Pale Males

Pale males are the last group it’s OK to vilify. I am hideously white. The BBC was called hideously white by its former boss Greg Dyke, and the West End stage hideously white by Andrew Lloyd Webber. This week the Football Association was dismissed by critics as a bunch of “old white men”. Note that it is not the BBC or the theater that is hideous, but their whiteness. Such are the routine humiliations of my group. Fashion in collective abuse seeks comfort in crowds. In choosing pale males for ritual contempt, identity politics has found a target that it hopes will confess its “guilt”. Were someone such as I to take offence, demand redress or protected space, I would be bidden to shut up, get a life and not be so sensitive. I might turn to Kant and universalize the judgment. What if I were to follow “hideously” with black, female, Jewish, Arab, obese, disabled or Welsh? I doubt there are many selection panels that do not instinctively mark down any pale male applicant. The chair begins: “Yes, he may the best candidate, but…” And the gods of discrimination look down from on high and wag a stern finger. “White males” cruise the jobcentres and head-hunters like ancient sharks, as if looking for a quiet beach on which to die. –

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