White Women Are Getting a Taste of Their Own Medicine
Until a few weeks ago, I never would have thought that defending white women against sanctioned cultural animus would cross my mind.
A quick Twitter search using the hashtag #KarensGoneWild turns up a fair bit of gleeful pointing at white women for their alleged racism, busy-body nature, and general entitlement. Some of the very slurs that women have for years used against men are now being slung at them.
It seems that, very suddenly, the era of the white woman’s moral authority has evaporated.
The collapse may be traced to the day last month when a white woman in New York’s Central Park called the police after a dispute with a black man over leashing her dog; she falsely accused him of threatening her and identified him as African American. When he posted the video of her false allegation, she was set upon by a raging Twitter mob and denounced by opinion-makers for her racism. She lost her job and publicly apologized.
Perhaps it was a racist incident; I’m not convinced. Watching the video, I couldn’t help but wonder whether anything near the same level of outrage would have erupted if the man she had falsely accused had been white. I suspect not. Rather, I suspect that if a white man had provoked an unhinged woman in the park and then filmed her making a false claim to police, we would have heard relatively little about it—or would have heard a robust defense from feminists about the woman’s “real fear” and the man’s underhanded motives.
And if the woman had been black, I can’t see the same level of politically-correct dislike being put in play.
White women no longer occupy the upper tier of our culture’s victim hierarchy, and they are paying the price for their unjust exercise of victim-power in the recent past. Both white and black men, left-wing and right, have joined in the public pile-on, generalizing grossly about white women and expressing mean-spirited joy at their discomfiture. It’s hard to feel sorry for white women as a group—but I do feel a prickling of pity for some of the individuals caught out by the mob.
For years, white women managed to avoid having to take responsibility for their so-called white privilege by shifting the burden of that onto white men. When women of color complained about the greater suffering of black and brown women in a racist patriarchy, white women quickly agreed, securing their own immunity from criticism by denouncing white male power and stressing their own gendered subordination.
In doing so, they irritated many well-intentioned white men and over time turned off the gynocentric chivalry that advantaged such women for so long.
Were such women really so foolish as to think that they could permanently avoid becoming targets of the hateful victim ideology they stoked and benefited from? Were they so confident in the never-waning protection of men? Or so convinced that their allies ‘of color’ would never turn on them? At least for the moment, white women are the new white men, and they’re finding the position distinctly uncomfortable.