Just Play the White Male Card!: #NowWhat

Cheers to white male privilege. These guys can get whatever they want.

ColumnAre you a white male? Well, you’ve had a wonderful 2016 so far! If this year has proved anything, it’s that you can rape, be openly racist and sexist, AND beat women without any repercussions.

Yeah, we know—#NotAllWhiteMen—but after these past few weeks, y’all have to understand my frustration. Let’s quickly recap all the stuff white men have got away with/received a free pass for, in, oh, the past 15 days or so.

Johnny Depp

Johnny Depp is a well-known actor. He also happens to be an alleged domestic abuser.

Over the past few weeks, Amber Heard, Depp’s soon-to-be-ex-wife, has been raked through the Internet coals for accusing Depp of domestic abuse.

According to Heard, Depp had been abusive throughout their entire marriage. She filed for divorce on May 23 because of the abuse. On May 27, a judge granted Heard’s request for a restraining order against Depp.

Since this revelation, plenty of people have given their two cents about the incident, saying things like, “well, she looks OK to me,” aka, “her bruises weren’t that bad/visible, so it must be NBD.” Obviously, this is complete crap, so, iO Tillett Wright, an artist and one of Heard’s friends, discussed this all-too-common case of public disbelief on Twitter by asking:

“How much evidence does a woman need to present?!”

“The culture of victim blaming makes me sick.”

We agree, Wright. We agree.

(Note: We’re aware Heard was accused of domestic abuse in 2009. And we do not excuse her poor actions in this case. However, if she was abused by Depp, she deserves justice, too.)

Brock Turner (the Stanford rapist)

As you know, Brock Turner, who should always and forever be known as the Stanford rapist, only got six months in prison for raping an unconscious woman behind a dumpster.

Since this light conviction, the victim in the case has released a moving letter depicting how much the event has affected, and will continue to affect her life.

In response, Dan Turner, Rape-y McRape-Face’s father released a letter saying his son shouldn’t have to pay his whole life for a mere “20 minutes of action…”

And the icing on the rotten rape cake? Turner’s friend recently wrote the judge in the case, saying that “I don’t think it’s fair to base the fate of the next ten + years of his life on the decision of a girl who doesn’t remember anything but the amount she drank to press charges against him.”

This is why cathartic things like rape revenge movies exist, people.

Now, the thing is, I’m not surprised by Turner’s father’s letter or his friend’s letter, either. Why? Because of rape culture!

Men and women whose brains have been infected with this virus-like culture walk through the world spewing ignorant opinions about how “women shouldn’t drink too much,” or that “women shouldn’t walk alone at night,” when in reality, rape is the rapist’s fault. That’s it! Case closed. Every. Time.

But when these rape culture zombies get on their soapboxes, they infect other ignorant people with their false truths, which leads to the continuation of rape culture.

Now, we all know that white men aren’t the only people getting away with rape in the world, but it does seem like this group of the population—specifically jocks who are high school to college-aged—tend to disproportionally get away with this sickening, illegal behavior.

Don’t believe that rape culture is a toxic cloud that’s perpetually hanging over college sports? Here’s some clear proof it does:

“In an online survey about sexual activity and attitudes, more than half the men who played an intramural or intercollegiate sport reported coercing a partner into sex,” The Washington Post reports.

“Of the sexually coercive behaviors listed on the survey, including ‘I used threats to make my partner have oral or anal sex,’ almost all met the legal definition of rape. A total of 379 male undergraduates from a single large, public, Division I university in the Southeast volunteered to take the online survey. Of that total, 159 were members of recreational, or club, sports teams; 29 were intercollegiate athletes; and 191 were non-athletes. Having to rely on subjects from only one institution was an unavoidable limitation of the research, according to the scientists.”

Donald Trump

He’s called Mexicans rapists, wants to ban Muslims from entering the United States, thinks women have it good because of the “woman card,” AND most recently said a Mexican-American judge wasn’t fit to serve on the Trump University case because of his heritage. BUT—Trump’s still the presumptive Republican presidential nominee.

So, do you now think that possibly, just maybe, white men rarely get blamed for their bad behavior? Yeah, it’s not surprising, but it sure is bothersome that still, after all these years, women and minorities continue to get silenced and side-lined thanks to institutional sexism and racism.

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Image of white males via Shutterstock

Abbie Stutzer

Writer, editor, and owner of Ginchy!, a freelance writing and editing company, and home funeral hub. Adores smart sex ed, sustainable ag, spooky history, women's health, feminism, horror, wine, and sci-fi.