Threads

See more results

Topics

Usernames

Mumsnet Logo
Please
or
to access all these features

Julie Burchill: "Why I loathe the woke"
290

beastlyslumber · 29/11/2021 19:14

Just thought I'd share this piece of joy for anyone else who is fond of Ms Burchill...

OP's posts:
Please
or
to access all these features

beastlyslumber · 01/12/2021 21:39

@HazelCarbyFan

I didn’t say you were racist. I never once said that. I said you, and others, were invested in dismissing discussions of racism. See how yet again you do what you accuse me of?

Go back and read your comments on this page and the previous page where you say you doubt this incident occurred as described in more than one post but then try to gaslight me for responding by pointing out you’re calling me a liar.

I’m happy to list all the quotes where you say you don’t believe this incident happened, and also agree with others denying it. Can you quote where I called you racist?

I apologise if I misunderstood your comments. I took this "You want to say the current LGBTQ movement is racist ... but simultaneously dismiss discussions of racism except when it serves your singular narrative. It’s telling." as you saying "it's telling of racism."

What did you mean, then?
OP's posts:
Please
or
to access all these features

flashbac · 01/12/2021 21:39

@beastlyslumber
You say you are not racist but you're a fan of Julie Burchill?

Please
or
to access all these features

Lovelyricepudding · 01/12/2021 21:38

We don't now say 'you mustn't criticise stalinism because peasants in Georgia were suffering' - but that is probably what people said as Stalin set up his regime. Wokeness may be a way off Stalinism but racism is used to justify it: 'you mustn't criticise wokeness because black people are suffering'.

Please
or
to access all these features

beastlyslumber · 01/12/2021 21:37

[quote HazelCarbyFan]@beastlyslumber you said “I’m not sure this particular event actually happened.” What is that but saying I’m lying when I’m the one who said it happened and that I know people who were there and experienced it? You didn’t say “I’m not sure why it wasn’t reported,” your own words say “I’m not sure it happened.” So you don’t believe me when I tell you it did, then you say I’m projecting and no-one is actually saying these things. I’m not the one being disingenuous, you are.[/quote]
I honestly have no idea about this. I'm genuinely not sure if it happened.

On the side of it happened:

  1. You claim so. I don't know you but not sure why you'd lie.
  2. I know racism is real

    On the side of it didn't:
  3. Where's the evidence? The news stories, the outrage? Other racism on campus incidents have blown up, why not this one?
  4. This kind of overt racism is really not tolerated in educational environments. It would have been called out and dealt with in some way.

    So, that's what I'm saying. I'm not sure. You seem to think I should just take your word for it, and that it's a grave insult for me not to do so. But I don't know why you would think that? I don't know you, beyond the words you have shared on this thread.

    I also did not say you're projecting. I described the comments as I understood them, and described your response of saying they were aimed directly at you. I guess that could be projection. It could also be misunderstanding. Or it could be trying to start a fight. It could be something else. I don't know! I don't actually know you. I'm just talking to someone on the internet, trying to make sense of what's turned out to be a very strange conversation.
OP's posts:
Please
or
to access all these features

HazelCarbyFan · 01/12/2021 21:33

I didn’t say you were racist. I never once said that. I said you, and others, were invested in dismissing discussions of racism. See how yet again you do what you accuse me of?

Go back and read your comments on this page and the previous page where you say you doubt this incident occurred as described in more than one post but then try to gaslight me for responding by pointing out you’re calling me a liar.

I’m happy to list all the quotes where you say you don’t believe this incident happened, and also agree with others denying it. Can you quote where I called you racist?

Please
or
to access all these features

beastlyslumber · 01/12/2021 21:28

but simultaneously dismiss discussions of racism except when it serves your singular narrative.

To be fair to me, my "singular narrative" purpose here was to share a Julie Burchill interview which I found entertaining. Then it turned into a huge discussion of the word "woke" which then turned into a huge discussion about how I'm apparently racist because I don't agree with everything you say.

I've really tried to hear everyone on this thread, to the point that it's spun me round in circles quite a bit. I'm sorry if you're upset by things that have been said here but that is the nature of forums like this - they don't always go your way!

OP's posts:
Please
or
to access all these features

HazelCarbyFan · 01/12/2021 21:25

@beastlyslumber you said “I’m not sure this particular event actually happened.” What is that but saying I’m lying when I’m the one who said it happened and that I know people who were there and experienced it? You didn’t say “I’m not sure why it wasn’t reported,” your own words say “I’m not sure it happened.” So you don’t believe me when I tell you it did, then you say I’m projecting and no-one is actually saying these things. I’m not the one being disingenuous, you are.

Please
or
to access all these features

Lovelyricepudding · 01/12/2021 21:22

If you don’t believe white students would take up seats and then mock Black students for sitting at their feet, you obviously haven’t lived as a Black person is all I can say. But if you believe it’s all fictional, no wonder you’re investing in dismissing discussions of racism as “wokeness.”
I believe in racism in the same way as I believe there was deep mistreatment and abuse of the peasant classes by the Russian Tsars. Stalin rose to power because he was tackling a real injustice. That there 'wokeness' started from a place of good intent does not mean it has remained unharmful and should now not be mocked and criticised.

Please
or
to access all these features

beastlyslumber · 01/12/2021 21:18

since I’m being called a liar and people can’t believe racism exists on campuses and no one would use racist language or slurs

I don't think anyone said any of those things?

*If you don’t believe white students would take up seats and then mock Black students for sitting at their feet, you obviously haven’t lived as a Black person is all I can say."

I do believe it, absolutely. What I find hard to believe is that it hasn't been covered in the press. I'm surprised it wasn't even mentioned in the story you shared - you'd think the students interviewed would have mentioned it. It seems like the kind of story the media would normally want to pick up and run a long way with, as they have with other racism on campus stories. Do you have any thoughts on why it wasn't reported?

does being gender critical and standing for women’s rights mean I have to accept that talking about racism is automatically cancel culture and Stalinistic?

No. Again, I don't think anyone on here said it was. People were talking about the evolution and use/misuse of a particular word, and of language in general. No one called you a stalinist that I'm aware of.

Why are you more invested in what Triggernometry says than what Black women say?

I'm not. I don't assign hierarchy to people's words based on the colour of their skin. I try to listen to arguments and work out what I think based on what people actually say. (Not sure what the relevance of triggernometry is - I may have missed something.)

I honestly don't see you being attacked in this thread, Hazel, and I'm genuinely sorry that you feel you have been. But reading back through comments, it seems that people are challenging your (and others') arguments and you are claiming that they are directly accusing you or targeting you of the things that they are talking about. For example, someone commented on the idea of reprimanding others for their words, and you claimed to have been reprimanded. Someone referenced Stalinism in relation to a set of attitudes connected to "wokeness" and you claimed to have been called a Stalinist. And so on. It is hard to engage on that level because it quickly becomes a fight and everyone feels stressed by it and stops listening to one another.

OP's posts:
Please
or
to access all these features

HazelCarbyFan · 01/12/2021 21:08

By the way, I’ve never denied that anti-Blackness exists everywhere: in the women’s movement, in the gay rights movement, in so-called progressive spaces, in people of other races (the article points out Asian students were involved in using the n-word too.) But that - recognizing the systemic and constant nature of anti-Blackness and its historic roots in institutions that won’t be solved by more “diversity” - is Critical Race Theory and so many of you hate that too. You want to say the current LGBTQ movement is racist (no argument here, Black people been saying this and that the feminist movement is racist, and that the environmental movement is racist - because racism is ingrained in society) but simultaneously dismiss discussions of racism except when it serves your singular narrative. It’s telling.

Please
or
to access all these features

HazelCarbyFan · 01/12/2021 20:41

Well I hate to say I’m done with a thread and then come back, but since I’m being called a liar and people can’t believe racism exists on campuses and no one would use racist language or slurs, here is an account from two years after the incident I described of the kinds of things Black students encounter. You might like this one because they mention how anti-Blackness can coincide with discourse on LGBTQ issues (lecturing Black students on homophobia while being racist.)

www.google.ca/amp/s/www.thestar.com/amp/opinion/star-columnists/2017/12/05/racist-cyberattacks-at-u-of-t-highlight-barriers-to-redressal.html

For those about to ask why this was reported and the earlier one wasn’t, the reporter was hired to cover racial issues after the previous incident occurred. It is no mystery that many incidents of racism do not make the news, especially when speaking out about it gets you bullied further.

If you don’t believe white students would take up seats and then mock Black students for sitting at their feet, you obviously haven’t lived as a Black person is all I can say. But if you believe it’s all fictional, no wonder you’re investing in dismissing discussions of racism as “wokeness.”

Question then: does being gender critical and standing for women’s rights mean I have to accept that talking about racism is automatically cancel culture and Stalinistic? How does that promote my rights as a Black person in society? Why are you more invested in what Triggernometry says than what Black women say? Is it the woke who are a barrier to women’s solidarity and organizing or is it stuff like calling Black women liars when we recount racist incidents and experiences? What does denying racism have to do with feminist organizing and how does it advance women? Notice these incidents involve men, not women, yet you’d rather excuse white men than listen to Black women. Seems as man-centred as the TRAs you critique, no?

Please
or
to access all these features

Shedmistress · 01/12/2021 20:06

I don't think those particular students would say they were woke'

So if the definition was the opposite of the original they might?

We live in a world now where the only people that can call themselves women, are men. Clownland.

Anyway I've said my piece over and over again and again. Time to get in with something else.

Please
or
to access all these features

beastlyslumber · 01/12/2021 19:55

I don't think those particular students would say they were woke. Then again, I'm not sure this particular event actually happened. So who knows.

OP's posts:
Please
or
to access all these features

LobsterNapkin · 01/12/2021 19:39

@Shedmistress

I didn't understand why you were saying the racist students were woke, for example

I didn't say they were woke.

I said they would say they were woke.

All students think they are woke.

If you go into a university and say 'is anyone here not woke', nobody will put their hands up.

Yeah, I don't think that the people described would have said they were woke.

Not all students do think that, though the ones who do are the loudest.

But I am very curious about what sort of meeting this might have been. Like a sports team, some sort of engineering things? The details seem quite difficult to pin down.
Please
or
to access all these features

Shedmistress · 01/12/2021 19:32

I didn't understand why you were saying the racist students were woke, for example

I didn't say they were woke.

I said they would say they were woke.

All students think they are woke.

If you go into a university and say 'is anyone here not woke', nobody will put their hands up.

Please
or
to access all these features

beastlyslumber · 01/12/2021 19:09

But what was described would cross the line of some of the big taboos the pseudo-woke have around language and I think someone would have celled it out.

Reading back over the comments and what was described, I think I agree with this. I can see lots of ways the students could have been racist that would have been considered fine and ignored. But if it happened as described, I think it would have been called out and made a big deal of. But I don't know, honestly - nothing surprises me with these people anymore! Some of the things I've heard "woke" people say are literally disgusting. But as long as they stay within the linguistic and ideological parameters, they are considered anti-racist, even when they're saying unbelievably racist things.

OP's posts:
Please
or
to access all these features

beastlyslumber · 01/12/2021 19:02

@Shedmistress

I originally said

'it is the white middle class snowflakes that have adopted it that are the problem, not the ones saying how much they despise the middle class white snowflakes who are misappropriating the term.'
And then
'What's wrong with loathing these people that are misappropriating the word?'

What was so confusing and unclear about that?

Nothing. Some of your later comments did confuse me, though. I didn't understand why you were saying the racist students were woke, for example. I do think there is "woke" racism, or even that "wokeness" is inherently racist, and that a person can be both "woke" and racist. But the description the pp gave didn't seem to reflect the typical "woke" style of racism, but a more open racism which I would normally not normally expect to see from a woke-style of student.

(I do see lobster's point that this scenario in itself is unlikely, but I can also see how it could have happened, because the "woke" really are only interested in the kind of "racism" they can weaponise against people they don't like.) But either way, your comment on that confused me, and I think it confused others too. Then your responses to questions about that grew ever more cryptic, from my point of view, at least. Maybe if I'd understood that initial point, the rest of what you said would have made sense.
OP's posts:
Please
or
to access all these features

LobsterNapkin · 01/12/2021 19:00

@Shedmistress

I originally said

'it is the white middle class snowflakes that have adopted it that are the problem, not the ones saying how much they despise the middle class white snowflakes who are misappropriating the term.'
And then
'What's wrong with loathing these people that are misappropriating the word?'

What was so confusing and unclear about that?

I can see that you don't think it's unclear, but I would say three or four other posters, including myself, found it hard to understand what you meant.

From what you've said on the last page, I am gathering that you are saying that you think that the people in the incident described, who were saying the black women were like maids, thought of themselves as being woke in the older sense. Whereas really, they were only woke in the new sense that is really paternalistic race essentialism.

Assuming the description of what happened is accurate, that would really surprise me. I cannot see a whole classroom full of Canadian students behaving that way and thinking they were being right-on. I can easily imagine them being paternalistic and race-essentialist in other ways or pushing them out of the space in a totally thoughtless way, and being self-congratulatory about it. But what was described would cross the line of some of the big taboos the pseudo-woke have around language and I think someone would have celled it out.
Please
or
to access all these features

LobsterNapkin · 01/12/2021 18:50

@flytterbugsdog

I don't normally post here but long time lurker. I also feel quite uncomfortable with the word woke - mostly because its such a broad and loaded term that means different things to different people. Its easy to be dismissed if you over-use it. But I think *@HazelCarbyFan* has helped sum up most the problems with it. I really don't want us to throw the baby out with the bath water on this (you can be GC and still feel racism, sexism , homophobia etc etc still exist). Also, while I don't believe in over-policing language being thoughtful, precise and clear in the language we use matters (otherwise why would it matter if the word woman/mother etc was replaced by menstruator.) Which it does. Some people are already using the situation to argue that sexism is a load of made up "woke" nonsense too. Lets not do the same thing with racism (I am not saying anyone here is. But that's why language matters).

OK, so are you saying critisism of wokeness, or maybe we can say identity politics, is problematic because it means critisiing the anti-racist movement? Except with feminism and gender, where the critisism is correct?

People who are critical of identity politics, or things like the BLM approach to identity politics, or wokeness, are not saying that racism, homophobia, or whatever, are ok. They are saying that the particular way that identity politics, or cultural marxism or whatever you want to call it, approach those things is seriously problematic.

The typical response to that is essentially the claim that the only way to be anti-racist is to embrace the identity politics/Robin DiAngelo/privaledge and whiteness way of thinking. That is simply untrue.

The whole premise of McWhorter's book is that this brand of anti-racism, aside from being paternalistic, is basically a kind of 19th century race essentialism. Or Adolph Reed, who argues quite persuasivly that as an approach to racism it's basically meant to keep neoliberal economic structures intact. daily.jstor.org/adolph-reed-jr-the-perils-of-race-reductionism/

There has been a lot of pushback in teh US recently by parents worried about race essentialism being taught in schools. They've tried to describe it as being part of Critical Race Theory, and those who opposed them basically said, that's not the right word, sorry. So they have tried using DEI, but they were told that is wrong too.

It is hard to look at this apart from the attempt to stop people from identifying a set of beliefs they think are incorrect and what's more, deeply bigoted.
Please
or
to access all these features

Shedmistress · 01/12/2021 18:49

I originally said

'it is the white middle class snowflakes that have adopted it that are the problem, not the ones saying how much they despise the middle class white snowflakes who are misappropriating the term.'
And then
'What's wrong with loathing these people that are misappropriating the word?'

What was so confusing and unclear about that?

Please
or
to access all these features

beastlyslumber · 01/12/2021 18:46

Thank you @LobsterNapkin for your voice of reason here! Maybe I am naive, but I didn't expect this thread to start any kind of argument; I just wanted to share the joy of Julie Burchill with those who might have missed it. I feel a bit stupid now.

I think that policing the language used here is probably always going to invite some pushback, but worse is the twisting of language to make accusations against posters that they have said one thing when they have absolutely said the opposite. I like to give the benefit of the doubt, but it's hard for me to not see that as a deliberate tactic. I guess maybe some on this thread realised what was up from quite early on, but I was not prepared, and for that, I apologise.

OP's posts:
Please
or
to access all these features

LobsterNapkin · 01/12/2021 18:35

[quote HazelCarbyFan]@lobsternapkin
I actually didn’t understand what was happening in the exchange with @Momobeats - that’s why I asked her, “are people seriously saying…?” I was asking her for clarification as it seemed the argument going on was she was rightly offended by that stereotype and seemed to be saying that people were defending it as true and saying Black people do indeed like jerk and weed and that liking it makes you Black.

Then I also backed her up on why that is a harmful thing to say wherever it was said on this board.

But go ahead and “reprimand” me. Good lord, the language being used towards Black women on this thread. I’ve been called “angry” (not like there isn’t a whole demeaning history of “angry Black woman”) on the very same thread as people brag about being “not kind” - so white woman can embrace being not kind deliberately, but a Black woman is raging for sharing experiences and making points. I’m a Stalinist. I’m a totalitarian. I’m controlling language, but if I ask another Black woman a question in a hostile thread to figure out what the argument is about and send her love as we experience the same hostility and demeaning comments I need to be chastised? Some of you really get off putting us in our place I guess.[/quote]
The answer was no. People were not seriously saying that. The comment was saying that basing whether or not someone is a women on whether they embody offensive stereotypes about women is no different than saying someone is black because they embody offensive stereotypes about blacks.

I appreciate that sometimes people misunderstand comparison type of comments and they do so completely honestly, and it's something that seems to be more and more common, especially among younger people. But I really wish there was less tendency to jump on them right away as if they were meant to be statements of belief and truth. It's always possible to ask someone who makes that kind of post what they meant. Reading through the relevant thread and the comments of that poster, it doesn't seem to have been a very likely thing for her to have said as a straight statement of belief.

Please
or
to access all these features

LobsterNapkin · 01/12/2021 18:27

@HazelCarbyFan

Also, good to know that women on this thread think Black women lie about our experiences of racism. Nice solidarity there.

People who actually went to the University if Toronto have documented their experiences of racism quite extensively - a mere google will show you many results - but you don’t believe them because you prefer to believe myths about Canada as a racism-free leftist paradise despite the many reports - such as UN report on racism in Canada - saying the contrary? Again, on a thread where people complain about applying a US-lens to racism - arguing you need to consider local context - but then blithely dismiss what actually happens in Canada shown in data, studies, reports, books, experiences, etc. in favour of the most debunked mythologies about Canada as a racial paradise?

A Black woman wrote a good book about her experiences of racism at a university in Canada - Eternity Martis. Perhaps read it before you claim Black women are lying.

I said “please don’t do this” at the beginning of this thread - an actual polite request after an explanation. And that is treated as some near-violent act, but all of the subsequent attacks in this thread are what? Reasoned? Civil? Feminist debate? It’s really sad.

AS a Canadian I don't believe tat. I also think that it's a completely incredible story. No because there are no racists at UofT, but because a whole room full, at some sort of mixed event, where no one objected to what was going on, seems really unlikely.

It's so incredible a story that I can only conclude that either it was a crazy incident, or that something somewhere has been lost in the retelling. Maybe the friend who recounted the incident left out some detail that would make it clearer, or something. I wouldn't totally discount any poster as being purposefully misleading without clear evidence, but at the same time, none of us know anything about who is really posting, so stories that sound so strange, it's pretty understandable that people might tend to tuck them away without believing or disbelieving.

More generally though, people here are very sensitive to anyone attempting to control language on the basis of it being offensive. It's been used too often as a weapon in recent times, and frankly the evidence that this particular use of the word is widely considered offensive in the black community isn't there, and we're all aware of it.

There is a significant and important difference between any of us not personally preferring a particular usage, and it being offensive. Even if the reason we don't like it relates to some sort of identity characteristic. By all means, none of us need to bring words we don't prefer into our own use, but sometimes when we speak about issues with other people, we just have to accept that others don't have the same views about the word. I asked upthread whether we are meant to be saying McWhorter's new book, Woke Racism is offensive. Why are we supposed to conclude? That it's offensive when we talk to some people, but not others? How do we know ahead of time? Are all demands to modify language on a public forum like this one, with a wide set of readers, just meant to be accepted? I would suggest the opposite is true, on a forum like this, where people have widely different backgrounds, live in entirely different nations, may have different first languages, we should be as tolerant as possible of others using words in a way that is different than what we would choose.
Please
or
to access all these features

beastlyslumber · 01/12/2021 18:23

Yes. Your comments were confusing and it would have been good if you could have explained your point of view more clearly.

OP's posts:
Please
or
to access all these features

Shedmistress · 01/12/2021 17:10

I do agree that one poster in particular has been quite hostile to you and also made it difficult to have a conversation as they refused to explain what they meant.

Do you mean me?

Please
or
to access all these features
Please create an account

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