Bull’s-eye on my back

By Jeff Linville - [email protected]

I read an article recently from The New York Times website that had some debatable points.

I thought about writing a column on the topic and went back over the story a second time, planning out my ideas.

On the second pass through, I noticed some things that slipped right past the first time. Some thinly veiled shots at men that have become so commonplace that we accept them as normal.

We live in an age where everyone is so concerned with not offending any group — be it women, blacks, gays or the handicapped. Yet, somehow it is still perfectly okay to insult white men.

We white males have gotten so used to it that we either don’t notice at all or just laugh it off. Why are we the only segment of our society with a target on our backs? For example, in the article this female writer from Houston said that office buildings are too cold and female employees are uncomfortable. She said it was because the male executives are concerned with dressing up in a coat and tie and don’t take into consideration that women are wearing “lighter and more revealing clothes than they do in wintertime.”

Now if I responded that perhaps an office isn’t the place for “more revealing clothes,” then I would be called sexist. But it’s perfectly okay for her to say that the office is cold because men are vain about their appearance.

Oh, and she then added that buildings were cold because the office manager was likely to be a male who was heavyset. So now we’re fat too?

This isn’t an article in some backwoods rag with a readership of 200 people. This is The New York Times, and this attitude toward men is allowed. But not just any men, it has to be white males.

If she had said that Middle Eastern men keep the office too cold because they keep towels wrapped around their heads, that would have been offensive.

I was a teen when Married With Children came on the air. I watched it because it seemed funny, but now when I catch reruns in syndication, I don’t find it as funny. The wife constantly berates the husband as a loser, yet somehow he has a regular job and keeps up a two-story house while his lazy wife watches TV all day.

If the wife were insulting her Hispanic husband for working a demeaning job, it wouldn’t seem funny. Mexican immigrants sweating in manual labor wouldn’t find that funny at all.

Whenever I bring up points like this with people, the response I always get is that white men deserve it because they are the privileged ones. White men rule the world and control all the money. Talk about stereotyping.

I don’t rule anything but my TV remote, and I have no money to control. Yet, I get lumped in with guys like Donald Trump and Bill Gates?

Back when I was 18 years old, I had strep throat four times in a year. A doctor said my tonsils looked diseased. I went for a second opinion with Dr. David Jackson, who said, and I quote, “Yep, them puppies need to come out.”

Being in school at Surry Community College and working at a fast-food restaurant with no insurance, I went to the health department to see if there was some way I could get assistance. Nope. Because I was an 18-year-old male, the department turned me away. If I were a child or a woman with kids, then they could have helped, but an adult male gets no assistance.

Rodney Dangerfield said, “I get no respect.” He could have been speaking for all us white guys.

By Jeff Linville

[email protected]

Jeff is the associate editor and can be reached at 415-4692.

Jeff is the associate editor and can be reached at 415-4692.

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