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January 28, 2021

Mandy Nolan’s Soapbox: The Real Threat to the Future: Old White Men

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Cartoon of the week – 27 January, 2021

We love to receive letters, but not every letter will be published; the publication of letters is at the discretion of the online and print letters editors.

The world has reached peak old white man. Ever since someone decided God was a really old white dude sitting on a cloud we have given these ageing patriarchs more status than they deserve. They have held supreme power. They have been captains of industry. They have initiated wars. They have controlled the financial sector. They have chosen what is news and history. They have orchestrated coups. Collusion. Collateral damage.

Rupert Murdoch is probably one of the most powerful men in the world, and guess what? Old white man. All this access to power and he’s probably making decisions while sleep deprived from being up half the night with a dodgy prostate. History is the story of the world under siege by the sociopathy of saggy eyed septuagenarians.

Why do we afford old white men so much power?

While most of us are shuffling our ageing parents off to a nursing home, how do some old men slip through the net and enter politics? We all congratulated potato farmer Cliff Young for unexpectedly winning an ultra marathon at 61 – because we all know most old dudes just wouldn’t have the stamina. He was exceptionalised as a bit of a maverick. 61 seemed ancient to do something that required the strength of someone young. But it was just a race, and he was at least a decade younger than a lot of the old white men who hold the reins of power. We don’t exceptionalise them, because old white men in power are never the exception.

In America where the retirement age is 66, we’ve watched the competition for the top job play out between a 74-year-old white man and a 77-year-old white man. It’s not called ‘The White House’ by accident. It should be renamed The Old White Man House. I just think, if you’re going to be president, you should at least be under retirement age. And maybe not white. And maybe not a man. And maybe not old. Kamala Harris, Biden’s running mate was probably the most perfect candidate. A politician and attorney, 56, and a woman of colour. Someone still at the peak of her career. Someone different.

Australia’s no different. We love voting for old white men. Or white men who look a lot older than they are. Boring white men will do when old white men aren’t available. Oh yes, we did have a female prime minister, but they got rid of her pretty quickly when they realised she didn’t roll like an old white man: Carbon tax? Gonski? Bring back coal! Bring back the old! Bring back old white men.

Why do we trust old white men to make the decisions? White men are dangerous. (Except for David Attenborough. He’s amazing. Why are men like that never interested in power?) There’s some things you should know about white men; like, that they are twice as likely as non white men and white women to own guns. Conservative white men are at the forefront of climate denialism. In America, white men don’t make up the majority of the population, yet they continue to be the primary decision makers. Rich old white men still hold  most of the sway in politics around the world. Old white men wrote the Australian constitution. Old white men started all the wars. Old white men created climate change. Old white men control the news. Old white men need go sit on the recliner and give someone else a turn up front.

I tried to imagine a parliament I could respect; a parliament with compassion and vision, but also able to be tough; able to make hard decisions for the long term, rather than profiteering in the short. In my perfect setting there are no white men. In fact there are no men at all, young or old. Just black women of all ages. Powerful women with a lot to say, and all the time in the world to say it. All Aunties. Let’s give Australia to the Aunties. Auntiestralia!

Now that’s something I would vote for. I just have to wait for old white men to give me permission.

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  1. All women are likely dangerous especially at times like these, Barrow. Mandy
    is one of many – white, brown grey, red – all the colours & aged between less
    than teenage & on the brink of goodbye ie; 110 years. Knowledge & memory
    serves them well possibly due to the knowing of the male-class who bully
    their way to the top & plan to stay there forever. A damn unbalanced world it
    is. Would you wed a woman if the law & church demanded ‘you cherish &
    obey your wife at all times?’ You would not. The song goes ‘It’s a man’s world.’
    Sure enough.

  2. Is the Old White deluded man possibly linked from ‘attachment theory’ in childhood, connected to the other biggest fraud in the World, ‘Santa Claus’.

    You do make a good point Mandy.

    From an upcoming white haired man ( I might become ‘other’ lol).

  3. So it all comes out Mandy , you are not only ageist but also sexist !
    Why do you think it is acceptable for you to be all that you rage against ? Oh yes , of course, it’s all for effect! Sorry it is just that sometimes I forget and try to take your column seriously.
    But when it is all said and done, behind every miserable old white dude there is some woman encouraging him to more excesses, Hitler had his Eva, Trump has his Melanija Knavs; and it wasn’t ‘old white dudes’ delivering white feathers to any man who hadn’t volunteered to WW1 and WW2, and it was women who condemned loudest, those who refused to murder Vietnamese villagers in the name of capitalism.
    The only advantage I know of being an ‘old white male’ is having the perspective to see BS for what it is .
    Cheers, G”)

  4. Mandy – I think there is a genetic link with old white men and dinosaurs. Perhaps they will experience the same fate and become extinct? Hopefully without taking the rest us with them!

  5. How good would it be if we could just give men in general a couple of hundred years off and let the ladies run the planet for a bit ………. I’m an old white man and I’d vote for that! It’s hard to imagine any circumstance under which we wouldn’t all be better off if we just let the ladies have control of the steering wheel for a while 😉

  6. Thanks Brandon. Hitler had his Eva sure enough -yuck. Trump has not got his
    Melanija as I’d say she’s had an escape plan round the corner & a son to protect
    … that’s obvious & what mum’s do. I wouldn’t like to be in her high-heels – can’t
    run fast enough. Besides, he’s threatened to shoot her off to her home-place
    on the other side of the world if she doesn’t do as she’s told. Maybe it’s time for
    women to shoulder the lands. Who’d know.

  7. Let women have a go, was my political motto for years, but with the likes of the NSW and Queensland premiers, both women, I see virtually no change for the good. As proved by NSW latest land clearing laws. And don’t even get me started on Condaleezza Rice. A women of color who helped instigate some of the worst war mongering in American history.

  8. I have been vilified and insulted due to my race, gender, age and appearance but it is OK because I’m a skinny old white guy. Generalisations create prejudice not unity.

  9. Hilarious.
    Indeed a work of artistic prose hitherto unseen.
    Well, no, not unless its a massive tongue-in-cheek dialogue.
    I certainly hope the author does not have a loving father or uncles reading this tripe in case he believes it.
    Its so wrong on so many counts its laughable, actually its brought me to tears.
    This shabby grubby ‘Notice Me’ expurgating bile gains no kudos, only dismissal.
    Even ‘in fun’ cherry picking bad examples of some men while leaving out surgeons scientists etc is puerile.
    As the most hated man in the western world was want to say…”Mandy…….

  10. I’ll weep for a woman of beauty, silken sheets & all, if there’s genuine
    love & equality. Usually though – having worked with Life Line way
    back – The sheets don’t speak if the woman’s got a broken jaw &
    because hubby says he saw her fall.

  11. Agree 100% Mandy. What will stop old white men in their tracks is strong powerful women running for political office. Do you know of any such interested parties?


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