Deb Reich
It's not the people... it's the paradigm.

Homo Ch’ubris beware – the mouthy women are coming

Photo courtesy of the author
Photo courtesy of the author

What kind of person do you get when you combine “chutzpah” and “hubris”? You get Homo Ch’ubris, that’s what.

(Pronounce it “homo ch-YOU-bris”. The ch part in the middle should sound like you have a bad cold and are determinedly clearing your throat.)

Possibly this strikes you as funny? You may think I’m joking but, humorous overtones aside, I’m utterly serious.

Photo courtesy of the author

Basic definitions

Following are the definitions, in case either of these terms is new to you. As you read, think of some of your least favorite among the most obnoxious public figures in your own part of the world. The images that come to mind – chief executives, ministers and generals, legislators, jurists, industrialists, media gurus, religious fundamentalists, celebrities – should help you solidify your conception of Homo Ch’ubris:

Chutzpah is a Yiddish word meaning colossal nerve; extreme audacity. The classic illustration, according to my late father, is the case of a kid who murders both his or her parents and then begs the judge for mercy on account of being an orphan.

Hubris is a Greek term meaning excessive pride – typically leading to a downfall. Wikipedia, referencing several dictionaries, elaborates as follows: Hubris “describes a personality quality of extreme or excessive pride or dangerous overconfidence and complacency, often in combination with (or synonymous with) arrogance.” The arrogance is key.

When you combine chutzpah with hubris and add accents of arrogance, you get a toxic quality prevalent among (mostly) males of so many different cultures these days that it surely qualifies as a planetary pandemic of Ch’ubris. Sometimes beginning in their teens, these fellows evidently cannot resist attempting to legislate, litigate, plan, prescribe, or dictate to women and girls what they are and are not permitted to do, say, think, aspire to, or decide about their own lives and their own bodies and body parts, notably the womb, but also including modes of dress, mobility and travel, professional development, and so forth. The Ch’ubris-afflicted are also happy to impose their chosen priorities on males of inferior social status. This infuriating pattern of tone-deaf, can’t read the room, arrogant and dictatorial behavior has become so widespread globally that it deserves its own moniker. Hence: Homo Ch’ubris. Say it aloud repeatedly until it seems natural. As the late Ursula K. Le Guin was fond of pointing out, correctly naming something is the beginning of having power over it.

If clear-sighted women and our male allies do not wake up very fast and very thoroughly all over the world, Homo Ch’ubris will continue to trash our beleaguered planet, punishing billions of human beings and other creatures, their habitats and their cultures – in the pursuit of profit, patriarchy, and My Way or the Highway. Karma will catch up with Homo Ch’ubris sometime, but meanwhile he will be taking the rest of us down with him… unless we engineer a monumental collective pivot, immediately.

By “collective pivot” I mean, among other things, organizing massive voter turnout for the next round of elections, so we can send the Ch’ubris-afflicted officials home and install better leaders in positions of power.

It’s time for all the mouthy women to stand up now

“Women have become too mouthy,” according to former basketball pro Royce White, age 33, currently vying for the Republican nomination to run for the US Senate this fall against incumbent Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota. (He said so on a Steve Bannon podcast in 2023).

A somewhat confused conspiracy theorist belatedly embraced by the MAGA cult, Royce White is not really the marquee Voldemort in this essay – but his mouthy women meme is perfect for unifying a global movement in opposition to Homo Ch’ubris. We can adopt his smear of shame as our badge of honor. Damn right, women are becoming increasingly mouthy, because so many influential men (and too many celebrated women hitching their star to the Homo Ch’ubris bandwagon) have strayed so very far out of their lane. These folks who are trying to herd us over the edge and into the abyss are heavily disadvantaged by their own ignorance and fear, which they try to camouflage with bluster.

I am not going to try to tell you who they are because, given the situation today here in Israel where I live, naming names might get me arrested. Suffice it to say that even a cursory reading of the headlines almost anywhere shows you all you need to know about the doings of Homo Ch’ubris in the year 2024.

Mouthy women, wake up! Unite! (Including most particularly in partnership with mouthy women on “the other side” – because it’s Homo Ch’ubris that is selling us all this hatred and divisiveness.)

My dear mouthy women sisters, wherever you are, hear me! We gotta wake up now, or heaven help us all.

About the Author
A native New Yorker, by profession a writer, editor, and translator, my passion after nearly forty years in Israel/Palestine is to explore how we might craft a better shared future by discarding the paradigm of enemies – an obsolete social design, now highly toxic. Read more in my book, No More Enemies, available on my website or from online booksellers.
Related Topics
Related Posts