Understanding American Anger

“White men’s anger is “real”–that is, it is experienced deeply and sincerely. But it is not “true”–that is, it doesn’t provide an accurate analysis of their situation. The “enemies” of white American men are not really women and men of color. Our enemy is an ideology of masculinity that we inherited from our fathers, and their fathers before them, an ideology that promises unparalleled acquisition coupled with a tragically impoverished emotional intelligence. We have accepted an ideology of masculinity that leaves us feeling empty and alone when we do it right, and even worse when we feel we’re doing it wrong. Worst of all, though, is when we feel we’ve done it right and still do not get the rewards to which we believe we are entitled. Then we have to blame somebody. Somebody else.


Kimmel, Michael. 2013. Angry White Men: American Masculinity at the End of an Era. New York: Nation Books. [P. 9. From the section, “Introduction: America, the Angry,” pp. 1-29, sub-section “Understanding American Anger.” Excerpt reposted below.]



One thought on “Understanding American Anger

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  1. Are you looking at this idea in an international sense at all? I wonder how much this stated concept overlaps with or is impacted by the Protestant work ethic here. It seems that the concept of man as provider is pretty universal, although manifested differently from culture to culture. However, the stifling of emotions may not be, and therefore neither the subsequent impacts of said stifling.


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