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Julie Burchill: "Why I loathe the woke"
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beastlyslumber · 29/11/2021 19:14

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

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FlyingJo · 01/12/2021 09:10

You insisting that there was a mistake doesn't make it miraculously true Jo.

There is no mistake. I can guarantee those white university students thought they were super special progressive for going to an event on racism.

You have it your way. Hazel, who introduced the story and specifically said these white students who sat in on the meetings with the intention to shut the meeting down were not "woke" students, must have been wrong.

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Shedmistress · 01/12/2021 09:01

@FlyingJo

If you're such a clear thinker and writer, I guess it would be easy for you to admit you made a mistake and apologise.

There is no mistake. I can guarante those white university students thought they were super special progressive for going to an event on racism.


I have no way of researching for evidence but it happens regularly.

Like the Brighton women's meeting where the super woke hounded the attendees, banged on the windows, shouted abuse the whole night long and the police let it happen in front of them because they can't be seen to arrest anyone who is a true social justice warrior. Regardless of the fact women were petrified inside that hall. It is the very opposite of social justice but it has been twisted so far people are petrified of acting on it.

It happens so often I can't believe you don't see it.

As I said, it's not my fault you can't...

If you don't want me commenting, stop @ or mentioning me and I'll go off and leave you to pile on to Julie in peace.
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XiXimXerJinping · 01/12/2021 09:01

You insisting that there was a mistake doesn't make it miraculously true Jo.

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FlyingJo · 01/12/2021 08:54

If you're such a clear thinker and writer, I guess it would be easy for you to admit you made a mistake and apologise.

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Shedmistress · 01/12/2021 08:50

Hazel's point seems to be that she has some problems with the way "woke" is being used and weaponized. I'm no fan of millennial identity politics, but I see that "woke" is being used to tar a lot of progressive politics unjustly.

Hazel can say she has a problem with whatever words she likes. If she doesn't realise that it is the people that have co-opted the words for their own usage which is the actual opposite of the original usage, and it is those people that Julie Birchill is talking about, then I can't explain it any clearer than I already have, several times.

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FlyingJo · 01/12/2021 08:45

What mistake? Its not my fault that people don't understand that some people jump on 'social justice' and twist it whilst declaring they are woke, whilst simultaneousy being as unwoke as it is possible to be. Especially if they are white and at university

It is your fault however if you misinterpret someone's post, then accuse them of not understanding and being dismissive. This annoyed me because Hazel was making constructive points on this thread and you dismissed her. It made you look bad. Let's look at it again.

Hazel: "I actually had friends at the University of Toronto when Peterson fandom was at its height and the things Black women went through on that campus were awful. They held a town hall meeting about racial incidents on campus and the White students showed up hours before on purpose, took up all the seats so the Black students had to sit on the floor and then mocked them and told the women things like they were a maid and sit at my feet".

You: "Yes, these are the people who think they are 'woke' because they went to a meeting about racial issues."

Hazel: "No, the threatening white men were not there because they were “woke.” They were there to intimidate people talking about racism. They weren’t there to participate, they were there to shut it down. Seriously how do you read an account of White men calling Black women maids and conclude those are liberals who think they’re anti-racist?"

You: "I don't conclude anything of the sort. You are missing the point so spectacularly I think it really isn't worth explaining it to you any more."

Just admit you made a mistake. You clearly misunderstood Hazel's point, and rather than say sorry, you attacked her. It was just rude, childish behaviour.

I get your point and I agree with it. A lot of what we call "woke" is as someone said on this thread "fauxgressive". That's your point. Hazel's point seems to be that she has some problems with the way "woke" is being used and weaponized. I'm no fan of millennial identity politics, but I see that "woke" is being used to tar a lot of progressive politics unjustly.

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Shedmistress · 01/12/2021 08:13

Men putting 'this is what a feminist looks like' t-shirt on to get pussy.

Doesn't make them a feminist.

We all know that, right?

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beastlyslumber · 01/12/2021 08:12

Ah I see what you mean now.

I think it actually is the case that many people still think "woke" means Liberal rather than authoritarian. Because the movement has used the language of social justice against itself, people are genuinely confused about where others are coming from.

Confusion is very destabilising. Makes manipulation easier. Creates doubt and space for lies.

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HumunaHey · 01/12/2021 08:10

@JayAlfredPrufrock

‘Woke’ is owned by black people?

You is avin a laugh.

"You is avin a laugh."
Hmm I see what you did there.
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XiXimXerJinping · 01/12/2021 08:05

Yeah Shed, I think some pp's haven't engaged with the latest forms of so called 'activism' and 'liberal progressivism' if they think they aren't completely filled with the most racist, sexist, homophobic etc attitudes. Horseshoe theory? Almost an ouroborus!

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Shedmistress · 01/12/2021 07:51

[quote FlyingJo]@shedmistress, it would have been easier if you just admitted you made a mistake.[/quote]
What mistake?

Its not my fault that people don't understand that some people jump on 'social justice' and twist it whilst declaring they are woke, whilst simultaneousy being as unwoke as it is possible to be. Especially if they are white and at university.

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beastlyslumber · 01/12/2021 07:43

For goodness sake, read the words. No one is saying that, in fact they are saying the opposite.

Seriously, do you think you should be reprimanded for writing those words in your own post?

I have to say, this is the thing I find the most depressing about the "woke". The twisting of language to make it mean what they want it to mean, in order to attack the speaker and claim offence. It is essentially just lying. But the people who do this will insist and insist that the speaker has said something opposite from what they said, and by this tactic hope to attach some doubt to the speaker, isolate them, and silence them.

In one way I suppose it's a clever tactic. It has been very effective in a number of cases (JKR springs to mind). But really, if you find yourself engaging in this tactic, you ought to be honest with yourself about what you're doing @Momobeats. Others can see it clearly, of course. But it can't be good for your soul!

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PrincessNutella · 01/12/2021 03:51

This is why the appeal to authority is problematic. If you say, "Black Americans find it offensive," then you assume that Black Americans, who haven't bastardized the language with such terms, as one poster implied earlier, but have enriched it, are a monolith. And they are not. Remember, President Obama has also criticized the overly woke as well. The Black community is very diverse and there is no single person in charge of what is offensive or not.
I understand that there are people on the right who attack people on the left for their opinions. But that does not also mean that there are not people on the left who are intolerant of others who don't tow what they consider the proper progressive stance. Consider the way that a staunch liberal like J.K. Rowling has been treated for not wanting to call women "menstruators." The hounding and death threats she has received surely deserve some scrutiny.

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LobsterNapkin · 01/12/2021 01:54

I would like to know though, what this means for John McWhorter's new book. Especially where he's an American and an expert in black American English. Is he being racist?

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LobsterNapkin · 01/12/2021 01:52

[quote HazelCarbyFan]@Momobeats are people really trying to say that associating Black people with marijuana isn’t offensive? When Black people are overpoliced and incarcerated precisely because of this stereotype? Studies show all races use and possess drugs at the same rate yet the majority of cannabis stops and arrests are of Black people. How is this not harmful?

I suppose someone might be along soon to tell me marijuana means something different in the UK…

Anyway sending you love in this thread.[/quote]
For goodness sake, read the words. No one is saying that, in fact they are saying the opposite.

Seriously, do you think you should be reprimanded for writing those words in your own post?

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FlyingJo · 01/12/2021 01:51

Genuine question, has the term woke in the UK ever been widely used by white liberals to describe themselves in a positive way? I’ve only heard it here as a synonym for “pc gone mad/loony left”

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FlyingJo · 01/12/2021 01:45

@shedmistress, it would have been easier if you just admitted you made a mistake.

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CharlieParley · 01/12/2021 00:46

Thanks for the link to the interview beastlyslumber. That was an interesting interview. I've added her book on my to-read list, it sounds like it's a thorough exploration of the issues were now having with and thanks to identity politics.

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CharlieParley · 01/12/2021 00:43

You a fan then Ides?

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Ides · 01/12/2021 00:16

I honestly wouldn't take the first bit of notice of Julie Burchill. She's always got paid handsomely for being a contrarian. She's been at one time far left wing, then later, far right wing. All she's ever done is trot out some inflammatory opinion, covered in some quasi-intellectual veneer. She's just a variation of Katie Hopkins, only a bit more polished: a well-paid, professional troll. Don't bother to interrogate her stated views - I wouldn't believe for a minute that she actually holds to them. Everything, everything that she writes, is about what she's going to get paid for it. She's a trash journalist who earns her crust by prostituting her intellect, that's all.

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HazelCarbyFan · 01/12/2021 00:12

@Momobeats are people really trying to say that associating Black people with marijuana isn’t offensive? When Black people are overpoliced and incarcerated precisely because of this stereotype? Studies show all races use and possess drugs at the same rate yet the majority of cannabis stops and arrests are of Black people. How is this not harmful?

I suppose someone might be along soon to tell me marijuana means something different in the UK…

Anyway sending you love in this thread.

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CharlieParley · 30/11/2021 23:59

I think there's a big gap between a black woman saying "'woke' is a very racialised term, can you think about whether it is actually the insult you want to throw around" and us all "constantly monitoring each other".

There is indeed a big gap between the two. What you describe in your comment is exactly how I understand movements that function adequately (as I said in an earlier comment). Deal with real misconduct, but don't engage in purity spirals.

Unfortunately what can be observed right now in many of these movements is a focus on the latter while ignoring the former.

Furthermore, in the context specifically of a UK website with mainly UK users, it is important to acknowledge that the word "woke" has other connotations here that are stronger than those found in African American Vernacular English. I welcome being made aware of the word's meanings in an American context and I do want to understand why someone would find the other uses offensive. Equally so, I would expect that someone unfamiliar with the way this word is used in the UK would want to extend the same courtesy to us in seeking to understand where we are coming from. And to assume good intentions as a default as I assume it of others.

The question arises then if we must subordinate our local understanding of the meaning of a word to that of another locality entirely. And is this always to be the case? Are there any circumstances where local usage and culture may be allowed to exist (and continue) in their own right rather than by deference to another culture? Can we navigate difference here or must we surrender to a dominant culture?

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LobsterNapkin · 30/11/2021 21:49

[quote Momobeats]@LobsterNapkin

As an experiment pop into Black Mumsnetters and ask if it's true that black men have a fondness for jerk chicken and marijuana.

Alternatively report my post and see if MNHQ take it down (as they should).[/quote]
Again, you are missing the point. They question is whether that is in fact an offensive stereotype. Which, I suspect, they would agree with.

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Momobeats · 30/11/2021 21:42

@LobsterNapkin

As an experiment pop into Black Mumsnetters and ask if it's true that black men have a fondness for jerk chicken and marijuana.

Alternatively report my post and see if MNHQ take it down (as they should).

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NellWilsonsWhiteHair · 30/11/2021 21:40

@CharlieParley

At the same time I think it's right to be challenging racism and actual transphobia in our own ranks, even when that's uncomfortable, because otherwise it's just an unquestioning loyalty to groupthink and tribal identity, isn't it?

And that is critical theory in practice. Always hampering any movement that allows it by turning inward and destructively criticising itself until it fractures into ever smaller interest groups, all at odds with each other over real or perceived slights and prejudice.

That's actually far removed from how common interest groups dedicated to the big social problems used to work - accepting that we all have different views on other things, acknowledging our differences and putting them aside in order to focus on the common goal. That's not easy, but it is necessary.

Feminism is the only big movement btw that has thus been all but destroyed. The only movement that took intersectionality to the extreme where mainstream feminism now excludes female people for the sake of championing males.

No we don't all have to constantly monitor each other, especially since that typically now involves adopting beliefs straight from critical race theory - which flings about so-called scientific evidence for its assertions on a par with the nonsense we deal with on gender identity.

I'm genuinely struggling to think of any movement historically which hasn't involved fierce internal debate, even when in well-coordinated pursuit of a common goal. That's exactly what I meant by pragmatic alliances and platforming stuff I'm personally a bit iffy about, but you don't have to shut up about it.

You can march against a probably-illegal war in Iraq, but still hold your nose and vote Blair back in.
You can wear your 'we recruit' T shirt and take a gay liberationist view, but still chuck some money at olden-days Stonewall's campaign for same-sex marriage.

Wasn't Sylvia Pankhurst chucked out of the WSPU for being too woke?

For me there are ways and means of managing differences within feminism (or whatever other movements). I don't think it should be that there are good/bad, cancelled/platformed, true/false categorisation of everyone - for me, that's one of the most troubling aspects of this pseudo-progressive politics. But I also don't agree that it's good or realistic to overlook real prejudice.

Just as I'd like trans rights activists to point out their comrades' misogyny when they see it (hey Nancy K, can you follow through on your WH acknowledgement that single-sex exemptions are legitimate?), I think it's incumbent on us to do similar. I think we can and should do that without pausing other activism, and without excommunication.

I don't really know or care if that's a critical theory perspective or not - I don't attach any particular value either way. I think there's a big gap between a black woman saying "'woke' is a very racialised term, can you think about whether it is actually the insult you want to throw around" and us all "constantly monitoring each other".
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