During Black History Month, Esquire thought it would be a good idea to feature an article about how hard it is to be a straight, white, conservative man in America today.
I wish I could say I was surprised by the cover article, but I was more annoyed. Ever since Trump got elected, more conservatives are whining about how they feel “oppressed.” Why do they feel this way? Well as Ryan, the subject of the article put it,
“I couldn’t say anything without pissing someone off.”
“Everyone hates me because I support Trump? I couldn’t debate anyone without being shut down and called names. Like what did I do wrong?”
Oh poor, Ryan, your life is so hard, isn’t it?
I read the incredibly long piece at least three times, hoping that maybe the writer was pulling an early April Fool’s joke. It’s honestly something that could have appeared in The Onion.
With all the outrage generated on Twitter, it was only a matter of time before Fox News got a hold of the story. They, of course, claimed that the left hates the young white man. I mean, it is Fox News, so I’m not surprised that they missed the real reason for the outrage.
Just to clarify for anyone who’s still “confused”: We don’t hate white men; we hate the fact that they try to compare their “issues” to minorities and women. Why did author Jennifer Percy choose him as her topic in the first place? Nothing he said was insightful or revolutionary. It was literally about his every day normal life. How he’s unsure of what exactly he wants to do in the future. And how it “sucks” how his mom drives him to school. I honestly think he was even confused about why he was chosen as the subject.
Not being able to say offensive things isn’t oppression. It’s not even an issue. You will never have to be nervous or cautious doing day-to-day tasks like shopping or walking down the street. You will never have to make sure you leave your house with pepper spray, a rape whistle, or walk with your keys in between your fingers. You will never have to wonder if you’re going to get attacked or killed just because you’re a minority or a woman.
With the political climate that we’re in right now, there are countless cover stories I would have loved to see. What is it like growing up as a teen in Flint, Michigan when you haven’t had clean water in years? Or what’s it like when your parents are facing deportation?
And supposedly, pieces like that are coming from Esquire. The magazine’s Editor in Chief Jay Fielden said in his editor’s letter,
“We decided to follow that model, but to enlarge it into a series on growing up now- white, black, LGBTQ, female- that will continue to appear in coming issues.”
Given the backlash that Esquire has gotten from its first installment, I highly doubt people are going to be intrigued to read the others. It would have been smarter for them to focus on a different teen in the series and then go from there.
Until then, if your biggest worry is that that you can’t wear your fire engine red “Make America Great Again” hat, congratulations: you can take it off whenever you want.
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Photo Credit: Esquire / Source: Twitter
Alysia Stevenson is a twenty-seven New York City transplant currently living in Florida with her boyfriend and three furbabies. When she’s not writing, you can find her watching beauty tutorials on Youtube or Parks and Rec for the millionth time.