The dudebro as a racist

Today is June 21, the summer solstice and National Aboriginal Day here in Canada.

As a recovering dudebro, it’s important for me to admit that I used to be totally racist.

All people of colour were, at the very least, the target of jokes. I was not a physically violent person, but I used oppressive racist jokes as a way to get people (only other white people now that I think about it) to like me. That’s pathetic, I now know. These jokes are just as violent as physical assault and degradation because they downplay the reality people of colour face and make white people think the whole thing is a joke. Culturally, this allows white people to get away with physical crimes and perpetuates the racism that oppresses people of colour. In my community on the west coast of Canada, the group that receives the brunt of this racism is First Nations People. Europeans and Canadians created the horrific conditions that First Nations People have had to endure and still suffer in today. Why does this racist culture continue? So white people can maintain their privilege.

At a personal level, white people perpetuate racist stereotypes while ignoring their own responsibility in creating these conditions and denying personal accountability for what has, and continues to happen. In this way white people keep and protect their privilege.

On a different note, it’s become amazingly obvious just how racist a lot of people are here. There has been a lot of news lately about Chinese investors buying property on the West Coast and investing in Canadian companies. Some of the shit I’ve heard people say is incredible. What, they were good enough to be indentured workers to build a railroad and it’s okay that they mostly live in the poorer parts of town (like Chinatown in Vancouver), but now there’s Chinese investment and you talk about them taking over?

Dude, you’re so totally racist, bro. And I am done with this racist bullshit because it only oppress me too. So you should cut it the fuck out too!

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Who is a dudebro?

Like other dudebros, recovering or not, I benefit from the assigned cultural privilege of being a white, cis, (read as) het, currently-abled man who is not considered to be “overweight” or “obese” by fat shamers. In our culture of oppression, the dudebro intersection of colour (white), gender (cisman), sexuality (hetero), current ability, and body shape (not fat), is the least oppressed. (If they are oppressed at all, which they’re not, except by other dudebros). The dudebro is at the top of the oppression web (like a food web, yes?).

You could also say that dudebros are the least oppressed people in our culture because they are the least likely to: get raped, experience racism, be victims of violence, experience oppression because of their gender, body, skin colour, sexuality, etc. Interestingly, dudebros are categorically the most likely to perpetrate these crimes and perpetuate these systems of oppression. Coincidence? Probably not.

An equation for your consideration…

everyone but dudebros = oppressed

dudebros = oppressors

Dudebros oppress everyone, actively or passively. That is why they are on top of the oppression web and how they stay there.

Dudebros in unison “That’s not fair!” (I know, I used to say that too, remember?) But as a recovering dudebro, I can admit that there is not a single non-dudebro group or individual that me or my previous dudebro friends have not, at the very least, oppressed verbally or had privilege over. This has happened across the board, in schools, at all my jobs, on sports teams, in my family, walking down the street, everywhere. It’s everywhere we look. It’s ingrained in our culture. This is a pretty simple equation and I think it works well.

And dudebro remember, if you are not actively working against the culture of oppression that you benefit from, then you are just as guilty. Not calling someone out because of a rape joke they made is equal to making that joke yourself. That’s passive oppression and you still benefit from it, and it makes you just as much a part of the problem.

hello…

Hello, my name is… you can just call me recoveringdudebro for now… and, well, I’m a recovering dudebro.

What does that even mean?

Well, I used to behave like a dudebro and now I’m trying not to. Like an addict in recovery learning to live a new way of life without the use of drugs, I’ve admitted my dudebro ways and I am learning a new way to live and relate to those around me.

So why am I writing this blog?

Personally, like someone working a 12 step program, I feel that there are amends that I need to make. I will make these amends here, in general terms, so that I may feel some relief of the guilt I feel for my previous dudebro ways. I’d also like, for once, to have a positive impact on the conversation and recover some of my humanity by speaking out against the bullshit I used to perpetuate.

Culturally, I know I’m not the only dudebro (obviously), and I hope that, maybe, some other dudebro will read this and stop and reevaluate the way they’re behaving, the things they’re saying, and the impact they’re having on those around them.

Most importantly though, people from within this group need to stand up and help fix this culture that has benefited dudebros and oppressed others for so long. This change has to come from within, within each of us individual dudebros, and within the dudebro culture. We need to hold ourselves and our dudebros accountable. This point is pretty obvious considering how many non-dudebro groups are calling for equality and how few gains have been made. Dudebros only listen to other dudebros.

So, here it goes.