June 4, 2023 | 9:52 p.m.
Drag activists, the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, will be honored at Dodgers Stadium for Pride Month.
AFP via Getty Images
If you’re old enough, remember the 1984 Democratic National Convention held in San Francisco.
This writer covered it as a young journalist, attending the flamboyant gay pride parade on Market Street on the opening day of the convention, the centerpiece of which was the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence contingent.
The group, then led by Sister Boom-Boom, was notable for its economical use of leather to cover its physique, alongside its deliberate mockery of the Catholic Church.
A Republican agent observing the scene remarked to this writer: “In 1972, we paid people to do this to George McGovern in Miami; now the Democrats are doing it for us for free.
That bit of hyperbole – the 1984 Democrats tried to keep the Bay Area’s gay scene a secret – comes across as an understatement today, as the Democratic Party has bet it all on boundless self-expression, to the point that the Biden administration ostensibly avoids using the term “woman” in all official policy documents.
Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Dodgers, once owned by a conservative Catholic family, publicly embraced the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, and much of corporate America “woke up.”
A popular slogan on the right is “Wake up, go broke”, but until recent weeks there was little evidence to support this proposition.
Attempts to organize consumer boycotts of “woke” products or companies, such as the NFL after Colin Kaepernick knelt for the national anthem, have generally failed after having little effect.
Then came the Bud Light debacle, in which Anheuser-Busch sought to capitalize on the feel of trans-celebrity ‘influencer’ Dylan Mulvaney with a specially-labeled can produced just for Mulvaney, which Mulvaney embraced all the way. on Instagram and elsewhere.
A spontaneous boycott of Bud Light, formerly the top-selling brand in the United States, has cut sales by more than a quarter since that unfortunate stunt, and the loss of market share appears to be continuing.
Anheuser-Busch’s stock fell 15% and Bud Light cans remain unsold on store shelves despite deep price discounts, while sales of rival brands such as Coors Light and Miller Lite surged.
Barron’s reports that several analysts think the Bud Light abandonment could last, making the micro-targeted Mulvaney promotion perhaps the biggest brand-killing marketing mistake since the Ayds Diet in the 1980s.
Someone in Target’s marketing department apparently decided to say “Hold my Bud Light” and emulate this consumer alienation strategy.
A notable offering from the stores’ Pride Month product line is “tuck-friendly” “women’s” one-piece swimsuits for fully-equipped men who wish to dress like women.
Another spontaneous consumer boycott took off, and Target’s stock price fell for 10 straight days, losing 15% as the rest of the market began to rally, its worst showing on Wall Street in 23 years.
At the end of the week, JP Morgan downgraded the action of Target.
The backlash against gender fluidity is not limited to consumers.
Several Major League Baseball stars have publicly criticized the Dodgers, and there has been a growing backlash against anatomical men participating in women’s sporting events.
This moment feels different: a line has been crossed, and “normies,” for lack of a better term for traditional middle-class Americans, are saying “enough is enough.”
The long-term trend of American social life for decades has expanded the boundaries of individual expression and self-definition.
Americans have generally been tolerant, if sometimes slow to move, of what were once considered “deviant” traits like homosexuality, but also interracial marriage and working women.
It should be noted that by the time of the 2015 Supreme Court Oberfell decision legalizing same-sex marriage, public opinion had come to support the idea, after strongly opposing it just 20 years ago. .
But the current push for gender fluidity fundamentally differs from previous “liberation” movements, as it demands a total denial of human nature itself and demands conformity to this radical vision.
Far from simply wanting to be tolerated or left alone, the new transgender movement insists on the transgression of all institutional and social boundaries, from toilets to sports to the elementary school classroom.
Americans have largely tolerated individuals previously described as “transvestites”, but what explains the adamant insistence on performing “drag-queen” exhibitions? for kids?
Why the fierce repression of dissenting voices in the medical community regarding aggressive medical interventions on children whose brains and personalities we know are far from fully developed?
It should be noted that what is euphemistically called ‘gender-affirming care’ has recently been severely restricted in Europe.
As opinion polls find majorities of Americans opposed to the premise of gender fluidity, consider the current moment the revolt of the Normies.
For those American institutions that have indulged in this extremism, perhaps we should say Pride Month precedes the fall.
Steven F. Hayward is a resident scholar at the Institute of Governmental Studies at UC Berkeley.