The other day I suggested to a friend that we may be close to reaching “peak woke”. He sagely responded that the notion of peak woke is like housing prices in Sydney: ever promising to stop climbing but never relenting.
Even so, there are several good reasons to entertain the question. This year’s “Pride Month” has pandered to the in-crowd, but online cynicism is at record highs. In recent weeks, I have lost count of how many times I’ve seen a corporation’s virtue-signalling tweet get painfully “ratioed” — meaning the tweet received more replies or retweets than likes, evidencing its lack of popularity.
Then there’s the drag-shows-for-kids saga, which is so beyond the pale that it has drawn the ire of many pro-LGBT commentators.
“A Dallas gay bar is under fire for hosting an afternoon drag show for children Saturday where kids were invited onstage and tipped performers in front of a neon sign bearing an obscene message,” the Daily Wire reported last week.
It’s not as though such events are being held all over America, but there has been a sharp increase in their frequency in recent times.
Popular Twitter account @LibsofTikTok was even banned from the platform for alleged “abuse and harassment” after posting a thread documenting drag shows performed for (or with the involvement of) children.
Even the New York Times seems to be growing tired of woke excesses. Just last week, the Gray Lady published a piece entitled, A Vanishing Word in Abortion Debate: ‘Women’.
“Language has been changing fast,” the author observed. He cited a range of examples of gender-neutral language — such as “pregnant people”, “birthing people” and “people with a cervix” — that have displaced the word “women” in public discourse. The article explained:
Driven by allies and activists for transgender people, medical, government and progressive organizations have adopted gender-neutral language that draws few distinctions between women and transgender men, as well as those who reject those identities altogether.
The New York Times even noted that the editor of British medical journal The Lancet was forced to apologise last year for a cover that referred to “bodies with vaginas” rather than women.
In our rush to de-stigmatise the exception, we’ve stigmatised the rule. Inviting every man and his dog into the tent once known as “women” has seen women disappear entirely from many conversations where their identity deserves to be front and centre.
In reality, everyone will reach peak woke at their own pace — and only when enough people have had enough will we be able to say that our society has reached peak woke.
For some, that point will come after observing the modern-day witch-hunt that is cancel culture, which has already come after a host of respectable and genuinely good-hearted public figures.
For others, peak woke will hit once they see the abject racism at the heart of the (allegedly anti-racist) critical race theory movement.
The lights come on for still others by observing the prophets of climate change hysteria zig-zag the globe in their private jets to lecture the rest of us about living simply.
There are so many double standards at the heart of wokery that we don’t need to look far for more examples. We all know of friends and family members who have finally snapped — they have seen the woke hypocrisy and can no longer bear it.
Has our culture reached peak woke?
I’m not sure. But Sydney house prices have started to fall.