Quick question: Why do some privileged men like playing the victim and acting like they are oppressed?
I asked this when someone sent me a link to rapper Tom Macdonald’s “Straight White Male” music video. It’s one of those things where you don’t need to watch it to know what it’s about. Especially since Tom himself tweeted, “If you don’t think STRAIGHT WHITE MALES are demonized in 2019, you’re trippin.”
This was followed by actual men saying they’re happy Tom understands their struggle. (Struggle with what? Being privileged? Being White?) Plus the fact that he was spitting truth bombs in the song.
Thank you @IAMTOMMACDONALDhttps://t.co/9X3i05JBFs for telling my side of the story without sounding like an asshole. I'm a 43 yo white guy who has a voice but sometimes can't find the courage to use it in fear of retribution and hate.
What’s wrong with the song? Basically, it’s Tom singing about how he hates being the stereotypical White guy who gets blamed for racism, sexism, and homophobia. It’s a #NotAllMen type of song where he swears he’s the good guy.
Here are actual lyrics from the song that will make you cringe:I’m not a racist / I like Hispanics and Negroes and Natives and Asians / Black Power says I’m the problem (Yeah) / Girl Power says I’m the issue (Yeah) / Gay rights think I’m tryna stop ’em (Woo) /All of y’all trippin’ I’ll get you some tissues (Ahh)
The music video has been out for four days and it already has over a million views on YouTube. Tom later tweeted that he meant for it to be satirical, but several aren’t digging the song’s narrative.
This is also not the first time Tom Macdonald released controversial ~edgy~ music. In 2018, he came out with a music video for “WHITEBOY” which Babe sarcastically called “so woke, it ended racism forever.” Here, he also justifies that just because he’s White, doesn’t automatically make him a racist—again with that #NotAllMen crap.
Satire is meant to “criticize people or ideas in a humorous way, especially in order to make a political point.” Tom misses the mark every time because his brand of humor is neither compelling nor encourages some kind of change. It’s internet troll behavior—he provokes people, waits for angry reactions, then calls them stupid for “not getting it” or overreacting.
Well, he can’t really fault people for criticizing him. Whiteness is seen as an advantage in society. Here in our country, where majority of people have naturally tanned skin, beauty brands have been banking on the idea that “being dark” is ugly. GlutaMAX even implied in an ad that you could have it easier if you had lighter skin.
It’s the same with being a straight man. Society has long dictated that men are more able-bodied to lead and work, while women are meant to stay at home or are paid less, and the LGBTQ+ community gets the backseat. Now that minorities are speaking up for their rights, many men are crying foul, saying their rights are being taken away—similar to how Tom raps about being villainized.
So, for Tom to release a supposedly satirical song where he’s painting himself as the good guy of the White community, it just doesn’t sit well. Contrary to what many of his fans have said, this isn’t a productive way to use one’s straight White male privilege.
According to The Root, the right way to utilize such privilege is to raise awareness on what minorities are going through. Use it to give a voice to those who are being ignored and silenced, not fuel a conversation that obviously only benefits people like Tom Macdonald.
Also, Tom can’t exactly claim he’s progressive with a side of edgy humor when he tweeted (then deleted) about women like this in 2016:
Art by Tricia Guevara
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