After reading John Scalzi’s post on SWM being the lowest difficulty setting in the game of life, and then reading the 800+ comments, I figured I’d join the crowd who decided to write a response. So I’ve dug up some information for those commenters who seemed to completely lose their minds…
I’ve done my best to find reliable, objective sources for all of the following information. Like Scalzi’s post, the following is focused on the United States, though the trends certainly aren’t exclusive to the U.S.
“[B]lack males receive [prison] sentences that are approximately 10% longer than comparable white males with those at the top of the sentencing distribution facing even larger disparities.” -Racial Disparity in Federal Criminal Charging and Its Sentencing Consequences, 2012.
“The ratio of women’s and men’s median annual earnings was 77.0 for full-time, year-round workers in 2009 … African American women earned on average only 61.9 cents for every dollar earned by white men, and Hispanic women earned only 52.9 cents for each dollar earned by white men.” -The Gender Wage Gap: 2009.
Poverty rates in 2009, from Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States (2009).
- For non-Hispanic Whites: 9.4%
- For Asians: 12.5%
- For Blacks: 25.3%
Hate Crimes in 2010, from the U. S. Department of Justice Hate Crime Statistics.
- Race: 69.8% were motivated by anti-black bias, compared to 18.2% that stemmed from anti-white bias.
- Religion: 65.4% were anti-Jewish and 13.2% were anti-Islamic.
At birth, the average life expectancy of a white baby in the United States is four years longer than the average life expectancy of a black baby. -U. S. Census Bureau, Life Expectancy by Sex, Age, and Race: 2008.
“30.4% of Hispanics, 17% of blacks, and 9.9% of whites do not have health insurance.” -Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“Nearly 1 in 5 women in the United States has been raped in her lifetime (18.3%) … Approximately 1 in 71 men in the United States (1.4%) reported having been raped in his lifetime.” -National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (2010).
“Nearly 1 in 2 women (44.6%) and 1 in 5 men (22.2%) experienced sexual violence victimization other than rape at some point in their lives.” -National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (2010).
Lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth “are nearly one and a half to seven times more likely than non-LGB youth to have reported attempting suicide.” -Suicide Risk and Prevention for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Youth (2008).
39.3% of white first-time, full-time college students complete a degree within four years, compared to 20.4% of black students, 26.4% of Hispanic students, 42.8% of Asian/Pacific Islander students, and 18.8% for Native American students. -National Center for Education Statistics (2010).
The event dropout rate for white high school students in 2007-2008 was 2.8%, compared to 6.7% for black students, 6.0% for Hispanic, 2.4% for Asian/Pacific Islander, and 7.3% for Native American students. -National Center for Education Statistics.
U.S. population vs. representation in Congress. “In the total population, whites make up 66.0%, Hispanics are 15.1%, Blacks are 12.8%, APIA (Asian and Pacific Islander American) are 5.1%, and AIAN (American Indians and Alaskan Natives) are 1.2%. In Congress, whites make up 85.8%, Hispanics are 5.8%, Blacks are 7.5%, APIA are 1.7%, and AIAN are 0.2%. Men are 49% of the total population, while women are 51%. In Congress, men are 82% and women are 18%.” -Ragini Kathail, Race, Gender, and the US Congress (2009).
There are only four openly gay/lesbian members of Congress (0.7%). -Congress gets 4th openly gay member (2011).
I could go on, but this seems like enough to present a glimpse of the playing field.
Now, if you say, “I don’t care about race/gender/orientation. I only look at the individual!” these are some of the things you’re looking away from.
If you say, “Why are you attacking straight white men?” then let me reiterate that I’m presenting facts and research. Are you suggesting that reality is attacking straight white men?
If you say, “But I’m a SWM and my life wasn’t easy,” I’ll tell you to take Remedial Logic. Nobody here or in Scalzi’s original post suggested otherwise.
If you say, “Women have it easier because they can use sex!” I’ll probably just ban you for being an idiot.
If you ask, “Well what do you want me to do about it?” then I’ll say I want you to be aware. I want you to recognize the problems. I want you to take some responsibility — not for historical injustices you weren’t personally a part of — but for trying to make this country better for everyone.