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Forums / Young people / Feeling ashamed to be a White Male

Topic: Feeling ashamed to be a White Male

  1. KFPDW
    KFPDW avatar
    38 posts
    3 October 2021

    I'm a male myself and I have NEVER EVER been sexist or disrespectful or racist to anyone ever. Not now, not EVER!!!! But I feel like what ever I come across in media, it feels like all I hear is "White Males Are Bad". When I watch shows like Charmed and I come across certain scenes where Males are regarded as bad people, it makes me feel uncomfortable. You got shows like the Neighbourhood sitcom that I came across where they cover racism where a black guy gets put in a jail cell for being black which is so NOT fair whatsoever. And the main lead says the police system is working the right way for white guys but not black people or any other culture. And white people will never understand whatsoever the pain other people go through. And they whole policeman beating up a black guy which leads to the black lives matter movement. :( I feel like I'm ashamed of all these bad things happening even though I have done NOTHING to do with anything of that bad stuff. But because of the long history I hear of white males doing bad stuff, I feel like I have to be responsible for that or feel as though it's my fault. It may sound silly but I feel like all I hear is White Males are bad and cause problems.

    I feel like if I see someone in pain or needs help, I want to be able to help or show support no matter what their colour or background is. We are all still human beings after all and all this dumb bad stuff like racism and sexism shouldn't be around any more. Nor should it have existed in the first place. I hate the fact that bad stuff like this still happens and I feel helpless to see it pop up in media or fiction. I felt ashamed to be a white male so many times and my friend says I shouldn't, all that stuff isn't my fault and I shouldn't take on the responsibility of other people's actions that I don't even know. Focus on my own actions and what I can change. But because all that stuff happens, I feel like I get stuffed into a category where I'm a white male and are automatically the enemy. And no matter how hard I try to help and try to show that not all white males are bad, I feel like I can't make a positive difference. Like I'm powerless to make a positive change so people can see not all white males are bad people, or even white people in general. I want to be able to try and understand what others are going through as well as try to stop bad things from happening.

  2. Sleepy21
    Valued Contributor
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    Sleepy21 avatar
    4156 posts
    3 October 2021 in reply to KFPDW

    Hello....welcome.Judged by who?

    If u read a post that someone had a bad experience with a sexist white man, they don't mean you, or all men, and are just venting their story. I advise just to listen to them.

    2 people found this helpful
  3. Hanna3
    Hanna3 avatar
    3212 posts
    3 October 2021 in reply to KFPDW

    Hi FKPDW,

    I was having a conversation with a friend of mine just recently about this exact topic! As a woman I feel that guys are getting a tough rap lately when most of them are great. Unfortunately the bad ones (and sadly there are a lot of them) have let the rest of you down.

    I've had abuse and unwanted advances from men - especially in the workplace - for much of my life. I don't know what it's like to be able to walk safely at night.

    But most guys are great and go out of their way to help women.

    We women know this! I sometimes feel that all men are being hammered. I think it's just that to get heard and get change for women, women are forced to speak out very loudly and strongly, we have been ignored or dismissed for so long.

    It's definitely not personal!

    Don't worry we know most guys are good! But women struggle to get heard.

    Cheers 🙂

    1 person found this helpful
  4. Sophie_M
    Community Moderator
    • Works for beyondblue moderating these forums
    Sophie_M avatar
    5917 posts
    3 October 2021 in reply to KFPDW
    Dear KFPDW, 

    We can hear (or read) how much this is getting to you. Correct us if we're wrong, but it sounds like you are feeling quite ashamed of being a white male, even though you haven't actually done anything wrong (i.e., been racist or sexist) to anyone. It also sounds like you're also feeling quite pressured to prove that not all white men are bad.  It must be really tiring to feel as though you constantly need to prove your innocence for something that is somewhat out of your control, like your sex and skin colour. 

    We're really glad that you've posted here and hope that you feel even slightly better for expressing your feelings. 

    We are not sure if you're engaged in therapy, but if not, we do encourage you to engage with a psychologist to speak about these feelings, especially if these thoughts/beliefs are affecting your mental health. Also, please do not hesitate to contact our support service to speak with one of our counsellors. They are available 24/7 by phone on 1300 22 4636 or on Webchat 3pm-12am AEST on our website: www.beyondblue.org.au/getsupport. They can also refer you to appropriate services in your area.  

    Again, thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings with us. We're sure some other readers will be able to relate to this topic. Also, please do continue to post on here as you see fit. 
    1 person found this helpful
  5. white knight
    Community Champion
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    white knight avatar
    9212 posts
    3 October 2021 in reply to KFPDW

    Hi, welcome

    Ok, well I tend to agree with you as I'm a white male myself 6th generation Aussie and not happy with how our indigenous people have been treated. In fact I've often thought I'd be more proud if I was an aborigine.

    However there is a couple of things about these feelings that I'd like to talk further on. Like a lot of topics that, when taken too far, it can begin to alter our mindset ... sort of a level of paranoia. Please dont take it the wrong way because I have suffered from this state many years ago and still do to a lesser extent.

    To get things into proper perspective we should imo-

    • Not blame ourselves for the actions of our forefathers. That was then and things were very different. We are not to blame for that. Here and now is what matters. One should never blame yourself for actions of others as it is out of your control
    • You can do good deeds right now so I disagree with you there. Treating those of colour the same as white folk is one example and you do that. Same with disabled people etc. Your friends and one day children will admire you for your approach. One person good attitude can spread.

    I was in Kathrine 6 years ago. I met an indigenous local waiting for a lift. We chatted and he told me his mob owns the dirt I stood on. All I did was say "respect to your elders". His eyes lit up and he thanked me . "You not like the others" he said. 4 words changed his view of me. So we can make a difference. However, if we dwell on these world problems we can do ourselves harm. These problems are like a large machine, it takes time for change, it cannot be rushed.

    What I would recommend apart from not expecting change to move so quickly is to disassociate with those people that are intolerant of anyone that has a different skin colour or intolerate of people that are "different" in their eyes. We know they are not different, we know they are the same, in fact in the case of indigenous peoples they have a vast and incredible history.

    So my message is to continue to be outraged but within boundaries that is manageable and involve yourself in that area for personal interest or profession but ignore the people that are destructive with their views. I'm not religious but a phrase comes to mind "Forgive them for they dont know what they do".

    TonyWK

    3 people found this helpful
  6. KFPDW
    KFPDW avatar
    38 posts
    3 October 2021 in reply to Hanna3

    Hi thank you for your kind words and I'm so sorry to read that you have experienced abuse and unwanted advances in the workplace. That is not right whatsoever and you should feel safe to go where you need to at night. I hope you are able to get some support or some kind of help.

    What you have written down helps to read, it does feel like all guys get hammered a lot because the bad ones have messed up like you said. I more than support the fact that women need to be heard and treated fairly. It's good to know that people do know that not all white guys are bad.

    Thank you so much for your reply, I feel better after reading it. :)

  7. KFPDW
    KFPDW avatar
    38 posts
    3 October 2021 in reply to Sophie_M
    H thanks for your message and yes I do therapy regularly each week and writing about my feelings has helped. I actually felt lighter getting it off my chest. It is tiring to feel the way I have been, like my mind feels so worn out and exhausted when thoughts like what I have been experiencing go around in my head. Talking about it helps and I'm determined to sort out my mental health as much as I can. Thank you for your supportive post. :)
  8. Hanna3
    Hanna3 avatar
    3212 posts
    3 October 2021 in reply to KFPDW

    You're welcome KFPDW!

    I was talking about this with a guy friend quite recently. This is about power more than gender I think: until recently men were in positions of power and women were in subordinate roles. Now more women are highly educated, able to participate in more sports etc and hold more senior positions at work, so only now are we are in a position to speak out.

    The problem of domestic violence is an ongoing problem though.

    Believe me there have been plenty of times in my life I've been incredibly thankful for the help and kindness of decent men, especially when they came to my help when I was being threatened by a man (when out walking or cycling alone I was attacked a couple of times and rescued by kind men who came to help me).

    So it's not women hating or blaming all men. We're very thankful for decent guys like you!

    Cheers!

    🙂

    1 person found this helpful
  9. KFPDW
    KFPDW avatar
    38 posts
    3 October 2021 in reply to white knight

    Hi Tony,

    I think I have come across you before, I remember seeing that profile picture before. Thank you for what you have written, it really helps. That's really cool what happened in Kathrine. The fact the smallest change can have a positive effect is amazing. I will definitely be taking what you have said as well as what everyone else has said on board. Also, I'm with you as I too would be more proud if I was an Aborigine too.

    I certainly feel better after reading your response so thank you.

    1 person found this helpful
  10. KFPDW
    KFPDW avatar
    38 posts
    3 October 2021 in reply to Hanna3

    Glad to hear you've had some help from decent guys in the past. I'm glad things are changing and women are getting their voice heard and better positions in the workforce. My mum is a strong influence in my life. She's one of the strongest people I know. After 16 years of being a full time Mum, she has worked her way up to achieving post graduate degree level of learning.

    Glad to know not all men are hated and there are good guys out there. Thank you again for your post. :)

  11. Hanna3
    Hanna3 avatar
    3212 posts
    3 October 2021 in reply to KFPDW

    Glad if Tony and I and others have been able to help a bit! And thank you for your very nice replies!

    You sound like a great guy!

    🤗

    2 people found this helpful
  12. white knight
    Community Champion
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    • Life membership is awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    white knight avatar
    9212 posts
    4 October 2021 in reply to Hanna3

    I agree Hanna

    Guys and girls like KFPDW are if the minority. Aware, sensitive and considerate, wonderful qualities. Such qualities should not be discarded in order to survive better in a tough society but channelled to enhance your life.

    Rare qualities is awareness of another's misfortune, unfairness or persecution.

    TonyWK

    2 people found this helpful
  13. KFPDW
    KFPDW avatar
    38 posts
    4 October 2021

    Aww thanks Hanna and Tony. ^_^ You've both helped make me feel better, which in turn helps with my mental health. And I agree with what Tony has said about being considerate of others can help enhance society better than just being tough all the time.

    That being said, I hope things improve for you in the future. :)

    2 people found this helpful
  14. Hanna3
    Hanna3 avatar
    3212 posts
    4 October 2021 in reply to white knight

    Yes Tony my friend is a sensitive guy who as a boy was into books and music and had a hard time with bullying at school and at home from his Dad.

    Why don't we appreciate these kind sensitive people more?

    1 person found this helpful
  15. white knight
    Community Champion
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    white knight avatar
    9212 posts
    4 October 2021 in reply to Hanna3

    Thankyou.

    Here is a link to what HSP (Highly Sensitive Person) is all about.

    https://hsperson.com/

    TonyWK

    2 people found this helpful
  16. KFPDW
    KFPDW avatar
    38 posts
    4 October 2021 in reply to Hanna3

    Not even joking, the way you described your friend is pretty much how I have been over the years especially in high school. I had been through difficulties with my Dad too and I have been bullied at school.

    I agree that sensitive people deserve more appreciation.

  17. Hanna3
    Hanna3 avatar
    3212 posts
    4 October 2021 in reply to KFPDW

    Hi KFPDW!

    It's a shame isn't it? I haven't asked him too much about it but he's quite socially anxious and I put that down to his childhood/youth. I remember as a kid at school seeing a very sensitive boy I knew getting bullied pretty badly, it upset me.

    Is it because you don't fit into the "normal" guy behaviour and interests? So reading or music or studying rather than team sports like footy?

    I got picked on heaps at school as I was shy and quiet. The same thing happened when I started work. I didn't have much self confidence. Bullies pick out an easy target!

    How did you cope as you were growing up? Was that the problem with your dad too, that he expected a son to be different?

    I'm anxious and I think we've become friends because we're both anxious and quiet!

    I'd be interested to hear how you found growing up as a sensitive boy?

    1 person found this helpful
  18. Elizabeth CP
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    Elizabeth CP avatar
    2427 posts
    4 October 2021 in reply to Hanna3

    I think there are lots of good white males. It is just that the bad ones make the headlines in the same way the bad examples of any group, race etc make the news.

    I would like to share something from my family history to show what a difference an individual can make. My grandfather was in a very difficult position during the 1st world war due to his race. He had mobs trying to attack his family and unable to get decent work. Rather than getting upset he stuck to his values which included treating everyone especially his wife and children with love, respect and gentleness. My dad followed this example being a very loving & caring husband and father. I now see my own children following the same pattern going out of their way to care for their wives and children as well as reaching out to others who need help. I share this to show how one person sets an example that has a positive effect on all around them including their family.

    2 people found this helpful
  19. KFPDW
    KFPDW avatar
    38 posts
    4 October 2021 in reply to Hanna3

    Hey Hanna3! :)

    My name is Jeremy by the way and yes you hit the nail on the head. I didn't fit into the typical guy behaviour. I didn't fit into any category actual. I liked Doctor Who and Red Dwarf but not Star Wars or Star Trek. I'm into animation and learning how to become an animator but I don't like anime. I got a black belt Taekwondo and I like skateboarding but I'm not a footy fan whatsoever. I don't swear or drink alcohol whatsoever and I never will. So I'm a mix of a lot of things which made it hard to socialise with people who were one thing or another.

    And yes I would class myself as a sensitive boy and high school was hell. I had a supportive mum who helped get me into Taekwondo in the first place and sign up with a youth group program where I met my group of friends I am still hanging out with to this day since 2012 when we first met. It was a struggle but I just took it one day at a time. Plus I have a very active imagination which helped keep me busy over the years. Hence why I love art and animation. It has not been easy

    My Dad has loads of problems which made life hard for me and the rest of my family. We all got caught in the blast and been trying to recover from the trauma for some time. He was so caught up in his own issues we faded into the background. He never expected me to be anything specific which is a small mercy but was hard on me though from time to time. I've forgotten most of what he did which in a way is a good thing. Makes it easier to move on to more positive things in my life.

  20. KFPDW
    KFPDW avatar
    38 posts
    4 October 2021 in reply to Hanna3

    It hasn't been easy for me but I keep fighting each day to get my mental health up into a positive state of mind. I rather be a sensitive boy and stick to who I am then be anything else. I will never regret that whatsoever.

    I'm so sorry to read that you have been bullied in the past. You seem like such a nice person and you certainly don't deserve to be bullied whatsoever. And yeah, I happy to be friends with someone like you. :D :)

    If you ever need to talk to someone, I'm more than happy to oblige and help out anyway I can.

    1 person found this helpful
  21. KFPDW
    KFPDW avatar
    38 posts
    4 October 2021 in reply to Elizabeth CP

    Thank you for sharing that piece of your family history. That is really cool to read about how the values of love and respect was passed down your family line. It's amazing how much one person can do. I'm glad you think that there are good white males out there. And yeah, it sucks that the bad ones pop up on the news more than the good ones.

    Thank you so much for your kind response. :D

  22. smallwolf
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    smallwolf avatar
    5750 posts
    4 October 2021 in reply to KFPDW

    Hello. Just thought I would throw in my 2c worth. There was a time in a group discussion when something like "men are bad" was used. And automatically I put myself into that group and at the same time thinking not all men are bad which would go down like a lead balloon if I voiced that opinion. It wass very easy for me to that I am not like them or how can you tar me with the same brush. And that is frustrating! But it that statement of a few bad apples spoil the bunch.

    I am trying to think about what changed for me as I don't get triggered that much these days. And I think it is partially related to calling out what I might regard as acts of stupidity or just listening to another's story.

    And maybe they will see you in a different light?

    2 people found this helpful
  23. Hanna3
    Hanna3 avatar
    3212 posts
    4 October 2021 in reply to KFPDW

    Hi Jeremy

    You sound like such a lovely guy!

    Your mum getting you into things like martial arts was a great move, things like that not only give you a skill and training but also respect from your peers, friends who share the same interest, and it builds up your self-esteem. Wise mother!

    I often think a shy guy should learn to play a musical instrument like guitar as it's a good social skill to have to build confidence and make friends!

    I'm sorry things were tough with your dad. That's hard.

    I'm a fair bit older than you but you're the sort of young guy who gives me great hope for the future!

    How do you train to be an animator? It must be fascinating!

    There is a very good book by Jordan Peterson called 12 Rules for Life which you might like to read sometime because I think he gives some very good advice on how to live a good life and he specifically talks to young men. It was a huge best-seller and I wish I'd had the advice he gives when I was young and making decisions about my life.

    Jeremy you sound great! Good on you!

    🙂👍🙏

    2 people found this helpful
  24. KFPDW
    KFPDW avatar
    38 posts
    4 October 2021 in reply to smallwolf
    Looks like we've been in the same boat. I would recommend looking back on the various posts in this forum. All of them have been very uplifting and helpful to read. They add perspective to the whole situation which makes all the difference. It is easy to get stuck thinking we're part of the one group that is bad but I now know that isn't the case. :)
    1 person found this helpful
  25. KFPDW
    KFPDW avatar
    38 posts
    4 October 2021 in reply to Hanna3

    Aww thank you Hanna. That's very nice of you to say. I used to play trumpet back in primary and High school but I prefer working with my hands as a artist. I might pick up another instrument in the future for fun who knows? :)

    And yeah, my mum is very wise. As for animation, I'm studying at Uni in a bachelor 2D animation degree course at the moment and learning what I can and practise when I can. It's awesome. :) I also learn from video classes made by this former Disney animator Aaron Blaise, he does loads of animation videos to help those who are trying to learn. I mean that guy worked on movies like the Lion King (the animated one, not the live action one) so he knows what he's talking about.

    I'll have a look at the book you suggested, sounds interesting. And it's good to know there are people like you out there who are really nice and good to talk to.

    How about you? What kind of things are you into? :)

    1 person found this helpful
  26. Richardb3
    Richardb3 avatar
    5 posts
    7 October 2021
    hey brah at the end of the day we are all human beings. no matter what skin colour, race, gender we are all homo sapiens. I don't understand the obsession with gender, sexuality and race when it comes to people committing crimes. If you do something terrible or something good, your gender and skin colour have absolutely nothing to do with it. Those are the least important characteristics of a human being. What matters is who you are as an individual.
     
    2 people found this helpful
  27. Hanna3
    Hanna3 avatar
    3212 posts
    7 October 2021 in reply to KFPDW

    Hi KFPDW,

    Sorry I haven't been here. Studying to be an animator would be fantastic! Have you seen the way the old animators for the Disney studios (mickey mouse etc) used to draw the movements one drawing after another, amazing!

    I'm into music - acoustic guitar, and singing and I learn Celtic harp, but I'm not too brilliant yet! I'm starting a bit late! I studied anthropology and philosophy at uni as an evening student and worked in hospitals during the day I was a nuse.

    I must look and see if there are any utube videos about animators!

    Lovely to chat!

    🙂

    1 person found this helpful
  28. KFPDW
    KFPDW avatar
    38 posts
    8 October 2021 in reply to Richardb3
    Hey man, you and I are on the same page. I feel exactly the same way! We are all human beings and it feels like other people miss that fact a LOT. It is so refreshing to see someone else say that. :D
  29. KFPDW
    KFPDW avatar
    38 posts
    8 October 2021 in reply to Hanna3

    Hey that's ok, I'm happy you got back to me. :)

    Yeah, I love the behind the scenes stories of what went into making an animated film just as much as I enjoy watch the animated film itself. I hope I get to be a part of that some day. And there are loads of behind the scenes videos on YouTube so it's easy to find stuff on Walt Disney and other animators. :D

    And that's cool you are into music and studying those subjects at Uni. From that alone, I can tell you are a very intelligent person and a hard worker since you work as a nurse on top of everything else. So Cool. :D

  30. chadicha
    Community Champion
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    chadicha avatar
    44 posts
    9 October 2021 in reply to KFPDW

    Hey, I completely understand how you feel. Even though it has nothing to do with your own life and actions, you can still feel like you somewhat are contributing to the issue or are perceived in a different way and that can be burdening mentally just because of who you were born as. A lot of people can be quick to judge and assume and discriminate against you because you can be seen as 'privileged' in a way even if you don't find that to be true for yourself. I agree its totally unfair that people are quick to put you in a box, but you don't have to let them do that. They're assumptions have no power over you, because you know yourself they don't. Sometimes I fall into the same thinking habits where people might see me or assume my beliefs just because of how I look even though its far from the truth.

    Always remember though, you know who you are society can never ever tell you! Those feelings aren't yours to claim, never was and never is!

    1 person found this helpful

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