A Personal Letter

Under educated, underemployed white males seem to be what is widely considered the problem with the country. This is a fact that fascinates me. It fascinates me because it is these individuals who say higher education is full of “snow-flakes” and that these weak kids need “safe zones.” Why? What do these people have against education? I believe that I have come to an answer. It sounds right, and so I will put it out to my peers to be reviewed and challenged. My belief is this. Uneducated men can’t handle being told they are wrong. They can’t handle their beliefs being challenged, that someone out there might be smarter, or have a better concept of something than themselves. So college is attacked as a place for liberal snowflakes, it is useless and ruining the country.

What a novel idea that deserves an in-depth analysis. I have a comparison I can make, between my own grandfather and my younger sisters boyfriend. They are both gun enthusiasts. I say enthusiast, but in reality, “The Boy” as is customary to call any boyfriend in my family, is an enthusiast. My grandfather is a fanatic. The Boy collects guns. He has over a hundred I am told. The thing is, once my sister became pregnant, he took all of his guns to his grandfathers house. The reason he did this was because he did not own a safe where his grandfather does. He didn’t want his guns unsecured in a home with an infant. Before this he kept them unloaded and disassembled. With the gun in one place and the ammo in another. This is responsible gun ownership.

The Boy does not talk of his guns unless asked or it comes up as a topic in conversation. My grandfather on the other hand will preach about guns and the government and evil liberals every chance he gets. He is the picture perfect poster child of undereducated, underemployed white male. When we see my grandfather, he starts a fight with my mother. Why he does this I don’t know. He could be lonely, my mom is an easy target.

Mostly because she just doesn’t know how to shut up and she has a really hard time being wrong. So he picks a fight with her. Politics, religion, current events, nothing is off limits. He sits next to the food and coughs on it so it’s a scramble to grab the food before he gets there. He tells us that we can’t bring home a man who has a different skin color. He tells me that I can’t travel to anywhere that is too different, or could be dangerous, as if I or my sisters will allow our lives to revolve around him and what makes him happy.

Jumping to another train of thought here, I used to work in fast food. We called the place McDicks, instead of its name. One night a man came through the drive through and asked me why my hair is short. As if the opinion of a pot-bellied, black toothed old man on how I kept my hair mattered to me. He then went on to compliment my finger nails. Yes, my finger nails. They were not painted. As if having good grooming habits is directly correlated to my worth as a woman and a person. Which isn’t to say it’s not, we all avoid that one person who simply refuses to wear deodorant, or the person who has bad breath. But what do my fingernails or the length of my hair contribute to my worth?

There was one middle aged man, he was dressed in a suit. I remember what he looks like because he was screaming at the small high-school girl behind the counter because he had to wait five minutes for a new pot of coffee. He stormed out screaming that he will never come back as if the lack of one ill-tempered man’s patronage is a huge loss to us.

These three paragraphs show a remarkable image. Not just the sexism, but the entitlement of the older generation, that their opinion and preference is the “to be all-end all” of the world. This is not to say that all of the older generation is like that, no, not all men are like that at all. I have run into many kindly men, those that wait patiently in line and joke with the cashiers, those that always smile and laugh and say thank you and please.

But there is enough. There is enough men that comedians are talking about it. Nothing is off limits to a comedian and so they talk about everything with frank honesty. It is a meme on the internet, when men have crazy girlfriends they talk about them, “My last girl was so crazy and emotional, I’m glad I walked away from that.” “My last girl was too clingy, she went through my phone. I’m so glad I got away.” but women don’t talk about crazy boyfriends, because when a woman has a crazy boyfriend she dies. There is enough that I hate going to work, to classes, knowing the probability of running into one of them and leaving with that gum-on-the-bottom-of-your-shoe feeling. The feeling of irritation that there is something there, but you don’t want to touch it with your bare hands out of fear of being tainted by the dirt.

This gap between the generation is leading to a war on youth. The entitlement of men and women has created a problem, no, a phenomenon of death. I fear it will continue until either all of the youth are silenced, or there is real change in the world.

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