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February 14 2019

Esquire Mag Profiles White, Male Teen; Outrage Ensues

by Charlotte Hays

Quote of the Day:

You have to admire the inexhaustible capacity of the social justice left for taking offense.

--Toby Young on the outrage over Esquire magazine's cover story on a white teen-ager in the Midwest

Esquire magazine's cover story for the March issue is "The Life of an American Boy at 17."

Profiled is Ryan Morgan, who lives in West Bend, Wisconsin.

According to the cover tease, readers will learn  "what it's like to grow up white, middle class, and male in the era of social media, school shootings, toxic masculinity, #MeToo, and a divided country."

What we really learn most immediately, however, is that there is a high level of anger directed at white males, even if they happen to be seventeen years old.

Some of those offended felt that the magazine was "sympathizing" with Ryan--the horror!

Twitter erupted.

Jenna Amatulli was offended not just by the article but by the timing:

Esquire dropping this ode to white male privilege that no one asked for... during Black History month is just... ugh.

Dana also challenged the editorial judgment of the magazine:

Imagine the influence Esquire could've had by covering the experience of a 17 year old Black youth, preferably queer or trans. There is no justifying covering the plight of the white cishet male of any age. We're overexposed to it and often fall victim or prey.

Leslie Mack, described as running an "anti-racism boot camp" was furious:

Y’all – this Cover Story in @esquire is thee WHITEST SH-T I’ve come across all… well all week at least. I’m so f---ing tired of press stories about poor white boys while marginalized people are actually dying because the current “era.”

A television presenter in Los Angeles tweeted:

What’s it like growing up white, middle class and male…” How idiotic! It’s the same as it’s always been… full of privilege that women, people of color, lgbtq people & immigrants don’t have! I’m done.’

Actually, there are limits to Ryan Morgan's privilege. I bet a television presenter in Los Angeles has a college degree.

Ryan Morgan isn't planning to go to college.  Ryan gets up at 5:30 every morning to go to work at his apprentice job at a local water works utility before going to school. Ryan hopes the apprenticeship will lead to a job after he graduates from high school.

Ryan's community is conservative and went overwhelmingly for Donald Trump in 2016. Ryan comes across as conservative, but not obsessed with politics and wishiing people argued less about political issues and people.  

Ryan lives with his mother and stepfather. Every weekend his father, Owen, a taxidermist, picks him up in the school parking lot. Owen lives 147 miles away--just within the 150-mile distance limit for shared custody. Father and son watch ball games and hunt--uh-oh.

The story for my taste was a little bit long, not exactly riveting, but I felt sympathetic towards Ryan. It is a sign of our times that it triggered so much anger.

The Daily Wire's Michael Knowles (appearing on Fox) called the article "a very brave piece" because "in this moment the left has decided it hates young white males." Knowles gave Esquire "a lot of credit" for running the piece.

Meanwhile, the author of the piece, Jennifer Percy, finked out on any support for Ryan after turning him into a national hate object with her profile:

In an email to CBS News, Percy wrote the "article shows how much work we still have to do to educate boys about inherited white male privilege. It also shows that the teenage years are an ideal time to make change."

First profiled by Esquire and then the sensitivity training--that's a steep price to pay for being a white, male teen-ager in  a red part of America..

 

 





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