North American ‘wokeism’ is reaching levels that Europeans can’t comprehend

By: Rachel Marsden

VANCOUVER, British Columbia — As a North American based in Europe for the past 15 years, one of the most striking things that I notice when back “home” visiting is the growing societal friction as a result of rampant “wokeism.” That is, problems being caused by the leftist-driven redefinition of even the most traditional and basic concepts. It’s something that just doesn’t exist in Europe, and European leaders are hoping to keep it that way.

The U.S. and Canadian press is routinely rife with debate now over what seem like gratuitous acts of attempted social engineering. Recently, Nike featured a transsexual social media influencer in some of its ads for women’s sports bras despite the individual being as flat as a pancake. The American brewing company, Anheuser-Busch, also hired the same trans influencer to advertise their Bud Light beer in a video where the individual is seen cracking open a cold one to celebrate “day 365 of womanhood” while admitting to not having a clue as to what “March Madness” was.

It’s glaringly off-brand and off-message for a product long associated with game day. The company’s stock subsequently lost $5 billion in value, according to the New York Post, and the marketing executive responsible for the ad has taken a leave of absence.

So what can be gleaned from the backlash? Critics were minding their own business until these major brands decided to go out of their way to rub their noses in this brave new world, prompting them to either shrug it off or react. Their reaction suggests that it’s all a bridge too far.

Then there’s NCAA college swimmer Riley Gaines who has been publicly defending women’s rights in sports amid the decision by the sports league to not only include transgender swimmer Lia Thomas in women’s races against female competitors like Gaines, but also in the female locker rooms, even though Thomas reportedly has male genitalia. In Europe, this entire debate would be unthinkable. Any attempt to move the goal posts would be met with an outright, "no."

Those who denounce the normalization of the most extreme North American wokeism are now increasingly dismissed as unenlightened or uneducated. Any grade schooler is supposed to now be able to demand a gender change, and parents who object to it risk learning that they can’t, as the court of appeal in the province of British Columbia has already ruled.

In that precedent-setting case, the father was told by the courts to simply accept the gender transition of his minor child and to get educated about it. “[The father’s] refusal to respect [the boy’s] decisions regarding his gender identity is troublesome,” the judge said.

Meanwhile, North American school teachers these days not only have to know the names of their students, but also have to watch out for the risk of “misgendering” a kid who decides to use the pronouns of the opposite sex — or pronouns that sound like they were invented for space aliens, like “zirself”.

Mention this all to a typical European and they’ll just stare at you and ask whether you’re joking. Europeans simply don’t understand any of it, and they can’t believe that it would ever be an issue worthy of public discourse. And it’s not because Europe lacks progressives or leftists. There’s just still a sense in Europe that these things aren’t an actual problem or are so rampant that they merit massive societal attention.

European leaders, even those in the West whose social tendencies often closely align with those in America, figure that the U.S. and Canada have gone overboard.

While the U.S. was in the throes of cancel culture, demanding that history be rewritten and statues be torn down, French President Emmanuel Macron said that “the republic will not erase any trace, or any name, from its history … it will not take down any statue.”

And Macron’s former education minister, Jean-Michel Blanquer, openly stated the need to prevent wokeism, which he qualified as an American ideological phenomenon, from infiltrating the French educational system. He argued that it ultimately just served to divide society, creating an exploitable vulnerability for those seeking to rise to power.

Europe doesn’t need any more identity politics. It already has enough problems struggling with a lack of integration in schools and in society in general in light of its generous immigration policies. But why is North America not discouraging the proliferation of gender identity politics? It’s absurd that there are so many keen to actively and systemically promote new social divisions at a time when there’s arguably never been a greater need to find common ground.