Life and living

In defence of the middle-aged white male

I’m a middle-aged white male. I work a lot. I have kids, a house and a car. Even though I am a novelist, my life isn’t what the younger generation would call «cool» or exciting. I pay the bills and I bring my kids to training with their sports teams and other activities. I live in Norway, which means going out for dinner etc is far too expensive for most families and therefore, nights are spent at home. I am not really a big believer in «grasping the moment» or «living like every day was your last». I need to plan ahead and save up money for the next car service.

Sounds boring, doesn’t it? I have to admit, sometimes it is. But most of the time, I feel blessed. As someone said to me: Many people would give up everything they have to live your life. Which is probably true. So I will not complain about my life. I feel that being a parent and providing a safe environment for my kids is the most important job I will ever have. However, there is one thing that gets on my nerves. It’s the constant disrespect and ridicule you get when you belong to the group often called « middle-aged white males».

First of all, let me ask how it can be seen as okay to mock a group of people based on their sex and skin color. Just change male to female or white to black, and you’ll see how insane this is. Also, at least here in Norway, «white» men don’t define themselves as «white», but as Norwegians. Most intelligent people don’t care about your skin color, and I have to tell you that among all the people I’ve known, I’ve heard racist statements from less than ten people up through the years. Of these, only two have been «white» and only one was a «white male». Which seems to correlate quite well with the statistics on this subject.

Secondly, let me ask you why it is that it’s okay to always ridicule men older than 40. Because we are being ridiculed. You can see this in commercials, sitcoms and movies. The family father is always the butt of the joke. It’s become a rule in the entertainment industry and we’ve become so used to it that we don’t even notice. But it must stop. The family father should be praised, not mocked. I mean, nothing is more manly than providing for your kids and spending time with them. This is the traditional role of the father. (I will talk more about this in another blogpost.)

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