Why Are there So Many More Angry White Men?

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Sociologist Michael Kimmel examines the demise of the white American male voter as a dominant force in the political landscape and the resulting increase in angry white men. In his book Angry White Men: American Masculinity at the End of an Era, Kimmel locates this increase in anger in the economic, social and political shifts that have transformed the American landscape.



Michael Kimmel

Comments [43]


Kimmel was amazing..!!

Dec. 26 2013 06:05 AM
Sean from Yonkers from a snowy Yonkers

As a proud and happy immigrant from the "old" world - I would like to remind everyone that we are all pink inside.

Yesterday's world of entitlement and allocation is over. We all have to work harder and longer, and earn more to exist in our ever-expensive America.

There is more competition for every job, and a hundred different ways to do that job.

What was yours yesterday is not necessarily yours today. Stop blaming the bankers, stop blaming the rich, stop blaming the poor and stop blaming your mate behind his back because he has a bigger house or car. Look into the mirror and ask yourself a few simple home truths.

Considering what I am doing today compared to what I was doing when I first arrived in America, driving yellow cabs downtown during the day, working at a Puerto Rican nightclub in Westchester Ave in the Bronx in the evenings, going to colleage at the weekends for almost 4 years.

For those of you disenfranchised with America then feel free to pop over to Europe, Asia or Africa and see how the rest of the world is living . . . . I am pretty sure you will be on the first plane back here, kissing the ground at JFK when you land.

America is a true workers paradise unlike the so-called Workers Paradise in Europe, Russia or China. Here one can be handsomely rewarded for working hard and long hours, regardless of what you do.

Happy White Middle Age Immigrant Banker, working 85 hours a week.

Dec. 10 2013 11:08 AM

White men aren't angry. They may be resentful, but not primarily due to changing race or gender norms. It's about their personal economy, stupid.

It's because of the erosion of the "white male" as the stabilizing force within their families and communities. It's the story of the decline in American manufacturing and the Rust Belt/ Midwest. Tom Joad and Bruce Springsteen speak for these men, as noted.

I think the author/ guest has been presumptuous in creating a constituency of white men who see/ blame gender and race. There is no such unified constituency. There are grumbling men at barber shops and cafes, mumbling into their coffee and shuffling into their sunset.

If these men do blame gender or race, it is probably because they have less access to the core arguments of the American labor movement. In the absence of the labor movement's meaningful and coherent (if flawed) theory of structural unemployment, unallied men may grasp at other theories.

Blaming minorities, "reverse" discrimination, or affirmative action may be a fallback position for some, but it is not a political movement. It's blame-shifting in the absence of understanding a larger, more complex socioeconomic theory.

So, the author's anecdotes about sloppy and politically-naive men do not a movement make.

See also, the NY Times review of this book.

Dec. 04 2013 07:19 AM
Wayne Johnson Ph.D. from Bk

Great comments by Jeremy from Jersey City.

Dec. 03 2013 10:11 PM
Jeremy from Jersey City

The guest totally misrepresented the Men's Rights Movement and has been continuously challenged by thinkers and writers in the movement to a debate which he has consistently declined all while profiting from his men and boy bashing books and receiving tenure.

The Movement argues that politicians, corporations and the media pander to their consumer or political base marginalizing men and boys in the process. Example: White women are the last demographic that can be termed "swing voters". Candidates for office in competitive races will address "women's" needs in voice and ultimately policy even if it harms men and boys or diminishes families. Disproportionate funding of medical research or inequitable sentencing (or decisions) in court are only two easily demonstrated examples.

Even college professors like Mr. Kimmel can engage in this type of pandering to his (paying) readers and tenure committees in return for wealth, influence and stability.

There are plenty of Black men who have affinity for the Men's Rights Movement (like me) as well plenty of men who are poor, middle class AND employed, wealthy and, gasp ...there are plenty of women active as writers, bloggers, and as YouTube pundits in support of the fair treatment of men and boys at home, in school, at work, in court, and in the media. The most popular Men's Rights website, has quite a few female contributors. They are smart, sane, self-actualized, and sincere.

Also, take a look at the work of Warren Farrell, a former three term board member of N.O.W. (National Organization of Women) who undertook some serious scholarship and critical thinking and found himself as big a supporter of Men's rights, concerns and needs as he was a supporter of the 'original' aims of the women's movement.

Dec. 03 2013 09:45 PM
RUCB_Alum from Central New Jersey

"Let's take our country back..." will always be a Dean for America phrase. The TP co-opted it AFTER Obama was elected. More women and minorities in the workplace is ONE of the reasons that the middle class income has fallen so fast (relative to GDP). Another reason (IMO) is that fewer of us have been through basic training and therefore we do not carry the knowledge of how to kill quickly with our hands. Bosses can be more niggardly because the workforce is far more docile.

@Brock from Manhattan

"Entitlement? Who exactly designed and built all those cities and comfy offices?"

You confuse the firms that got the contract with the capacity to do the work. If the colleges and schools of architecture had not been racist in who they permitted to apply/attend, the persons 'who built that' would not matter so much.

@Angry That More Are Not Angry from New Jersey

Lucky for you that there are not more angry black men who take out there anger in the same ways that the citizens of Columbine, Aurora, Sandy Hook, the Sikh Temple in Wisconsin, Norway and Tucson have had to deal with. So far only VA Tech and the Navy yard killings were minorities.

@Antonio from Bayside

"Would this group include the likes of Rubio and Cruz in their fold? Phenotypically they are....But not ethnically"

Both Rubio and Cruz are Cuban and obviously not descended from slaves. I'd call 'em white.

@david from yonkers, ny

"I do not feel I must pay a penalty for the sins of earlier generations."

Even if those prior sins give today's white male a leg up that they did not earn?


"...that somehow I was promoted by race and not by skill is a constant struggle."

Equal opportunity in employment is not affirmative action, it's just fairness. Did you ever notice how folks who resort to the meritocracy argument to put down affirmative action/eeo initiatives are often passing on something they 'heard' or a friend 'told them'. If affirmative action injustices were as rampant as they would have us believe, the income differences between blacks and whites/women and men would have been erased 30 years ago. I don't want equality of outcome, just statistical indifference.

Dec. 03 2013 04:09 PM
Calm White Guy from Brooklyn Heights

I'm a white man in my early 60s (the horror). A few years back I had a woman in her early 30s, a mother of two very young children tell me at work that she believed that we older workers should be transferring our knowledge to the younger people and getting out of the way because they had children to raise.

This was at a large corporation at which I had worked for many years. She was in charge of the hiring and training of new hires targeted to be on fast track toward management careers.

Perhaps needless to say, I do not like the distinguished professor and recommend that if he has tenure that all his outside income be taxed at 100% rate as a condition of tenure.

Dec. 03 2013 02:13 PM

I am a black woman and not for affirmative action. I worked hard and feeling that people look at me as less than by the thought that somehow I was promoted by race and not by skill is a constant struggle.

Dec. 03 2013 02:09 PM

I am a black woman and not for affirmative action. I worked hard and feeling that people look at me as less than by the thought that somehow I was promoted by race and not by skill is a constant struggle.

Dec. 03 2013 02:08 PM

Abortion The Broken Record from Larchmont ~


Dec. 03 2013 02:07 PM
david from yonkers, ny

I'm not angry. I'm aware of the hatred which is directed at white men which is somewhat fueled by this book. I will lovingly respond by demanding equal rights for everyone, including white men. I do not feel I must pay a penalty for the sins of earlier generations.

Dec. 03 2013 02:04 PM
CH from Westchester

I believe both Guiliani and Bloomberg previously Democrats and at some point converted to Republican politicians?

Dec. 03 2013 02:01 PM


LOVE this guy!!

Thanks for having him on!

Dec. 03 2013 01:59 PM
Antonio from Bayside

Would this group include the likes of Rubio and Cruz in their fold? Phenotypically they are....
But not ethnically.....

Dec. 03 2013 01:56 PM

George bush the lesser went to Andover. How is he one of us?

Dec. 03 2013 01:54 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

The Family Court system was created by the "progressive movement" after women got the vote. Before that, government did very little intervening in the family life. But it really got rotten with "no fault divorce" and Roe vs.Wade. Then women got all the power. And the jobs as well.

Dec. 03 2013 01:50 PM
The Truth from Becky

So this is news? Which angry white men are we talking about? I would say there have been angry (funny how we stand them under one umbrella) for centuries.

Dec. 03 2013 01:50 PM
MK from UWS

Arg! Michael, I am eager to read your book after hearing your interview, BUT, get ready for a raft of you-know-what from mothers who have gotten horrible child custody agreements in the court system, oddly known as "family court." Please look deeper. Courts are more and more splitting children in half, making them ping-pong balls between parents who each get to have a home (well, sometimes, but not always) while the children must migrate back and forth. I believe the impetus is to exact fairness to fathers who traditionally did not get custody. However, my experience has taught me that divorce and family court are the worst place for children and mothers. Children need stability when they get divorced, and yet we do just the opposite for them.

Dec. 03 2013 01:49 PM
Ed from Larchmont

And 40 years ago America started aborting its children, with the resulting economic stagnation, among the many bad consequences.

Dec. 03 2013 01:48 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

I'm an angry ex-dad, and all that he said about guys who did all the right things, who get shafted and cleaned out by the powers that be. And that is a fact. Fatherhood has been murdered by the feminist-dominated system. And that is no lie.

Dec. 03 2013 01:46 PM
Jessie Henshaw from Way Uptown

Your guest seems quite insightful, and circumspect. Wonder if he is passed a copy of these comments.

I'd be curious about his interpretation of the rather sudden end of growing median income in 1970. I found a number of changes that coincided then, and only see a common thread in the emergence of computers and how good they were at telling businesses not to pay people to improve the "the bottom line" at all expense of any and everything else.

Dec. 03 2013 01:46 PM
Gary H from manhattan

Well if everyone is pissed at you.. think ...

did you or your fathers and grand fathers do ANYthing to leave a bad impression on people? it may not always be that they did but in many cases we know that they indeed did...

MY mom always said "all the people you meet on the way up ... you meet on the way back down" ......

Dec. 03 2013 01:46 PM
Sally F from Queens

Sad to say the VAWA IS abused with respect to immigration. The police will believe a woman's accusation no matter if it is false. Ask any criminal defense attorney. This happened to my brother and I was almost thinking that he was at fault until I saw him being beat like a dog and strangled by this woman from a former soviet country on a drop cam recording he had running. I also saw all the scars and scratches and bruises he had on his body. On the recording you can hear her saying that she was going to use the VAWA and the immigration law to have him arrested for domestic violence so she could get her visa. This is for real. She called the police when he left for work and had him arrested, he spent three days in jail even after revealing bruises and had an order of protection issued against him making him homeless. It is only when his lawyer revealed to the NYC district atty that the tape existed did they later drop the case ... after 9 months of being excluded from his own home where in that time this woman destroyed and sold our family property.. in an era where women are often as violent and even more violent than men these laws are being abused at men's expense.... I understand the need to protect women but we have to be fair and recognize reality.

Dec. 03 2013 01:41 PM
Ed from Larchmont

There's a large movement now to address the spirituality of men, lots of conferences and talks, it is very promising.

Dec. 03 2013 01:40 PM
Angry That More Are Not Angry from New Jersey

I'm an angry white man who is angry that there are not more angry black men. Angry that the unemployment rate for their race/gender is 3 times higher. Angry that 70% of blacks are born into a single parent home. Angry that no one goes on MSNBC every night at 6pm screaming about the high rate of black crime.

I'm angry that our entire country turns its back on these problems and in turn simply throw government and private money at what is a lagging African American culture.

Instead you hear angry folks screaming about decreases in EBT and Welfare contributions.

Dec. 03 2013 01:39 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

Everyone here knows I'm the child of Holocaust survivors, nonetheless I read one thing in Mein Kampf that struck me as not too far from the mark. To paraphrase, Hitler wrote, that those that cannot measure UP to the "Aryan" must try to bring him DOWN. I think those who are scapegoating "white men" are creating a dangerous mood in this country. Some of their grievances are not totally off the wall. Justice has to be blind, both for the rich and the poor, the fortunate and the unfortunate.

Dec. 03 2013 01:38 PM
MichaelB from Morningside Heights

The fact that white males had advantages in the past (but as males were also overwhelmingly expected to be the main breadwinners) does not mean that some of them are not facing the fact that some other groups are now getting a leg up in some circumstances, whether you call it reverse discrimination or not.

That doesn't mean that past grievances don't need to be addressed, but of course, there are an infinite number of ways to do so, some of them more "in your face" than others.

One thing that can't be argued against is that the perponderence (sp?) of support groups and media attention over many, many years has been aimed at raising women's status, with the fiction that men don't have their own problems.

The truth is, the overwhelming majority of white males come from modest financial and educational backgrounds, with no great networks (i.e., the "old boy's club") available to them. What they have is often higher alcoholic and suicide rates, shorter lifespans, and other deep-seated social & health issues. Without the support that women excel at.

The media magnifies the advantages of a small minority and applies it to all white males.

That aside, don't get me started on how the child-custody laws are unfairly applied -- feminists rarely complain about those injustices, and the children suffer terribly. Is that a universal problem? No, but there a huge discrepancies, and the issue itself is not only under the radar, but it is completely denied when it is mentioned.

Dec. 03 2013 01:37 PM
Ed from Larchmont

Wait until people lose their health care, then we'll see real anger.

Dec. 03 2013 01:37 PM
Wayne Johnson Ph.D. from Bk

Professor Kimmel makes fun of legitimate attempts by men to right the tremendous imbalance of the laws regarding men. Have him address the dwindling number of men on campus, the reluctance of prosecutors to bring
domestic violence charges against women, the brutal discrimination against men in custody matters. How about having Christine Hoff Sommers on when " The War Against Men" is released in a new edition.

Dec. 03 2013 01:37 PM
ivan obregon from nyc

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Mr. kimmel is presenting a strawman argument by only looking at the most absurd and ludicrous fringes of the argument against how sexist the feminist agenda has become even for men who consider themselves women's rights advocates, equalists, and humanists. Feminism has become the new F-word for most women, too, because pc-feminism is what has become an absurd and ludicrous fringe even women.

Dec. 03 2013 01:36 PM
Tanisa from Manhattan

I am an angry female. Angry over the waste of a segment and having to listen to this vapid professor. I pity any students who take his class and have to listen to this. UGH.

Dec. 03 2013 01:36 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

Angry White Birds? :)

Dec. 03 2013 01:33 PM
Antonio from baySide

How much does the rise in inter cultural relationships fuel this anger?

Dec. 03 2013 01:32 PM
john from office

These white men belong to groups that were originally not "white". The Irish, italians, germans, greeks and jews were not seem as white originally in the USA. The groups coming up now, other then those that are black, will become "white". Like the Indians, Arabs and latinos.

Dec. 03 2013 01:32 PM
angry colored man from nyc

I don't understand.. 2 segments ago you were discussing at how Obama is leading the Isolationist movement, but he's not white?

Dec. 03 2013 01:28 PM
Brock from Manhattan

Entitlement? Who exactly designed and built all those cities and comfy offices?

Dec. 03 2013 01:27 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

To Tom of LI

>No one to blame but themselves and other white males!<

You've got to have "white males" as a common enemy; someone to blame? An easy scapegoat. Not a healthy attitude though to go on about. An obsession that belies envy and could create an unpleasant backlash.

Dec. 03 2013 01:23 PM
Robert from NYC

Yes, and many of these are the guys who support possession of and possess guns, believe in carrying them openly and have no fears about using them when THEY feel necessary to do so, according to their interpretation of amendment two. Then, is there really a possibility of debate and discussion? hmmmmm

Dec. 03 2013 01:16 PM
Robert from NYC

Ooops, rather tom LI , not Joe LI, referring to my last post. Joe already seems to have gotten over it.

Dec. 03 2013 01:10 PM
Robert from NYC

In other words Joe LI, get over it!

Dec. 03 2013 01:09 PM
tom LI

To Joe from nearby - such wit and insight, thank you for contributing so little, its so refreshing...

Anywho - as to the book. I can answer one of the Q's raised by it - most of the angry white males will not be changing their POV, but will go kicking, screaming and acting violently to the new diverse and inclusive future. Few will adjust as exampled by how many and quickly white males in general are falling behind all the change now - instead just complacently figuring ways to get by in this New world.

These angry white males must be educated to the facts that they created - thru their voting choices, and adoration of the Greed is Good stereotypes - the very conditions of their perceived losses. They elected other white males, far wealthier for the most part, who created the very situations that dismantled their "tradional" American white male dominated system of entitlement. And it was done by simply distracting white males with the fear of liberals, gays, women for sure, Unions, and a leisure driven consumerism that fed into white male proclivities towards sloth and vicarious pleasures.

No one to blame but themselves and other white males!

Dec. 03 2013 12:53 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

Every nation needs a majority as its template, and historically that was the old White Anglo-Saxon Protestant "WASP." The template of being a "real American" was to become a pseudo-WASP. You changed your name. You fixed your nose. You straightened your hair. You corrected your mannerisms. You dressed accordingly. You did whatever it took to try to "fit in" to what until the late 1960s was essentially a WASP country. The equilibrium has obviously changed radically and I fear balkanization may have already begun. I do fear what it could eventually come to.

Dec. 03 2013 12:48 PM
Joe from nearby

Get over it already.

Dec. 03 2013 12:14 PM

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