“EVERYWHERE I TURN these days I encounter the term “white male,” almost always used in a pejorative way.” — Roland Merullo, “In Defense of the White Male,” the Boston Globe, 7/3/17
EVERYWHERE I TURN lately I am subjected to the “white male chin patch.” This ill-advised device serves as a constant reminder that although the white male has enjoyed an uninterrupted 240-ish year stint of running everything in this country and only acting in their own self-interest, they lack any sense of actual self-awareness. There are abundant examples — both in history and current events — of boorish and cringe-worthy white male facial hair and chin patch iterations. Hitler’s mustache comes to mind. Stalin. Fred Durst. That time Paul Ryan tried to grow a beard… (Donald Trump, of course, cannot grow facial hair due to years of UV ray-caused root damage).
Look, I get it. I do. It’s easy to look incredulously at the assembly of white male chin patches in positions of power and feel a mix of confusion, anger, and nausea at such an unmistakably unattractive style choice. This fox in the henhouse of white American heterosexual male appeal clearly lives on without threat of even a lone voice of dissension – certainly squelched by the effects of gerrymandering. But #notallwhitemalechinpatches are out to subjugate and disenfranchise women, homosexuals, immigrants, and people of color. And to assume so really hurts my feelings. The author himself dons a classic salt and pepper goatee, and has never so much as called it a soul patch.
You people are really being choosy with your condemnation of only the white male chin patch. Lest you forget – Black and Asian men have also donned questionable facial hairstyles – what about them? And before the Hollywood elites mention moving to Canada yet again, just remember Canadian Howie Mandel has donned a ’stache longer than most of you ungrateful millennials have been alive. Women are not without fault here as well. They sometimes put a cartoon mustache up to their faces at wedding photo booths. You are all hypocrites.
Since you seem to need reminding, here are some notable white male chin patch contributors. Shakespeare – dude obviously scratched his patch while creating great works of fiction (and please remember his work isn’t sexist or racist – just reflective of the culture and time he lived in). If not for Abraham Lincoln’s chin curtain, Black people would still be slaves. And, if you are a heterosexual woman, chances are at least one of your orgasms has been from a white male mustache ride.
Not long ago, I had a conversation with one of my female students (who is biologically incapable of growing any facial hair whatsoever – aside from a weak mustache which everyone knows she must hide or face societal collapse. This is not up for debate; it’s just how it is but that is HER choice). Anyway, she told me I had no right to speak on the subject of the attractiveness of the white male chin patch and while it must be satisfying for her to tell me I look like the bad guy in a Walmart employee mandated sexual harassment video, that impulse to find me wholly unattractive will go entirely unnoticed, as everyone knows only the attractiveness of women trying to be in positions of power matters. Besides, I have a wife and she has sex with me and I have two daughters who have never once opined on the dated look of my face. So I feel pretty vindicated. I also had a mother. The thing is, I am more than a white male chin patch. I am a human. Get on my level. Get on this mustache ride or be left at the station, America.
For centuries, us white male chin patches lumped women, Jews, African Americans, homosexuals, Muslims, and other immigrants into groups for the convenience of treating their facial hair as inferior to ours. We benefited a lot from it and it was great but now that these groups are gaining platforms and seem interested in kinda sorta almost doing to us what we did to them, I’ve decided I don’t like how it feels to be judged merely because of the hairs on my face.
Please remember this isn’t sexist or racist, just reflective of the culture and time I’m hoping we stay living in. Maybe one day we will be able to eschew labels and be egalitarian – wait, ha! Sorry, not egalitarian – I mean, maybe one day we will be able to eschew labels and see beyond the fact that women are 51% of our population but only 20% of our lawmakers and Black, Hispanic, Asian, and other people of color are also disproportionately represented by our government – and just see my white male chin patch as a little piece of humanity.