Rob Henderson coined the term “luxury beliefs” to describe ideas and opinions that confer status on the rich at very little cost, while taking a toll on the lower class. He goes on to say that since luxury goods have now become more affordable, the upper class (and I warrant, the aspirational class) still want to broadcast their high social position (apparently, a very important part of upper class motivations). The upper class has now attached social status to beliefs. These beliefs include, feminism, polyamory/sexual promiscuity, critical theories of race and sex, to name a few.
The problem with these beliefs is that they harm people who are not sufficiently equipped to deal with the pitfalls of embracing these luxury lifestyles. In the case of feminism, low-income women suffer when they pursue relationships with unstable men who doom them to single motherhood. It’s very easy for a higher-income woman to say “I don’t need a man” or “I can have it all” when she has the financial means needed to raise a child above the poverty level. It is a privilege to be a modern feminist.
The critical theory of sex (the foundation of the feminism of our times) is based on painting men as “evil” and their attributes “toxic masculinity.” This alienates men from women and teaches women that to be a “virtuous” woman of the times is to be hyper-masculine and dominant. As such, men in relationships with feminist women have learned there is no longer a need for them to fulfill their roles as providers and protectors. And so when low-income women partake in the biological process of pregnancy and childbirth, they are in relationships with men who are unwilling and unable to provide and protect. And so the burden falls on the new mother to nurture, provide, and protect. A higher income woman will not have the same difficulty as she can provide for her and her child’s needs with or without a man. It is a privilege to subscribe to the critical theory of sex.
The promotion of sexual promiscuity is also a luxury belief because the women who are able to overcome its consequences (contraction of STDs and unwanted pregnancies) have the financial means and access to healthcare. A low-income woman who does not enjoy the same means and access cannot afford to be sexually promiscuous lest she risks illness, an unwanted pregnancy, and single motherhood. It is a privilege to be sexually promiscuous.
And so here we are. People signaling their status and so-called virtue through their beliefs. It is my hope we see these signals for what they are and learn to differentiate advantageous vs harmful ideas before we adopt them as our own. Be honest with yourself. Can you afford to disadvantage yourself? It’s okay if you can’t. Many of us cannot afford such luxury. You do you.