Postscript. In light of some of the comments received on this post, I'd like to make one thing clear: In no way does this blog advocate or condone violence of any kind. This post is obviously tongue in cheek, and the analogy between wolves and white males is not meant to be taken literally.
I'm beginning to sympathize with hunters in states like Wyoming and Montana who are fed up with animal protectionists. Do packs of wolves that prey on cattle and threaten the livelihood of hardworking, God-fearing ranchers really need protection?
Okay, so I know zilch about wolves and livestock. (I'm not sure I'd know a wolf from a German Shepard if one crossed my path at the information booth in Grand Central.) But let me tell you I'm feeling protectionist fatigue just reading the title of Newsweek's latest cover story: "Beached White Males."
The same guys who once drove BMWs. . . have now been downsized to BWMs: Beached White Males.
Through the first quarter of 2011, nearly 600,000 college-educated white men ages 35 to 64 were unemployed . . . That’s more than 5 percent jobless—double the group’s pre-recession rate. That might not sound bad compared with the plight of younger, less-educated workers and minorities, but it’s a historic change from the last recession, when about half as many lost their oxford shirts. . . In New York City, men in the 35-to-54 kill zone have lost jobs faster than any other group, including teenage girls. . .
Oh my, teenage girls beating out middle-aged, white men. Who knew they were competing for the same jobs at American Apparel and Wendy's?
In a way, the Newsweek story is yet another take on Hanna Rosin's article ("The End of Men") in The Atlantic last year that predicted the eventual rise of women in the workforce. The Newsweek piece, though, kicks up the end-of-masculinity hysteria another notch--what it calls "the psychic toll of the Mancession." The piece cautions:
It might be tempting to snark at these former fat cats suffering lean times. But when Beached White Males suffer, so do their wives and children. Lives, marriages, and futures are at stake. Examining who these guys are, and what washed them up, is not an exercise in schadenfreude. It's a cautionary tale. To quote Arthur Miller on the most famous Beached White Male, "Attention must be paid."
Though the Newsweek piece didn't say it in so many words, it suggests that white men were being replaced by women--especially their wives--on the workfront, and that's what causing this "stain on your masculinity for becoming the bread-loser." (Hey, anyone notice that those guys are lucky to have working wives who can support them? Would it enhance their masculinity if the whole family starved?)
In any case, Newsweek must be way ahead of the curve, because last time I looked, white guys still seem in charge. That's certainly the case in the legal profession, where women and minorities didn't fare so well during the recession (see NALP report). In fact, white men rule in most professions--including journalism, I might add (though Tina Brown now heads Newsweek).
Please, can we stop putting white men in the endangered category?
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