Hi, I’m a white American man.
And I’m here to say life isn’t easy. For anyone.
But I’ll admit, it’s a little easier for me, because I’m a white American man (living in the U.S. … the South, to be specific). I’m not apologizing for this. This isn’t white guilt coming out. Or man-guilt, if that’s a thing. It’s just a fact.
Remember that Saturday Night Live skit where Eddie Murphy put on a suit, a bad wig and white-face and strolled around New York City only to discover how much easier white men had it? It’s kind of like that, though the freebies aren’t quite as prevalent.
I’m paid fairly. Police officers don’t look at me funny. Co-workers tend to listen to me, and most of the time they respect what I have to say. I can walk into just about any public place and feel comfortable. When strangers see me playing with my kids or hear that I do dishes or vacuum, I’m congratulated. I can grow a gut, and nobody cares. At least not openly. I wasn’t picked on in high school because of something out of my control.
Did I mention I’m straight, too? Bonus points.
Yeah, being a white American straight male human living in America is pretty great. No apologies. No guilt.
In fact, I wish everyone knew how it felt. My 7-year-old daughter who wants to be an astronaut, a football player and a dancer. My full-time working wife … she’d get a kick out of this. My black friends. My Hispanic friends. My gay friends. They’d love it.
If only, right? If only.
Happy International Women’s Day. Thanks for giving me the other 364 days.