Germany’s soccer world cup loss to Japan last week brought with it the familiar howls of outrage within older generations.
The German team had staged a protest over being blocked by FIFA from wearing a rainbow-coloured armband in support of LGBT Qataris, putting their hands over their mouths in a pre-match gesture.
Virtue signaling, their critics cried! They deserved to lose for not focusing on the football, some fans said.
Of course, Germany could have been beaten by a better team on the day. But, that wouldn’t suit the narrative of the anti-woke, among which charging others with virtue signaling has become virtue signaling, in itself.
Along with being labelled a hypocrite, being labelled a virtue signaler is now a major risk of speaking out on any social or environmental topic.
But, ask yourself, does the anger of those who level these charges arise because they are so committed to climate action or diversity? Or is it driven more by commercial self-interest, or a rear-guard action to protect the cultural norms they associate with their own success or happiness?
Cultures change, and this change is driven by people. In Australia, our original LGBT activists were arrested for taking a stand.
But thanks to their efforts and countless large and small contributions since, Australia has changed for the better.
Stay strong, Gen Z. Don’t let the anti-woke backlash grind you down.
This article also appeared in The West Australian newspaper.