Woke backlash: America’s shift away from ‘wokeness’ in 2025

Mar 18, 2024
Source: Getty Images.

It looks like America is going to become a little less woke in 2025.

The term woke is already extremely divisive. There’s no doubt that when the term was introduced to our vocabularies it was a good thing. First coined in the 1940s in America, it simply referred to someone who was well-informed on issues of social justice – particularly racial issues.

Now, for some generations, calling a person woke is an insult. For others, it is high praise. There’s not a lot of middle ground to be found. You are either woke, or you’re not.

The likelihood of Donald Trump being returned to the White House after the November US elections, could be the death knell of the woke movement … in America, at least.

As part of his election campaign, Trump has declared war on woke culture. He says as President he will enlist all the power of the federal government to reform teaching, healthcare and policing policies to rid his country of this “woke” nonsense. He says he wants his government to take a greater role in American life, even suggesting that he plans to have a say in what teachers can share with students.

He has promised to launch an “anti-woke” university called the American Academy. And he says he will punish doctors and hospitals that provide transgender surgery to children. I don’t usually say this, but I think Trump is doing a good job here of reading the sentiment of the nation and can see that doubling down on his anti-woke credentials will go a long way to helping him win the election.

Woke culture, it is fair to say, peaked at the end of 2022. Anti-woke sentiment is growing faster by the day. People are realising that it is counterproductive to spend millions and millions of dollars trying to “woke retrofit” things like the language used in our hospitals, when we don’t have enough money to hire enough doctors and nurses. Rather than spend money re-writing documents to be more inclusive, we
should be employing more nurses on the wards and doctors in operating theatres. It’s commonsense. Apparently you can’t say that anymore, because some people deem it to be offensive.

I think as people wake up to some of the stupidities of woke culture, they are speaking out more against it. Not all woke culture is silly, but some of it is … and we just need to call out “bad woke” decisions when they don’t make sense. We need to stop and question why we are allowing certain things to happen. Thankfully, it is starting to happen.

Just last week the NXXT Golf tour banned transgender athlete Hailey Davidson.

Scottish-born Davidson, earlier this year, became the first transgender golfer to win a NXXT event when she won the Women’s Classic at Mission Inn Resort and Club that gave her access to the Epson Tour – a qualifying tour for the LPGA. Davidson had hoped she could climb through the professional ranks of the women’s game, but NXXT Golf has changed its policies to ban any competitor that was not a “biological female at birth”.

“We didn’t make this decision lightly. We knew it was a polarising topic and would evoke a lot of emotions from people out there,’’ CEO Stuart McKinnon told Fox News.

“We took a lot of time in educating ourselves, spoke to many stakeholders in the golfing community and the sporting community at large from coaches and players and doctors and scientists, and educated ourselves.

“It really came down to one principle, and that was about competitive fairness. We felt that the biological male had a physiological advantage against the woman on the tour, and we made the decision to change.’’

And you can’t argue with that.

Scottie Scheffler, the world men’s number one golfer, hits his driver, on average, 312 yards. Australia’s number one female golfer Minjee Lee hits her driver 262 yards. That’s a massive advantage based on physical make-up.

In the swimming world, 16 female athletes made headlines after they filed a federal lawsuit against the NCAA for allowing transgender women to compete in college sports and use women’s locker rooms at events.

Lia Thomas became the first openly transgender person to win a NCAA Division I national championship two years ago. The class action suit wants “any male” who has competed in NCAA women’s events to be declared ineligible, and for the judge to also revoke and re-award any titles those athletes have won in the past and to stop the body from allowing transgender female athletes to compete in women’s events going forward.

Thomas is herself taking separate legal action in Switzerland to try to be allowed to compete as a female at the Paris Olympics this year. Arkansas Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders has been making headlines of her own.

In October she signed an executive order that prohibits “woke, anti-women words” in state documents.

“It’s the left that decided that ‘woman’ is a dirty word,” Sanders said at a press conference announcing the order.

“It’s the left that decided we needed basic biology and basic grammar along with it.’’

The executive order states that: “Women are women,” and that “government should reject language that ignores, undermines, and erases women. Government should celebrate gender distinctions between men and women — not erase them.”

The executive order prohibits all state offices, departments, boards, and commissions from using the words and terms Governor Sanders says are “ridiculous.”

So, what were the words she banned? Menstruating person. Menstruating people. Birth-giver. Womxn. Womyn. Laboring person. Birthing person. Human milk. Chestfeeding. Body fed. Person fed. And what did she replace them with?

Woman. Women. Birth mom. Breast milk. Breastfeeding. Breast fed. Pregnant women. Pregnant mom. And birth mom. It’s hard to argue with her.

And what’s been the reaction? Well, most pundits are tipping a bright political future for Governor Sanders, who was a White House press secretary under Donald Trump.

The tide is turning in America. And we tend to follow America, so it is fair to say that the woke debate may start to heat up here again any time soon.

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