This Karen Is Not for Turning

For a class who are so obsessed with sniffing out the merest whiff of supposed “privilege” in others, your typical mainstream journalist – young, female, single, white and middle-class – is remarkably blind to their own privilege. Recall, for instance, the editorial board of Huffington Post boasting about their “diversity”.

Nowhere is this more apparent than in their addiction to overseas travel, despite their conviction that carbon emissions are going to kill us all in a decade or so, and their insistence on being lavished with Versailles-level indulgence while they’re spewing out all that planet-killing carbon.

Someone (lots of people, in fact) finally alerted me to the fact that reclining one’s plane seat is widely considered rude. Until then, I’d been doing it all my life, clueless – given I don’t at all mind when the passenger in front does it to me – that I’d been causing grievance.

Have I changed my ways since then? No, I still recline my seat, I just feel guilty about it now.

Somehow, I doubt that. Especially in light of the following.

On a recent flight, a mother sitting in a different row asked politely whether I would mind swapping seats with her so that she could sit with her teenage sons…Not a chance.

I would decline, too, if it meant moving from a window to an aisle seat, or worse, being piggy in the middle. I am firmly committed to the window seat; it’s the difference between a flight that is enjoyable and one which is dreadful.

I daresay a truly dreadful flight is one where one has to endure the constant, whining selfishness of this breed of ur-Karen.

For those of you unaware, a “Karen” is the type of entitled woman who drives a shiny SUV and always demands to speak to the manager. While our correspondent here is, mercifully, childless for the now, be in no doubt that she would be the first to not ask, but demand that others give up their seat for her precious offspring. Instead, she just takes her dog to stay in £1,000-a-night English mansions.

Because the thing about Karens is that, like all millennials, it’s all about them.

This preference, incidentally, is another indication that I’m selfish, according to the scientists I spoke to on the topic…As sustainable travel expert Professor Stefan Gössling remarked on the subject of our carbon footprint last month: “Humans are just not altruistic. We will not change our behaviour at the perceived disadvantage to ourselves to benefit others.”

Why on earth is a “sustainable travel expert” even a thing?

Still, young Karen is apparently surprised to find that others aren’t as selfish as she is.

I put the following hypothetical question to my colleagues – would they, if asked, swap their preferred seat for a middle seat on an 11-hour flight to LA so that a family could sit together? – and almost all of them said they would, albeit grudgingly.

Regardless, I’d stand my ground. Apparently, I value my comfort over my social standing.

Either that or you’re just another entitled, selfish, millennial hypocrite, Karen.