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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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LobsterNapkin · 30/11/2021 21:05

@Momobeats

If you are comparing negative female stereotypes with some other negative stereotypes, it's going to be something negative

Using an unrelated harmful stereotype to compare to another stereotype is still bigotry (especially in the context of *@dropthevipers* original post). I reported it for hate speech and it was deleted in 15 mins (thanks MNHQ)

and we wonder why more black women don't post in here 😔

I guess the idea that comparing things, even bigoted ideas, is inherently bigoted is a position one can take, but I don't think you'll find that it's one that is obviously true to most people.

I mean - it's just not. Saying that people hating black people is in some way like people hating lesbians isn't obviously a bigoted position. Not even if the comparison doesn't hold true - it could be a poor comparison but that's still not bigotry.

I'm not at all clear why you would think that, unless you object to making comparisons of any kind. Things we compare are never identical, otherwise there would be no point in making the comparison.

I am also not sure why you would think that all black women (or black men?) would object to any kind of comparison like this as bigotry,
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Momobeats · 30/11/2021 20:28

If you are comparing negative female stereotypes with some other negative stereotypes, it's going to be something negative

Using an unrelated harmful stereotype to compare to another stereotype is still bigotry (especially in the context of @dropthevipers original post). I reported it for hate speech and it was deleted in 15 mins (thanks MNHQ)

and we wonder why more black women don't post in here 😔

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beastlyslumber · 30/11/2021 20:17

@Ereshkigalangcleg

I am still open to using another word/term - but part of the issue is that this movement is fundamentally concerned with the control of language, so whatever term is suggested, there will be some reason why it's not okay.

This is the heart of the matter for me. The people being discussed don't like their actions being discussed in a pejorative way. And they seek to control what other people believe, and what they say.

I think that what we are actually talking about is a form of extreme authoritarianism which is being advanced in every institution and instilled into children and young people.

I don't think any term other than "right side of history" will satisfy those who perpetuate this ideology and its activism. They hate all forms of humour and satire, as we can see from the constant calls to ban various sitcoms, plays, books, films. They hate art and imagination. They want to abolish fiction, but they are engaged in a constant rewriting of history, including their own history (they were the ones who called themselves "woke.") And they lie, and cheat, and engage in every corrupt practice to achieve power whilst believing that they have the moral right to do so because they know better and are better than the people they displace, cancel and destroy.

To call these people "woke" is to satirise them. For that reason, I think maybe it is the best word we have.
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Nappyvalley15 · 30/11/2021 19:16

Hazel - I think you talk a lot of sense. I too am confused by how your account of the meeting wasn't understood as the white men going there to deliberately intimidate the black attendees.

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LobsterNapkin · 30/11/2021 19:11

Also - University of Toronto is a huge university with over 60,000 students and multiple colleges and campuses. Implicating Jordan Peterson because a bunch of white students were bizarrely racist towards black students in a meeting is completely unfair.

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LobsterNapkin · 30/11/2021 19:07

I'm not sure it's entirely accurate to say that Daily Mail readers are just lumping real activism into people who are trying to do pseudo-activism.

Unfortunately I think it's much worse than that on the side of activists. Most of the big activist movements at the moment have been heavily infected by identity politics approaches. Even in many cases where good work is happening, it is happening in concert with this other completely toxic stuff, and it is often the same people involved. It's not just in gender ideology, it's in anti-racism, it's in feminism, it's in indigenous issues, it's even in environmentalism.

So yeah, no wonder people tend to lump a lot of it together.

I'd also point out, with the idea that it's just an up to date version of "pc gone mad" that actually, a lot of what people objected to with political correctness was precisely what has become an even bigger problem now. That's what political correctness is - it comes out of Soviet-speak for toeing the line on the party position, regardless of the truth or logic of the assertion. Yes, some people objected to what were very justifiable changes in language. But the attempts to control language and shut down discussions we are seeing now grew directly out of that Orwellian approach.

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Ereshkigalangcleg · 30/11/2021 19:03

I am still open to using another word/term - but part of the issue is that this movement is fundamentally concerned with the control of language, so whatever term is suggested, there will be some reason why it's not okay.

This is the heart of the matter for me. The people being discussed don't like their actions being discussed in a pejorative way. And they seek to control what other people believe, and what they say.

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beastlyslumber · 30/11/2021 18:55

@Shedmistress

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?

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.

To be fair, I don't think your comment was clear. I assumed you were talking about two different groups of people. But it could also read the way Hazel read it. Unless I am also completely missing your point?
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Shedmistress · 30/11/2021 18:50

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?

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.

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LobsterNapkin · 30/11/2021 18:42

So you're happy to perpetuate an unfair stereotype that has led to the death and incarceration of too many black people over the last century as long as it suits your purpose?

I don't think acknowledging the existence of negative stereotypes has much to do with perpetuating them. Like, no one should mention such things, is the idea? If you are comparing negative female stereotypes with some other negative stereotypes, it's going to be something negative.

It's very weird, somewhere in the last 10 years or so there has come to be this idea that if you mention something that is a negative or bad depiction, or even morally ambiguous, you are somehow supportive of it. You actually have to put a huge arrow on it saying This is BAD!!

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Gncq · 30/11/2021 18:04

@HazelCarbyFan

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've obviously had experiences that have made you angry, and have done commendable things with your activism and deserve respect for that.

But on this thread I do think you're barking up the wrong tree.

Perhaps tell Owen Jones to stop using "woke" in a certain way? He certainly has more media influence than any of the posters here.
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Lovelyricepudding · 30/11/2021 17:04

Ideas develop and evolve too. This is another sort of purity spiral - woke can only apply the the first pure idea. If there is something wrong with that idea or arising from it then obviously 'woke' does not apply to that. So Stalinism should only apply to Stalin's stated ideals not to the atrocities that followed. Communism is only ever pure and the horrors of the cultural revolution must not be considered any part of communism. Queen theory is about breaking down social norms but when it breaks down the norm preventing paedophilia we must pretend it is not part of it.

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HazelCarbyFan · 30/11/2021 16:55

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?

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beastlyslumber · 30/11/2021 16:54

@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 really like this comment and agree with it for the most part. I do think though that it's not just feminism that has been all but destroyed by this ideology. Anti-racism is another big movement that has been hollowed out and whose loudest voices now call for segregation and discrimination and the idea that black people are less capable in various areas, such as education and work. The gay rights movement has been turned inside out, as we can see by what's happened to stonewall et all. It's not just feminism but I think all progressive movements that have been under critical threat from what we have been calling "wokism" - along with all sorts of other communities such as, as previously mentioned, knitters.

We do need a name for this and I will be happy to not call it "woke" if we can agree on a better term. But I think it's becoming clear we probably can't!
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beastlyslumber · 30/11/2021 16:44

[quote ElaineMarieBenes]@beastlyslumber thank you for posting - thoroughly enjoyed!

Also what about Yorkshire?

Don’t think I missed anything else did I or maybe I’m just ignorant! 🤣[/quote]
Mmmm love a yorkshire (has to be gluten free these days, though - not the same!)

@peachescariad she is fab!

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Shedmistress · 30/11/2021 16:02

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, etc

Yes, these are the people who think they are 'woke' because they went to a meeting about racial issues. These are the people who will issue you death and tape threats if you don't centre men when you talk about women and will call you transphobic for only getting women out of terrible situations.

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foxgoosefinch · 30/11/2021 15:31

*nothing, sorry for typos, clumsy fingers!

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foxgoosefinch · 30/11/2021 15:30

@HazelCarbyFan - I really appreciate your points. I think the problem is that mostly on here / FWR, posters are generally using “woke” to mean precisely the kind of white students who aren’t doing that kind of social justice work, but instead, think progressive politics is all about language policing, pronouns, no platforming and signing Twitter petitions. These are the very kids who are dismissing real activism and calling themselves “intersectional” whilst being in reality nothin of the sort. In that context, “woke” is used to mean a kind of fake activism, one which actually unthinkingly often perpetuates sexism and racism even as it seems to be shouting against it.

But I fully agree that the Daily Mail reader types just take “woke” to mean any leftist type of person so that they can conveniently rail against all kinds of progressive politics, be racist and sexist with impunity, etc. So in that sense it’s unhelpful.

But there is a need for some kind of term, as pp say, to designate the fake liberal kind of keyboard warrior student type Twitter/Tumblr politics, which is smug and self-aggrandising, but often doing the very opposite of what it claims.

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AlfonsoTheUnrepentant · 30/11/2021 15:18

@LondonWolf

Please stop using this term in this way.

No.

It was embraced happily and pridefully initially. Now it’s being used by onlookers to indicate a damaging ideology and a certain type of person who engages in cult like behaviours and now you don’t like it anymore. More language changes in order to assist the ushering in the aforementioned cult.

No, I will continue to use it in the scornful way it deserves to be.

Thank you.

I don't need my language policed, thanks. If a poster doesn't like the language on this thread, they can either: find another thread to language police or accept that they don't control how other people speak.
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CharlieParley · 30/11/2021 15:17

All political movements have had factions, in-fighting, people with wildly different philosophies and they always will. I am 100% committed to women’s rights and 100% open about my stance in real life, unlike so many women on here. I am fearless about what I believe but that doesn’t mean that anyone who agrees with me on certain issues can do no wrong. No sacred castes, right??

We are in complete agreement on that. There is a necessity to address misconduct (for want of a better word) in any political group, and that is both often very difficult for the victims of that misconduct and vital for a movement, because they can and do fall apart if this doesn't happen and the misconduct becomes widespread because of inaction.

That is not what is happening in many movements now though. It's "implicit bias", "micro-aggressions", arguments about language, "safe spaces" policies that make discourse impossible. Accusations of privilege that ignore class, poverty or other social issues, purity spirals and so on.

That's what is not healthy in my view. And as we've seen with the stories shared by detransitioners, the latter patterns of the insisted upon critical self-reflection can serve to cover up serious misconduct.

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HazelCarbyFan · 30/11/2021 14:49

And one last thing - 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, etc. Black women involved in racial activism were getting followed across campus by White guys who felt emboldened. I’m not saying JP himself did these things, but there were lots of young men who took license to harass particularly women of colour under this guise of free speech and cancel culture.

I had a friend interview for a job at another university and the department head got so mad when she talked about her research on experiences of racism in the profession that he stormed out in the middle of her interview and screamed at her (this actually showed up in one of those cancel culture on campus articles after students protested about it framed as “maybe he had to leave the room to take a call - you can’t even leave a room these days without being called racist.”)

So I also know there’s often another side to the whole “woke snowflakes on campus” stories. I know real women who went through these things, and then if they responded in any way, they got accused of stifling discourse or being totalitarians if they didn’t want to hear racial slurs in class or something else awful. It’s often much more of a story than is presented.

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IfNot · 30/11/2021 14:35

Huge respect for your work HazelCarbyFan. I’m not an academic and I don’t really understand what critical theory is, or why FWR is so against it ( will read up when I have time) but I don’t think that checking our actions and weeding out racism and bigotry in any movement is anything but the decent thing to do.
And I am not so sure about this:

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.

All political movements have had factions, in-fighting, people with wildly different philosophies and they always will. I am 100% committed to women’s rights and 100% open about my stance in real life, unlike so many women on here. I am fearless about what I believe but that doesn’t mean that anyone who agrees with me on certain issues can do no wrong. No sacred castes, right??

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HazelCarbyFan · 30/11/2021 14:10

I want to contextualize my frustration a bit - I’ve said on here before that my grandmother’s experience of migrancy and abuse led me to activism and feminism. I’ve spent my entire adult life working on issues like women being deported to countries where they face abuse, women facing violent eviction, women wrongfully incarcerated, women sexually assaulted by men in the mining industry, etc. I used to (not in the UK) volunteer with a group where we drove around to farms to try to provide advocacy for migrant workers - we fought to get them allowed to go to church where the women would slip us notes about rape by the employers. We had to literally perform stealth breakouts and smuggle the women to lawyers. I got beat up by police while stopping a woman being violently evicted from her tent. I worked with women coerced by their boyfriends into holding drugs who were serving long sentences, people brutalized and surveilled by police, etc. For most of my life until now I had no money because it went into this work. Now I have a job that pays more and I’m putting a young person through law school who spent their childhood in a migrant facility. I don’t say this to pretend I’m a saint - I say it just to say I have given my life to this work and sacrificed in real ways for it (all of which I would do a million times over.)

I cannot tell you the rape and death threats I got and get from men for speaking out about these issues and issues of racism. And of course the threats and intimidation from authorities. The violence has been real.

And now, because some of these issues have become more popular, I have people telling me I’m an “SJW” and “woke” and sneering about Twitter activism, etc. People dismissing discussions about state violence because “save me from the authoritarian woke.” People diminishing the real work and sacrifices of women in these movements as woketivism. I’ve been quoted in articles about things like conditions in migrant facilities or police and had the comment section be like “yawn, another woke idiot,” etc.

Do I have issues with how some of our young people approach activism? Yes. I’m not that old - in my mid-30s. But I also remember older people sneering at me and calling me radical and crazy - the same people now getting money on the same issues they used to dismiss. I got shouted down in meetings talking about police violence and harassed in my own community, etc. And nevermind when I started talking about sexual assault and patriarchy in our own homes and families. And that was all treated exactly how people respond now - that it was extreme, crazy, ridiculous, why can’t we just work in the system, why do you have to disrupt the meeting, why are you like this, why can’t you be quiet, shut up b——I’ll put a d—-in your mouth, etc.

So I don’t think it’s very helpful to dismiss so many real issues by buying into the idea that all critical discourse on oppression is “woke” and silly.

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prudencepuffin · 30/11/2021 13:18

People who are so devoted to their ideological beliefs about queer theory, gender identity or whatever that they are erasing women's sex class and rights and putting safeguarding second

Useful shorthand for the above but often annoying in how it is carelessly applied and who applies it. I havnt found a useful replacement for it yet though.

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ElaineMarieBenes · 30/11/2021 13:15

@beastlyslumber thank you for posting - thoroughly enjoyed!

Also what about Yorkshire?

Don’t think I missed anything else did I or maybe I’m just ignorant! 🤣

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