aAs far as viral TikTok content goes, Flynn Martin’s controversial rant started off low-key: a young white man sitting in a car, a baseball cap, and a gray T-shirt having a conversation. For a few seconds it hobbles around with warnings and prejudices, but the next sentence sets the app on fire. “Can I really be a straight white man? This is how I was born.”
I watched the original TikTok video (which has since been deleted) and his original Phlinmartin account with a kind of morbid fascination. When he ranted about the castrated feminist men he characterized as fat and unfit, I wondered what caused Martin to snap this nonsense on the internet. .
Others ridiculed his views and pointed out obvious flaws in his logic, but I couldn’t get over this young man’s naked anxiety.
As a brown race and as a patriarchal woman who experienced real discrimination, I could see Martin’s anger reflected in myself. The frustrations he is responding to are bound entirely to the social sphere, whereas the racism and sexism that has plagued me are embedded in every system of society: schools, healthcare, jobs. This is because
Martin, who is Australian, isn’t the first to take to social media to vent his frustration over what they see as wake-up police ruining everything for straight white men. Online influencers like Andrew Tate, whom Martin mentions on TikTok, make a living by fueling the undirected anger of young men.
But what Martin and other young men like him seem unaware of is that even as their social capital declines, straight white men still outperform as far as concrete measures of happiness are concerned. It means that there is
Being white in Australia already has a statistical advantage over indigenous Australians in terms of life expectancy, education and health status. If you’re a man, you’re statistically more likely to hold leadership positions, less likely to face sexual violence, and likely to earn more than women in the same position. If you are heterosexual, you will not face an increased chance of experiencing discrimination, sexual harassment or violence at work, as LGBTQ+ Australians do.
Perhaps the only caveat I would add is to add the word “middle class” to Martin’s list of complaints. Because class privileges intersect with other privileges and opportunities.
But while these inequalities remain entrenched, progress toward redressing these imbalances has stalled at the cognitive stage. People with the most social and political power (including Martin’s original video and many who actually satirized Martin himself) rank the most marginalized and most privileged People who face the visible effects of inequality suffer alone while they are busy with
It would have been easy to join the hoarding and mock Martin, shake his head at his supposed ignorance and move on. But I was a little disgusted that the message of understanding systemic inequality and privilege was so distorted. Instead of advocating for silly policy actions, keep that in mind.
Martin and his colleagues are advocating, for example, making childcare more accessible, increasing the supply of affordable social housing, or better health programs to reduce smoking-related harm in lower socioeconomic communities. would they actually object to funding the? If asked these questions outside the context of identity politics, they would at least consider the merits of each solution.
Instead, it’s very likely that the backlash to his video only reinforced to Martin that Snowflake, who was easily offended online, hated straight white men unfairly. If we’re going to change anything for the better, we really need the most powerful, straight white men on board.