I recently spoke to a well-off, but rather eccentric, friend of mine. Sparing you the emotional hoo-ha imparted on me, he has been going through a libidinal trough that naturally led him and his partner to get thinking. Faux affairs, role play, vibrators. . . Even some handcuffs, rope and a blindfold were on the cards. Though, as any good feminists would, they switched roles and went for a strap-on too.
You see, there’s something about a lower-class struggle that sets the bedroom ablaze with passion. Some healthy friction, one might say, when one is preoccupied with putting food on the table or finessing government welfare programs. Therefore, when things get too comfortable, it’s a natural response for humans to go a little mental—such is the lack of stimulation in one’s day-to-day existence.
Our growingly affluent Western society has been going through its own dry-spell as of late. And it too is responding by going full-on wacko. A newly resurgent wave of wokery is desecrating immutable truths and freedoms, and it is succumbing to cheap pleasure in lieu of a deeper fix.
Truth be told, life has become all too sheltered for some in the West, if not a little flaccid. But far from giving us the platform to strive and thrive, our sheltering has made us uninspired and, quite frankly, a little thick. What else could one expect in a world where Blackout Tuesdays, rainbow armbands, and a mildly unhinged Swedish girl equate to true virtue?
In being coddled by comfort, we’ve lost the art of telling people to “shut the f**k up and get on with it.” Today, we embrace relativistic platitudes and tell five-year-olds that their truth “is the truth.” Bathed in abundance and deprived of responsibility, we’ve become a pitiful race of clay degenerating toward absolute moral relativism and identity politics.
And as for peace and equality (and truth and history and art and debate and freedom), we’re dragging them down with us.
‘My Truth’ Makes a Debut at UChicago
Not long ago, I returned to visit the UChicago campus and, newly relieved of my academic duties, was in full esprit. But as I took my very first steps through the heralded doors of Renee Granville-Grossman Residential Commons, the most hideous thing (bar the customarily drab dress sense of UChicago undergraduates) caught my eye. Pronouns. Plastered obnoxiously to each and every dorm.
As I write this, I can hear the do-gooder horde alternating between cries of “What is it to you?” and “It makes them happy.” Respectfully, no.
The mind-scrambling hogwash that we may change objective facts about ourselves is crippling our young. Just one of the consequences of agendas such as this, pushed almost entirely by university-educated snoots, is that the U.K. has seen an almost 3,500% increase in child referrals to the National Health Service’s Tavistock gender clinic in the past 10 years.
Rather than encouraging our children to find fulfillment in who they really are, we usher them into conflict with inborn traits. Children are consequently growing uncertain and terribly frightened of themselves.
Now, it is widely expected that over a thousand families will sue the soon-to-be-closed Tavistock clinic for foisting life-altering changes—including a medical route to sterilization and genital mutilation—upon their children. I thought we left that to Guinea and Somalia, but I guess even liberals succumb to a spot of cultural appropriation from time to time.
In addition to being barbaric, the idea that one can decree his own pronouns is fundamentally anti-truth. And though we all knew this until the day before yesterday, once ‘my truth’ becomes the truth, Western pillars of rational discourse and empirical inquisition helplessly collapse. Not that Gender and Sexuality Studies, Comparative Race and Ethnic Studies, or others of the day’s pedigreed majors require much of that, anyway.
It is unsurprising to me that the social strata brandishing these self-proclaimed ideals are amongst the most pampered and unfettered to have ever lived. For this eternally dulling lot, not only does this postmodernist lens offer a pseudo-empathic cloak for more selfish motives; but, as intelligent debate is dismissed, so too is the spotlight on wokesters’ stupidity.
UChicago.edu Offers Craziness a Helping Hand
Returning to my story, I was hit with a wave of anxiety as I walked down the hall and passed the gallery of pronouns. If it weren’t for these signs, what ought I do should I mistake someone’s pronouns? How do I ask for someone’s pronouns? If someone asks for my pronouns, do they think I’m trans? You know—the sort of stuff universities were created to tussle with.
Naturally, I opened UChicago’s Center for Identity + Inclusivity’s (CI+I) page on “Pronouns of Reference.” After all, I had always wondered what those trailblazing honchos got up to away from side-hustling as baristas at a campus coffee shop, listening to Taylor Swift, and changing the color of their hair (oftentimes simultaneously).
With deep gratitude, I was relieved to find my nerves decidedly quenched. Over 600 words of erudite guidance and counsel. Now, I can be an ally to the L’s, G’s, and B’s and to the T’s and Q’s as well (CI+I’s LBGTQ student life team only extends so far as the Q’s, so sod the rest). I’m glad we’re getting the important stuff right. If only old Rocko (UChicago founder John D. Rockefeller) had been less worried about abolition, oil production, and the national eradication of yellow fever, he might’ve taken ‘misgendering’ a little more seriously. Makes me sick.
The thing with all of this is that it’s far more menial to choose emotionally lucrative narratives over objective reality. It’s easier to speak of the oppressor and the oppressed or push agendas veiled under the pretense of virtue (take climate change or COVID-19).
However, it’s these very agendas that, driven by intention rather than outcome, favor the Trader Joe-going, EV-owning airheads that push them, while harming society’s poorest.
Truth is, we’ll always be caught in an empty hysteria until we call out this brain-dumbing drivel. The cultural repudiation and mud-slinging won’t stop until we concern ourselves more with self-responsibility and hard work and less with the trivial pleasures of affluence. In the words of the late Sir Roger Scruton, “Good things are easily destroyed, but not easily created.” It’s time to push back and stand up.
And as for my friend? Same thing goes. Call me old-fashioned, but I say less femdom and more soul-searching.
*The views expressed in this article solely represent the views of the author, not the views of the Chicago Thinker.
Shubh Malde is a Chicago Thinker copy editor. Previously a member of the class of 2025 at the University of Chicago, he is currently on leave after founding Arda, a venture-backed startup that takes him everywhere from Silicon Valley to West Africa. Shubh is also a keen artist, podcast host, African free trade advocate, and lover of 1960s–80s music. He lives in London, has Kenyan heritage and Indian origin, and is reachable at @shubhmalde and firstname.lastname@example.org.