In a suitably lopsided anti-Trump piece entitled ‘Bottom Lines – The 2016 Election is a Referendum on what women can be – and what men can get away with‘ journalist Charlotte Alter staggeringly telegraphs her canyon-like disconnect with one of the silliest and increasingly common talking points of the left-leaning upper-middle class in regard to blue collar working schleps.
Alter alleges in so many words that hordes of evil, knuckle dragging Trump voting men feel that their masculinity is under threat because, wait for it…the traditional thankless back-breaking industries that were occupied by said evil, knuckle dragging Trump voting men are being shipped overseas, and they feel that all of the growth industries that require social skill over physical strength are ‘women’s work’ and ‘beneath them’ because these positions aren’t ‘masculine enough’.
Clearly Charlotte Alter has managed to avoid any kind of manual labour for her entire life. It’s the only explanation for such delusion. Leftist academics have romantic notions about factories, unions, and manual labour. They seem to think that working schleps take pride in these occupations, are passionate about going to work, that these soul destroying jobs are somehow an intrinsic part of who they are, and that they’d be emotionally lost without them. After all, Charlotte Alter enjoys her job. Why wouldn’t the carpet layer with both knees blown out at 40 enjoy his?
I’ve had a lot of horrible jobs. The longest of these horrible jobs was probably the five years I spent in a factory. Apparently, this job was supposed to make me feel like a ‘successful man’ according to Charlotte Alter. So masculine that I enjoyed a ‘heightened sense of self worth’ and presumably enjoyed an enormous sense of male privilege and power over a female columnist who writes for Time magazine.
Umm…not exactly. I can’t honestly say that I’ve ever worked in a place with such a powerless, depressed, neutered, and defeated group of men. It was essentially a hard Labor camp with a pay packet at the end of the week. You literally can’t legally use prison inmates to do that kind of work.
I can’t think of anyone there who thought of themselves as a ‘successful man’. And nobody considered performing the same menial task (however physical) day in, day out as any kind of badge of masculinity. In fact, I remember we we’d often joke that we wished we’d been born female or gay because neither would be expected to be in such a dirty, thankless, and hazardous work environment.
I saw guys injure their backs, lose fingers, you name it. Contrary to Charlotte Alter’s hypothesis about men considering new growth employment areas ‘women’s work’, I can honestly say that even the biggest Alpha male there would have gladly swapped his place with an interior decorator or a florist had a Fairy Godmother appeared and granted that wish.
And it literally almost does take a wish from a Fairy Godmother to escape places like that. I was extremely fortunate with a whole lot of luck, and most importantly no dependants. A few of the guys there were smart enough to do anything (smarter than me, that’s for sure. Many a philosopher on the factory line), but just had a bad roll of the dice, and many are still trapped in the same place to this day.
Charlotte Alter’s hypothesis about former blue collar workers of Trump’s America longing for lost times of repetitive, back breaking and soul destroying work, from the comfort of an air conditioned office cubicle that they find too effeminate, seems about as legit as your average hate crime hoax.
This hypothetical being simply doesn’t exist. The only former blue collar workers longing for jobs long since shipped overseas aren’t navel gazing about whether their office job is masculine enough. That’s a luxury for upper middle class university educated Beta males to enjoy.
The Trump voters that Alter basically surmises are angry because they’re ‘choosy’ don’t actually have any real choice in their employment at all, much less whether it appears masculine enough. They likely aren’t qualified or socially accepted enough to be in consideration for any of these new ‘less masculine’ employment opportunities.
They’re desperate and on welfare, and would undoubtedly take the ‘girliest’ job in the world if it offered a steady pay check and gave them a bit of hope. Of course they long for the return of industry. But they aren’t doing it out of any kind of sentimentality, or because they see manual labour as some kind of key performance indicator of their manhood.
Trump’s promise of stopping the exodus of these hellish, dangerous, thankless, and soul destroying jobs is only appealing because the alternative of entire poverty stricken communities is even more hellish. These blue collar jobs don’t make men feel masculine in the sense of the work involved; far from it. They only make men feel like men in the sense that they aren’t feeling helpless and on welfare and wondering how they’ll make ends meet. It had little or nothing to do with the choice between a blowtorch or a MacBook.
The Regressive Left take great pains to preach about how we have no right judge or speak for anyone who qualifies for the great identity politics race, yet they inexplicably feel completely justified in judging and speaking for blue collar workers, who in real terms are far more alien to the left-leaning, upper-middle class, white cisgender experience than a left-leaning, upper-middle class, trans-bi-curious woman of part Inuit heritage will ever be.
Their perception of the Working Class experience is as romanticised as a Woody Guthrie song, and as offensive in its own way as assuming that all blacks are pretty much like Snoop Dog or Lil’ Wayne. Perhaps it’s high time they quit it with culturally appropriating the hopes and fears of tens of millions who live lives that they will never be able to imagine, as they similarly will never be able to imagine why these same people are drawn to the Trump phenomenon.
It’s Your XYZ.