I’m working on a theory about white men. This is my theory–that above all else, it is important for you to believe that you, and people like you, are good guys.
I just need a spiffy name for my theory, so that when future gender scholars quote me, they can just refer to Aunt B.’s Grand Theory of… something.
Oh, and I need to show you evidence for my theory. Okay, I’ll work on that. The complex part of my theory is that the things that are threatening to the white man sense of good guy-ness can be pretty bizarre. Say, for instance, that white guys by and large were not named Marion, but that it became all the rage for black folks to name their sons after John Wayne. According to my theory, we should see a lot of white-guy anxiety about this because white guys want to believe that they are good guys. But if they are good guys, all folks would want to be like them. If folks are behaving in some way that insinuates, however tangentially, that they don’t care about being like white guys, white guys take this as a threat to their good-guy-ness and react with a mixture of hurt and anger.