Ayishat Akanbi - The Problem with Wokeness

(20 Posts)
justanotherneighinparadise Tue 30-Jun-20 09:53:56

Has empathy and compassion been replaced with moral superiority?


I didn’t know how to embed a video or save it so it’s a link I’m afraid. Brilliant video.

OP’s posts: |
justanotherneighinparadise Tue 30-Jun-20 09:54:22

Oooh it’s done it automatically 👌

OP’s posts: |
WeetabixBananaHipsterFFS Tue 30-Jun-20 11:24:38

The bit at the end where she’s careful to point out that her critique isn’t like those lumped together Boomers/Gen Xers confused It’s almost as if she thinks she’s the only one smart and progressive enough to have come up with this line of argument.

“When I was a boy of 14...”

NonnyMouse1337 Tue 30-Jun-20 12:20:07

Thanks for that, I'll have a listen to her video in a bit. I have never heard of her before. I actually started listening to her interview with the Triggernometry guys before seeing this thread.


Goosefoot Tue 30-Jun-20 12:26:48

I mean, it's a true set of statements about emotions taking over being a problem, and about empathy, how oppression olympics are too reductive. Sometimes it needs to be said.

But I don't think it really gets at the real underlying problem with identity politics, or where the urge to cancel is coming from.

NonnyMouse1337 Tue 30-Jun-20 13:10:58

Goosefoot what would you say is the underlying problem with identity politics and the urge to cancel?

(Sorry, I ask because I enjoy reading your points of view as they can be quite insightful. blush)

nauticant Tue 30-Jun-20 13:25:24

In my view the underlying problem of identity politics is that it assigns us all to loads of little identity boxes and makes us aware of our differences and then, as is inevitable, manipulative people come along and realise that if you sort the boxes into a load of hierarchies it's possible to game the system to considerable advantage.

I think of that, then I think of the Civil Rights movement and am struck by how the two approaches contrast.


Echobelly Tue 30-Jun-20 13:35:51

Very good video - I just feel so tired of the absolute polarisation I see so often online and I do think people need to stop dehumanising each other. I have managed to have some interesting conversations online with people with whom I disagree when we've both approached it with an open mind. We still disagreed, but we learned something. Something I wouldn't have learned if I just wrote them off as a human being, or if they'd decided I needed to be lectured to, etc.

The trouble is, shortform social media like Twitter is a basically a misunderstanding generator - it's very hard to get across nuance, and very easy to be straw-manned and it all goes downhill.

justanotherneighinparadise Tue 30-Jun-20 15:27:32

It was interesting in one the Triggernometry videos last night where they said cancel culture is like a religion with no compassion or forgiveness. It’s a baying mob mentality where the only acceptable outcome is the death of the individual’s livelihood and position in society.

That can then lead to that person committing suicide or lapsing into a severe mental health situation. It’s bullying without the culpability because of the moral superiority these people feel. I find it fascinating.

OP’s posts: |
risefromyourgrave Tue 30-Jun-20 15:37:02

I do think lumping Gen X and Baby Boomers together is a bit much. I’m just a Gen X, I’ll be 41 this year, and using Jim flipping Davidson as a representative is a bit unflattering and unfair!

WeetabixBananaHipsterFFS Tue 30-Jun-20 18:30:04

I know, right! I’m 42 and have been into stuff, just like she is, most likely since before she was even born, when we actually had to get out there instead of pissing around on the internet. And plenty of Boomers led the way.

The cheek of her with her Davidson grin

WeetabixBananaHipsterFFS Tue 30-Jun-20 18:30:46

Kids of today, eh?

twoHopes Tue 30-Jun-20 18:56:20

I'm really glad there are people like her out there making these videos as I think the people who will watch them need to hear it. But I do agree that I'm not sure it's really got to the nub of "wokeness". As PPs have said - it's more like a religion than anything else. The refusal to question the core beliefs, the damning and shaming of the blasphemers and the public confessions and atonements. It's an American export and it seems to have grown to fill the gap left by the declining influence of the church on American politics.

justanotherneighinparadise Tue 30-Jun-20 19:15:08

If anyone has any other videos covering the topic I’d love to see them.

OP’s posts: |
Goosefoot Tue 30-Jun-20 20:14:12


Goosefoot what would you say is the underlying problem with identity politics and the urge to cancel?

(Sorry, I ask because I enjoy reading your points of view as they can be quite insightful. blush)

The underlying problem with identity politics is that it is essentialist. It doesn't challenge a concept like race in a way that could undermine it and leach it of it's power. It makes it a more entrenched and powerful concept. It does the same thing with gender, rather than recognising it as a particular social construct with a connection to sex, it makes it a type of essential nature.

It also makes finer and finer gradations of these essences (I'm a bi-racial gay disabled transboy etc), until it becomes individualistic, and then it ranks everyone hierarchically based on their essential characteristics.

Any kind of class analysis of the kind used by either leftists or conservatives goes down the tubes, even if it borrows the language of marxism it's really most amenable to the kinds of individualist libertarianism, and it cannot offer a political program and does not threaten any bastions of wealth and power.

As for why now we are getting all this pushback against free speech and freedom of thought - I think it's coming from a few different directions. But being enabled by bad education.

Goosefoot Tue 30-Jun-20 20:19:27

I mean, practically, I think the re-engergizing of white supremecism and certain racist narratives is directly the result of identity politics and their attempts at anti-racism. It's actually completely backfired, made people less willing to talk about and think about things, created a situation where people see and feel themselves to be fundamental different than others.

You tell a bunch of white people with poor outcomes and no jobs that certain programs that could help them are only for disadvantaged people of specific groups, guess what - all of a sudden they are acutely aware of their own racial status and the need to try and fight for what they need on their own behalf.

All this energy on flipping statues which are really meaningless when they could be demanding medicare.

justanotherneighinparadise Tue 30-Jun-20 20:35:07

The video I was watching last night talked about the swinging pendulum swinging more one way but then the opposite swing (the backlash) being far far too far the other way. Where has the middle ground/the grey area gone? Why is everything now so polarised? Why has everyone taken a side? It’s so weird.

OP’s posts: |
TheRealMcKenna Tue 30-Jun-20 20:44:22

I am, at heart, a scientist. Fundamental to the scientific method is the ability of a theory to make predictions based on the explanations that can then be tested. If the theory fails to accurately predict the results of the test then the theory is wrong. A scientist may be able to use the model/theory and understand/explain its limitations, but if the tests disprove the theory then it has to be abandoned.

Pseudo science can often masquerade as science. It will make observations and use these to hypothesise and provide models and explanations. Pseudo science will also make predictions but if the results of the test fail to match the hypothesis then they are explained away, ignored or a new set of complicated explanations are hypothesisd to explain why the anomalies are fully consistent with the theory.

Such is the case with the various branches of the social justice movement and the theories that underpin them. It starts with an observation (Such as societal oppression of women) and then builds a model to explain it. When observations don’t fit the model, the fault lies with the observer or the data or the methodology - never the ideas themselves. Thus, we end up with the idea that trans women lesbians are the most oppressed people on earth. The data simply doesn’t fit this narrative, but it is simply waved away. If all else fails, just blur the very definition of woman so it can’t even be defined. That’s before we even start to shift the definition of ‘ethnic minority’ when the data on that doesn’t support the narrative.

One day we will look back on this the way we look at phlogiston or Lamarck’s theory of acquired characteristics and wonder why anyone ever bought into this.

TheRealMcKenna Tue 30-Jun-20 20:51:52

If anyone has any other videos covering the topic I’d love to see them.


This is very long but very informative.

TheRealMcKenna Wed 01-Jul-20 11:28:41

For anyone interested, an interview with Mike Nayna is going to be on @Triggerpod tonight.

This should be well worth watching.

Join the discussion

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Join Mumsnet

Already have a Mumsnet account? Log in