Like a character out of a South Park episode, a hulking and enraged man identifying as a woman emphatically corrects another customer for misgendering him by calling him ‘sir.’ The scene became a spectacle and deserves a full recap to appreciate.
Looking to be at least six feet tall, with a tense neck thick with bulging veins, the transfemale customer uses a deep and throaty voice to aggressively remind the clerk behind the counter that he is, in fact, a ‘ma’am’ and not a ‘sir.’ This probable ex-athlete, with hoop earrings and eye shadow applied, threatens the meek and unassuming clerk, saying that he will “take him outside and show him a ‘sir’,” if he doesn’t stop misgendering him, presumably meaning that he wants a physical altercation. After forcefully kicking over some of the merchandise with his strong legs, the woman, sporting a cute pink shirt and tiny gray hoodie concealing sinewy, hair covered forearms and a brawny frame, begins an expletive laden tirade where he asks the clerk for GameStop’s corporate number and warns him that he will tell the entire “LGBTQ community” about this incident. “You’re going to lose money over this,” he menacingly exclaims. He storms off with his pink purse hoisted over his broad shoulder, frustrated at this devastating encounter with the vindictive bigotry and discrimination so typical of awkward and nerdy video game store employees.
America is a country with a deeply dishonest and insincere public discourse. Our official commitment to liberalism means that power and the ability to manipulate others’ behavior and choices is concealed behind a thick layer of incoherent verbal pieties that serve as a comforting coping mechanism for true believers. The darker view is that they form a convenient smokescreen for those interested in the very human desires to dominate others and advance your own status at the expense of your enemies.
Think of liberalism as the mounds of earth that sit between the archaeologist and the fossils he wants to study. In the same way, the relationships of power between people don’t really change much, but to see how they truly function in a country like ours requires an effort of clearing away mountains of verbiage specifically dedicated to convincing observers and citizens that the normal relationships of power have been suspended in our case, as we are exceptional.
Generally, people who haven’t been propagandized beyond a certain point or who exhibit a modicum of courtesy would find a man proclaiming to be a woman both verbally and sartorially to be amusing, pathetic, or some combination of both. In our current year, the sensible response, no matter how absurd, is to be afraid. The humor of the clerk having to fearfully correct himself several times because of his own reflexive use of the term ‘sir’ when speaking to an obvious (and large) man belies the serious anxiety present in any contemporary situation where a perceived marginalized identity is involved. This is because, no matter what Americans say outwardly about freedom or liberty, the reality is that we are constantly being subjected to radically revolutionary change. This change is implemented through a series of informal and indirect pressures that eventually culminate in a new and unprecedented understanding of our own political and civil ideals.
From at least the Sixties onward, American citizens have had to conduct their political life under a severe psychological angst. This specific angst is the result of a process whereby identities portrayed as deprived of the privileges of liberalism are systematically weaponized against the majority population. This has been our normal politics for some time. Whether it’s being performed through litigation, activism, digital mobs, protests, foundations, journalists and news media, academics, or corporate pressure (woke capital), our levers of power are consistently being manipulated in favor of the periphery over the center. The center, historically white and Christian, can only be understood as responding under duress, meaning responding to political and cultural shifts while suffering from a severe collective anxiety that cripples effective response.
This is partly what people mean when they describe Baby Boomer politics; everything done under implicit threat. This process has used racial and religious minorities, immigrants, women, homosexuals and, now transsexuals, but this is only the material content of a formal procedure that hasn’t essentially changed. Some are already suspecting that pedophiles will be next as they are currently in the beginning and critical stage, abusing and cynically molding language, which conditions thought, and concocting ad hoc phrases like a mad chemist in a laboratory. They are now MAPs or Minor Attracted Persons, and soon we will all be forced to realize that they, too, have been historically deprived of the privileges of liberal freedom and equality.
If you’ve noticed, this is just the civil rights movement as playbook, as a template of society wide transformation. This puts a new spin on the cliché of racism being America’s original sin. It isn’t original sin but original success, the format whereby all other contemporary political revolutions will attempt to effectively alter norms, laws, and perceptions. Angry and hormonal GameStop pre-op transexuals admiringly gazing upon a picture of Rosa Parks, saying to themselves “Wow, she’s just like me (female).”
You may have also noticed that the marginalized groups in question don’t ever receive a true and thorough amelioration of their circumstances. Unfortunately, the FBI still keeps crime statistics, the CDC still keeps statistics on LGBT health, disease, and life expectancy, and feminists, to their eternal ire, can still get pregnant. At the same time, corporate power is building an almost parallel government within US jurisdiction that enjoys the sincere support of people who have convinced themselves that these companies will be able to do the dirty work of revolution better than the state.
It should be clear how deeply immoral this entire scheme is. Both practically and theoretically, no people should be forced to conduct themselves in what is appropriately described as a perpetual hostage situation, where dangerous or seriously ill people serve as battering rams for state and corporate power against citizens who are too socially disconnected and morally impotent to oppose it. Our neighborhoods, our schools, our workplaces, our politics, and even our very language are totally out of our own control. We must continually bend to the whims of increasingly grotesque identities that almost dare us to speak out in either laughter or horror. Yet we remain silent. We know what awaits us if we don’t.