly bad timing, Fox News happened to choose the day before the Zimmerman verdict was handed down to publish an op-ed proclaiming “the White American Male” to be the most oppressed creature on Planet Earth. In a piece entitled “Men — The New Second Class Citizens,” professional antifeminist Suzanne Venker declared that
From boyhood through adulthood, the White American Male must fight his way through a litany of taunts, assumptions and grievances about his very existence. His oppression is unlike anything American women have faced.
What is revealing about this quote, besides its complete disconnection from reality, is that Venker makes no other references to race in the rest of her piece, which runs through a number of tiresome and oh-so-familiar MRA talking points about the alleged oppression of men.
Venker complains about schools being biased towards girls, from grade schools that force students to sit still to colleges with their infernal Title IX. She whines about “sit coms and commercials that portray dad as an idiot.”
Quoting antifeminist psychologist Helen Smith, a friend of and sometime contributor to A Voice for Men, she suggests that women can get their boyfriends or husbands locked up on a whim just by claiming abuse.
I’m surprised she didn’t talk about the evils of “friend zoning.”
But when Venker refers to “men” in all of these complaints, she is evidently thinking only of white men — why else would she switch so seamlessly from talking about the alleged oppression of “men” to proclaiming “the White American Male” the ultimate victim?
There’s really no other word for this than, well, racist.
The day after Fox published Venker’s nonsense, we were of course reminded (as if any of us really needed to be reminded) of the very real oppression faced by “the Black American Male.”
Trayvon Martin didn’t die because he happened to see a show featuring a bumbling sitcom dad. He died because George Zimmerman saw a young black man in a hoodie walking home from the store and assumed, apparently because Martin was young and black and wearing a hoodie, that he was up to something sinister.
Trayvon Martin didn’t die because he was male; he died because he was a black male. His killer walked free not because his victim was male, but because his victim was a black male.
Suzanne Venker did us all a favor by revealing the unconscious racism underlying so many Men’s Rights complaints. The Men’s Rights movement is not only a movement that is overwhelmingly made up of white men; it’s a movement that’s almost exclusively about white men, and their largely imaginary oppressions, as well. We might as well call it the White Men’s Rights Movement.