Wokescolds are the new representatives of moral panic. We’ve seen plenty of moral panic before in the United States, from worries about violent video games, to concern about allegations of sex abuse at day care facilities. But never have we seen a moral panic of the stunning breadth of today’s woke moral panic. It’s a moral panic that insists we change fundamental characteristics of our society, from biology, to language, to politics, to religion, to romantic relations, to art, to comedy.
We’re told that if we fail to rewrite biology to suggest there are more than two sexes, or if we don’t use preferred pronouns rather than biological ones, we will inevitably create emotional and mental instability among certain vulnerable groups. We’re told that if we fail to silence members of groups who haven’t suffered sufficiently in the United States, we will be contributing to the perpetuation of power hierarchies that target minorities. We’re told that if we don’t force religious people to violate their own standards in order to cater to those engaging in what they consider to be sinful activity, we will be bolstering religious oppression. We’re told that the only proper type of sexual relationship is one initiated via contractual levels of affirmative consent, rather than mere affirmative body language or acquiescence. We’re told that “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” and “The Philadelphia Story” are deeply troubling hallmarks of our sexist past (modern rap, replete with brutal degradation of women, is just fine, in case you were wondering). And we’re told that if we consider politically incorrect jokes funny, we’re strengthening regressive stereotypes.