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White Privilege? Toxic Masculinity? Really?

By | January 21, 2019 | 1 Comments

White privilege

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Traditional masculinity

Universities hold seminars on “white privilege.” ‒ News report

Traditional masculinity ‒ marked by stoicism, competitiveness, dominance and aggression ‒ is, on the whole, harmful.American Psychological Assn., 2019

I am angry, really angry. I am being told that all my life, I have been the beneficiary of “white privilege,” and that “traditional masculinity” is harmful. Let me tell you why this garbage makes me angry.

I never knew my uncle, my father’s eldest brother. My father was born in Poland. Unwilling to live under racial and religious discrimination, he came to America as a young man. He served in the Army in wartime. I still have his dog tag. All it lists is his name, his service number, and USA. Later my father put himself through medical school, despite a quota against Jews, and became a respected physician. There were many mourners at his funeral.

His brother remained in Europe and became a successful businessman. He also got a number. But it was tattooed on his arm. He never had a funeral, but it made little difference. Most of his family and friends also wound up in Nazi gas chambers and ovens, so no one would have attended. The photo above is the gate at Dachau concentration camp. “White privilege” indeed!

If you told my father he had “white privilege,” he would think you were insane. His early life was spent in a place where he was not considered “white.” His brother was murdered because Jews weren’t “white.” And he was admitted to medical school despite not being “white.”

My life was much more pleasant. Still, when I was being interviewed for medical school, one of the interviewers insisted that, though I was born in North Dakota, I had an accent and said “goink” instead of going. Perhaps for this reason, I was not admitted on the first round. I got in on the second round, but by that time my father had died of a heart attack at age 59 and never knew.

When I began my clinical years at the University of California Medical Center in San Francisco, the front sheet on patients’ charts had boxes to check for race: Caucasian, Negro, Oriental, American Indian, and Semitic. To the U.C. Medical Center, I wasn’t “white.”

In my lifetime, one-third of all the Jews on Earth were slaughtered because they were not considered “white.” That is, when it was good to be “white,” Jews weren’t “white.” But now that it is bad to be white, Jews are “white” ‒ in fact, “whiter than white.” This anti-Semitic notion is parroted by a Muslim-American Democratic Congresswoman.

So much for “white privilege.” What about “toxic masculinity,” or even “harmful masculinity”?

My father worked about 48 hours a week to support my mother and me. My mother had been a teacher, and still did some part-time teaching, but the chief burden of putting food on the table and a roof over our heads fell on my father. He wouldn’t have had it any other way, even after he developed angina pectoris and had to take a nitroglycerin tablet if he walked too fast. He knew this presaged a heart attack, but nothing could be done in those days. So he continued working, and died just after I turned 19.

In short, my father demonstrated “harmful masculinity.”

But so did I. Like all men at public universities, I was required to take two years of ROTC. In those days, patriotism was in the curriculum, though it wasn’t called that. But because I had three years of ROTC in high school, I needed only one year at Berkeley, leaving more time for pre-med. Of course, women were exempt from ROTC, though they could elect it if they wished.

I was called for my draft physical when I completed medical school. I was rated 4F, unfit for service, because of labile blood pressure. But as soon as I completed internship, I was re-rated 1A for medical service. To be physically unfit for medical service, you had to be so deformed that you did not present a military appearance in uniform, so presumably Quasimodo would have been exempt. Of course, women were exempt from the draft, though they could join up if they wished.

Then, in the middle of my first year of residency, I received a letter similar to the one above. I felt honored to be greeted by the President, but less than enthusiastic. I joined an Army Reserve unit. In addition to being on call every third night at the hospital, I spent every Wednesday evening, one Sunday a month, and 15 days every summer on Reserve duty. I did this for three and one-half years, and then did two years’ active duty with the U.S. Public Health Service.

No, I never heard a shot fired in anger, unless you count people at the rifle range angry at their low scores. Still, I was seriously injured in a line-of-duty vehicle accident. I got a 14-stitch cut on my eyebrow, a laceration of my arm requiring closure in the operating room, three broken ribs, and a torn knee cartilage that still bothers me occasionally. But I consider myself fortunate not having had to serve in a combat zone.

Are you beginning to see why I am angry? “White privilege”? Not when my family was subjected to persecution because we were not “white.” Not when one-third of my religious and ethnic group were murdered because they were not “white.” “Harmful masculinity”? Not when my father worked himself to death to support our family. Not when both he and I served our country in the Army, he in wartime, me in peacetime but with scars.

You know what you can do with your “white privilege” and your “harmful masculinity”? But you may require the services of a proctologist. Still, the more important question is this: What will you do without “harmful masculinity”? What will you do when the racial and religious divisions fracture our nation, and our civilization, into pieces? What will you do when you raise a generation of emasculated men, and we are attacked by fanatics who raise their boys in truly toxic masculinity?

There is stupid. And then there is dangerously stupid. I wish you good luck. You’ll need it.

Contact: dstol@prodigy.net. You are welcome to publish or post these articles, provided that you cite the author and website.

www.stolinsky.com

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