The post below came across my Facebook feed today. A friend had shared it, and I read it, unfortunately. It wasn’t her post. I don’t even know if the original poster (Sam something or other) actually wrote it or just copied and pasted from elsewhere. I have no idea who to give credit to for this nonsense. A picture of a late 30’s-ish, white, bearded man in a fishing boat accompanied the post. The picture shows this man holding the hand of a lady in a wheelchair that he has presumably rescued from Hurricane Harvey and is valiantly taking her to shelter. Props to this man, first of all. Anyone that volunteers their time, equipment, money, items, skills and so on deserves respect…for that action. I would like to go through this post paragraph by paragraph though, because there are so, so many things wrong here.
The words in italics below are my own.
“Let this sink in for a minute…..Hundreds and hundreds of small boats pulled by countless pickups and SUVs from across the South are headed for Houston. Almost all of them driven by men. They’re using their own property, sacrificing their own time, spending their own money, and risking their own lives for one reason: to help total strangers in desperate need.”
Men. Men with boats. Men with time. Men with money. Cool. *Sinking in*
“Most of them are by themselves. Most are dressed like the redneck duck hunters and bass fisherman they are. Many are veterans. Most are wearing well-used gimme-hats, t-shirts, and jeans; and there’s a preponderance of camo. Most are probably gun owners, and most probably voted for Trump.”
Someone must’ve gone out and taken a poll. How do you know what the rescuers are dressed like? I’d assume they are wearing shit they don’t want to ruin. I’d assume they are in uniform. I’d assume they are wearing whatever it was they had on when they realized their neighbor, cousin, friend of a friend, needed help. I don’t think too many go into a disastrous situation with their attire being at the top of their priority list. I’d assume the rescuers come in a billion different shapes, sizes, and outfits. They are individual people. Most might have voted for Trump. It’s a red state. If this disaster happened in a blue state, most rescuers would likely have not voted for Trump. It’s that simple. People don’t help based off of who they voted for, at least, I hope they don’t. Also, you are obviously a Trump supporter, dear poster, therefore, if I wanted to paint all Trump supporters with a broad brush, I could say that disasters such as these will only become more common thanks to Trump’s (supporter’s) denial of climate change, pulling out of agreements, and destroying environmental regulations.
“These are the people the Left loves to hate, the ones Maddow mocks. The ones Maher and Olbermann just *know* they’re so much better than.”
I thought this was supposed to be a thank you to the heroes post, now it just seems like a political rant about how only alt-right men are disaster helper heroes. Ugh. I am on “The Left”, that god-awful category that must define every single aspect of my personality… I guess. Listen, I can’t speak for the entire left, nor can I define the entire right. What I can do is say that I don’t “love to hate” anyone. I don’t think I’m better than anyone…except this guy.
“These are The Quiet Ones. They don’t wear masks and tear down statues. They don’t, as a rule, march and demonstrate. And most have probably never been in a Whole Foods.”
The Quiet Ones? What does that even mean? I’m from KY and any redneck hillbilly I know, and there are plenty, is not remotely quiet. Is this trying to depict the Strong Silent Man?Because most of the farmers/hunters/country boys I know are loud, proud, and irreverent. Obviously this is my personal experience, and there may be tobacco fields full of introverted Southern Gentleman out there, I just haven’t met many of them yet. Also, who gives a fuck what their grocery shopping habits are? They probably haven’t been in a Whole Foods because their town DOESN’T HAVE ONE. Whole Foods exists in cities, urban environments, not in the towns bordering the fields, you guys. I live in a town of 100,000 people surrounded by farm land, and guess what? no Whole Foods round here.
“But they’ll spend the next several days wading in cold, dirty water; dodging gators and water moccasins and fire ants; eating whatever meager rations are available; and sleeping wherever they can in dirty, damp clothes. Their reward is the tears and the hugs and the smiles from the terrified people they help. They’ll deliver one boatload, and then go back for more.”
Good. As I said before, anyone that is able to help either physically, monetarily, or emotionally deserves a pat on the back. They deserve a thank you. They don’t deserve to have this pity party thrown for them and then held up as some sort of hero-god that feeds off the tears of the victims as their only thank you. That’s weird. I think an actual thank you would do the job all on its own.
“When disaster strikes, it’s what men do. Real men. Heroic men. American men. And then they’ll knock back a few shots, or a few beers with like-minded men they’ve never met before, and talk about fish, or ten-point bucks, or the benefits of hollow-point ammo, or their F-150.”
That’s what people do. Having a penis has nothing to do with it. Nor does shitting in the woods and killing your prey during bow season. Those things do not automatically qualify one as an upstanding citizen. Shooting things with your 30/30 doesn’t make you a “real man” anymore than only drinking Bud-lite does. I don’t know what makes a “real man”, but I do know what makes a good man, or woman for that matter, and it has nothing to do with how many antlers you have on your wall or how high your beer can pyramids are in your garage. Being a good person comes from how you treat those you love and, more importantly, how you treat those you don’t.
“And the next time they hear someone talk about “the patriarchy”, or “male privilege”, they’ll snort, turn off the TV and go to bed.”
I don’t even know what to say here. Patriarchy and male privilege aren’t dirty words. If anyone snorts at the sound of a word other than “moist” then I’m gonna go ahead and assume they don’t know what that word or concept actually means. That’s where conversation can happen!
So maybe they shouldn’t go to bed. Maybe the problem is, there is not enough of trying to see things from another’s perspective.
“In the meantime, they’ll likely be up again before dawn. To do it again. Until the helpless are rescued. And the work’s done.”
“They’re unlikely to be reimbursed. There won’t be medals. They won’t care. They’re heroes. And it’s what they do.”
There’s nothing to pick on here. If the post had started with, “thank you to those that have helped during this time of distress in Houston. We understand it is difficult, dirty work and we appreciate all who have sacrificed their time and energy to do good”, and then ended with something like those last few sentences? Grreeaatt! That’d be a worthy post to share. This though, with the misogyny and politics and vast generalizations? No thanks.