It was the best of times. It was the worst of times. Especially for college educated white women in America. Never before has any demographic experienced so much freedom, relevance, and power, nor have they been so publicly miserable. This thesis could be a racist and sexist oversimplification. Perhaps. But it’s also true. Given their relatively plush life circumstances, the discontent of this professional class of Caucasian women stands out like a narc at an EDM festival. Hint: it’s always the guy too well-adjusted to be in attendance.
Why not pen an essay on advantaged white guys and all their obvious faults? Because men are boring. And men who can acquire what they desire are incredibly boring. Younger women, cars, golf — it’s all so tedious, if not amazing to experience first hand. White guys may not be the recessive-gene buffoons depicted by Disney corporate entertainment, but practically speaking, any half-witted coed with a decent pair of knockers can overpower a millionaire. If she’s kinky in the bedroom, make that a billionaire. Who wants to dissect the social psyche of such an easily understood creature? Your high school biology frog had more to offer.
Millennial-aged, white women in academia and the professional workplace present a far more interesting pathology. I’m tempted to use the word privileged, though there’s no way to do so without parroting a woke guest speaker at CCNY. This demographic group certainly has access to above average resources and preferential social treatment. Those benefits may or may not come with what we think of as wealth. Certainly a celebrity with 20 million in her money market account is privileged. But so is the Director of Something Something at Name Your Media Company. Or HuffPo where senior editorships began at age 24. She may not be making enough for the luxury SUV, but she has access to means of capital, communications, and political clout, not to mention contraception, Xanax, and an incredibly complex array of California Chardonnays now legally shipped into almost all fifty states.
The “white middle class experience in America” is a cheap shortcut to explain differences between being born into an intact family in a suburb versus growing up in a single parent household amidst crime, dysfunctional public schools, and sustenance finances. The drugs are about the same in both neighborhoods. Poverty leans heavily inter-generational. So does the opposite of poverty. Not all Northeastern liberal arts white female college grads come from well-born backgrounds, but most do. Not all modern media outlets are heavily populated by Northeastern liberal arts white female college grads, but most are.
As much as pedigreed white women have attempted to meld themselves into the broader category of the disenfranchised, the emulsification never holds. People on different steps of the Pyramid of Needs have practically little in common. Humans don’t group together on common aspirations, they group together based on what scares the hell out of them. What frightens a working mom trying to make the rent is not the same as what scares a woman meeting friends for juice after aerobics. Social groups are hardened in survival instinct, not artifices like political parties or virtuous hashtags. The greater the common fear, the tighter-knit the group. Abortion rights have worked somewhat to coalesce the female vote — but for how many is it their motivating issue? That scale too depends upon educational level and race, wherein less educated, lower income minority women remain the primary consumers of abortion services, while professional women of some means are the most ardent and public supporters of such rights.
The class-over-gender divide was never as prominent as during the course of the 2016 Presidential election as celebrities, actress, entertainers, and the bulk of college-educated, professional white women attempted to build a big pink wall for Hillary Clinton. The Facebook group, Pantsuit Nation, mirrored the eventual socio-demographic breakdown in the female voting block, as minority women and working class women came to discover they didn’t share the same political goals as the progressive white feminists running the show.
The result was a Balkanized female vote with women of color relatively turned off by Clinton and her wealthy white girl hyperbolic Tweeters. Less well-off white women turned to Trump, because they were turned off by the blatant ignorance of class differences between themselves and the kale salad and Soul Cycle crowd. Working class white women between the coasts had the cultural prerogative to vote Republican. There was a wide split in voting between white college educated women and white non-college educated women, which cost Clinton substantially in key swing states. Now she’s on a ten- year-long book tour.
The animus of professional white women did not begin with the 2016 Election Cycle. Though Trump’s unexpected victory certainly threw the class into a different gear. It was as if the straw man from every feminist patriarchal horror tale had been fleshed into existence. Trump was the sexist pig, the jerk ex-boyfriend, the father who didn’t love me, the crude guy at the bar, and the gross boss leering down your top.. A Commander of Gilead, in the flesh, even if an non-religious reprobate to the core.
If you think this animus was about policy, you are simply wrong. Bill Clinton was a pro-death penalty, anti-immigration, anti-gay marriage, welfare retracting, industry deregulating, free trading, church-going, Conservative Southern Democrat who also happened to treat women quite crudely in private. He was beloved by the well-educated, professional female class. Roundly supported by Women’s Studies majors. Cheered by self-described progressive feminists. All politics really is all local, also extremely hypocritical.
There’s no way to know what would occur if well-off Latina or Black women dominated the media and marketing culture of America rather than their empowered white female counterparts. Would they be as profoundly angry? There’s no reasonable way to forecast. Minorities by definition suffer in democratic societies; you’d expect people born of disenfranchisement and reduced opportunities to be permanently displeased with governing officials. You’d expect this less so among the affluent and catered, the upper crust of the dominant culture, for whom basic wants are not a daily grind. Life is different when a police traffic stop might be your last moments on this planet.
What lies at the heart of white women with swell living standards leading such an outraged existence? Why do these women routinely charge others with racism and sexism and horrifically aggressive slander in far more obvious and copious fashion than their minority or less financially rewarded and educationally accomplished female counterparts? You didn’t see Marie Antoinette spearheading the French Revolution. She would’ve looked funny doing so without a head.
I’d point to The Bard for the answer. I’ve read but one play: Hamlet. Hence, all of my Shakespearean references must originate in this document. “The lady doth protest too much, methinks,” responds Hamlet’s mom, the Queen, when her son creates for her a play depicting a Queen character claiming she’ll never marry again after her beloved husband is murdered. Queen Gertrude implies that people who are sincere beyond the norm tend to be insincere. We’ve interpreted this colloquially to mean that people who heartily preach morality and virtue are covering for something. Something to be said about Josh Duggar on the right when accused of cheating on his wife with hookers, or Maxine Waters on the left when living in a swank home outside of her urban poor Congressional district. Noble people tend to believe in the nobility of others. And vice-versa.
Could it be that guilt of privilege not even consciously acknowledged has driven this well-off class of white women to so overtly profess their virtue? What drives women who’ve attained more than their gender counterparts ever in the history of their species to express such bitterness, hostility, and exasperation in the public square? This is the first instance in the history of the human existence where the Haves are on the inciting edge of rebellion.
Successful men certainly feel an obligation to assist others less fortunate. Most of the great charitable causes of this nation’s history are funded in large measure by most of the nation’s richest men. Not that rich men are more generous of spirit than those less fortunate; those less fortunate simply can’t donate large gobs of earmarked cash.
Men, on the whole, don’t experience the sensation of guilt the same as women. Men are genetically programmed for material conquest. They feel less masculine when they fail; more masculine when they succeed. It’s hormonal. You can test for this implicit Darwinism. In the extreme, economic malaise and rising unemployment levels have proven to cause an actual rise in drug addiction and suicide among the male population. Middle aged white men have offed themselves at immense rates during the rise of economic globalization and the loss of working class jobs in this nation.
Women experience emotional highs and lows in the context of communal accomplishment far more so than men. If they succeed but the tribe fails, they can not be satisfied. Is the tribe the family unit, the neighborhood, the nation? If only it were so simple for modern white college-matriculated feminists. For this demographic, the communal has become the broad and amorphous domain of all who are oppressed. Imagine that self-imposed burden. You can’t sleep at night thinking of the indentured servant girls in the factories of Myanmar. Obviously, you’re still going to purchase the high-end goods produced in these workshops. Commitment has its limits.
This is the public stage where you will find these women passionately, almost irrationally, championing the causes of minorities and the designated oppressed of any stripe or standard. Tune into any social media platform and relevant bubble for the incessant, consistent, and volatile commentary among this demographic. Dig past the famous front in the guise of Chrissy Teigen or Alyssa Milano or Sarah Silverman and into the followers’ comments. The Black Panthers of the late 60’s would take pause at the level of hostility and violence in these daily morality plays played out by millions of these women daily.
This is how you end up with a fervent protest for Hispanic immigrant families in Washington DC, a state with the nation’s highest black population, by far, packed almost entirely with Millennial white women. You see the same repeatedly in organized protest events covering guns, abortion rights, Muslim rights, living wages, and other topical matters the purview of the radical progressive left, a wing almost entirely composed of white, educated, feminist women. Wouldn’t minorities be as fervently behind social causes that might benefit their demographic more so than any other? Modern American history would indicate that minorities do organize and rally for causes dear to their common good; simply not to the broad and unending extent of these upscale white Energizer Bunnies of exasperation
Every trail has guilt traces back to an Original Sin. For the legions of these enraged ladies, I’d point to the feminist revolutions on campus and in places of work and institutions of political power, and a fundamental insistence that even well-off women were a victim class in need of legally codified support. As mentioned in previous articles, the original Affirmative Action legislation was signed into law by John F. Kennedy to provide greater opportunity for the nation’s black and minority populations. It was only a few years later, after intensive lobbying and public pressure from prominent white feminists, that this legislation was amended to include Caucasian women as a protected minority class. Beyond the blatant inaccuracy of labeling the nation’s most populated demographic as a minority, the struggles of say, women graduating from Vassar and off to work for Cosmo in New York were now equated to black women in Detroit who had to exit high school early to take on multiple low-wage jobs to feed the family. That’s a broad group. Very broad.
Both have female reproductive organs and cried during the third act of Beaches. Would you truly argue that that black woman has more in common with the white woman on the Upper West Side than she does a black man in her own community? You can’t. But it’s currently the standard of thinking as liturgically presented.
White men have been deemed as oppressors, while white women of similar opportunity and circumstance, have managed to pull off the label of oppressed. It’s Keyser Söze level sleight of hand that women of tremendous means and privilege can proceed to the public square to share their woe and be roundly lauded. Did these women overcome tremendous obstacles of oppression to arrive at their destination? Perhaps some did, not most. Historical and systemic oppression that perhaps once existed simply has not lingered among the demographic of white women of means as it has true minority populations in America.
Since the start of the Great Society, and the Affirmative Action legislation, White Women have dramatically bested their “minority” counterparts, both female and male. While cycles of poverty, broken social institutions, crime, and unemployment have continued to plague large swaths of racial and ethnic minority populations, the outcome numbers for white women have skyrocketed.
I would argue that the guilt from this Original Sin has pushed this demographic to protest too much. Literally and figuratively. To desire a penance that may not be collectively owed, but it’s certainly collectively felt. It’s revealing itself in the growing political divide and disappearance of polite discourse in America. This began well before Trump was a political candidate. And it’s becoming ever worse.
As mentioned, an outing to your local social media platform reveals endless anecdotal expressions of this broad rage. The persistent signaling of symbolic warrior-for-the-oppressed. A morality contest as to who cares more for the designated victim class, with fervency, crudeness, and hyperbole the measuring sticks of group accolade. Beyond mere rhetoric, this group of women is expressing anger in more potentially volatile, real world consequence fashion. This would include the #MeToo movement and similar attempts to equate boorish or patronizing behavior by men to assault. To provide swift and total punishment in kangaroo courts assembled with like minded jurors. Add to that the increasing emasculation of the young male population of the nation, an undeniable offshoot of this same demographic taking positions of influence and power in media, politics, and education.
There’s even evidence that professional white women are utilizing their ultimate ace in the hole — no, not the massive and sudden rise in these women discovering they are lesbians in their mid 20’s, — but the bearing of less and less children. White women in America have a declining birth rate in the nation. Quite remarkably so compared to other female groups. If you dig into the educational backgrounds, birth rates are substantially lower for college educated white women. You could attribute this decline to the natural want for these accomplished women to forge ahead in non-child producing and rearing activities in their lives. Though you’d be denying natural human female inclination. Not to mention the copious number publicly stating that this nation is too cruel to bring children into. That’s an odd connection, given that the cruelty that does exist affects this group of better-off women relatively the least — only affluent women ever threaten to leave this country. Less educated Hispanic women know hardship and toil, and they’re reproducing at remarkably higher rates than their Fit Bit wearing white counterparts. Why do those working-to-the-bone women who’ve known real suffering feel so desirous to bring more children into this world? The word “perspective” comes to mind.
In 17 U.S states more white individuals are dying than being born. A decade ago that number was 4. This could be seen as some kind of white privilege panic. I just made that term up, but it’s certain to catch on. But if it happened to other demographic groups in this country, there’d be widespread studies conducted and remedies suggested. Not because of race, but because it’s simply worth investigating why a culture is ending itself, especially a culture real and perceived as dominant. Imagine the complicated pathology of this negative population trend. There are some disparate numbers of White Supremacists dotting this landscape who love their culture. There are 10,000x that number who seem self-loathing. Again, not a racial issue, a psychological issue.
Any shrink will tell you that depression comes from anxiety which itself is driven in large part by anger. Anger is disconcerting to the human brain. When you’re hungry, you find food. Lonely, you find company. Cold, you locate shelter. What do you do with feelings of inadequacy, unfairness, and disrespect that drive feelings of rage? It’s a higher order emotion that is often buried deep, difficult to recognize, and even more difficult to control. The common result — panic, guilt, depression. Also, violence. But those without a solid outlet for endless bar room brawls and pick-up MMA fights are stuck swallowing their bile. Ask the prescription drug researchers why anti-depressants are flying off the shelves. Most human beings simply can’t handle deep frustration and rage.
You could interpret this article as an attack on women. That would be a shame. I prefer women to men for all activities and occasions save those involving overhanded throwing motions. But an angry woman makes everybody uncomfortable because there’s an underlying assumption her rage is valid, compared to an angry man who everybody simply dislikes and wants to leave the party immediately. Passions produce poor decision making. An entire swath of women who should be advancing in conquest is left falling back on dates memes of outraged suffragettes. Every human has a built in self-destruct mechanism that only they can activate. Privileged white women are toggling that switch but good.
I’m filing this under Things That Should Scare You, because it scares the hell out of me, and I’m ridiculously tough.
About the author: Lex Jurgen is a truth telling bastard who supports at least 63% of his opinions with facts. You can hear Lex and his non-sexual partner, comedian Matt Ralston, on their award-winning Last Men on Earth Podcast. Or, if you need a cleanse after binge-watching Girls on HBO, take a gander at Lex’s satirical new book,Man Rules: 99 Rules for Re-Masculating the Millennial Male. Tom Brokaw recently called it an “amazing read” and 65 aging news fangirls signed on in agreement.