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antifeminism Dean Esmay men who should not ever be with women ever misogynoir misogyny MRA racism

White dude tells black trans queer woman she’s a “disgusting racist sexist bigot who has every advantage in life over me”

Dean Esmay: The white voice of black America?
Dean Esmay: The white voice of black America?

I don’t really intend to write about former A Voice for Men number two Dean Esmay as often as I do. But every time I so much as glance at his Twitter timeline, I find something so noxious and ridiculous it makes my head hurt. In other words, here we go again.

Yesterday Raquel Willis, who describes herself in her Twitter bio as a “black trans queer feminist media maven,” Tweeted pictures of Alice Walker and bell hooks alongside a comment criticizing those who think “black feminism/#womanism is just a way to keep the black man down.”

Mr. Esmay, a big ol’ white dude, saw her Tweet, and decided that he needed to put her straight on a few things. It wasn’t pretty.

dt1

Yep, apparently Mr. Esmay has decided that he’s the voice of black America, or at least of America’s black men, and that for some reason it’s appropriate for him to call a black woman a “girl.”

Does Mr. Esmay have any reason to assume that Ms. Willis is especially privileged? He does not. He appears to know precisely nothing about her except her gender and her race.

The conversation continued, with Esmay quickly reduced to sputtering rage, spewing forth an assortment of his favorite epithets.

dt2

He followed up with this, er, observation.

https://twitter.com/deanesmay/status/646836464739844096

Intersectionality, you’re doing it wrong.

But that’s not surprising. A lot of MRAs — and antifeminists generally — seize on the concept of intersectionality as a way, perversely, to avoid having to account for their privileges, deciding that any disadvantages or hardships they’ve ever faced automatically trump those of the genuinely less-privileged folks they so often find themselves arguing with.

Yes, Dean, you have a working class background. You have apparently faced hardships in your life. You are clearly not the most privileged white dude to ever be a white dude. But, as Willis notes, this doesn’t mean you don’t have privileges as a cis white person and. yes, as a man.

And it certainly doesn’t make you an expert on the lives of black people, even if you do co-host a regular YouTube “radio” show with a black man. Having a black friend does not give you the right to whitesplain black women about racial issues. His blackness has not rubbed off on you.

Naturally, MRAs like Esmay tend to think that their off-brand version of intersectionality-as-trump-card only applies to them. While Esmay often brings up the abuse he says he suffered as a child, and sometimes acts as though anyone who disagrees with him is thereby attacking all men who’ve suffered abuse, he regularly dismisses the abuse others have faced as irrelevant to their arguments.

Hell, he did this earlier today, in one of his many Tweets to the imaginary feminists living in his head:

https://twitter.com/deanesmay/status/647153936835719168

After his encounter with Willis yesterday, Esmay decided that he hadn’t said enough on the subject of privilege, and why white dudes like him should feel free to hurl abuse at black people they disagree with.

In a TwitLonger post titled Tips for addressing racist black people, especially of the #SocJus crowd, he wrote

I see so many white people and others getting flipped out because some black skinned person called them a racist or even called them privileged. Defensive whites (and their friends) seem to think arguing over this or that concept of “privilege,” or this or that thing with the ancestors and all that stuff you weren’t even here for is the way to go. It almost never is.

There’s a much easier way that almost always gets the abusive bully off of you. Just ask them who appointed them to speak for Black People.

Because nobody did. I mean, you know, they just didn’t. Or if they did, ask to see the election results.

That’s it. “You, sir or madam, are an idiot, and do not represent black people.”

Well, this last bit is true, up to a point. Willis no more speaks for all black people than Esmay speaks for all white people. But to jump from this fact to the conclusion that any random opinion Esmay has about the black community carries the same weight as hers is absurd.

Of course, Esmay isn’t interested in having a respectful debate; he’s looking for an excuse that will allow him to go around calling black women “racist bigots” because they point out his privilege as a white man.

Indeed, Esmay goes directly from the “you … do not represent black people” bit to this:

And by the way, feel free to call them an idiot. In fact, here are some other things you can call a black racist: asshole, fuckface, shithead, bigot, bitch, cunt, lowlife, piece of shit. You can call anyone you want of any race those things and it’s not racist. (Unless you only call them that I guess.)

Dean apparently thinks he’s invented the concept of white people calling black people names.

You know what most of these race-baiting racist people are really? Spoiled middle class brats who most of Black America can’t fucking stand anyway. If you notice they happen to be middle class, go out of your way to point that one out, because almost all these puffed up “You got white privilege!” fuckstains are privileged middle class brats who’ve never even had a real job. Fuck them. They aren’t worth your time.

Esmay’s final sentence is especially revealing:

And frankly, you might pick up a black friend or two along the way who was wondering when you were going to figure this shit out.

Ah, the proverbial “black friend.”

Because in a lot of ways that’s what this seems to be all about. Esmay has a black friend, and apparently thinks this makes him an expert on all things black.

Is there a term for this? “Black Friend Syndrome,” or something a bit more creative? There must be. But I don’t know what it is, because I’m a big ol’ white dude.

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Luzbelitx
5 years ago

@wwth

I think what you’re pointing out, that bigots believe women don’t feel pain as strongly as “people”, is always there.

It’s not explicitly spelled every time, but it’s right there, underlying everything else they say, like a base assumption.

The sole idea that women can “choose” whether to be “offended” (I.e. Being hurt) by sexism seems to imply we’re either superhuman entities with superhuman control over our emotions and perceptions (not likely), or subhuman entities whose emotions bear no connection with reality and don’t matter anyway (most likely).

Felix Ray (@rayflix)
5 years ago

>>>Once I read a comment by this guy who said (not verbatim) that transgender people were more privileged than him (a white, cisgendered, staight guy), because of the “Die, cis scum” thing.

The “die, cis, scum” thing definitely isn’t cool. As a white male, I’ve sometimes been disregarded for my gender and vilified for my race by people whose goals I support. It’s disheartening, but it’s something that happens to other people all the time. A couple of weeks ago, a woman who was about half my age picked a fight with me, apparently for being a man who had expressed some thoughts about feminism. It felt pretty shitty, and like everyone, i have a right to expect better treatment, but i also took a moment to step back and realize that this happens to women a LOT MORE than it happens to me, and
when it does, this is what it feel like.

Hedin
Hedin
5 years ago

The thing that confuses me is why so much of the manosphere is intent on being a bizarro world copy of feminism. Why aspire to be nothing more than an unflattering copy of your enemy? And this constant, craven “Wah! We’re the real victim!” whinging… is it inspiring to anyone in their movement?

spacelawn
5 years ago

“You were raped, and you think that gives you justification to abuse and accuse people and generally act like an asshole?”

The fact that he can’t see the irony in this is quite telling.

(Btw, how do you quote so you get that white box?”

EJ (The Other One)
EJ (The Other One)
5 years ago

@Spacelawn:

To get quotes in a box like this, use these sort of tags: [blockquote][/blockquote], except with triangular brackets instead of square ones. Be wary, they often go wrong and mess up the post due to the wily blockquote mammoths!

Hedin
Hedin
5 years ago

@Victoria

Also the woman He was harassing wasn’t abusive to him in the slightest, where on earth does he get the idea that he was a victim of racism?

Yeah, she treated him much more courteously than he deserved, while he had a temper tantrum. But I guess working himself up is how he convinces himself he’s been wronged? Again, it’s sort of a perversion of a left wing idea in a way — the idea that you don’t get to tell someone else whether or not they should be offended, and should instead apologize and move on. In his mind, if he blows a fuse he’s been wronged, and the more he screams and cries, the more deeply he’s been wronged.

NicolaLuna
NicolaLuna
5 years ago

Dean Esmay is the most baffling pile of shit on the internet despite having some stiff competition. It’s like he has no comprehension of what privilege actually means.

Dean, privilege does not mean that you’re the king of the world and that your life is super duper easy. For example, I’m a pansexual woman with mental health issues and I’m a recovering addict (9 years clean this month!) But I’m also white and cis which means that I have certain privileges that black and trans people don’t have. I’m less likely to be stop-and-searched. I’m less likely to have my gender identity mocked by assholes. This means that when a trans person or black person talks about the issues they face related to transphobia or racism I shut the fuck up and listen to what they are saying. Try it some time, Dean, instead of disengaging your brain every time you sit at your keyboard.

RosaDeLava
RosaDeLava
5 years ago

@Felix Ray
I don’t like “Die, cis scum” either, because it sounds really agressive. I don’t know what the intended purpose of this phrase is, though.
My problem is that the guy thinks transgender people are privileged because if they say “Die, cis scum” some people won’t take issue with it, ignoring that cisgendered people don’t have to fear violence like transgendered people.

I think that sometimes people who aren’t privileged may respond to privilege in ways that don’t help anyone, and I don’t think their position makes their reaction correct, but to se a privileged person deny the struggle of some people because they have suffered backlash for being privileged upsets me.

Pocket Nerd
5 years ago

Another classic Dean Esmay pity party.

pecunium
5 years ago

Looks lie Dean-o is losing the plot. The trick to being an “actvist” is to present your claims in a reasonable (and, if possible, pithy, witty) way, so that people on the fence will be persuaded.

This, ain’t that.

Numenaster
Numenaster
5 years ago

Nicola Luna, congrats on the anniversary. Well done you.

Paradoxical Intention
5 years ago

@Felix Ray and @RosaDeLava

I personally just think it’s people venting. I don’t condone picking fights with people who are part of a privileged group solely for speaking up about feminism and what have you, even if they did it negatively, but it does suck when it happens to you as an oppressed group, and it does happen more often than not.

Which isn’t to say it’s right, but I can kinda understand the reasoning behind it.

Robert
Robert
5 years ago

I had a realization this morning. When I lucid dream, I sometimes behave badly towards dream people because they’re not really “people”.

Esmay, Elam, Roosh et al act like that when they’re awake, because they’ve othered actual human beings to the point where they don’t see them as people. I realized this intellectually, but the emotional grasp of it is horrifying. I expected the abyss to gaze back, but not to smirk and blow cigar smoke in my face.

scribbles
scribbles
5 years ago

Dehumanizing people is a tactic militaries use when trying to get soldiers to kill without remorse. Makes sense hate groups would do the same.

szwarc
szwarc
5 years ago

I just lost my ability to even.

Snowberry
Snowberry
5 years ago

I had a realization this morning. When I lucid dream, I sometimes behave badly towards dream people because they’re not really “people”.

I think the worst I’ve ever done to a dream person, while lucid or otherwise, was to summon a bucket onto their head to stop them from setting me on fire. The worst I’ve ever *thought* about a dream person while still dreaming was “I’m dead. Really dead. I hope my [reanimated] corpse doesn’t cause too much damage” …implying that vampires aren’t real people. (I bet you’re thinking I was going to say zombies.) It simply doesn’t occur to me, consciously or unconsciously, to deliberately abuse or “other” anyone else. Not even people who don’t really exist. This is why I find mindsets like the MRA to be completely alien.

Robert
Robert
5 years ago

Our eighteen year old son recently asked my husband and me about feminism and why it was necessary*. Part of my contribution to the answer was showing him this article. So Esmay has at least served as a warning, since he refuses to be a good example.

*Description minimized for brevity and clarity.

Joel
Joel
5 years ago

Dean Esmay is the guy that the phrase “check your privilege” was invented for.

painteyelash
painteyelash
5 years ago

Someone replied to Esmay’s tweet:

“Isn’t that what you do though?”

And yes, yes it is. But it seems like Esmay has not replied to that one yet.

Sophia Lionberger
Sophia Lionberger
5 years ago

I think it should be “oppressed friend syndrome”

TheLulzWatch
TheLulzWatch
5 years ago

He´s basically Rosa Park.

Come on, you do realize misogynistic, unshowered neckbeards counts as an oppressed minority, right?

pkayden
pkayden
5 years ago

Ms. Willis should have just blocked him right away. Nothing good ever comes out of speaking with racists, in my honest opinion. It’s just not worth your time or energy.

And as a Black woman, I have zero interest in what some White dude has to say about Black issues. Especially someone who is so hateful and ignorant like Esmay.