Straight, White Males - No Longer the World Rulers?

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I did read through the reply, and thank you for the civil and rational tone of this whole tiff we've had. I think we've both reached the point where we've both stated our cases, though.

DevilWithaHalo:

So I'll ask again based on that notion... how do we go from "unexplained" to "discrimination"?

Well, as it's a question, I'll address this: part of it is the long history of gender-roles and prejudice in our society, the notions that women are overly emotional or aren't worth the vote. Past sexism is easily demonstrable. Of course, an appeal to history isn't sufficient in itself to explain a current problem, but I find it quite compelling: Discrimination was certainly rife in the past, in employment as elsewhere, and if the numbers haven't yet equalised, it seems quite reasonable to conclude that attitudes haven't, either.

Another part of it is the high number of cases in which discrimination has been demonstrated in front of a court.

Silvanus:
I did read through the reply, and thank you for the civil and rational tone of this whole tiff we've had. I think we've both reached the point where we've both stated our cases, though.

I tend to mirror the behavior of my "opponent". So thank you too.

Silvanus:
Well, as it's a question, I'll address this: part of it is the long history of gender-roles and prejudice in our society, the notions that women are overly emotional or aren't worth the vote. Past sexism is easily demonstrable. Of course, an appeal to history isn't sufficient in itself to explain a current problem, but I find it quite compelling: Discrimination was certainly rife in the past, in employment as elsewhere, and if the numbers haven't yet equalised, it seems quite reasonable to conclude that attitudes haven't, either.

All good points to consider.

Silvanus:
Another part of it is the high number of cases in which discrimination has been demonstrated in front of a court.

One case that was located in your links admittedly had me puzzled; in that the employer was charged for sexual discrimination when he was segregating his employees based on their expressed desires to work in gender dominated areas of the business. Curious to your thoughts on that case?

Gethsemani:
I'll take your word for having taken those courses, but I'll also suggest taking them again, because apparently you don't remember enough of them for that knowledge to reflect in your discussions here.

This might shock you but:
I disagree with a *lot* of what my professors espoused in college. I also disagree with my protestant Calvinist theology professor that taught the world was 6,000 years old. Should I take his class again or can we agree that not everything our professors teach us is something we necessarily agree with?

evilthecat:

The Gnome King:
I've had hundreds of hours of reading on the subject not to mention class time and countless debates.

Then this is not good enough.

Subjective opinion on your part. I suppose if I devoted my entire life to gender studies and feminism, that might cut it for you. But if I had different opinions, I still doubt it would be "enough" ...

I don't like playing the cultural capital card, I know it's kind of a dick move and at other times I have been only too happy to engage in detailed discussion. But right now I'm really kind of sick of having to constantly elevate these discussions out of the shit.

Thinking that you are "elevating" these discussions is another subjective opinion on your part. I think there's room for disagreement, even among other gender studies experts. In fact, from my reading, I *know* there is.

Gender studies is my job. It is both my career path and what I spend the vast, vast majority of my life doing. That is why, despite having absolutely zero dislike for you and despite my personal feelings on the concept of patriarchy, I'm still not going to let you shit all over what I do without letting you know how I feel about that.

So you're a Gender Studies professor?

Can I ask for some context here, so that I'm not just debating with a third party.

http://www.slate.com/articles/double_x/doublex/2013/09/the_end_of_men_why_feminists_won_t_accept_that_things_are_looking_up_for.html?wpisrc=obnetwork

If you can't bother to read the link, which takes all of 2-3 minutes, I'm not going to engage you further on this. I don't feel like re-inventing the wheel. Basically, I think Rosin explains a lot of what I am saying, quite eloquently. I'd love for you to take 2-3 minutes, read the article, and state where you disagree with Rosin. But I'm not holding my breath. She, by the way, works in the field of Gender Studies, too. She's also a published author, but I'm sure you'll discount her arguments anyway. After all, she has different opinions.

But she doesn't completely agree with you, so feel free to discount her arguments.

And again, I'm still fascinated - what is your "work" in gender studies? Give me some "context" here as to what kind of "expert" you are. Credentials?

The Gnome King:

This might shock you but:
I disagree with a *lot* of what my professors espoused in college. I also disagree with my protestant Calvinist theology professor that taught the world was 6,000 years old. Should I take his class again or can we agree that not everything our professors teach us is something we necessarily agree with?

This might shock you but:
That's not what I said. I did not claim you need to agree with what you claim you were taught in college. I said that for someone who claims to have a lot of formal knowledge of gender studies you are failing to display that level of understanding of the theories of gender studies. Most notable in how you mixed up patriarchy theory and normativity theory, a mix up you still haven't addressed with anything other than an appeal to your own formal education.

Gethsemani:
Most notable in how you mixed up patriarchy theory and normativity theory, a mix up you still haven't addressed with anything other than an appeal to your own formal education.

Oh, please, quote me where I mixed this up. I'd love to see again so I can go and research my grievous error. Normative theory in ethics concerns itself with right and wrong and pat... you know, I'm not going to explain this until you show me where I "mixed up" these two theories.

Please, enlighten. And quote.

Sorry to step in here but this is an odd turn.

The Gnome King:
Normative theory in ethics...

Did you read Gethsemani first post in this thread? Number 21? In particular "the normativity line of theories, particularly hetero normativity and gender normativity" and "two separate feminist theories (patriarchy and normativity, respectively)" would suggest that normativity in ethics isn't quite the thing being referred to.

Knight Templar:
Sorry to step in here but this is an odd turn.

The Gnome King:
Normative theory in ethics...

Did you read Gethsemani first post in this thread? Number 21? In particular "the normativity line of theories, particularly hetero normativity and gender normativity" and "two separate feminist theories (patriarchy and normativity, respectively)" would suggest that normativity in ethics isn't quite the thing being referred to.

Oh, I quite know what I'm doing and what I'm asking. I'd like an original quote and reference to my "confusion." Feminist normative theory is what he was referring to? Oh, do let him explain where I am confused. And, btw, normative theory in feminist studies still concerns itself with "what ought to be" ... same as normative ethics. Just as related to feminism.

:)

The Gnome King:

Oh, please, quote me where I mixed this up. I'd love to see again so I can go and research my grievous error. Normative theory in ethics concerns itself with right and wrong and pat... you know, I'm not going to explain this until you show me where I "mixed up" these two theories.

Please, enlighten. And quote.

The OP says:

The Gnome King:

Perhaps straight white men don't have the stranglehold on power that we once thought they did, considering this list... which, in all honesty, is thought-provoking.

Queue the arguments that the patriarchy is still enemy #1 in 1... 2... 3... ;)

The fact that you begin by saying "Straight white men" and then go on to claim Patriarchy suggests that you at least consider normativity theory to be a part of patriarchy, since otherwise ethnicity would not be an issue.

And normativity in gender studies is a theory that concerns itself with societal self-image and reference points. It is not an "what ought to be" but a way of explaining the discrepancy between power and visibility in regards to gender and sexuality, among other things.

So far, I am still not impressed by your credentials.

Silvanus:

In answer to your question, I'd say that if the difference is significant and sustained, then it's a possibility worth exploring.

I haven't been arguing for accepting the theory blindly, and I don't mean to come across that way. It certainly varies by country too. I believe the data in the links I provided applied to the US, even though I'm not from the US, for example, so it's limited.

Well i went looking at the source of the data in order to find the numbers (the articles referring to the study didn't mention said number) and I found out that it was 4%. So not that big. Now I myself don't believe (or at least like to believe) that it is because the public institutions are discriminating but rather due to the nature of the public and private sector.

As numbers of the OECD suggest men work more hours (even when comparing full time with full time), and as we all know in the private sector it's very competitive. In order to get raises or promotions you need to stand out positively. Consequently longer working hours mean more chances to be promoted/getting a raise (and thus earn more per hour). On the other hand the public sector is not known for having people working overtime and there promotions usually come automatically unless you're really doing your best not to get promoted. And thus the lower working hours of women are probably less pronounced in the public sector (because men don't work a lot more either in the public sector) and if there were a difference the impact it would have on the hourly wage is probably insignificant due to how things are run.

The Gnome King:

Oh, I quite know what I'm doing and what I'm asking.

If you know what they actually meant, why pretend you didn't?

Interesting, looking at TC's 1st post, it appears he is talking about 2 different things.
1) Who has top government positions? Answer: more than just straight white males. That much is plain to see.

He links http://shetterly.blogspot.com/2014/03/based-on-forbes-most-powerful-people.html

but

2) Who has power. That's a different question. Great, Barrak Obama is the President of the USA. Terrific job. But in the USA, who has power? How do you define power? In the USA, is all that power in the hands of the executive, in this case, a not straight white male?

Power defined:
1) capacity to do something: the ability, strength, and capacity to do something

2) strength: physical force or strength

3) control and influence: control and influence over other people and their actions

Only number 2 really seems to favor men at this point. If you watch professional sports, you know that this certainly is not a lock for white men.

Control and influence over other people? I think women are at least as effective as men in their ability to get things from men. Maybe not as much as they want. But the do have that ability. Example:I do at least as much house cleaning as my wife because she wants it clean. I want it clean, just not as clean as she would have it. A pout from her is enough to influence me into action.

I would write that this day to day power that impacts virtually every couple in the US is of far more consequence than who gets the top chief executive job.

DevilWithaHalo:

Maybe it's true, maybe it's not; http://www.marketwatch.com/story/the-gender-wage-gap-is-a-myth-2012-07-26 If I recall correctly, the Obama study demonstrated only a 3% unexplainable difference (still trying to find the damn thing). http://www.consad.com/content/reports/Gender%20Wage%20Gap%20Final%20Report.pdf 4.8-7.1 in that one. But all these don't really prove anything beyond we're going to get different variants of the same theory. Someone being inaccurate in their math perhaps? Or slightly different samples yield different results? Who knows.

One noteworthy thing about the CONSAD report is that if you actually read it in detail, it states that there were several confounding factors that they know exist that weren't adjusted for because, given the data available to them, there was no way to properly untangle them from other confounding factors and so they weren't considered. In other words, the 4.8-7.1% in the CONSAD report is a maximum adjusted wage gap, with an acknowledgement that it is probably smaller, but how much smaller was impossible to estimate with the kinds of data available.

What gets talked about less is the gap in who controls spending (and thus who most benefits from the generation of income as opposed to who is generating it) relative to gender, because that doesn't help the folks who typically bring up the wage gap.

Gorfias:
I would write that this day to day power that impacts virtually every couple in the US is of far more consequence than who gets the top chief executive job.

Firstly, you are assuming that every relationship is like yours. For that matter, that everyone is in one.

Secondly, again, it's not merely a matter of Obama, it's about the people dominating the military, religion, industry and government and other important social institutions of your nations.

People complain about Obama being a half Muslim Arab or whatever. Him being black was a massive problem for many people. Imagine if, say, he was, and just 50% of people in the government were, and if a same amount of the upper echelons of business were. There would be complaining.

Silvanus:
It's pretty confusing to include sexuality in the OP. None of the top 5 are non-Straight, and I'm fairly sure the vast majority of the list will be straight as well. In fact, a significant number of them discriminate against gay people.

Well no fucking shit, that might have something to do with 97% of the worlds population being straight.

thaluikhain:

Gorfias:
I would write that this day to day power that impacts virtually every couple in the US is of far more consequence than who gets the top chief executive job.

Firstly, you are assuming that every relationship is like yours. For that matter, that everyone is in one.

I do assume the dynamics that affect my relationship are likely duplicated in virtually every relationship out there. My own "mother in law's" test says this is so, but it might be fun to look at some stats on the matter. I was careful to not say anything like "everyone is in a relationship."

Secondly, again, it's not merely a matter of Obama, it's about the people dominating the military, religion, industry and government and other important social institutions of your nations.

It would be interesting to see some stats on that. How many nations are majority white to begin with? How many have virtually no white population.

People complain about Obama being a half Muslim Arab or whatever. Him being black was a massive problem for many people. Imagine if, say, he was, and just 50% of people in the government were, and if a same amount of the upper echelons of business were. There would be complaining.

Yet, he is the chief executive, no matter what some people feel about his race and creed. I think if straight white males decided he would not ever be chief executive, they would lose.

SmashLovesTitanQuest:

Well no fucking shit, that might have something to do with 97% of the worlds population being straight.

Uhrm, yes. What's your point?

I was pointing out that the OP's claim, that "straight white males [are] no longer the world rulers", should not have included "straight", because they're still all straight. That point-- the point I made-- has nothing whatsoever to do with why they make up the majority.

Drop the tone. It doesn't reinforce your point; it just makes it more obvious you missed mine.

Gorfias:
I do assume the dynamics that affect my relationship are likely duplicated in virtually every relationship out there. My own "mother in law's" test says this is so, but it might be fun to look at some stats on the matter.

Your mother in law is likely to have the same culture and similar upbringing to your wife, though. That doesn't mean this is true of everyone.

Gorfias:
It would be interesting to see some stats on that. How many nations are majority white to begin with? How many have virtually no white population.

Certainly, there are a great many nation not dominated by white people, that only really applies to the west (I should be more careful in specifying things like that). However, most of this forum seems to be from western nations, and western nations currently dominate the world, so it seems relevant to this discussion.

Gorfias:
Yet, he is the chief executive, no matter what some people feel about his race and creed. I think if straight white males decided he would not ever be chief executive, they would lose.

His being so was unprecedented, and followed many serious mistakes by his political opponents. If Bush was a half decent president, or Palin wasn't a VP candidate, I doubt Obama would have been president. Even so, there was a great deal of resistance to him.

Silvanus:

SmashLovesTitanQuest:

Well no fucking shit, that might have something to do with 97% of the worlds population being straight.

Uhrm, yes. What's your point?

I was pointing out that the OP's claim, that "straight white males [are] no longer the world rulers", should not have included "straight", because they're still all straight. That point-- the point I made-- has nothing whatsoever to do with why they make up the majority.

No, because that title is to be said together, not separately. There is only one straight white male in the top 5, that is the OPs point. Why should he drop the straight because the other 4 people - of varying races and genders - are straight too? They're not white males.

Silvanus:
Drop the tone. It doesn't reinforce your point; it just makes it more obvious you missed mine.

Thanks for giving me tips on how to formulate a post on an online forum. This is something I've been wanting for a while now.

SmashLovesTitanQuest:

No, because that title is to be said together, not separately. There is only one straight white male in the top 5, that is the OPs point. Why should he drop the straight because the other 4 people - of varying races and genders - are straight too? They're not white males.

Bunching the three unrelated characteristics together doesn't lend any kind of validity to the notion. Bunching them together is meaningless. That was my entire point.

He should drop the "straight" because there is literally no reason for it to be there.

SmashLovesTitanQuest:

Thanks for giving me tips on how to formulate a post on an online forum. This is something I've been wanting for a while now.

You're welcome. If you want, I could provide a few more, such as how swearing should generally be avoided, because it can create the impression of immaturity.

SmashLovesTitanQuest:
There is only one straight white male in the top 5, that is the OPs point.

...Did you mistype or miscount the people in the top 5, or do you just have some information on Pope Francis or Putin that you're not sharing with us? Are the Russian anti-gay laws and being the head of a homophobic religion just massive overcompensations for something we're not aware of?

Silvanus:

SmashLovesTitanQuest:

Well no fucking shit, that might have something to do with 97% of the worlds population being straight.

Uhrm, yes. What's your point?

I was pointing out that the OP's claim, that "straight white males [are] no longer the world rulers", should not have included "straight", because they're still all straight. That point-- the point I made-- has nothing whatsoever to do with why they make up the majority.

Drop the tone. It doesn't reinforce your point; it just makes it more obvious you missed mine.

Well... for what it's worth our prime minister is gay. Sure our country is quite small and this would probably not even put him in the top 1000 but still.

LifeCharacter:

SmashLovesTitanQuest:
There is only one straight white male in the top 5, that is the OPs point.

...Did you mistype or miscount the people in the top 5, or do you just have some information on Pope Francis or Putin that you're not sharing with us?

I guess you could count Pope Francis as white if you wanted to, he does have European ancestry despite being born in Argentina.

I could tell you about that one weekend I spent in Vegas with Putin - boy, that would be some information alright - but I signed an NDA and I don't want him to nuke my home.

Oh, and about overcompensations - they probably are actually. Recently a study found that strongly homophobic males were more likely to be aroused by gay porn (like much more likely). If you're interested I'll search it out for you.

Silvanus:
Bunching the three unrelated characteristics together doesn't lend any kind of validity to the notion. Bunching them together is meaningless. That was my entire point.

He should drop the "straight" because there is literally no reason for it to be there.

I suspect the reason the OP put it there is because there are a lot of people on, say, Tumblr protesting against the man. Specifically the white straight man. You'll see those 3 words bunched together quite often. Of course theres no reason for it to be there. Theres no reason for white to be there either, the notion that white people are somehow demigods who have held an iron grip ruling the entire world from Europe for millions of years is a ridiculous one, but you see it reinforced every day in subforums like these. Not by everyone of course, but theres a fair few who seem to think so. Probably because increasingly, we seem to think "history" starts somewhere around 1850 and ends 100 years later. Everything before that point is uninteresting, irrelevant tripe. Hell, if my experience with German schools is to be believed, absolutely bloody nothing ever happened before the first world war! Humans just kind of evolved from something and jumped straight into trench warfare. Sorry for the side rant.

Silvanus:
You're welcome. If you want, I could provide a few more, such as how swearing should generally be avoided, because it can create the impression of immaturity.

People who judge others by what kind of intensifier they like to use are the kind of people I am not trying to fucking impress. I'll pass and enjoy what you perceive to be immaturity while it lasts.

The Gnome King:
Subjective opinion on your part. I suppose if I devoted my entire life to gender studies and feminism, that might cut it for you. But if I had different opinions, I still doubt it would be "enough" ...

Enough for what?

All I'm asking here is that when you make criticism you are actually responding to something specific, rather than some pop-culture stereotype which bears absolutely no relevance to actual debates going on around the subject you are talking about.

That doesn't mean giving me citations. This is a forum, and I never expect that, but it does mean that when you say a word like patriarchy you either show that you have some idea what has been written and debated on the subject, or that you specify whatever arbitrary phenomenon you are talking about when you talk about it. I don't care which, particularly, you can do what the article you linked to did and say "well, this one woman showed up and used the world at a talk I did and then said a stupid thing" provided you make it clear what you are responding to.

I'm sure there are people who would think of themselves as profeminist out there who genuinely believe that patriarchy means that women shouldn't be represented on some arbitrary list of powerful people, just as there are probably people out there who think of themselves as scientifically literate and believe that evolution means fish spontaneously transforming into birds. It doesn't change the fact that attacking evolution on that basis, expecting it to have some kind of effect and then declaring unfalsifiability when it doesn't work is still incredibly foolish.

The Gnome King:
Thinking that you are "elevating" these discussions is another subjective opinion on your part. I think there's room for disagreement, even among other gender studies experts. In fact, from my reading, I *know* there is.

Of course there is.

I am, at this moment, taking up a position which is contrary to the theoretical framework I actually work with. I don't accept the concept of patriarchy. I don't think it's a theoretically useful premise. What actually annoys me is this idea that you can frame a response to hypothetical mouth breathers as an attack on what is actually a pretty nuanced theoretical framework which remains a serious feature of the intellectual landscape in gender/women's studies and is actually much more difficult to argue against than you are suggesting.

It's the worst kind of anti-intellectualism, and it bothers me.

The Gnome King:
If you can't bother to read the link, which takes all of 2-3 minutes, I'm not going to engage you further on this.

I did read it. I though that was kind of obvious.

But I didn't want to argue with a random article for no reason. You've bought it into this discussion and I kind of want to know why, I want some kind of commitment to this article so that I can understand how it represents the point you're trying to make.

The Gnome King:
She, by the way, works in the field of Gender Studies, too. She's also a published author, but I'm sure you'll discount her arguments anyway. After all, she has different opinions.

Gender studies is not a bunch of women blogging and writing articles for magazines and calling it academic knowledge, it is an academic field. It has its own journals, its own system of peer review, its own conferences, its own intellectual life. This is not to say that writing for magazines, writing middle brow books, blogging and the task of producing political knowledge is not cool or can't contribute in any way, or even that there's absolutely no bleedover between the two. I mean, certainly far more people find their point of contact with these issues through those media than through academic writing, but for precisely that reason I think it carries a responsibility not to misrepresent the subject in question.

Anyway..

This woman was not gunning for a laugh; she was dead serious, and pretty angry. She looked to be 30 or so, and from the way she spoke seemed well-educated-the type of woman I portray in the book as benefiting from the new era of female dominance..

Again. Do I need to repeat myself? This article should not be called "the patriarchy is dead", it should be called "this woman is wrong." That would be an accurate assessment of its content.

I tried to figure out who, in the series of events that led up to that decision, had played the role of the patriarch. My husband? He couldn't care less how many days I work. My employer? Relatively benevolent and supportive- willing to let me work four days or five, willing to let me leave early.

Why would patriarchy require someone to play the "role" of the patriarch in the first place?

Patriarchy is not a theatre production where some of the cast put on their patriarch costumes and run around making scary noises and telling the women they can't vote and the women all put on their victim costumes and pretend to cry. If it was, why would that even a be a problem?

Patriarchy is a sociological conflict theory. It is not about free and agentive subjects choosing to go in and out of role, rather it is about the way in which choices about who to be or how to act can be shaped by ideological manipulation, in essence how the choices which people make, even those which appear agentive and free and uncoerced, are the product of particular kinds of power somewhere down the line.

An actual patriarchal analysis would look at the way in which all these interactions: with the boss, with the husband, and going back in time with the ex-boyfriends, with the school, with the peer group, with the parents, etc. predispose a particular outcome to this situation. It says nothing about whether this outcome is experienced as coercive, or whether there is actually a big scary man standing there telling everyone what to do.

Now watch this. This is interesting.

I suppose the patriarchy was lurking somewhere in my subconscious, tricking me into believing that it was more my duty to stay home with our new baby than my husband's.

She supposes this because it is extremely difficult to argue with or dispute.

When large scale groups of people display a tendency towards making decisions which are differentiated along the lines of socially meaningful characteristics (like gender) there are two possible theoretical explanations. The first is that some essential essence behind these characteristics themselves predispose the outcomes. "Women's brains are wired to make them care for babies" and other such unscientific speculation. The other is that something about the way those characteristics become part of culture which creates the outcome, there is some power or force which pushes people into these decisions.

Whether that power is experienced as coercive is completely irrelevant, and she's just effectively reaffirmed that patriarchy exists, just not in the form this one woman at a talk she gave seemed to say it did (in her opinion).

We can call the pattern of women's jobs by its old, disparaging name, "gender segregation," and insist on seeing it as a choice that is imposed on them. But we can also see it through a new paradigm-as Coontz in her own work has so successfully encouraged us to do vis--vis marriage-that acknowledges women as agents making intelligent decisions about what jobs are available in this economy.

Or we can recognize that this is actually a pointless semantic discussion. Why does the act of making decisions have to be either fully free and agentive and unlimited or fully constrained and subordinated and absolutely lacking in any kind of agency? There are middle grounds here.

The feminism she is proposing exists here would make the entire concept of feminism unworkable.

It's elite feminists like my questioner and me who cling to the dreaded patriarchy just as he is walking out of our lives.

The women who seemed to be reveling in Coontz's insistence that reports of the end of men (and the rise of women) have been greatly exaggerated were by and large young and ambitious, and as far as I could tell hadn't been held back all that much in their careers by "the patriarchy."

And here we have the actual argument, at last.

The argument isn't about patriarchy. It isn't about power in society. It's about privilege within feminism.

It's a good argument, and I'm glad to see it spilling out into public debate. Just not like this. This whole thing has nothing to do with what it's being presented as. It's taking a point which has actually been at the forefront of feminist academic writing for decades now in terms of how to deal with and represent marginal subjects from a position of privilege and repackaging it as some kind of facile anti-feminist, anti-intellectual criticism, because obviously if those down-to-earth, honest, salt-of-the-earth common folks don't use our highfalutin theoretical concepts to directly explain their lives then neither should we.

Except that that's what the act of analysis is.

(Is this why we now put "trigger warnings" on stories that mention rape or sexual harassment?)

No. That would be because people actually get raped.

The Gnome King:
And again, I'm still fascinated - what is your "work" in gender studies? Give me some "context" here as to what kind of "expert" you are. Credentials?

Can I take this question to PM?

Schadrach:
What gets talked about less is the gap in who controls spending (and thus who most benefits from the generation of income as opposed to who is generating it) relative to gender, because that doesn't help the folks who typically bring up the wage gap.

Ha! Why bring up anything that doesn't reinforce your position? The best part is when they weave an explanation into said opposition that fits their world view.

"Well duh! Of course you can't see Unicorns, they're invisible!"

generals3:

Well... for what it's worth our prime minister is gay. Sure our country is quite small and this would probably not even put him in the top 1000 but still.

That's pretty interesting. Who is it? I had only heard of Johanna Sigurdardottir, the former PM of Iceland.

SmashLovesTitanQuest:

I suspect the reason the OP put it there is because there are a lot of people on, say, Tumblr protesting against the man. Specifically the white straight man. You'll see those 3 words bunched together quite often. Of course theres no reason for it to be there. Theres no reason for white to be there either, the notion that white people are somehow demigods who have held an iron grip ruling the entire world from Europe for millions of years is a ridiculous one, but you see it reinforced every day in subforums like these. Not by everyone of course, but theres a fair few who seem to think so. Probably because increasingly, we seem to think "history" starts somewhere around 1850 and ends 100 years later. Everything before that point is uninteresting, irrelevant tripe. Hell, if my experience with German schools is to be believed, absolutely bloody nothing ever happened before the first world war! Humans just kind of evolved from something and jumped straight into trench warfare. Sorry for the side rant.

Side rants are the best kind.

"White" is there because the inclusion of non-white people in the top 5 provides evidence (not hugely compelling evidence, but evidence nonetheless) that white people do not rule the world, though. Similarly, the inclusion of women in the top 5 provides evidence that men do not rule the world. That's why "straight" stands out. The list has absolutely nothing to provide there.

You're right that the three terms get wrapped up together all the time, but that doesn't make it any more logical here.

Silvanus:

People who judge others by what kind of intensifier they like to use are the kind of people I am not trying to fucking impress. I'll pass and enjoy what you perceive to be immaturity while it lasts.

I'm judging you solely for the needless aggression. EDIT: Admittedly, I've answered sarcasm with sarcasm, which wasn't the best way to go.

Silvanus:

generals3:

Well... for what it's worth our prime minister is gay. Sure our country is quite small and this would probably not even put him in the top 1000 but still.

That's pretty interesting. Who is it? I had only heard of Johanna Sigurdardottir, the former PM of Iceland.

It's Elio Di Rupo: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elio_Di_Rupo

He has actually been quite a prominent politician in the country for some time considering he was heading the socialist party before he became PM.

Fraser Greenfield:
The idea that white (anglo-saxon) men have held a stranglehold on power is still one of the most contrived and ultimately false concepts ever to pervade the 20th century political culture. I'm sorry but its almost like people forget Gamal Abdel Nasser, Thatcher, Dido of Carthage, Various Queens of England/Britain simply did not exist, and this is before we examine how men of power are assisted, supported (or manipulated) by their wives. If one was to say that men (excluding concepts of ethnic origin) control the venues of power. Then yes I would concur.

A few examples that do not fit a given trend do not necessarily disprove that trend. As a matter of fact, the majority of influence in the world, since the mid 1800's at the very latest, has continuously been held by white males.

Out of the list, two are white males, another is still white, and one is the leader of an off again on again anti-Western state with next to zero white people, and is male. Obama being the executive of the unrivaled superpower that is the United States is a very stark counter-example of this trend, but the fact remains that the majority of American governmental officials are white men.

Now, I do not attribute this to any inherent nature of white people or of men to oppress, but to the reality that those with wealth and coercive ability will always be able to dominate those without it, and the sort of people who aim to amass wealth and power are the sort of people who will dominate.

Men gained coercive dominance prehistorically due to their superior physical strength, which with no weapons or only basic weapons is nearly insurmountable, and this tradition of dominance bled into early societies, and has been preserved culturally to this day.

Europeans gained coercive dominance due to their very near proximity, and resulting frequent incident of war. This caused European nations to focus much more heavily on military innovation than those in other parts of the world. Furthermore, the continent of Europe is rich in early stage resources, such as food, timber, and useful animals, and middle stage resources, such as coal and iron. This abundance allowed their societies to grow in strength and wealth unimpeded, being driven by their proximity towards coercive force, and the pursuit of the wealth necessary to achieve it. By the time Europeans aimed to colonize continents with late stage resources like gasoline, they had a vast technological advantage and a great deal of the wealth required to utilize that technology.

The reason I say this is partly to acknowledge that the perceived trend of white male dominance is accurate, but mostly to illustrate the real issue, which is the accumulation of wealth, and therefore the means to coercive power. Right now, the people who control most of these resources are white males, but people should be generally skeptical of anybody with a great deal of economic, and therefore political, power.

SmashLovesTitanQuest:

No, because that title is to be said together, not separately. There is only one straight white male in the top 5, that is the OPs point.

Seeing as most people would consider Russians white, and pope Francis, while from Argentina, is of Italian descent, I'd say there are two straight white males on the list.

thaluikhain:

Gorfias:
Yet, he [Obama] is the chief executive, no matter what some people feel about his race and creed. I think if straight white males decided he would not ever be chief executive, they would lose.

His being so was unprecedented, and followed many serious mistakes by his political opponents. If Bush was a half decent president, or Palin wasn't a VP candidate, I doubt Obama would have been president.

I really don't think so. Yes, they made mistakes. So did Obama. Were his mistakes less bad than the Democrats he ran against?

And I think the next President, who a lot of people have good reason to despise, is very possibly going to be a woman, Hillary.

I write again: were white men to decide only white men can be President, they'd lose.

2012 Wont Happen:

SmashLovesTitanQuest:

No, because that title is to be said together, not separately. There is only one straight white male in the top 5, that is the OPs point.

Seeing as most people would consider Russians white, and pope Francis, while from Argentina, is of Italian descent, I'd say there are two straight white males on the list.

I think Anglo-Saxon is the normative for whenever "white" comes up in this context, actually. When people say "white", they mean "American white with Anglo-Saxon origins", not "not having a lot of melanin in their skin". So no, I don't think most people would consider Russians "white", or at least not the same kind of "white".

Vegosiux:

2012 Wont Happen:

SmashLovesTitanQuest:

No, because that title is to be said together, not separately. There is only one straight white male in the top 5, that is the OPs point.

Seeing as most people would consider Russians white, and pope Francis, while from Argentina, is of Italian descent, I'd say there are two straight white males on the list.

I think Anglo-Saxon is the normative for whenever "white" comes up in this context, actually. When people say "white", they mean "American white with Anglo-Saxon origins", not "not having a lot of melanin in their skin". So no, I don't think most people would consider Russians "white", or at least not the same kind of "white".

Nah I'm pretty sure if they're white they're considered white.

Pluvia:

Vegosiux:

2012 Wont Happen:

Seeing as most people would consider Russians white, and pope Francis, while from Argentina, is of Italian descent, I'd say there are two straight white males on the list.

I think Anglo-Saxon is the normative for whenever "white" comes up in this context, actually. When people say "white", they mean "American white with Anglo-Saxon origins", not "not having a lot of melanin in their skin". So no, I don't think most people would consider Russians "white", or at least not the same kind of "white".

Nah I'm pretty sure if they're white they're considered white.

When i say white, i mean they look "white", it has nothing to do with their ancestry or nationality.
And to me, most of the Latinos and Hispanics look pretty white (sometimes they look like white people who have spent lot of time outdoors, sure, but white).

nyysjan:

When i say white, i mean they look "white", it has nothing to do with their ancestry or nationality.
And to me, most of the Latinos and Hispanics look pretty white (sometimes they look like white people who have spent lot of time outdoors, sure, but white).

See, that's where it gets tricky. If your average American says "white"; I'd be willing to bet money they're not including the Hispanics there.

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