White Congressman Irate about College Course “Angry White Males”

White Congressman Irate about College Course “Angry White Males” April 8, 2019

The University of Kansas will host a new class starting in the fall titled, “Angry White Male Studies.” The course claims to explore the rise of angry white men since the 1950s in both the United States and the United Kingdom. A Republican Kansas Congressman Ron Estes tweeted his dislike of the course while students at KU feel the course will offer a valuable discussion.

According to the Fall Catalog released by the University of Kansas, Humanities 365 “Angry White Male Studies” aims to understand the growing angst felt by white men in the USA and the UK. The summary from their website describes the course,

This course charts the rise of the “angry white male” in America and Britain since the 1950s, exploring the deeper sources of this emotional state while evaluating recent manifestations of male anger.

Employing interdisciplinary perspectives this course examines how both dominant and subordinate masculinities are represented and experienced in cultures undergoing periods of rapid change connected to modernity as well as to rights-based movements of women, people of color, homosexuals and trans individuals. (Same as WGSS 365.)”

According to the Associated Press, Professor Christopher Forth will teach the class. Forth, a white man and author of the book Masculinity in the Modern West: Gender, Civilization and the Body, will help students understand the trajectory of male ire amid other populations gaining rights.

For centuries, white men have held a distinct advantage over women, people of color, and the LGBTQ+ community. With recent surges in rights for these populations, men have become increasingly angry and hostile. The course aims to help students understand how these rights movements have impacted the white male.

On face value, the course title sounds terrible. However, there is value in understanding the historical context behind the anger. Groups like Incels, the alt-right, white nationalists, and white supremacists are filled with angry white men. Within these groups, the narrative seems to be that as people gain rights, white men are losing their place in the world.

Not all men are angry. Naturally, the majority of men are adapting to the changing world. As the younger generations grow up in a world where equal rights to all is a given and not an exception, white male youth are becoming more tolerant.

However, a white Republican is angry about the course. Ron Estes from the fourth district in Kansas slammed KU for offering the course. In a tweet, Estes wrote,

“Instead of a course to unite people and empower women, KU has decided to offer a class that divides the student population and could pose a Title IX violation by creating a hostile campus environment based on gender.

Estes knee jerk reaction to the class seems like an overreaction. While the title of the course does evoke powerful emotions, the goal of the course is not to divide women and men. Instead, the course appears to try to find an understanding of why men have become increasingly angry. Along with the impact in the broader society.

Students on campus seemed excited about the new course. One student, Rianon Wallace-Demby, told KMBC that she hopes she will be able to take the course in the fall. She added,

“Creating dialogue which is something that we need to have. Dialogue is important. Dialogue needs to be had,” said junior Rianon Wallace-Demby.

Another student, John Koenig echoed Rianon’s thoughts, “There’s definitely some value into looking into things from–for history at least– from an intersectional view.”

As society continues to evolve, colleges need to expand their catalogs. Learning about the history of rights movements and the response of white men will enable students to understand the complexity of this social dynamic. Because white men held such innate privilege for hundreds of years, rights of women, people of color and the LGBTQ+ threaten their ability to be the top dogs in society.

Initially, I bristled at the title. However, I commend KU for taking the step to teach the course. Dialogue is critical to help unite people. Hopefully, the course will be offered at other colleges around the country soon.

Congressman Estes, your angry white man is showing.


*Katie Joy is a columnist and hosts Without A Crystal Ball on Patheos Non-Religious Channel. She writes articles on parenting, disability advocacy, debunking pseudoscience, atheism, and crimes against women and children.

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Shari G. Thomas

    Can you not read the inserted quotes from the congressman and did you not look at the link to the class…It’s being offered at University of Kansas…not Kansas State!! Do a little proofing!

  • Peggy

    I hope the class discusses white males complaints about minorities taking their jobs. That is the number one complaint I hear from white males. The majority of minorities, especially from Mexico will do work that the white males of this country refused to do. For example: food industry. I tell these white males that there are job opening in the meat industry. Slaughtering animals. Stand in blood and waste up to your knees all day in a stench ridden work area. No, they wouldn’t work there. How about working in the fields bending over all day planting, weeding or pick vegetables and fruit. No, they wouldn’t work there, either. These are just two of the jobs that minorities will work at, and the white males refuse to do. So I ask them “what are you complaining about.”

  • Chris Hogue

    People do get angry when you point out their flaws.

  • Tawreos

    I agree that the title of the course could be better, but once one hears about the course it doesn’t seem to be a problem. Of course it would help if politicians, like Estes didn’t continually push that others getting rights harms the rights you already have. *If people like him aren’t willing to lend a hand up or some other type of support then the least he can do is get the hell out of the way.

  • WallofSleep

    This angry white male’s response to minorities getting equal rights?

    “Hurray! But could we speed this up a bit more?”

  • WallofSleep



    What they don’t mention in that article is that American citizens did line up for harvesting jobs in Georgia, but they couldn’t even hack it for half a day’s work. But yeah, let’s keep wishing food off our children’s’ plates for the sake of bigotry and xenophobia. What could possibly go wrong?

  • Raging Bee

    I suspect most of those white people are losing their jobs to automation and economic changes they can’t even fully understand, let alone control. So they blame minorities instead, because that’s a LOT easier than figuring out how to take on big global business, let alone organizing to actually do it.

  • WallofSleep

    “… let alone organizing to actually do it.”

    Unions are for commies, m’kay.

  • larry parker

    Lawrence/ Manhattan : tomayto/tomahto
    Go Cyclones
    PS: I’ve been to both and had a great time. : )

  • I imagine a few people will be upset that the course isn’t about teaching you how to be an angry white male more effectively.

  • larry parker

    Some men don’t like being treated like everyone else. Class dismissed.

  • I would be interested in taking that course.

  • Raging Bee

    What’s that pic — Louis CK’s “Mind if I jack off in front of you?” face?

  • talonts

    They blame minorities instead, because political powers push that lie on a daily basis, and they lap it up. Those political powers get a lot of backing from companies that are…automating as many jobs as they can.

    Even coal miners blame everybody BUT their bosses that have automated the hell out of their job, vastly reducing the number of humans required.

  • lawrence090469

    This 49 year old white male has a message for Rep. Ron Estes: please die soon.

  • smrnda

    Did they get a white guy was teaching the class? wouldn’t that satisfy conservatives based on their thinking?

    Also sounds like an interesting class. ” examines how both dominant and subordinate masculinities are represented and experienced in cultures undergoing periods of rapid change connected to modernity ” seems like we could all learn a lot there.

  • The Bofa on the Sofa

    I don’t know why the title should bother anyone, unless you are an angry white male who takes it personally.

    Clearly, the instructor is well-qualified to teach this course

  • Robert Baden

    Misspelled white people……..

  • Robert Baden

    I don’t see white women doing those jobs either. My aunts and cousins have done that, some being migrant farm workers.

  • Robert Baden

    Not angry, but I think there should be an accompanying course about white women. A lot of racist views are not exclusive to white men. My mother had a lot to say about white women as well as white men.

  • persephone

    I ran into one of those whiny little b-boys today, in fact. I had stopped at a gas station w/a convenience store to grab a few things for work. A guy in line pays for gas, then wants to buy a lighter. The cashier tells him to show his ID (yes, it’s a state law, any type of smoking related paraphernalia requires an ID for purchase). He throws a fit. He even pulled the “I served my country; I’m a veteran,” in his standard tirade.

    Since I am an old white lady (OWL) I have a certain privilege, so I decided to use it, because he was holding up the line. I yelled “It’s the law. It’s not the store.” Cue more whiny ranting. “If you don’t like it,” I said, “Call Sacramento. Yelling isn’t going to do anything.” He then yelled at me, but I don’t care.

    He stomped out of the store, calling me a f**king bitch. I yelled “F**k you,” as he went out the door.

  • Robert Baden

    In today’s news : Black army Sargent arrested in Kentucky for defending herself from road raging white woman.
    The white woman turned on the tears when the cops arrived. Kentucky’s stand your ground law apparently doesn’t apply when the attacker is a white woman and the victim is black.

  • larry parker

    You might have a point if this class was only about racism.