There is nothing funnier – and more pathetic – than a Fragile White Male becoming abusive when you point out that they’re not nearly as Woke, nor as much of an Ally, as they think they are.
Fragile White Males (not to be confused with Men) continually demand women acknowledge that they’ve been a ‘Good Guy’ as we are trying to process the latest indignity that’s befallen us, or when we’re disgusted with the latest famous or powerful man revealed to have been abusing his position and the women around him.
Usually it’s presented as Not All Men: a hashtag or sentiment FWMs feel obliged to remind women of when they speak of or point out the indignities of sexual harassment and sexism in school, the workplace, and public, or (worse) the soul crushing burden of rape and sexual assault.
“Not ALL Men!” the Fragile White Males have insisted again and again since #MeToo broke in earnest. “‘But *I* didn’t rape anyone! I’d never sexually harass a woman,” they repeat, needing you to know and demanding you acknowledge it. It’s exhausting.
If there’s any push back by women, or we have the temerity to tell men they’re re-framing the conversation to make themselves more comfortable, it almost always ends up with the Fragile White Male offended to the point of a having a temper tantrum, and that tantrum often turns into spewing abuse when you don’t soothe their fragile ego.
A textbook case of a Fragile White Male hijacking the conversation and shrieking #NotAllMen!! happened the other day, when my friend Tawanda (a perfect pseudonym for this fierce and strong woman) posted on her Facebook page that she and her husband were skipping their usual Superbowl party. (Note that in the following exchange OP refers to Original Post, JT is Justin Timberlake, and the screen caps show the actual back-and-forth with nothing cherry-picked for sensationalism.)
Tawanda begins the conversation with this post:
I watched the video Tawanda posted, an encouraging 80-second clip where Smith talks about choosing to be with people who will fan your flames of creativity, and not piss on them.
I was about to type, “So much THIS!!” when I looked at the third comment down, posted by Broseph, and it felt like getting a thumb poked in my eye. See if you can spot Broseph’s subtle re-framing in his opening gambit.
Why, yes – he WAS white. How did you guess? Is it because he sounds so Fragile?
I knew as I typed out my response that the Fragile White Male’s fee-fees would be hurt if I tried to clue him in to his transgression. Fragile White Males who take well to hearing how they could be a better Ally are unicorns – that’s why they’re Fragile White Males.
I’ll let you in on a little secret: I don’t give a flying fuck anymore about Fragile White Male’s tender fee-fees. Half a century of clapping hands for every morsel of respect they accidentally let fall off the table isn’t cutting it for me anymore.
These days I give Fragile White Males and their feelings EXACTLY as much respect as they give me and mine.
As expected Broseph’s answer was sulky and pontifical. But, before I checked back in to Facebook he decided it wasn’t enough and posted again, aggrandizing himself and strangely attempting to insult me with a patronizing gif.
I wish I could say I was surprised, but Fragile White Males are so damned predictable.
I grinned broadly at Broseph’s lack of reading comprehension skills, and his refusing to acknowledge that the subject WAS NOT, in fact, Justin Timberlake’s diverse fucking fan base. Clearly, Tawanda’s point was that the Manly Men in attendance would use Timberlake’s performance as an excuse to morph into Douchecus Maximus, and she wasn’t going to waste her precious time on these people.
Note how this fine specimen of a Fragile White Male blithely ignores his re-framing a statement about inherent sexism driving a mutual friend away from her years-long Superbowl tradition, and instead insists we acknowledge his diversity. Even better? Broseph ignoring Tawanda’s liking my post (with a heart, no less) to give himself permission to blow up with indignity.
I laughed when I read his second message. I could see the Fragile White Male huffing behind his keyboard, wrapping his unearned righteous-indignation around him like a well-worn woolen cloak.
Take a moment to savor that whole Ball o’ Privilege and Fragility, while Irony unplugs the phone and weeps like Holly Hunter in Broadcast News.
“I am about as supportive of any issues of any gender or sex as you’ll find a man to be.”
The fucking ego it takes to even think that way.
You could launch a Space-X rocket from the platform of self-importance that big.
Can you imagine thinking so very much of yourself? Or, more likely, not being able to imagine anyone acting better than you, and chalking up your own shortcomings to being the BEST anyone could find a man to be.
Then, to PROVE what a supportive MAN he was, he posted a patronizing gif telling me to ‘Simma Down Now’. I was really disappointed he didn’t tell me I’d be prettier if I smiled more.
My response contained exactly the lack of deference that infuriates men like Broseph, who believe their every utterance should be hung upon with rapt attention and fluttering eyelashes.
15 minutes later a flash flood of rage hit:
In refusing to humble myself before Broseph’s almighty bullshit opinion I’d unleashed what he really thought about women, and their desire for self-agency and equality.
My, oh my, how the wheels came off his fragile white wagon, as Dude Bro revealed he has serious rape issues.
You read that right!
Mr. I’m As Supportive Of Any Issues Of Any Gender Or Sex As You’ll Find A Man To Be thinks anything short of rape is a women crying ‘Wolf!’ while simultaneously accusing me of being A-Okay with rape and sexual harassment because I told him, “It’s not about you.”
Never mind that the Bill Clinton rape charges are as bogus as Broseph’s claims of Feminism: I had the audacity to tell Broseph he was re-framing Tawanda’s original, uncomfortable point on toxic masculinity, and replacing it with a Fragile White Male’s musings on Justin Timberlake – therefore he was justified in claiming I supported the single most damaging thing that had ever happened to me in my life.
Broseph – not content with lying about my condoning rape, and pulling a grand Whataboutism about the Clintons directly out of his ass to change the subject – felt he hadn’t QUITE gotten his point across, so he posted a gif of a woman circling her ear with her finger, in the classic ‘you’re crazy’ mime.
Much adult! Such dignified!!
This is classic Fragile White Male behavior. They believe with all their heart that verbal abuse is an appropriate way to interact with a woman who won’t be cowed, and dares to question their behavior as it relates to the continual need to re-frame everything in a way that makes them comfortable.
What else could I do, but toss a few more logs on to the bonfire of his rage?
Fragile White Males ADORE being dismissed even more than being told “It’s not about you.” They NEVER have to have the last, ugly words.
You really HAVE to admire an ego that has been so tenderly cultivated in the rich loam of White Male Privilege that he believes he is As Good As A Man Can Be, and to question HIM is to attack the very movement I’m asking him to respect.
Put your arms around that: He ACTUALLY equated asking him not to re-frame women’s definitive statements on sexism and misogyny as attacking #MeToo.
The only people capable of attaining and maintaining an ego that GARGANTUAN in this society have the good fortune to born a white male.
Furious that I hadn’t taken the bait, Broseph gave one last, feeble shot that read more like the Ambien had kicked in, rather than the stinging invective he imagined it to be.
Ahh – THERE it is!
‘If you are married to a man, I feel bad for him..’
The final refuge of the Fragile White Male who is powerless to cow a woman who approaches him as an equal: Imply she can’t land a cock, and if by some miracle she did it’s a Pity Fuck.
You know – because ALL women are heterosexual, and we aren’t complete without a good, deep dicking.
Almost the only men who act like this are white dudes privileged enough to grow up with such unquestioned power they believe it’s their just due for the rest of society to put so much stock in their opinion that it cancels out our actual experience.
For those of you Men who would never act like this? Great. Thank you – you’re doing what any decent person should do. But, it’s not enough to see that Fragile White Male behavior is wrong. You need to SAY SOMETHING – tell them to knock their shit off
The uncomfortable fact is: If you don’t speak up against Fragile White Male behavior you are not an Ally – you’re a Silent Accomplice.
I guaran-damn-tee you there are Brosephs all around us, springing up like poisoned toadstools, pushing back against #MeToo, and redefining its meaning to fit their own privileged need not to feel uncomfortable.
Look: Nothing will change until those of you white men who have power (read: ALL of you) demand that their brethren share it with those of us who don’t.
I know this piece will cause most men discomfort. Tough. It’s time you look good and hard and ask yourself if you have been a Broseph, or enabled him with your silence.
If you don’t see yourself here? Great. I appreciate the Ally. Really, I do. But, I don’t want to hear about it.
It’s not about you.