What are we doing—we’re constantly holding up the mediocre white man as the standard and then bending to it at the detriment of good ideas, fairness, and equity. Mediocre is a must read. It was inappropriate to yell “Yes!” after every sentence, but that’s how I felt. In some ways, it’s telling you what you already know, but it’s also explaining how deep the problem really is and also affirming that no, it’s not just you.
I remember so clearly arguing with my brother when we were kids. He’s 4 years older than I am; he didn’t have to work very hard to get what he wanted and I didn’t understand how he could be satisfied with phoning it in in most areas of his life. But then his life unfolded pretty well and he has a nice job he likes, a wife he loves, a few kids, a big house, and some cars. Our arguments usually centered around me complaining that he was not very bright after all and him just saying “why should I try hard when I get by without trying at all?” OH. That’s the thing. That’s the g-d thing. Mediocre white men are in on it; they built the system and they will continue to benefit from it and even more they will do everything they can to keep control of the system and to keep the system in control.
Ijeoma Oluo makes great point after great point that makes the reader think “yes, I have always felt that” and then backs up those feelings with facts. She doesn’t just feel like mediocre white men are being lauded as the standard, she has the data to prove it. The patriarchy is everywhere and persistent; we need to actively fight against it. And not just fight against it, but tear it down and replace it with something else. Or not replace it, that might work too. My point is just that mediocre white men really are a problem, the system was built to promote mediocre white maleness, and it should be stopped. With the help of Ijeoma Oluo and Mediocre, we might be able to start the process.