A sex war is coming: American politics is being shaped by the AWFLs. By Mary Harrington.
“Gas prices? They’ll go down. But sure, tell me more about how you want the government to tell me what to do with my body.” So writes one liberal feminist on Twitter, following it up with: “Republicans suck. I don’t want to talk to you. I don’t want to hear your side. I don’t care. Y’all are bad people.”
If 21st-century politics is shaping up as class war, the American midterm elections have concretised a troubling facet of this political landscape: this class war is also a sex war. …
AWFL = affluent white female liberal.
Among the very online Right … the term most commonly used to denote progressive-leaning Virtual women [is] AWFLs … generally connotes not just the demographic but its perceived characteristic worldview — a mixture of progressive moral piety, self-righteousness, hypocrisy and unexamined class snobbery.
The AWFL class has been growing in relative power and influence for some decades. … Technological advancements have delivered new opportunities for well-qualified knowledge workers of both sexes, even as the same changes have automated and de-industrialised away the physically more arduous work previously performed mostly by working-class men. This virtualisation of work has, overall, benefited women much more than men. …
American colleges have been majority-female since the late Seventies, and today, women outnumber men at undergraduate level in most colleges, with the disparity as large as 60%-40% in some elite institutions. And this has turned out a steadily compounding supermajority of knowledge-class women, which forms an increasingly heavy-hitting part of the rising Virtual elite.
As female graduates have embraced professional life across knowledge-economy and bureaucratic roles, and their influence has compounded over time, this shift has redrawn the political map in important ways — not least by tilting visible public discourse Left, in ways that only ambivalently reflect the electorate overall.
At undergraduate level, women are especially heavily represented among arts and social sciences courses — topics so overwhelmingly progressive that only 9% of undergraduates vote Republican. These overwhelmingly Left-wing female graduates then cluster in the institutions that set and manage social and cultural norms, such as education, media, and HR. In American nonprofits, for example, 75% are female, while HR, the division of corporate life most concerned with managing the moral parameters of everyday working life, is two-thirds female. … 76% of American teachers are women. …
They’re also the demographic most overwhelmingly likely to vote Democrat. No wonder their political priorities increasingly shape Democratic political platforms: their high visibility makes it easy to mistake them for the entirety of the Left.
Class war also has shades of a sex war:
A few days, ago, answering the question about women’s rights and gas prices, one young woman said: “Everything in the world has got significantly worse since we gave women the right to vote. So I honestly think we should just lower gas prices.”
Perhaps this is just one voice. But perhaps it isn’t. If, as I fear, we’re just barely into the foothills of a new class war, and with it a burgeoning sex war, we can expect a great deal more of this from those ranged against the progressives.
Plenty of us — including plenty of knowledge-class women — don’t feel much sympathy for the lawn-sign political programme. But save on the fringes, few of us have any great wish to live through a vicious misogynistic backlash either. Feminists in this uncomfortable position urgently need a new language to describe and defend women’s interests outside AWFL feminism. If we don’t find it, I worry that in due course, political polarisation really will make us choose between gas prices and women’s rights.
Hence the rise of mobs of midwits, as academic standards fall to accommodate them and society dumbs down. They love bureaucracy and hate competition. They excel at manipulating people verbally, but hate objectivity. These AWFLs are replacing modernism with postmodernism, reversing the Enlightenment, and wrecking western society.
It is sometimes said that if women were in charge, we’d still be in the stone age — and sometimes it seems like that. Now women collectively are not having enough smart kids, and increasingly dominate the left side of politics. Thanks Heavens there are many good exceptions!