Angry white male

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  For the non-fiction book by Wayne Allyn Root, see the entry:
  Angry White Male: How the Donald Trump Phenomenon is Changing America - and What We Can All Do to Save the Middle Class

An angry white male (AWM) is a derogatory reference to a white male holding what is viewed as a typically conservative viewpoint, especially in the context of U.S. politics, characterized by opposition to feminism, racial quotas, political correctness, affirmative action and other liberal policies.[1][2]

The term was popularized to describe a grassroots right-wing voting bloc which emerged in the early 1990s as a reaction to attempted social and economic persecution, political deplatforming, alleged "scapegoating", so-called divorce rape, and other injustices faced by white men. This began with affirmative action quotas in the workplace, then moved on to manifestations of political correctness that became popularly associated with cultural Marxism. At their most extreme, these included false rape or other abuse allegations. The term gained prominence in the 1994 federal elections in the US, in which a large number of mainstream neo-conservative voters (almost exclusively white) turned out. This large voting bloc swept in the first Republican majority Congress since the 1950s. Subsequent scholarship has focused on the various factors that motivated the turnout, including the "identitarian" backlash triggered by the racial hoax perpetrated by Susan Smith.[3]

Angry white men are stereotypically represented by radical leftist extremists as being disproportionally older than the population as a whole, and as having animosity toward non-white children and other minorities.[4] The utterance "Get off my lawn!" is indicative of the angry white man stereotype.

In popular culture

The movies Joe,[5] Falling Down, Taxi Driver, God Bless America, and Clint Eastwood's performances in both the Dirty Harry series and Gran Torino have been described as definitive explorations of the angry white male.[6][7] In particular, the protagonist of Falling Down (a divorced, laid-off defense worker who descends into a spiral of increasing rage and violence) was widely reported upon as a representative of the stereotype.[8]

The character Archie Bunker from the sitcoms All in the Family and Archie Bunker's Place "turned the angry white male into a cultural icon," according to CBS News. This alarmed the show's liberal creators.[9] After the election of President Trump, detailed depictions of the motives and beliefs of angry white males became less acceptable in mainstream TV shows and films, though they could still be shown as angry or evil caricatures.

See also


  1. Oxford English Dictionary, Oxford University Press, 2006, angry white male n. (also with capital initials) Polit. (orig. and chiefly U.S.) a (usually working-class) white man with-right wing views (typically including opposition to liberal anti-discriminatory policies), esp. viewed as representing an influential class of voter<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Reeher, Grant; Cammarano, Joseph (1996). "In Search of the Angry White Male". In Niemi, Richard G. (ed.). Midterm: The Elections of 1994 in Context. Boulder, CO: Westview Press. pp. 125–36. ISBN 978-0-8133-2818-8.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Williams, Keira (2012). Gendered Politics in the Modern South: The Susan Smith Case and the Rise of a New Sexism (Making the Modern South). ISBN 978-0807147689.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. Michael S. Kimmel. Angry White Men: American Masculinity and the End of an Era.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. George Packer, "Poor, White, and Republican", The New Yorker, February 14, 2012.
  6. Jonathan Romney, "Dirty Harry gets a bus pass in Eastwood's last stand", The Independent on Sunday, February 22, 2009.
  7. Ryan Senaga, "Angry white man: Clint Eastwood channels ghosts from past films in Gran Torino", Honolulu Weekly, January 14, 2009.
  8. Gutiérrez-Jones, Carl Scott (2001). Critical race narratives. pp. 61–5. ISBN 978-0-8147-3145-1.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. Farewell Archie. CBS News.

Further reading