“This is a phenomenon so visible, so widespread that were it happening with any other group (say black men or Asian women), it would be discussed incessantly. But precisely because becuase it’s so ubiquitous, so visible, it has received hardly any serious discussion”(Kimmel,6).
Kimmel’s book offers a different perspective into the thought process of white American men, and theiropinions of politics. In the first two (2) chapters, he dives into the “social construction” of white men’s anger by examining pop culture much as radio, film, historical background of societal norms and how they’ve evolved, and pivotal moments such as “The Tea Party”. The second chapter explores ” angry white boys”, and the ” Pull[ing] a Columbine phenomenon is significantly psychological rather than simply blamed on personal circumstance or merit.
Kimmel’s language is straight forward and very easy to understand. He does not sugar coat or provide personal bias; just the facts. The quotes of real Right Wing white men are eye opening as well as his focus on Right Wing radio.
First, Kimmel writes about the idea of entitlement. Kimmel states that a sense of
we-ness is established. This is brought about through pop culture. Radio’s have become a huge medium for ‘angry white men’. As a collective they can hear their opinions spread over the sound waves by Right Wing host. He calls this “Outrage Media”, this idea of ‘masculinity’ in which radio host, such as Rush Limbaugh and Mike Savage bring across, the so called “defensiveness” that white men portray is one that seeks to “completely leverage the apparatus of the state in the service of the destruction of an entire biological sex [women]”(Kimmel,43). According to Rush Limbaugh’s followers, “[H]e’s creating a community out of people’s individual frustrations, and giving them a sense of we’ness” (Kimmel, 44).
The following chapter, Angry White Boys, tackles the teen/adult school shoot problem in America. Kimmel offers two events, The Columbine High School shooting and the Virginia Tech shooting. Both equally sad and horrific, but if examined further have logical reasons to explain why they happened. People tend to blame those sorts of events on home life like parenting, or on psychological problems like child abuse or unstable family environment.
Moving into in fifth chapter, Kimmel dives into entitlement as a result of denial from women. Kimmel begins with the ‘rejection and emasculation’ of man that caused him to murder 5 women and injured 12 . Kimmel notes that this is not uncommon. Kimmel tells the chilling history of George Sodini who was rejected by women, even though ” it was his right, he felt, he have access to women” (Kimmel, 170). And when he would not get his way he would get upset, he would get revenge. What shocked me most about this was that he had fans who agreed with him and would speak their opinions on a men’s right blog. One of them said, ” I am calling him a hero for being a symbol for the consequences of denying men sex, not for killing those women” ( Kimmel, 172). Why women? Luckily, I asked this question at the right time. Kimmel suggests that it is due to a ‘social hierarchy’. Again the author brings up a sense of entitlement. He explains this by first thinking of why men hit women when things in the relationship seem fine. It is because the situations in which violence occurs, the men think they are right when the female has inserted her individual opinion , and then the male feels entitled or his entitlement has been challenged. The interview of the 16 year old boy to researches stood out to me a lot. Boys are taught at a young age to be right, and to be the boss, and when that position is challenged or threatened they feel weak. To researchers, the boy explains, ” it’s like [women are] more important than me and they think they can make the decisions… It’s not right. It makes me feel like a wimp or a pussy. That’s not the way things are supposed to be” (Kimmel, 182). Kimmel goes on to explain that the violence inflicted happens when men’s power is “broken down”. As a female, it is hard for to read this chapter because it doesn’t make sense to me that, not cooking a male significant other can cause him to get violent. Kimmel did not offer me an explanation to my question: where does the entitlement originates from? Overall, why do men feel entitled to this country and to women?