big ideas

Hey, Trump: Let’s Make a Registry of Dangerously Entitled White Men

Donald Trump.
Donald Trump. Photo: Steve Sands/Getty Images

“We want to be very fair but too many bad things are happening and the percentage of true hatred is too great. People that are looking to destroy our country must be reported and turned in by the good people who love our country and want America to be great again.” Donald Trump

These are melancholic days for our great nation.

As we near the end of a year in which mass shootings have become routine, we’ve grown sadly accustomed to seeing the white, male faces of the accused perpetrators. We learn of their tendency to hoard weapons. We hear of their religious radicalization and read excerpts from their hate-filled online manifestos. And in our very homes, thousands of individual women are murdered by Men each year. Meanwhile, the streets are crowded with harassers of the male variety, following innocent women and demanding smiles and attention from them as they make their way to work or to dinner. These women, instead of being able to go about their day unmolested, are forced to waste their time repelling male advances. So deplorable is the present state of America that, even when they return home to the warm glow of their laptop screens, our womenfolk are inundated with threatening messages.

I think we can all agree that this state of affairs cannot continue; and therefore whosoever could conjure a fair, cheap, and easy method of turning these Men into sound and useful members of the commonwealth would deserve to have a statue erected in her honor, ideally something that bears her name in large, gold-plated letters. All genders would look to this monument, and remember how we, as a country, came together in the face of this threat.

I have turned my thoughts to the problem of the entitled, straight, white Man for many years, and maturely weighed several schemes for dealing with it. I have considered employing sensitivity training, gender-neutral children’s toys, and mandatory women’s studies 101. I have pondered the efficacy of restraining orders. I have contemplated the possibilities of shutting down /r/creepshots and blocking trolls. Yet these methods feel grossly inadequate. This problem is as old as patriarchy itself, and we will solve it only with the most dramatic and bold solutions. It is time to create a registry for these entitled white Men who are statistically likely to act out violently.

We’re going to have to look at a lot of things very closely. We’re going to have to look at the gun shows. We’re going to have to look at the Men’s rights listservs and subReddits devoted to the hatred of women. We’re going to have to look at Fortune 500 CEOs and angel investors — hey, some of these criminals are hiding in plain sight. We’re going to have to look very, very carefully. We have a president who refuses to say “radical, entitled, armed white Men” are a problem. He refuses to say it, which is the biggest shock in the world, because how can you not say it? If you don’t say it, you’re not going to get to the problem.

I’m proposing we say it: There are millions of straight, white Men in America, and many of them are armed and entitled. We can no longer sit idly by and wait for them to commit violence, either against women and children in their homes or against strangers in public. We can no longer merely attempt to avoid them when they get drunk. We can no longer argue with them about the veracity of Fox News reports or the statistical abnormality of false rape accusations.

We must act. A registry would help us identify which Men are threats, monitor their travel and gun purchases, and pay attention to whether they’ve been radicalized at gun shows, by right-wing talk radio, or in online forums.

There should be a lot of systems, beyond databases, for tracking potentially violent Men. Today, we only learn their names after it’s too late. We find their hate-filled online screeds and records of stalking and domestic violence only after they open fire on movie theaters, campuses, churches, and clinics. “I have noticed that people like him are all alone and unknown, yet when they spill a little blood, the whole world knows who they are,” wrote one of 2015’s mass shooters in an online message board about another shooter. These Men are eager to be known for their violent acts. So let’s make them known before they commit such atrocities.

Registering such Men would not necessarily stigmatize them. It would allow us to provide these potentially violent citizens with desperately needed mental-health services, to disarm them, and to offer remedies such as the complete bell hooks catalogue and screenings of films that pass the Bechdel test. The registry would also be for the safety of white Men themselves, as they are often the victims of violence perpetrated by other white Men. Perhaps this registry will create the opportunity to discuss America’s rarely discussed plague of white-on-white violence.

We want to be very fair — not all Men are a toxic combination of armed, angry, white, and entitled — but too many bad things are happening and the percentage of true hatred is too great. People who are looking to destroy our country must be reported and turned in by the good people who love our country and want America to be great, possibly for the first time ever.

Hey Trump: Let’s Make a Registry of Entitled Men