Assumptions we believed to be near set in stone become wobbly. Structures that appeared to place us in a secure place are suddenly removed.
And for white men over 50 in a world that is moving away from the white power structure that defined western society for hundreds of years, it can be especially disconcerting and difficult.
The black man at the table in the restaurant with a pretty white girlfriend sends a shiver down the spine of the balding white guy who grew up in a world where blacks and whites tended to date within their own race.
The black female commander commanding a platoon of mostly white officers and soldiers is watched especially hard for any flaws in her attitude, skills, or ethic.
Blacks in the organization, suddenly demanding better treatment and aspiring to senior management: that was not the norm in the 1970s and 1980s. Today, the preceding is increasingly the norm. Culture is shifting, even dramatically.
21st Century Man is hands on. He looks after the children equally with the wife or common law partner. That is a big shift especially for white men who in the 1980s manned the wheels of the western economy and were the primary breadwinners in their households.
Today, globalization and austere economics, with the shift in blue collar type work to Asia from the west, has ripped that bone away. Inequality and offshoring has led to massive job and career insecurity and disenfranchisement of white working men. Blacks have not suffered as much, as the black man has always struggled in an unequal and highly prejudiced workplace.
In the 1980s mainstream culture and media was white. Homosexuality was illegal until 1986. Black actors and newsmen had near zero access to the top of the ladder in western media and entertainment. White men dominated the movie world: The Saint, Magnum PI; Knight Rider; The Equalizer; Indiana Jones; James Bond.
Today, very slowly, blacks are adopting roles in the media that were exclusively for whites.
Old fashioned ideas of masculinity had a hidden narrative that was white and western.
Today, with the reawakening in western culture that seeks to redress old grievances against white domination, those narratives are becoming ‘’uncool.’’ The idea of social diversity in every area of society is the new norm.
Then there are the shifting demographics and migration patterns. Add shifts in global power to the east. The preceding hammers away at Anglo Saxon rule and the white male, as female and black leaders climb the power pyramid.
Today’s world is very different to what the world was 30 years ago with the white male having to grapple with this change in his realty and expectations everywhere.
Change is confusing for everyone. There is never any certainty in a changing world even for white men.
The white male is being forced to rethink assumptions, recalibrate social interaction, and examine his own behaviors in a world increasingly unforgiving of racism and bigotry.
Goal posts are shifting.
Success is no longer measured by purely material and educational success.
The marginalized minorities are no longer accepting of their ‘’ servitude.’’
As blacks ascend the power ladders once solely manned by whites it is the white male who now has to adjust to ‘’inconvenient change.’’
And he is not doing so gladly, from what we have seen in the USA, over the past four years.
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