Monday, July 31, 2017

Re-zoning the Friend Zone

I’ve been male for 39 years now, and in that time I’ve learned a thing or two about other males and how we function. For the good of all I’m writing a three part series about why men generally do what we do. I write “generally” because there are many broad generalizations in what you are about to read; generalizations, anecdotal evidence, conjecture, and my own personal insight as a straight male of color. I hope you find this somewhat useful. 
The rock is your self-respect

     I have often been in the Friend Zone; I own land there, I pay taxes there. I'm part of the Friend Zone Homeowner's Association. When I used to complain about the friend zone it was a generally accepted “thing.” It was harmless joke, something people referred to when they were down in the dumps. It wasn't necessarily gender specific, although it was applied to and primarily used by men. Everyone knew what you meant when you said that “I’m stuck in the friend zone.” There was no controversy surrounding the phrase back then. “Friend Zone” referred to a certain relationship state where person A is romantically interested in person B, but person B is not interested in person A the same way. Hence person A is stuck in the friend zone. It is a state in which Person B has genuine affection for person A, but not enough to be in a relationship. There is a nuance here that is lost on many people, specifically men, and specifically me. I’ll elaborate.

     I’m 39, which means that I formed all of my opinions about how relationships with women work in the 80’s. This was a terrible, terrible thing that happened to many men in Gen X and should never be repeated. John Hughes basically fucked up an entire generation of men (and women, but in a different way.) I never actually saw any of his movies but Hughes's work was part of the 80's zeitgeist. It was impossible to evade the effects of his works.I’m not sure how things worked in the cities, but in the Suburbs my generation was often left to its own devices when trying to figure out how to deal with interpersonal relationships. Our parents, the “Boomers,” were discovering that the American Dream needed constant upkeep and repair, and without such care it turned into American alcoholism, American Divorce, and American Major Depressive Disorder. They had their own shit to deal with. So, starved and desperate for romantic direction we had to figure out a blueprint for life from pop culture. The teen comedies, they ruined us. I’m talking about Porky’s (1982), Risky Business (1983), Heathers (1988) and countless others. I never saw those, but I watched a shitload of 80’s sitcoms. If there’s one thing I learned from 80’s television is that being a sincere, sensitive, caring “nice guy” who listened to a woman’s feelings was a sure way to get some vag.
Will they or won't they?
     As I discussed in "The Nice Guy Paradox" the Nice Guy lie negatively influenced male behavior for 30 years. I was often called “a nice guy” mostly because I wasn’t a dick to people. At least, I was rarely a dick. At least, I thought that I was rarely a dick... I'm going to change topics now. Anyway, I thought this was a positive thing. Men really are toddlers with guns, angry machines of destruction with little to no insight into our emotions or motivations. There I was, trying to become the sensitive caring-but-charming guy that got the girl instead of the antagonist of the story who was always an objectively better choice for a relationship than the protagonist (me.) Steve Urkel couldn’t get Laura the way he was, so he became Stephan. How many seasons did Kevin blow trying to feel up Winnie Cooper?
Really, could you blame Kevin?

     Think of the role models I had: Saved by the Bell, Who’s the Boss, Growing Pains. Sam and Diane, Jack, Chrissie, and Janet, Alf and Willie, Tony and Angela, Whitley and Dwayne, Peg and Al, Harry and Christine, Maddie and David… these wildly contrasting couples were all I had to go on. Is it any wonder I came out with my dating head up my dating ass?  I was confused. All I knew for certain is that I really, really, really wanted to be near girls, touching girls, looking at girls. To be honest from 10-13 I wasn’t absolutely certain what I would do with a girl when I got one, but I figured I would cross that bridge when I came to it. I had a point A and a point C and no idea what point B was, or how to get from one to another. I had one piece of rock-solid knowledge, one plan, one egg that all my baskets were in. If I had never picked up this faulty cognition who knows how differently my life would have turned out. If you want to be a boyfriend you have to be her friend first. Believing that was my first and biggest mistake.

     As it turns out, if you become someone’s friend they tend to think of you as a friend. Go figure. Building to a relationship through friendship made sense to me because it’s how I would ideally start going out with someone. Who wants to date someone they don’t know, I thought. Honestly I think many relationships fail because people become genital friends before they become emotional friends, but I digress. Many of the women I’d come to like in life were friends who I fell for. When I would broach the subject of dating, or try to set up that perfect romantic set piece, it would always blow up in my face.  The woman would often say “I never thought of you that way” to my eternal consternation. Sneaking into a relationship under cover of Nice Guy often meant that the girl I liked, never being approached romantically, never thought of me in a romantic way. This is how 98% of Friend Zone situations happen. Now I know to make my intentions clear within the first few times I meet a girl, and then take things from there; only took me 20 years to figure that out. In this way I avoid the friend zone but often get told that I'm too aggressive. Sigh.

     Boys are taught to never give up, that if you really believe and work hard enough, you can win anything you want in life. We never take no for an answer. When you look at men’s approach to women it all makes sense now doesn’t it? My generation was raised to believe that if you put enough work into winning a girl over, you would persevere. You would win. And in 99% of life, this is the correct course of action. Hard work and perseverance will often bring you your heart’s desire; what it can’t bring you is someone else’s heart. It took me a very… very long time to figure out that you can put effort into making a relationship work, but you can’t work to get into a relationship. You can’t work on someone else anyway. What they should have been telling us is that if you work on making yourself a better man, then women will come on their own accord. Now that I think about it, maybe someone did tell me that, but it was probably too late, I was obsessed; I still am. I’ve always been obsessed with women (Ironically before I hit puberty I hated girls.) Once I thought they were inferior in every way, and then I thought that they were superior in every way. Some of you may recognize this pattern of thinking as “Splitting.” Splitting is a cognitive distortion that pretty much defined much of my youth. It’s the tendency for a person to only think and perceive in absolutes; people are either all good or all bad. I thought women were all good; I often elevated chosen women to the status of goddesses or what people refer to today as “Beyoncé.” When I liked a girl she was Beyoncé, and when, inevitably, she disappointed or let me down (rejected me) she became the exact opposite of Beyoncé, Lena Dunham. Only in the mind of a screwed-up lust fueled boy could one woman go from Beyoncé to Lena Dunham in the space of one day.

Did I really need an excuse to insert a picture of Beyonce?
     You see this behavior everywhere from men. Watch any emotionally dysfunctional man get rejected from a woman. She goes from B to D in a heartbeat. The Virgin-to-Whore Express runs 24 hours a day in some guys minds. Unfortunately I still do this in my head, but I’m aware enough to spray myself with a water bottle and hit myself on the nose with a rolled up newspaper when I realize that I am thinking this way. “No! Bad Id! No!” If you are a guy reading this and don’t understand why it is a problematic way to interpret the world, walk with me talk with me. I once was strongly in like with a girl, let’s call her Rachel. I’d talked with her for a while and discovered that we had everything in common (in my mind.) Let’s say she’s a nerdy, geeky WoC who is intelligent, and funny. She gets all the weird malfunctions in my personality and actually finds them endearing. We talk for hours about what it’s like to be Brown people in White Nerd World. I feel like we are bonding on a molecular level. She’s beautiful and has all my preferred secondary sexual characteristics in abundance.* At this point I am idealizing her. She has flaws certainly, but I’m not being realistic about that. I make my move eventually and tell her that I want to be together, and she blocks my shot like Marty Brodeur. Turns out that she had already evaluated me as a partner and didn’t think it was a good fit. Now, nothing about the relationship has changed, not in the way she sees me. I respectfully disagree, and now am feeling three extremely strong emotions at the same time:

1.       Confusion
2.       Hurt
3.       Anger

The confusion comes because I honestly don’t see how she doesn’t see that we SHOULD (see there’s that word again) be together. The hurt comes because it always hurts when someone tells you that they prefer the company of other’s to your specific company. Anger, because that’s the only emotion men are ever really allowed to express. So now I have an abundance of hurt and confusion rolling itself up in anger with nowhere to go. I did everything the right way so all of this pain must be her fault. Since it’s HER fault and SHE destroyed MY vision of who I thought she was, now she is the enemy. She’s stupid for not seeing how great we could be together. Bonus rage; she gets together with a Nice Guy who I find to be inferior to me. Sometimes I will react in this situation by thinking “I didn’t try hard enough. I just have to work harder to MAKE her love me. I have the Touch. I have the Power!” So now I’m doing increasingly desperate gestures to win her heart, gestures that to an outside observer seem unhinged and psychotic. When you look back at 80’s pop culture, The Grand Gesture always worked. Think of the movie trope of a Person B leaving Person A’s life because he can’t commit. In the climactic scene, Person A confronts her at the gate to her flight wild-eyed and short of breath. He proclaims his undying love for her, and the woman always says “I love you too” and purposely misses her very expensive flight out of town. It’s such a guy way of thinking; if she doesn’t like me the way I am ROMANCE BIGGER AND HARDER TIL SHE LOVES ME! In reality these actions often frighten women away, and the rejection intensifies. Now I am devaluing her and directing anger at her. Since my behavioral pattern is to take anger on women out on myself, I would get depressed and stress eat or do something else self-destructive.

     Sometimes if I could stand it, I would still be friends with the girl, hoping that whenever her relationship ended (because these things happen) that I would be there to score her on the rebound. I specifically got this message from Seinfeld (“The Wait Out” Season 7 episode 23.)

JERRY: But we gotta make it seem like we're not calling for dates.
ELAINE: Then why are we calling?
JERRY: Good question. (More to himself than to Elaine) Why are we calling?
(Both start chanting "why are we calling..", thinking deeply)
ELAINE: (Loud) Oh! (Jerry has a surprised look) I've got it! I've got it! We're calling just to say, "I'm there for you."
JERRY: (Nodding, trying it out) "I'm there for you."
ELAINE: Then, after a period of being "there for you", we slowly remove the two words "for you", and we're just (Makes a "ta-da!" gesture) "there".

I’ve heard this works, but only if the person you’re waiting on has already run a dating sim of you two together in their head. If not It’s never going to work. I’m not going to get into whether it’s a morally right or wrong way to go about getting a date because really, all’s fair. I’m saying it’s not an effective way to go about winning someone’s heart. I’ve done all of these and none of them have ever worked, not because I wasn’t trying hard enough (believe me, I did) but because there wasn’t going to be a relationship there. Apparently when a woman identifies a guy as a friend a friend he shall stay unless some unforeseen circumstance changes the way she sees you. The trick is guys, that what changes her mind is not something that you can consciously manifsest. You are wasting financial and emotional resources on her when they could be better spent on yourself or someone who is actually interested in you. Changes may be needed yes, but change things about yourself not for her but for you. The hardest part to write here is that no matter how much self-improvement you do, you still may not get the girl of your dreams. That frustration and loneliness is incredibly hard to live with, I know that better than most. The thing is you have to live with it because it is NOT her fault and she is NOT a monster for not wanting to go out with you. One of the biggest emotional growth spurts I ever managed was seeing women as people; not angels or demons, but people with their own merits and flaws just like everyone else. Not dating you may indeed be a mistake, but it’s her mistake to make and her mistake to fix if she ever sees it that way. The fact that it took me, a guy with an extremely high emotional IQ decades to realize women are people shows you how distorted the average man’s perception of the average woman must be.
One of these people murdered the other minutes after this picture was taken.

Finally we come to the nuance that I, and I suspect many men, have never been able to master. A woman can like you as a friend; and that’s OK. You’re friendship may mean the world to a woman, and without it she could possibly be devastated. But she only specifically sees you as a friend. The fact that I keep typing “only a friend” shows my only cognitive distortion that friendship is not a desirable relationship status with some women. In the past 10 years of my life I realized that I’ve actually had to stop remaining friends with women that I’m romantically interested in because I do not possess the emotional maturity necessary to be able to handle seeing her with another guy. I know it’s childish and petty, but I’m just not there yet. Knowing my limitations is where I am, and for now that has to be good enough because what else is there? I’ve never been able to wrap my head around the idea of a woman finding me very date-able but not wanting to date me. A friend once told me that I was attractive but she was not attracted to me; my head still gets swimmy when I think about it. There are probably lots of women reading this who are thinking “yeah I get that” and lots of guys reading this saying “WTF?!?!” And you are all right. I don’t get that nuance. I did eventually realize that a friendship can be just as intimate as a relationship, and that allowed me to hold on to many friendships that I wouldn’t have been able to before.

This is pure speculation, but I think male behavior states that if you are attracted to a woman and she wants to have sex with you, you have sex with her, whether you want to be in a relationship or not. It seems that modern women are subscribing to this philosophy more and more as they feel less constrained by societal definitions of “ladylike” behavior. But what do I know about that. What I do know is that the Friend Zone is a real status, and no more good or evil than any other arbitrary definition of the emotional space between two humans. What men need to understand is that no one is ever “trapped” in the Friend Zone. I own a condo and some beachfront property in the Friend Zone. People know my name there. I run the Friend Zone like Diddy runs the city. The key is one day I realized that the only thing trapping me in the Friend Zone was me. It's not the Hotel California, you can leave anytime you want to. If you cannot handle being a woman’s friend and not her lover, you need to be open and clear about that. Skulking and sulking and trying to win her heart will only breed animosity and mistrust. Being open and honest about feelings, while painful in the short term, is vital to long term emotional health. If you can’t do that, and the shame and hurt and confusion and rage just won’t let you move on, talk to someone. Get a therapist, or email me, I always answer my emails.Talk about it before the Friend Zone becomes a War Zone.

It is my firm belief that unless you have the necessary insight and maturity to handle such an arrangement, you (men) should not stay friends with a woman they are in love with. All of that love will eventually turn into proportional rage. I know that I still on occasion have a lot of difficulty being friends with a woman I really like, and if I recognize I am moving in that direction I bail out as soon as possible. Neither of us wants those problems. There is a reason that throughout human history the tale of the spurned and jealous lover is a constant throughout all peoples. If you are not aware google haw many women are victims of assault or murder at the hands of men they have rejected. It's staggering and frightening and we will cover this exact issue in part 3 of this dating trilogy for men, "The Crazy Ex-Boyfriend."


Sunday, June 25, 2017

The Nice Guy Paradox

I’ve been male for 39 years now, and in that time I’ve learned a thing or two about other males and how we function. For the good of all I’m writing a three part series about why men generally do what we do. I write “generally” because there are many broad generalizations in what you are about to read; generalizations, anecdotal evidence, conjecture, and my own personal insight as a straight male of color. I hope you find this somewhat useful. 
Neither Russell Crowe nor Ryan Gosling appear in this essay
There is a popular saying that Nice Guys Finish Last, and they usually do. Gen X was taught that if nice guys persevere and are nice enough, we would win in the end. In the minds of the undersexed girl-crazed teenage boy, winning meant getting the girl and living happily ever after. Of all the problematic outcomes of this train wreck of thinking, one of the worst is the Nice Guy/Bad Boy Paradox. The Paradox is that in trying to be a Nice Guy, many men end up becoming a worse person than the Bad Boy. The Nice Guy Lie, that being a nice person will bring you sex, has negatively influenced male behavior for 30 years. It was a lie that I chafed against and caused me no end of cognitive dissonance. Changing yourself to fit what someone else’s idea of the perfect person is puts you on the fast track for emotional implosion, but many men don’t figure that out until it’s too late. If you were a guy for whom attracting women didn’t come easily or naturally (like me) you were always looking for some kind of an edge to make up for whatever your perceived shortcomings were. Over time as our desperation increased jealousy and anger at the more fortunate but seemingly less deserving men of the world increased in kind. We could not understand how seemingly intelligent women could choose unevolved pond scum over Nice Guys like us. Eventually we were filled with directionless rage magnified by society, men and women, telling us that we are single losers because we don’t want to change. Instead of help, society invalidates the negative feelings of men who by society’s standards don’t qualify as men. Guys like me thought that changing into something we weren’t was the only way to succeed, because being ourselves wasn’t getting us anywhere.
I didn’t choose the Nice Guy life, the Nice Guy life chose me, and it rubs me the wrong way to this day. I am not a nice guy. I’m an angry, self-centered, hedonistic, gluttonous, ball of negativity masquerading as a real live boy. I was slapped with the Nice Guy label mostly because I always try to do the right thing, whether I want to or not, and most of the time I don’t want to. I was often called a Nice Guy mostly because I wasn’t a dick to people, and I hated it. I can’t tell you how many times girls told me they weren’t romantically interested in me because I “was too nice.” Nothing is more confusing than telling a teenage boy that being a good person is stopping him from being able to touch a boob. Trust me; no teenage boy is choosing altruism and a life of servitude over touching a boob. It’s not outlandish to think that a Nice Guy shouldn’t have trouble dating but for guys like me that was often the case. I believed that if I became friends with a girl I liked and was the Nice Guy that people said I was eventually she would let me touch her boobs. Simple guy logic. If you glean nothing else from this exercise in apologist narcissism, remember that guy logic is simplistic, almost infantile. Lots of boys saw being a sensitive, caring, and sincere person as a means to an end, not a goal itself. It didn’t matter if you actually were all of those things or if you even believed in them; if you could become (or fake) those traits women had to want you. “I SHOULD be able to get a woman as a Nice Guy” is what we were told and told ourselves. The word “should” has caused more and bloodier violence than any other word in any human language.  If you wanted a girl you had to be the kind of guy you thought she wanted.
The problem every Nice Guy encounters is that at some point the Bad Boy comes along and easily scores the woman you’ve been plotting on for months, sometimes years. Inevitably the target of your affection will Uber over to your swanky apartment in the Friend Zone and tell you all about how Bad Boy screwed her over. After she has soaked your shirt with her tears, you’ll get a hug and stuck with the Uber bill as she goes straight back to Bad Boy. You discover that you overplayed the Nice Guy thing, and now that trait is seemingly all that’s holding you back from getting to second base. The frustrated energy this cycle generates could power Las Vegas for a month.  Being the simple creatures that we are we think “well if that’s what she likes, that’s what I’ll be.” The tragedy is that a lot of times it works! I speculate that there is some horrible lie that woman are told that attracts them to the Bad Boy, but whatever the cause it’s bad for society on general. The only thing worse than a fake bad guy is someone who overshoots Bad and hits  True Evil.
This guy never ended up in the friend zone. Be like this guy.
This is the Nice Guy Paradox; in trying to become a Nice Guy many men become actual bad people. The lying and pretending behavior becomes second nature, and gradually more and more shady behaviors become acceptable in the name of “love.” Guys at this level will see the Bad Boy with the girl they like, and think that they will do anything possible to separate those two because, after all, we know who is best for that girl right? Sometimes, like with me, this frustration and anger turned into depression and self loathing. In other cases men take that anger and frustration out on the target of their affection, with violent results.
The truth is that although the Bad Boy is 9/10 a genuine piece o shit, he is genuine. People like authenticity, even if it’s a negative sort of authentic. People know what they’re getting with a terrible person, and when things inevitably end in tears and lawsuits, no one is really surprised. When dealing with a guy who is an objective piece of shit a woman at least has the option of keeping her guard up, though whether she does or not is varies because human brains hate their human hosts. The guy who is secretly an awful person masquerading as a Nice Guy is seen as an affront, a violation, a fraud. A lot of times these Nice Guys have so lost track of who they really are they feel more and more victimized every time one of their manipulative efforts is ineffective. I know that cycle; the obsession with women and the compulsion to do anything to win her over creates a cycle of frustration, rejection and rage that often bubbles up into emotional or physical violence towards any women available.  Men really are toddlers with guns in many ways. I was out there trying to become the sensitive caring guy that got laid all the time which, shocker, may not even be a thing. Crazy thing is I do possess those traits naturally, but I still felt I had to manufacture a me that women wanted. We do this because we are never really told what women want. I was raised by all women and I still had (and possibly have) no clue how to be in a relationship with one. Men focus so much on how to get women and never talk about how to be with a woman. 
look at this sociopathic piece of shit
John Hughes lied to us. He lied to you, to me, to everyone.  If 80’s pop culture taught me anything, it’s that all women go for the rich/handsome/athletic guy, but what they really yearn for in their heart is the nerdy, awkward sensitive guy.  All we, the awkward, homely/unpopular nerds of the world had to do is try, try hard, and never give up. The Grand Gesture always seemed to work, and the girl-of-our-dreams would immediately leave the guy who by all traditional standards of success was the far superior choice, and fall in love with us forever. When you look back at 80’s pop culture, The Grand Gesture always worked. Think of the movie trope of a Person B leaving Person A’s life because he can’t commit. In the climactic scene, Person A confronts her at the gate to her flight wild eyed and short of breath. He proclaims his undying love for her, and the woman always says “I love you too” and purposely misses her very expensive flight out of town. It’s such a guy way of thinking; if she doesn’t like me the way I am I’LL ROMANCE BIGGER AND HARDER TIL SHE LOVES ME! In reality these actions often frighten women away, and the rejection intensifies. Now I am devaluing her and directing anger at her. Since my behavioral pattern is to take anger on women out on myself, I would get depressed and stress eat or do something else self-destructive.
when Nice Guys snap you get Michael Douglas
Nice guys don't finish last, or first. Like everyone else who has ever lived, all nice guys do is finish. If you finish alone and unloved or surrounded by family is up to you. And further also, when we come across guys who complain about not being able to meet women, the exact wrong answer is to call them losers for not fixing everything about themselves to make themselves more attractive to women. One of the reasons we are all crazy is that society sends us mixed signals. Being gay has always been used as a pejorative for men. Sharing your emotions with other men was “gay.” As such we are strongly encouraged to not share our feelings or ask for help. When men do complain about the difficulty they have with women, they are belittled, especially by those calling themselves feminists. Many times the insults are warranted because of the way men complain about things, but consider this;
I've only had one teacher who every got me, and his name was Nathaniel J. Pallone. He told us a story in class that was relevant here. People who try to eat lobster and crabs use tools to do so. You need tools to crack open the shells to get to the delicious meat inside. If you don't have tools you have to use your fingers and fists, smashing, breaking and tearing the meal apart until you and all your dinner companions are covered in crustacean goo. Lobsters are like emotions; if you have the proper tools., you can deal with them clearly and efficiently. If you don't you're just going to make a big mess. Many men do not have the social and interpersonal tools necessary to deal with the opposite sex and consequently make a big damn mess everywhere they go. And that's what we do. 
One of the most confusing aspects of reality to me is that no one ever believes me when I say that I have INCREDIBLE difficulty attracting and retaining women. It's one of the most traumatic areas of my life, but no one has ever been what I'd call sympathetic to my issues and with few exceptions I've always had to deal with them on my own. It's hard. I'm a pretty modern insightful dude though so therapy has helped in this area. At this point in life it's pretty hard to unlearn all of the mistakes and faulty cognitions, but progress has been made. For many men it's too late to see that the problem isn't everyone else, but sometimes honest listening can do a lot to humanize a Nice Guy. It's a start. This whole clusterfuck of good intentions and shitty strategy has to end somewhere. I think the only way to start is for men to be more transparent and for society in general to stop making us feel shitty for it. Trying to be a nice guy to get sex hurts everyone, and often leads to the unfortunate circumstance of being trapped in the friend zone. Speaking of...


Tuesday, January 24, 2017

My "Dear White People" Fanfic

Now I don’t want to get off on a rant here…
Actually yes I do. Shut up, It’s been a while.
     Some people have wondered about my notable silence since the election. Actually I've been relatively quiet since the Mike Brown murder (yes this has been me quiet.) When Trump won the election, I was angry and sad, but not surprised. My anger was directed at you who were surprised. I really don’t want to make this a race issue but of course I will. I like flinging around the Race Card like my name is Gambit. I’ve been angry, Black angry, which if you have been paying attention is really fucking angry. I’ve been angry, not at the Trump supporters but the White people who were in denial, who turned a blind eye to all the signs that trump was going to win. Over the last 4 years police have been murdering Black men and women in the streets and receiving cash compensation for it. There were hate crimes against Muslims just going about their days that were written off as lone nuts with a grudge instead of racially motivated slayings. There were blatant attempts at voter suppression in the South and blatant poisoning of PoC in Michigan. College kids in the Midwest wore racially offensive costumes every chance they got. Women couldn’t be on the internet without being threatened with rape and murder (Gimme Shelter) regularly.
     Speaking of internet threats, every Black person who dared have an opinion about the shitty way we have been, are, and will be treated in America woke up every morning to hundreds of tweets and posts from White people telling them that everything they think, know, and feel is wrong. Over Thanksgiving, Facebook was rife with posts about people being afraid to go home and deal with their families who were inevitably filled with Trump supporters. White “liberals” for lack of a better term were utterly convinced of their victory, and to an extent I understood. The idea of Trump winning, on the surface, was laughable at best, implausible at worst. But then, 4 years ago I would have thought it improbably that police would murder a 10 year old and refuse him medical treatment, or murder a Black man for wielding a toy gun in a store full of toy guns. But, here we are. And on November 9th, 2016 yea there was much gnashing of teeth and beating of breast. “How could this happen!” the people cried. And I looked at them and said “how could it not?”
     Who, exactly do you think those people voted for? The people who donated money to George Zimmerman and Darren Wilson? The Gamergate people. The Tea Party. “The 1%.” Those people from the suburbs who never met a Black person in their life who go to work in the worst parts of the city. The people who complain that “illegals” are abusing the Medicaid system. The White teachers who only deal with the most troubled and disadvantaged Black children. The people who blame the decline of their town/shit-kickerville state on Obama. Those people who blame every cramp and hangnail on Obama. The people worried about “the gays.” Those people who have more cops in their families than Black acquaintances. The people who think Facebook started racism. The dregs in middle management who are so miserable with their failed existences they they take out their impotent fury on their far more talented Brown coworkers and curse “affirmative action.” The conspiracy nuts, the anti-vaxxers, the doomsday preppers, all the heavily armed fringe-White psychos, who do you think they voted for? Who do you think they are?
     So yes, I’ve been angry. Then a weird thing happened; I started seeing people who had never expressed an opinion about any of the horrors of the world start opening their mouths, or at least, taking to their keyboards. Many of you got a real ice-bucket challenge, the cold reality that a lot of your so-called friends actually don’t give a fuck about your feelings or your welfare. It was funny for me to see people posting about having to unfriend “friends” who were all for taking rights away from everyone. I laughed. I didn’t unfriend anyone last year, because I unfriended every one of those assholes who posted anything about “All Lives Matter” or “Blue Lives Matter.” Turns out they seemed to have a high correlation with Trump voters. Shocking right? I had no sanitizing to do; it had been done, because I saw all of this coming. “But John” you say, “if you were so all-knowing and wise, why didn’t you do anything to stop this?” While it’s true that I am all-knowing and wise, I can’t do everything myself. In fact there is one thing I specifically can’t do; change white people’s minds. These Trump voters have no real understanding or emotional connection with anyone who doesn’t look or think like them, so it is the people who look like them who have to change the way the conservative Trump voter thinks.

     Hell I couldn’t get the people on my side to take the necessary action to head off this disaster, what can I do about the people who don’t? And here’s the kicker; the Trump voter is invisible. Yeah you can spot the fanatics from a mile away, because they want you to see them. But your boss at your publishing firm, your dry cleaner, your mailman, the people who you have a pleasant relationship, the people who send you Christmas cards, the people you think have Black friends, those are the Trump voters. They weren’t going to any inauguration. They weren’t proud. They’re happy enough knowing that their local, state, and federal government is busy taking civil rights away from minorities, women, and in many cases themselves. You know who voted for Trump? Women with BCBS, Aetna, Cigna, Humana, they don’t have to worry about Planned Parenthood, or abortions, because no one will fuck those unfuckable hags.
     Sorry. That was uncalled for.
     My point is that White women with financial privilege don’t give one spare fuck about White women who don’t have the same financial privilege. Lately I’ve been seeing White women go to war with each other over reproductive and civil rights, and it’s been lowering my blood pressure. These arguments are what will save America, because the last push the Sanity Party needs is for White women to, as a group, get on board with taking down conservative White male rule. The highbrow reason that I love these fights is that I feel like we as Black people are finally getting the help from so called allies that we have been asking for decades now. The lowbrow reason is I like seeing White people fight among themselves. But seriously, now is not the time for silences. A war can be won with words... mostly violence, but words too. Words change minds and most importantly, can change votes. Words can inspire empathy and compassion. Words can humble even the most ill-informed Trump supporter (redundant.) White women have to take a long hard look at themselves and really figure out if their priorities are to women or to preserving White supremacy, because those are not two great tastes that taste great together. Are your allegiances to your race, to the “patriarchal” institutions that oppress you or to other women? Are you vocal for PP but silent about Sandra Bland? You, you reading this, know a woman who is all for Trump and for stripping women of all civil liberties and access to healthcare, because those are things they never worry about. I don't know how to change that. Maybe before marching against men, some of you need to march against each other. I don't know, these aren't questions I have answers to. The rest of us PoC got our shit together to stop Trump, but y'all dropped the ball.

     In short, Dear White People; please unfuck yourselves before over half of you get the rest of us killed. BTW if you're reading this I am totally not talking about you. You're one of the good ones.