Every woman I know well has a horror story.
My mother, I learned after her death, would avoid a particular farmer who touched her breasts as a child. On my friend's first day in a new job, she was taken to the pub and asked loudly by a drunken male colleague in a gang of drunken male colleagues if she performed a particular sex act.
The non-white people I've known have invariably been the butt of racism - often on a routine, daily basis. A Muslim friend told me how his wife who wore a hijab would get shouted at by other drivers. My Korean friend's kids got taunted in school in London. A talented black freelance friend in Germany somehow always got put at the bottom of the list for work.
That's Europe, I hear you say. But do you think Australia is any different? When I asked people in a country town in NSW who they thought was behind some act of vandalism, guess who they would name - even though it was white men who committed the town's only two serious crimes in the year I was there.
In one case, a high-testosterone white man drove madly, crashed and killed the girlfriend he was trying to impress. The other crime involved a white man who, in a rage at his partner's "disobedience", killed her pets with unspeakable cruelty.
All the hard evidence in that town was that white men committed the worst crimes, but the view of nice, ordinary people (whom I still like) was that "black fellas" were behind small acts of vandalism.
So when it comes to current anger, there is no doubt that we white men don't know the half of it. We needed to be told.
But - and there's a but coming - there is a danger in identity politics.
It oversimplifies and polarises so the complexity of complex situations is lost. Slogans become substitutes for policy. In this binary world of "you're with us or against us", nuance is as redundant as a Cobb & Co coach.
Campaigning groups which blame their ills - their victimhood - overwhelmingly on their identity - their sex (as I choose to call it), their race (though I don't like the word) or their sexuality - risk alienating people they need to win over.
If you give white people the impression that you think they are all racist ("check your white privilege") some will react against you. If you imply that men in general are abusers and worse, some men will say: "Not me, I'm afraid."
An excellent book, Cynical Theories by Helen Pluckrose and James Lindsay, quotes a poor, working-class American man: "When a feminist told me I had 'white privilege', I told her that my white skin didn't do shit."
The man continued by asking the feminist: "Have you ever spent a frigid northern-Illinois winter without heat or running water? I have. At 12 years old were you making ramen noodles in a coffeemaker with water you fetched from a public bathroom? I was."
That old-fashioned concept of class - your economic and social circumstances - matters, but it is lost in the current debate about identity politics.
When nice, middle-class women protest, they are right to be angry - but bracketing every insult and sleight as part of "rape culture" in the patriarchy overstates a case, and overstating a case alienates people that need to be won over.
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These people are voters, and they seem to opt for parties of the right more than they do parties of the left. The "deplorables", as Hillary Clinton called them, put Trump into power. I should break it to you that some Australians of the same class may have voted for the Coalition.
As a Brit, I mourn the British exit from the European Union. As an unwoke old lefty, I thought Trump was an abomination.
But both, it seems to me, were partly a reaction against well-heeled metropolitans who dwelt on their own problems and ignored the shouts of pain from the working poor, and even more from the non-working poor.
Our current polarisation is not new (though it may now be on steroids because of social media). For a half-century in Britain, any nuanced debate about immigration was closed down by the chatterati's cry of "racism".
I once went to an old mill town in the north of England, and was shocked by the cultural divide between the old white working class and the immigrants from Pakistan. Nice, liberal people who read The Guardian would whisper their unease about the tensions and resentments - and then say "but you can't report that".
An open, honest debate was never had - but the white working class had its two-fingered answer when the referendum on the European Union came.
And now, in our unhappy times, the woke despise the unwoke. The unwoke feel insulted by the woke - and wait for their revenge at the ballot box.
- Steve Evans is a Canberra Times reporter.