New York Times Op-Ed: Young Men Shoot Children Because Women, Coloreds, Not Sufficiently Deferent

  white man's burden

white man's burden As you may or may not know, the New York Times is publishing a series of essays this week that purport to “examine the ethical, social and humanitarian implications of the use, possession and regulation of weapons.” It is only Tuesday, so the tide could turn, but let us note that we are not off to a great start. Yesterday’s essay was by Christy Wampole, an associate professor at Princeton whose interests include (among other things)the extent to which the root metaphor becomes erroneously literalized and used as a justification for everything from ultra-conservative nationalism to claims of hereditary inferiority of certain class and ethnic groups.” (In other words, image or narrative that shapes a person’s worldview and how it is used to justify racism and classism.)

So it’s kind of surprising that her essay is SO TOTALLY STUPID, given that she supposedly has thought about ultra-right wing nationalism a lot, and written about it in academic publications, and got a job at Princeton for it.

And also, you’ll notice that the essay has nothing to do with the ethical implications of unrestrained access to firearms. Nothing. Her essay is on the “decline of white men,” and she argues that white men commit mass murder with automatic weapons because—seriously—women and people of color are insufficiently deferent to white men these days, and also too because white men now have to actually work for stuff they used to just get for free by virtue of being white men. Here, watch as we show you how easy it is, apparently, to get a tenured position at Princeton and get published in the New York Times.

There is something about life in the United States, it seems, that is conducive to young men planning and executing large-scale massacres. But the reasons elude us.

The first reaction to the horror and bloodshed of a mass killing like the one in Newtown, Conn., is a rekindling of the gun control debate. I happen to believe, along with many others, that the repeated mandate we give to the National Rifle Association and its lobby, and the complacency with which we allow our politicians to be subject to the will of gun manufacturers is odious.

OK, so far so good, right? But wait for it:

In the United States, the angry white man has usurped the angry black man.

We thought that the “angry black man” was a racist caricature unsupported by any evidence that black men were any more or less angry than non-black men, but no, apparently there really ARE black men who are angry, and the thing is, their anger is cute and all? But they’re just not doing a very good job of SHOWING how angry they are these days. White men are doing it MUCH MUCH better and more effectively, so we have the “angry white man.” So what happens if we limit their access to automatic weapons? Nothing, because they are so very very depressed, these white men.

Limiting access to weapons is certainly a pragmatic albeit incomplete solution to the United States’ propensity for murder. However, were the guns to vanish instantaneously, the specter that haunts our young men would still hover in silence, darkly.

What is it that touches them?

YOUR MOM!

Sorry. Anyway, the premise of her argument is that white men are just so angry and messed up that taking away their guns isn’t going to solve the problem due to this dark specter that touches them in silence. Christy Wampole has a lot of credibility when it comes to assessing the anger specific to white men because she is from Texas, this is her source of authority on the matter. She is from Texas, and she can extrapolate from her experiences there that the white man as a social category is “having a hard time of it.”

I come from a small town near Fort Worth, Texas. In this region, like many others across the United States, young men are having a very hard time of it. When I consider how all of the people I knew there are faring, including my own family members, the women have come out considerably better than the men. While many of the women were pregnant in high school and have struggled with abusive relationships, financial hardships and addictions, they’ve often found ways to make their lives work, at least provisionally, and to live with their children if not provide for them in more substantial ways.

The same cannot be said for many young men in the region, who are often absent fathers of multiple children by multiple women, unemployed or underemployed, sullen and full of rage. While every woman in my family has done O.K. in the end, every man on one side of my family except for my grandfather has spent time in jail, abused drugs or alcohol, suffered from acute depression, or all of the above. Furthermore, pervasive methamphetamine use, alcoholism, physical and psychological abuse and severe depression have swept not only my hometown and my region but large segments of the United States. If this pattern is not familiar to you personally, I am certain it is the lived experience of someone you know.

And if this is the lived experience of someone you know that’s non-white or non-male, it doesn’t count, OK?

Also, where did she get this idea that women are any less likely than men to suffer from drug addiction, or that black men are any less likely than white men to “spend time in jail, abuse drugs or alcohol, suffer from acute depression, or all of the above”? We don’t know, probably from anecdotal experiences, which is not a substitute for data. She admits this in the next paragraph but decides that it is still a “root metaphor” (ahem) that should shape her worldview, and also ours.

This is merely anecdotal evidence, not social science, but I believe that it is indicative of a sort of infection spreading in our collective brain, one that whispers to the American subconscious: “The young men are in decline.” They were once our heroes, our young and shining fathers, our sweet brothers, our tireless athletes, our fearless warriors, the brains of our institutions, the makers of our wares, the movers of our world. In the Western imagination, the valiance of symbolically charged figures like Homer’s Ulysses or the Knights of the Round Table remained unquestioned since their conception. However, as centuries progressed and stable categories faltered, the hero figure faces increasing precarity. Even if we consider the 20th century alone, we see this shift from World War II, when the categories of good and evil were firm, to later conflicts like the wars in Vietnam and Iraq, involving a disparity between what the government believed to be right and what much of the civilian population did.

What the fuck is a “shining father”? Also, translation: “those dirty hippies ruined EVERYTHING for EVERYONE because they didn’t want to go to Viet Nam to be cannon fodder, how DARE they destabilize the notion that ‘good’ and ‘evil’ are absolute categories?” This, ladies and gentleman, is from someone who is alleged to have read a lot of French philosophy and claims to write about nationalism, racism, and classism.

There are more paragraphs that are really stupid, let’s skip ahead to the most stupid paragraphs.

I would argue that maleness and whiteness are commodities in decline. And while those of us who are not male or white have enjoyed some benefits from their decline, the sort of violence and murder that took place at Sandy Hook Elementary will continue to occur if we do not find a way to carry them along with us in our successes rather than leaving them behind.

For women, things are looking up. We can vote, we can make more choices about our bodies than in decades past, we’ve made significant progress regarding fair pay, and more women are involved in American politics than ever before. The same can be said for minorities. However, because resources are limited, gains for women and minorities necessarily equal losses for white males. Even if this feels intuitively fair to many, including those white males who are happy to share resources for the greater benefit of the nation as a whole, it must feel absolutely distressing for those who are uncomfortable with change and who have a difficult time adjusting to the inevitable reordering of society.

The white man is in DECLINE, everyone. Pay no attention to the fact that women are less than 4% of Fortune 500 CEOs, that roughly 20% of tenured professors at four year universities are women, and that there are only 11 women of color serving as active Federal judges across the country. Also too, pay no mind to the fact that we have only had six black senators in the entire history of our country, and that mothers earn 14% less than other working women. Don’t worry about ANY of that stuff, because her family? In Texas? Is full of fuck-ups, but only the men are fuck-ups, so this means that all white men are in decline.

From the civil rights and feminist movements of the 1960s and onward, young men – and young white men in particular – have increasingly been asked to yield what they’d believed was securely theirs. This underlying fact, compounded by the backdrop of violent entertainment and easy access to weapons, creates the conditions for thousands of young men to consider their future prospects and decide they would rather destroy than create.

Can you imagine being in the shoes of the one who feels his power slipping away? Who can find nothing stable to believe in? Who feels himself becoming unnecessary? That powerlessness and fear ties a dark knot in his stomach. As this knot thickens, a centripetal hatred moves inward toward the self as a centrifugal hatred is cast outward at others: his parents, his girlfriend, his boss, his classmates, society, life.

CAN YOU IMAGINE?? Also this is really terrible writing: what is centripetal hatred? Who knows, but basically, the fact that one in four women will experience “severe” intimate partner violence can be attributed to the fact that white men are so very SAD that they have to share their toys with women and black people. But it’s cool, there’s a solution, and it is to engage in a “coordinated cultivation” of an “empathic habit.”

A partial solution to these toxic circumstances could be a coordinated cultivation of what might be called an empathic habit. Most people surely felt an impulsive empathy for the parents and survivors involved in the Sandy Hook massacre, as shown by the countless memorial services and candlelight vigils that took place after the murders. But empathy could help best if exercised before rather than after such tragedies.

Empathy could serve many of us: those who have not yet put themselves in the position of a person who is losing their power and those who can aim a gun at someone without imagining themselves on the other end of the barrel. For those of us who belong to a demographic that is doing increasingly better, a trained empathic reflex toward those we know to be losing for our gains could lead to a more deferential attitude on our part and could constitute an invitation for them to stay with us. To delight in their losses and aim at them the question, “How does it feel?” will only trigger a cycle of resentment and plant the seeds for vengeance. It is crucial to accommodate the pain of others….If students have no access to an empathic model at home, they would at least be exposed to it in the classroom. In the workplace, the C.E.O. must be able to put herself in the position of the lowest ranked employee and vice versa. Victims and victors must engage in the hypothetical practice that forces each to acknowledge the others’ fortunes and misfortunes.

What is this “misfortune” that afflicts white men but not women or people of color? Well, people are not sufficiently deferent to white men anymore. And we can fix these school massacres not by limiting access to guns or increasing the availability of mental health care, but by being a LITTLE MORE SENSITIVE to the plight of white men.

Can I remind you once again that this person is an ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR at Princeton? And has apparently thought a lot about nationalism, racism, classism, and fascism, given that it is on her faculty page as a core interest? And THIS is what she came up with.  So aim higher guys, it’s apparently not that hard to be a professor at Princeton and to publish in the New York Times.

[New York Times]

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About the author

Kris E. Benson writes about politics for Wonkette and is pursuing a doctorate in philosophy. This will come in handy for when they finally open that philosophy factory in the next town over. @Kris_E_Benson

View all articles by Kris E. Benson

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268 comments

  1. StillGoinGreen

    It's about time SOMEONE understood the plight of us poor, underappreciated white men. You have no idea how trying my life at the top has been!!

    1. ButthurtWingers2012

      No shit…all that pressure to be rich and privileged with your hand on every single lever of power save one (and Barry is half white guy to boot). I mean…it's hard for white guys to even consider ourselves ubermensch anymore what with the same near total control over this country that we had 30 years ago….man, they sure do hire dumb ones at Princeton, don't they? I mean…I went to a state school and I could EASILY write a more impressive essay than this piece of shit; I can haz Princeton now?

    1. StillGoinGreen

      I actually wrote the article, but NYT messed up my nom de plume… it was supposed to be "Pissy Swamphole". Goddamned liberal New Yorkers!

  2. hagajim

    I now remember why I chose not to become a college professor. Pompous jackasses, each and every one – or almost each and every one anyway. But, because I chose not to become a professor I am now an angry white man – not.

    1. ButthurtWingers2012

      Well now I did have a professor who was/is geek sexy….she sported the glasses and nerd girl obsession with European history. Maybe I'm just lucky but my experience with insufferable, pompous asshole professors has been incredibly limited…I had a geology professor who was/is a rude, condescending asshole. Mostly I just chalked that up to the whole "scientists aren't into public relations" thing…I guess I'd have to head over to Berkley, the Ivy League and especially Illinios-Chicago to find the real douchebags…Harvard for certain, their economists seem to all be wingnuts.

  3. BaldarTFlagass

    ♫ Y'all don't know what it's like,
    Bein' male, middle class and white.
    Makes me wanna say
    FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK! ♪

  4. SorosBot

    So wait, since a lot of white men are racist, misogynist violent asswipes, are we supposed to just go back to saying "sucks to be you!" to all women and minorities?

    1. ButthurtWingers2012

      well no…the best I can gather from the mountain of bullshit that spewed from this woman is apparently white guys just need compassion and understanding when they are angry/violent racist, misogynist asswipes. Essentially the best I can gather is she is advocating everyone else play concern troll or something. I dunno…I just downloaded the column for use as lawn fertilizer because in the PacNW winter= grass groin' time!

  5. Tequila Mockingbird

    The obvious solution here is for mothers to just stop throwing their male babies into rivers.

  6. snowpointsecret

    By her logic, she shouldn't have a job because she's a woman, in order to save the country. Nice thinking you've got going there.

    1. tabouley

      It's the same ole' crap, if women and minorities gain certain rights that white men have had for thousands of years, men, and then society as a whole, will suffer.
      It's similar to trickle down theory: "Please give those in power what they want, when they want it, and do not complain, ever. They will then throw you an occasional bone, for which you should be grateful". Oh, you want more than a dry crust? You are upsetting the social order, which inevitabily leads to low sperm count, (along with loss of POE), anarchy, and now, massacres.
      This stuff has been out there for years, recycled by anxious, 3rd rate academics like this young lady above.

    1. Chichikovovich

      every man on one side of my family except for my grandfather has spent time in jail, abused drugs or alcohol, suffered from acute depression, or all of the above.

      When I read this I thought "Baldar's from those parts, but that doesn't sound like him at all, except maybe for the alcohol part". But then I realized you must be the grandfather she's speaking of.

  7. docterry6973

    The specter that haunts me and still hovers in silence, darkly, is that I had to make my own sammich for lunch and then my wife came home and made a sammich for herself, but not another for me.

    However, this does not make me feel at all shooty. Strange.

        1. WhatTheHolyHeck

          And play something violent on the Ex-boxes, so you can be inculcated into punching real hookers and using real laser cannons to blow up real alien monsters.

    1. ButthurtWingers2012

      Just mark it down in your head so each non "get in the kichin' wominz!" moment builds into a cascade of rage and one day you're shooting up a drive-thru at Wendys after killing your wife. According to this woman we could consider your epic level douchebag snappery to be symptomatic of white guy rage. Didn't we already deal with debunking this bullshit when the media was nattering about "black rage" in the 90's?

  8. Mumbletypeg

    Hard to decide which I find more disturbing:
    this utter sycophantic, baseless crap posing as reflective essay material, signed-off with a shrug by the Times,
    or the reckless speed with which they feel pressured to publish it.

    1. ButthurtWingers2012

      Well…as to that and I'm sure you're right…but I don't think anyone was really jockeying to purchase an issue of the Times that had this kind of stupid-as-shit "reflective essay" in it…they could have just cancelled it and moved on to the next guest essay rather than lowering themselves to publish a piece which babbles about white guy rage…..I'm just spitballing but EA did cancel it's NBA Live 13 game which potentially cost them millions in revenue because it was a complete pile of shit…there is precedent.

  9. Antispandex

    OK, I'm one of those angry white guys, See, I went out to the kitchen this morning, and the wife had used the last of the milk, so, dry cereal! W.T.F! I'm OK now, I was at least able to stop myself from planning mass murder…barely. But, I am still pissed!

  10. Oblios_Cap

    I was young once, and white…

    This is merely anecdotal evidence, not social science,

    Should have stopped writing right there.

    1. sullivanst

      I don't know, think you still need:

      I come from a small town near Fort Worth, Texas.

      for the full effect.

      1. Botlrokit

        No, I'd say she had us from "anecdotal evidence". The Fort Worth part is merely ending a sentence with a preposition, really.

  11. SexySmurf

    Maybe young, white males should stop blaming other people and pull themselves up by their own bootstraps.

  12. SuspectedDemocrat

    So instead of charging the shooter, the school principle should have thrown her empathy? Before or after the school children pile on?

    1. SmutBoffin

      No! The Principal should have returned the shooter's white privilege to him, no doubt locked away in her desk with contraband MAD magazines.

      1. PinkoPopulist

        Yes, this is the proper response. It is obvious the proper way to diffuse the angry white male is to give him his privilege back. She probably should have offered him a teaching job or something.

  13. SmutBoffin

    “Angry black man”? I wonder if Prof. Wampole mistook a Chris Rock "Nat X" sketch for a real show, once upon a time.

  14. editor

    if i were a white man, i would find this insulting. as it is, i am amused–yet seriously concerned about the future of higher education.

    1. Dudleydidwrong

      I had thought about attending Princeton years ago, but decided that it didn't provide me with enough deference.

  15. SorosBot

    I just did my girlfriends' laundry along with my own, and put them away, but that didn't make me angry or less of a man in any way. I suppose I'm doing the whole being-a-white-man thing wrong.

    1. JustPixelz

      Mrs Pixelz has banished me from doing laundry. Call it creative differences. She has some kind of pseudo-scientific method involving colors, fabrics, drying characteristics, load balancing. It's feels like "creationism", but for laundry.

      I wash clothes by the part of the body they cover. All shirts go together. All pants go together. Towels and sheets cover the entire body, so they go together. This makes TOTAL SENSE to me. But, like I said, she's banished me.

      1. ProgressiveInga

        My wife put the ban-hammer on me doing laundry, too. I separated by function: workout clothes, work clothes, casual clothes….

      2. Jus_Wonderin

        Way back when I was a married dude, I mowed the lawn to less than exceptable wifey standards. Hell, we used a Bush Hog on the farm.

        I kicked back, wiped my hands of the lawn and told her "Honey, Sweetie Pie, have at it!"

  16. Lizzietish81

    You know, the surplus of young white men with nothing to focus their aggression on is one of the reasons Pope Urban called for a crusade to the Holy Land.

    What I'm saying is that they should take up basket weaving.

    1. Goonemeritus

      Well I am weaving new seats on a set of Danish Modern dining chairs in the evenings and I haven’t had the desire to shoot anyone so this clearly works.

  17. Goonemeritus

    In other news Ted Nugent‘s contract for the show “American Gun” will not be picked up by the Discovery Channel. This tragedy just keeps on claiming victims.

  18. boobookitteh

    Are they handing out a Reverse Pulitzer this year for the stupidest, most assinine piece of writing? Is that why people are writing this kind of crap? Or is it just an insatiable need for people to insert themselves into a national tragedy and make it about them?

    I thought today would be safe to poke my head back into the interwebs. I was wrong.

  19. FNMA

    So, let's see, generally, the notion is that daddy will stop beating mommy if she stops making him so angry.
    Christ, I should be chair of her fucking department.

  20. flipdraw

    It was the last quoted paragraph that was the most hilarious. More deferential? Bwahahaha… yeah, it's totes the lack of deference that's the source for the malaise.

    1. chicken_thief

      I do see where she is going there – it has been days since and bitches or blahs bowed down in my presence. *shaking head* It ain't like it used to be….

    2. NYNYNYjr

      I want more deference!!!!!! You hear me women! And you too blacks! Be more like these delightful asian women! Deference!!!

  21. SexySmurf

    There needs to be a mandatory 30 day waiting period on bloviating about mass murders. Give the government time to run an IQ check on these idiots.

  22. Dr_Zoidberg

    Ok, seriously, Wonkette, post some kitten pictures or ponies or something – I can't take much more unmitigated stupidity today.

  23. Oblios_Cap

    However, because resources are limited, gains for women and minorities necessarily equal losses for white males.

    Why must some people always view life as a zero-sum game? If you do it right, it can actually be a win-win for all involved.

    1. Zango Crudmonger

      This. Much like the concept of finite wealth, where one thinks the only way to become rich is to have someone else become poor. Even hobo beans are a value added product, so I've heard.

  24. elviouslyqueer

    Dear Dr. Wampole:

    Might I suggest that all your troubled male family members kindly sack the fuck up. For the record, I am a HUGE FAGGOT who was teased unmercifully during high school and part of college and made to feel totally subhuman by these same motherfuckers you so charitably call "empathetically disempowered" (or whatever the fuck you termed it). Guess you, sweetcakes? I survived. And did pretty well for myself. And did it without turning a gun on myself or on those motherfuckers who made my life a living hell.

    I could go on and do a point-by-point takedown of your ridiculous, totally unsubstantiated assertions, but it's so much easier just to tell you to kiss my gay white ass and go fuck yourself, hard, with a running rusted chainsaw.

    No love,

    EQ

    1. Negropolis

      Deserves even more upfists.

      If hurt feelings justified this, minorities should have been at literal armed warfare with the great society for the entirety of our history.

  25. dr_giraud

    Reading this, it's clear why Megan McArdle felt her "stupidist person on the interwebs" distinction was threatened, and she upped her game today with the "rush the shooter" brainstorm.

  26. memzilla

    Actually, I think she aggregates a lot of valid points.

    It's the putting-'em-all-in-a-blender, hitting purée, slopping the resultant word-gobbery onto foccacia bread, and proclaiming it a culinary masterpiece that I have a problem with.

    Using foccacia bread to make a s**t sandwich only makes it a fancier s**t sandwich. They would never serve this at the Strunk & White Deli.

    1. sullivanst

      Yeah, Strunk and White just don't carry "random words I dimly remember from physics class and produce in a seriously contrived fashion as part of a poorly disguised effort to distract from the fundamental inanity of the point I'm trying to make" sausage. Because it doesn't taste good.

  27. Jus_Wonderin

    Can I just say I am merely miffed. Not angry. I hardly ever get angry. There was that time I was roofing and pounded my thumb. But, is that really anger?

  28. Mumbletypeg

    So according to Dame Wampole, if we're gonna reverse the trend of the tender male ego bruising so easily, we're gonna try and be more "empathetic" to how readily butthurt they can be. Got it.

  29. BarackMyWorld

    I believe the correct response to the cited essay is "kewl story bro" followed by the emoticon with the rolling eyes.

  30. Goonemeritus

    I was way angrier when I was going through my black militant phase then I am now as just a middle aged white guy. Maybe I’m not getting enough B12 in my diet these days.

  31. Exhausted66

    What a relief for those little white boys who were gunned down to not have to grow up in this new world.

    P.S. How does this apply to Virginia Tech, then?

      1. SorosBot

        And how about the DC Snipers, or the Ft. Hood Shooter?

        (Oh wait, for that second one being Muslim makes him a terrist instead of a crazed mass murderer, facts be damned).

        1. SuspectedDemocrat

          (flips chart over) Yep, sez here if they got Arab-y sounding names, it's terrism and doesn't count. But it does count as a reason to sell more guns to young angry white men.

    1. Roger_of_Arabia

      Yeah, I forgot. That dude was Korean, and that was even before Gangnam Style. With him it was probably because all the Asian girls were going out with the white and black guys in school

  32. ingloriousbytch

    "While every woman in my family has done O.K. in the end, every man on one side of my family except for my grandfather has spent time in jail, abused drugs or alcohol, suffered from acute depression, or all of the above.

    Could that be because they were related to this fucktard?

  33. MissTaken

    Next year tv will be filled with commercials showing pictures of Sad White Men while Sarah McLachlan music plays. In the arms of an angel, indeed.

    1. ingloriousbytch

      With an Ann Coulter voiceover, "You could be the hero these poor abused white men need. Please give to the KKK."

  34. malsperanza

    In the United States, the angry white man has usurped the angry black man.

    This means that we can look forward to the Magical Whitey in movies next year. Someone please let Spielberg know so he can adjust the script of his highly accurate and not at all shallow forthcoming movie version of the Adam Lanza Story.

  35. JustPixelz

    Then there are the angry white women: Sarah Palin™, Michele Bachmann, Ann ("shut up! this is hard") Romney , Ann Coulter and Lindsey Graham.

  36. iburl

    the sort of violence and murder that took place at Sandy Hook Elementary will continue to occur if we do not find a way to carry them along with us in our successes rather than leaving them behind.

    In other words, those kids had to die because we didn't elect Mitt Romney.

  37. sullivanst

    Ms. Wampole's hypothesis: the decline of white males causes violence.

    Statistical evidence easily available: while this year has been a terrible year for mass killings, the total rates for culpable homicide and violent crime in general have been steadily declining for the past 20 years, even as the domination of American society by white males has finally, slowly started to ebb.

    Conclusion: Ms. Wampole's spouting complete and utter nonsense.

    Also too, Ms. Wampole, if you truly believe that white males feel increasingly desperate at the belief that the advances of people who aren't white and male are being made at their own expense, maybe you could help by pointing at that this belief is in fact also complete and utter nonsense. When a society makes best use of the potential of all its members, without discriminating based on irrational superstition and anachronistic fictions, everyone benefits.

    1. Botlrokit

      Yes, it seems that The Old Gray Lady may be turning tricks with some odd characters.

      p.s. *highfives* on the "Also, too"

  38. Botlrokit

    There's more "anecdotal evidence" to suggest that men think buying things will cure their ills, honey.

  39. Beowoof

    So she is saying white man can't compete in the free market; as they have lost all of their de facto preferences. Oh well the invisible hand is slapping the shit out of them for a change, enjoy.

  40. Terry

    "Her essay is on the “decline of white men,” and she argues that white men commit mass murder with automatic weapons because—seriously—women and people of color are insufficiently deferent to white men these days, and also too because white men now have to actually work for stuff they used to just get for free by virtue of being white men. "

    Most white men seem to be dealing with the supposed situation quite well and aren't shooting up places.

  41. Botlrokit

    While every woman in my family has done O.K. in the end, every man on one side of my family except for my grandfather has spent time in jail, abused drugs or alcohol, suffered from acute depression, or all of the above.

    Not to put too fine a point on it, Wampole, but that sounds like a very personal problem.

    Also, too: in your erudite writings that find space in the NYT, please abstain from using "O.K.". Makes us think you stiffed the English major who did your paper.

  42. chicken_thief

    Christie Wampole licked the santorum off Rick Perry's junk during the Republican primaries. This is merely anecdotal evidence, not social science, but I believe that it is indicative of a sort of infection spreading in our collective brain, one that whispers to the American subconscious: “The young (wo)men are in decline.”

    1. shelwood46

      I live in Princeton (no connection with the school, phew). I need to dig up a photo of this erudite idiot in case I should run into about the town so I can tell her… stuff. I'd start off, "Wow, I saw your oped in the NY Times" and she'd get all glowy, then I'd explain to her all the reasons she's an idiot and does not deserve employment anywhere.

      I just need to figure out where stupid people are most likely to congregate in Princeton. Is it Hoagie Haven?

      1. Baconzgood

        I didn't go to an IV school. I went to a place for smart makin' and not how to tie a 2X Windsor tie when you are wearing a lime green blazer.

          1. Baconzgood

            Baconz CMU. I went for logistics but the robot nerds would say "no I wanna do robots and make shit. MIT does theory. If ididnt get into CMU I would have gon to MIT or Cal Tech."

            That's when baconz would say at rhe party "I'm a logistics supply chain management major…can you get me a "modom" like War Games?"

  43. DahBoner

    "it’s apparently not that hard to be a professor at Princeton…"

    So easy even Einstein could do it?

    "Someone once called the dean's office for directions. "How do I get to Albert Einstein's home?" the caller asked. When the man at the dean's office said he couldn't give out those directions, there was a pause on the other end. Then, a sigh, and a response: "This is Albert Einstein. I got lost walking home from the campus."

    1. shelwood46

      To be fair, to get to Einstein's house you have to go through a weird intersection and it's easy to end up on the wrong street.

  44. HouseOfTheBlueLights

    We took care of the "angry black man" problem by incarcerating them at 5 times the rate we incarcerate white men.

  45. BornInATrailer

    As a CC permitted and gun owning white male from a meager background flush with both mental health issues and alcoholism, I've never felt the need to go on a shooting rampage nor have I ever felt equality was a zero-sum game. But then, one opposing example does not refute a theory. However, it also does not refute my theory that Christy is a dumb cunt.

      1. unclejeems

        If it's in Texas, and it's a state school, it's a church/state sponsored school. It's where you go if you can't get into Texas A and M.

  46. GarretLawrence

    I think we should give the Professor a pass. Her comments are the browser equivalent of a "page cannot be found" error. Academicians attempt to cope with the incomprehensible by getting their heads around it. This tragedy is so wide you can't get around it. Can't get under it. And we certainly won't get over it.

  47. BigSkullF*ckingDog

    Is she implying that white men have become more violent? Because I call bullshit on that one. They just have more efficient means of killing now. Mass murders were much less successful when every man was wearing a sharp, steel version of his penis on his hip and guns didn't exist. White men, and men in general have always been violent and will probably always be violent. Except for the fine examples here among the Wonkeratti, of course.

  48. elviouslyqueer

    Oh, FYI Kris, she's not tenured. Wampole's a new hire who just got her doctorate last year.

    And if she keeps writing drivel like this, she may be looking for work elsewhere, and soon.


    1. Post author
      Kris E. Benson

      I thought she was an associate professor, which at my university is a tenured position. My bad. But yeah, if she keeps writing crappy thoughts in a crappy style, she will not be at princeton for long.

    2. delaney_blom

      Of course she'st not tenured!
      In the general population, womenfolk's got to do four thirds the amount of work as menfolk just to get even pay.

  49. NYNYNYjr

    Jeez– this lady sounds like she knows the shittiest guys. Sullen ex-con drug addict absent fathers full of centripetal hatred?

    She needs to meet a nice guy like me and we can uh Wampole.

  50. not that Dewey

    "centripetal hatred" = I'm dizzy from reading even the excerpts of this article, and I hate myself for having done so.

  51. Wilcoxyz

    I am suddenly less clear on why an angry, insecure, resentful white man might choose Sandy Hook over a school like Princeton.

  52. miss_grundy

    There is something about life in the United States, it seems, that is conducive to young men planning and executing large-scale massacres. But the reasons elude us.

    Let me start off: That we continue our romance with guns, even though we have a sixty-year history demonstrating that people use guns to solve their problems in modern America, beginning with the Watchtower Sniper at the University of Texas-Austin. Wonketters, kindly chime in with your reasons. Perhaps if we accumulate a whole bunch of reasons we can send them to Prof. Whatshername at Princeton.

    1. Lizzietish81

      Ronald Reagan closed all the asylums and turned a bunch of crazy people onto the street and the Right fed a meme that said that mental illness was a sign of weakness that must be over come with bootstraps.

  53. sundaytrucker

    Makes sense, any race-gender that nearly goes postal over the Sunday night game being interrupted for 15mins is usually part of the problem.

  54. BlueStateLibel

    I read this yesterday, and was so extremely irritated, and then presto!, Wonkette also finds it extremely irritating. Do we have ESP???

  55. jtinks

    As an angry, young(ish) white man, I would much rather hang out with angry black men than my low-melanin compatriots. We could listen to Public Enemy and kill whitey together, it'd be swell.

  56. Roger_of_Arabia

    I have anger issues but not ever enough to even hit anyone. Maybe it is the 1/32 Native American in me that tempers the angry white man side.

    If I understand her argument, everthin' was jus' fine until them yankee jew agitators from New York came down and started rousin' up the darkies and our women folk.

  57. Chet Kincaid_

    Wow, it's as if people were so upset and dismayed by this shooting that they just started pulling out everything that disturbs them about American society, whether it has anything to do with the specifics of Newtown or not, or whether it's stupid and thoughtless or not. There was even an idiot around here yesterday trying to blame it on shoot-em-up video games!

    1. Zango Crudmonger

      ^^^^pew pew pew! I was knee deep into the drink when I read that exchange yesterday. My mind keeps returning to single-payer type Medicare for everyone as a must towards reducing these events, addressing mental illness with the resources similar to those we attach to our war toys. I'm stumped about the efficacy of gun control, considering the millions out there in circulation.

  58. OneYieldRegular

    "In the workplace, the C.E.O. must be able to put herself in the position of the lowest ranked employee and vice versa."

    Up until this point in the editorial, I thought there might still be a slim chance that she'd pull a dramatic U-turn rather than drive directly into Cloud Cuckoo Land.

    1. shelwood46

      Yeah, 'cuz white male CEOs always do that, all the time. That's why the CEO of McDonalds is working a fryer on Christmas.

    2. Chet Kincaid_

      Yes all 12 out of 500 Fortune CEO ladies must think of the lowest man on the totem pole, perhaps lowering her lady-salary to the same level and providing him with a soothing shoulder rub.

  59. OddAssCity

    Probably the real problem is that our children at Princeton are being led to believe that this crap has something to do with educated thought.

    But… we should be careful, because if we ridicule her too much she may feel that we are insufficiently deferent and come for us. And then write about it.

  60. Rebootably_Joe

    There is something about life in the United States, it seems, that is conducive to young men planning and executing large-scale massacres. But the reasons elude us.

    Do they? America is the world's largest single arms manufacturer and domestically the number of per capita guns (88 per 100 people) vastly outstrips any other nation, even "high-gun-owner" countries like, Serbia (#2 with 55 per 100), Yemen, and Switzerland, and concurrently has a negligable public health infrastructure, and even less when it comes to mental health.

    That's not exactly Fermat's Last Theorum, fuckass.

  61. SaintRond

    Just thinking about angry white men makes my stomach hurt, to the point where I couldn't even read the post. It's like watching Ren & Stimpy with a hangover. Just makes me sick.

    I knew I should have gone straight for the porn this morning.

  62. finallyhappy

    nope, the reason these lovely small children were brutally murdered according to a fuckwit I used to work with is that Jesus wanted the children to be with him. I think there are probably more than one of these "comforting" stories being passed around on the internet. This woman has no children and always struck me(and others) as dumb. That is not to say other people who might not strike you as dumb could say this. I told her that she should know that her personal religious beliefs are not shared by everyone including the families of the children who were no Christian(and probably not the Christian families either). Don't enough kids die everyday for Jesus? DId 20 little kids have to be murdered so he could have the in Heaven??? Who buys this crap?? IS there someone who actually finds this comforting? I am not Christian and I do not believe in Heaven but I can certainly see that someone who does finds heaven and God comforting- but a God who "wants" to have certain people with him so they have to die. If I ever believed anything like this, and my kids died, I would convert or become an atheist. According to a friend who had a small child die- one person did say God wanted the innocent soul with him(I think for me- that would be when I graciously punched the person and pushed them physically from my house) and that it is said not infrequently to others in his situation. What the hell is wrong with people-I am so angry at this shit. I hate the Internet now

    1. Biff

      It's like when a musician dies, and people say they're in god's band now. Nobody says shit like that about dead cops, or soldiers, do they?

  63. Chet Kincaid_

    I don't understand. Hank Hill was from around Ft. Worth, Texas, and he was always threatening to kick someone's ass, but he never shot up Tom Landry Middle School.

  64. Q_R_DeNameland

    I really should have gotten my degree from the Humanities Center instead of the Philosophy Department. Damn.

  65. damanoid

    See? SEE?! Affirmative action DOESN'T WORK, people. Here we've spent over four hundred years giving black men unlimited ironclad reasons to be as angry as possible, yet they STILL cannot compete with the white man.

    Why the lack of anger, black men? Too lazy? Or are you failing to be as lazy as white men, as well? You know white men wouldn't slaughter nearly as many people if they had to work harder at it. That's the advantage of automatic weaponry!

    So how come we don't ever hear about black men going berserk and slaughtering dozens of innocent people at random? I suppose you can't be bothered to go crazy, either.

    You suck at serial killing, too. I'm not trying to be racist here, but facts is facts.

  66. Severen13

    So…..a middle class white boy mows down 20 kids because he isn't handed everything that is rightfully "his" (i.e. everything he wants) on a silver platter. Is that what I'm reading here, and is it wrong that I'd really love to see what explanation Wampole would have pulled out of her ass if Adam Lanka had been black.

  67. TrotsHat

    I know the difference between anecdotal evidence and data. AND I know which one makes for an actual sociological conclusion that might have a lasting impact on culture.

    I can haz Ivy League Professorship now?

  68. SayItWithWookies

    I agree one hundred percent — it's sad and disheartening as well as disgusting to see the infantile rationalizations some adults will stoop to when they have to deal with death. Unfortunately they get this shit from the clergy, who apparently have no shame whatsoever.

  69. PinkoPopulist

    Hey Angry Black Men,

    Killing each other one at a time? And not killing innocent children?!?! YOU'RE DOING IT WRONG!!!

    Sincerely,

    Angry White Men

  70. Thedongsofwar

    Yes, because respect and civil rights are a zero sum commodity like oil or amusing pony pictures with silly text. Every time an identity is welcomed and validated all the others are diminished. White men like me are extra sensitive and feel pain every time a black family buys a nice home or a woman earns a promotion.

  71. MrsConclusion

    Wait just a doggone minute. If they're "young men," then they haven't experienced "change." They just got here. They haven't been here "since the 1960s" and seen the power and influence they took for granted erode away. This is the only world they've ever known. Lanza was 20. He was born three years before Windows 95. What "change"?

    This is nutz.

  72. chascates

    I think we can accept that black men had and have a lot of things to be angry about. White men not so much. Not so much slavery, lynchings, Jim Crow, racial profiling, poor healthcare access, etc., etc., etc.

    But angry because you might believe the President of your country is a foreign born Muslim who wants to take away your assault weapons, force you to gay marry a socialist lesbian union schoolteacher, and make you recycle your empty whiskey bottles instead of hurling them at the mail carrier? Actually mental illnesses are a dangerous and very prevalent danger. Most of the rightwing and all of the tea party suffer from them.

  73. Lazy Media

    Do underemployed, meth-abusing young men with multiple kids by multiple women nut up and shoot down dozens of people? No, they do not. Frustrated losers who live in their mom's basements and have ZERO kids by ZERO women do it, because of lack of pussy. We don't have so much a problem of too much access to guns, we have a problem of too little access to pussy. A nut-busting paranoid video-gamer is a happy paranoid video-gamer. Women of America, your mission lies before you. Do a depressed weirdo, for the children.

  74. Biel_ze_Bubba

    Mistake #1: Thinking that the shit that goes down in a dysfunctional Texas town has any larger significance. If Texas wasn't so fucked up, maybe the people wouldn't be so fucked up.

  75. CivicHoliday

    Seriously, white men need more coddling to prevent them from having major hissy fits and shooting people? What in the ever loving fuck is she smoking?! Also, too, as an adjunct professor at a community college (where I, along with many other PhDs are stuck because of fuck wads like this lady who somehow get hired at the 'good' schools), I have to say that this kind of shoddy scholarship is a disgrace. I am pretty sure my 3 year old could write a more convincing analysis of violence in modern day America.

  76. MadBrahms

    I really wish she had done a better job contextualizing, because she's not saying what it seems many people think she's saying. She works with representations and symbolic systems, so when she talks about the "angry black man" and "angry white man", she's talking about tropes, not actual black men. Her use of words like "specter" is a clue here, as is her sentence about an idea "infecting the collective subconscious" (a dubious concept, but whatever).

    It's less that men are under threat than that there's a threat to the idea of a man as in control of the family, others' lives, and resources. There's obvious resentment here, as seen in the Men's Rights Advocacy articles the good Doktor keeps posting.

    I don't like her use of the word "empathy", since here it seems to imply "sorry for your loss". Good riddance to domination. But we do need to think about and validate ways of "being a man" that aren't about control. Sure, most white men don't shoot up schools, and that's where she gets sloppy and fails to deliver. But I think there's a reason school shooters are overwhelmingly male. It's worth asking why violence is a go-to place for asserting one's masculinity. It's not simply "natural".

    1. Fuck Toad

      I read it as a pretty inept version of Susan Faludi's thesis in Stiffed, which is an amazing book. But it's also a very, very large book, and it's hard to fit that nuanced argument into an editorial.

      ETA: That thesis, in (very) brief, is that a substantial part of the '80s (and later) right-wing shift among men can be attributed to the collapse of the temporary post-war economic stability of the male-led nuclear family. The later Boomers inherited a less prosperous nation than the one they were raised in, and they directed blame for this against women (and also blacks, furriners, immigrants, &c.). Also, right-wing crusades (against abortion or whatever) allow these supposedly disinherited men to make Men out of themselves in noble battle.

      It's a good book. I recommend it to anyone still reading. Also, read Backlash, which is in a sense both more dated and more timeless.

      1. MadBrahms

        Faludi's book is solid and opened up some public debates, at least for a time. Stephen Ducat's "The Wimp Factor" is also great, and given its analysis of W's tenure seems like something that would be enjoyed here.

        I see the hand of Michael Kimmel ("Guyland", "Misframing Men", etc) in that there editorial, personally. But the way she wrote was, yeah… inept. Her incredibly half-hearted attempt to shoehorn the school shootings bit in certainly didn't help. Still there's enough value there I didn't want to see it ragged on so badly, especially since nobody seems to talk about masculinity after violent attacks like this.

    2. Negropolis

      It's worth asking why violence is a go-to place for asserting one's masculinity.

      I'm sure it is. She just hit and missed in the worst way. Not sure anyone even so much as implied that asking questions at this moment was a bad thing, but that she veered off from hitting upon an actual answer very early in the piece.

  77. Negropolis

    Can you imagine being in the shoes of the one who feels his power slipping away?

    Yes, yes I can, since you asked. Sit an imagine an entire people being born believing they are equal humans, and then generation after generation and every progressing year of their life realizng that they aren't. Yes, yes I most certainly can imagine, and so can a lot of my ancestors.

    But, whoa to the white male, right? Truly, they've been the biggest victims of all. Whoa to the man that owned all of the pie having to share some of the pie. Such a travesty that America has come to this where a man is forced to play in an increasingly fairer social game. My how the mighty have fallen that they can no longer commmand the incessant stroking of their fragil egos.

  78. Redgyal

    Sorry, karma is a bitch. Sometimes the empathy we desire is the empathy that we should have given to others when we had the ability to do so.

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