Wasn’t the 1992 Woody Harrelson, Wesley Snipes movie actually titled, “White Men Can’t Jump?”


That’s right, but one could easily substitute “Aging Pale Males” for “White Men” and the message would be exactly the same. Now what if you substituted a minority group, females or those of alternative lifestyle for “White Men” in the title of the movie? We all know the answer to this question and we don’t need to go there.

You may be thinking right now that this particular blog post is nothing more and nothing less than mid-life crisis sour grapes. After all, Almost DailyBrett is written by a follicly challenged pale male with more than a few miles on his personal odometer (even though the fire has not gone out).

Haven’t white men had more than their share of disproportionate glory (i.e., the first 43 POTUS’, even all of the presidents with wigs and beards, and all of those who have walked on the moon)? They have. Does that now mean it is high time to even the score and consign pale males to the ash heap of history?

Go ahead make fun and tell jokes about pale males (and lawyers too), you can do so with impunity.

When the political talking heads discuss the “gender gap,” does it ever relate to one candidate’s subpar performance in securing the votes of pale males?

A recent CBS New York Times poll demonstrated that President Barack Obama was six points in front of former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney among women (49-43 percent), but Romney held an exact same lead (49-43 percent) over the president among men. And yet the article in its lead paragraph assessed the impact of reproductive health, contraception and career choices on the gender gap: all hot button issues for women.

There is even a concerted national effort to marginalize one party and equate it to being the party of the pale males…as though that is an unforgiveable sin.

Certainly there is still a sizeable “gender gap” when it comes to equal pay for equal work between men and women, and the female of the species has every reason to be hacked off. The Public Relations Society of America’s (PRSA) 2010 Work, Life & Gender Survey reported that the average annual income for men in public relations was about $120K. The figure for women was about $72K, even though women dominate the ranks of the PR industry.

The public policy question that must be posed is does society effectively respond to decades of sexism and racism in this country (and others) by permanently casting aside a particular demographic group? Do two wrongs ever equate to a right? Is Affirmative Action seen as Negative Action by pale males, at least in private? Does Affirmative Action mean that aging pale males need not apply?

As an aging pale male, I have been asked to fill out dreaded optional “demographic profiles” for jobs. Let’s see: Male or female…darn, male. Vet or non-vet? Ah, non-vet? African-American, Asian, Hispanic, Native American, Pacific-Islander or…ehh…white? Can I check Pacific Islander since I have been to Hawaii a half a dozen times? I even channel surfed Hawaii Five 0.

How does one counteract being north of the young/old Mendoza Line (e.g., north of 50) with a pale complexion and that annoying y-chromosome that requires shaving your face every morning?

One of the reasons given to not hiring aging pale males is the overqualified syndrome. Yours truly just received his Master of Arts degree in communication and society from the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication. Should I be proud of this accomplishment or should I be fearful that I just made myself even more overqualified? And if I actually decide to be the first person in my family to earn a doctorate is that curtains for any and all chances to ever being hired again in my life?

Hey, what if I try to dumb down my curriculum vitae…err resume? Can I possibly come across as less experienced, less costly and more appealing for a perspective employer? How’s that for counterintuitive out-of-the-box thinking?

Even if I succeed in making myself less overqualified, I still cannot change (other than sex reassignment surgery) who I am. For better or for worse (I fear the latter), I am an aging pale male. I am learning to deal with this albatross around my neck and hoping at some time the pendulum will swing a tad in the other direction (maybe just enough for me), even though I doubt it will happen in my lifetime. All of this discussion harkens back to some key questions for aging pale males.

What do you call 500 aging pale males in the bottom of the ocean? A good start.

What’s the difference between a dead aging pale male and a dead skunk on the freeway? The skid marks in front of the skunk (Sigh).