From the boardroom to the cash register, big businesses have gone woke for “Pride.” But consumers finally seem to have had their fill.
In a matter of weeks, Target and Anheuser-Busch lost a combined $40.8 billion in market value over their LGBTQ Pride-focused marketing campaigns.
Their corporate collapses should be a warning for other businesses: Pride comes before the fall.
The madness began with March madness, at least for the maker of Budweiser. The beer giant, likely thinking of the publicity and applause it would receive from woke elites, launched a promo featuring transgender activist Dylan Mulvaney. And publicity is what Anheuser-Busch got.
To date, the beer maker’s market capitalization has fallen around $27 billion.
Target—which adopted a gender-neutral bathroom policy in 2016—was likewise eager to jump on the Pride bandwagon, but tried a different route. It released nationwide Pride-focused merchandise targeting children, including “tuck friendly” swimsuits for boys who identify as girls, but have not yet amputated their sexual organs. For good measure, it also offered kid-friendly products designed by a self-identified “trans Satanist.”
It, too, paid dearly, losing $13.8 billion of its market capitalization. And as it fell, the rap song “Boycott Target” soared to the top of iTunes charts. Target claims the collapse is due to economic factors such as a possible recession. CNN has jumped in to defend the company, arguing that “broader changes in the U.S. economy, the possibility of a recession, and Target’s overexposure to discretionary merchandise” were to blame.
But the data says otherwise: During the same period, rival Walmart’s stock price climbed slightly, and that of Kohl’s hardly changed.
While the value of Anheuser-Busch and Target continues to plummet, the magnitude of their losses makes one wonder how they failed to foresee such a disaster.
That Big Business is marketing Pride isn’t a surprise. What is a surprise—especially for Anheuser-Busch and Target—is that consumers do, indeed, have their limits when being bombarded with liberal sexual orthodoxy.
The transgender ideology has been pushed on average Americans by political, academic, and corporate elites for years, with an uptick after President Joe Biden’s inauguration in January 2021.
Unable to persuade moms and dads that their otherwise healthy children should undergo genital mutilation, rather than seek psychological treatment for underlying mental health conditions, trans activists turned to these cultural elites for help.
Radical politicians in blue states, for instance, are using their state pension funds as leverage to shape the liberal corporate governance policies of investment firms such as BlackRock, Vanguard, and State Street. And because these firms control more than $20 trillion in investment capital, they in turn are able to redefine business practices (including Pride campaigns) across the country.
Why bother to try to pass a pro-trans bill when you can simply buy your preferred agenda?
That’s to say nothing of the financial incentives behind the pro-trans marketing push. The sex-reassignment market stood around $1.9 billion in 2021 and is projected to grow to $5 billion by the end of the decade.
Some posited that the LGBTQ+ advocacy group Human Rights Campaign’s “Corporate Equality Index” was behind Bud Light’s decision to partner with Mulvaney. Now, the Human Rights Campaign’s “Healthcare Equality Index” for hospitals purportedly measures the “equity and inclusion of their LGBTQ+ patients.”
Among others, the index is funded by (drumroll, please) … Pfizer—the same Pfizer that makes the puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones administered in the most “equitable” health care facilities across the country.
If activists can persuade Big Business to market transgender ideology, they can ensure that those projections will become reality. More gender dysphoric kids means more dollars for pro-trans lobbyists, medical professionals, medical facilities, and even government agencies to ensure “inclusion” and “health care” for these “marginalized” folks.
But parents are literally not buying it.
They understand that children are unprepared to make life-altering decisions about their bodies or to become sexually active at such young ages. They know that kids believe all kinds of things when they’re children that they will later renounce as they mature into adulthood.
And they recognize that when their children face complex mental health challenges, those children need support, love, and talk therapy directed at treating underlying issues—not social, hormonal, and surgical transition to affirm a child’s false belief that he or she is another sex.
Businesses exist to create a good or service of public value and to deliver a profit for their shareholders. But marketing transgender ideology does not (as Anheuser-Busch and Target now know too well) deliver shareholder profit or create consumer value. It destroys it.
Transgender ideology also undermines what is good, true, and beautiful about each of us. It confuses children about their identities and pushes them to permanently harm their bodies—making them more depressed and suicidal in the process.
Target isn’t creating value when it markets Pride-themed crop tops or tuck-friendly swimsuits. Target is destroying value—and itself in the process.
No doubt, Target and Anheuser-Busch were convinced by narrow-sighted activists that uber-woke Pride campaigns would benefit their bottom line. But everyday Americans were quick to remind them of a basic economic principle: Producing goods and services of value results in profits. Promoting corporate woke ideology results in losses.
America’s C-suites should take note lest they, too, go the way of Bud Light.
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