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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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peachescariad · 30/11/2021 12:15

Love JB - thanks for sharing OP

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PrincessNutella · 30/11/2021 12:02

Unless another term is adopted, I think it is fine. The French use it"Le Wokisme"and although there are some Black women who have complained about it, there are other Black people who are sick of the term, like John McWhorter. We all know what it means. Which is progressiveness taken on to a degree that is lacking awareness that its embrace of inclusive values is excluding many, and its claim to all virtues hides a number of vices.

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allmywhat · 30/11/2021 11:39

It’s interesting that people on this thread keep defining and redefining what they mean by the word “woke” and some posters, not the same people as the black women with reasonable objections to the use of the word, continue to act as if no one has defined it. They’ll keep claiming it’s not a coherent concept. Just as in that Freddie de Boer essay upthread.

I think the word “woke” is going to stick around, because despite the best efforts of, er, authoritarian-identitarian types, people do know what it means. And any attempt to arrive at an alternative term is going to be systematically derailed by people who don’t want such a term to exist. When you can’t talk about it, you can’t fight it.

I’ll try and use other terms from now on but based on this thread there’s little chance of a different term catching on widely.

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CharlieParley · 30/11/2021 11:34

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.

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NellWilsonsWhiteHair · 30/11/2021 11:16

I agree with @HazelCarbyFan that 'woke' is a problematic term, and I generally avoid using it where I can. It is absolutely the new "PC gone mad", and as a feminist, lesbian, left-leaning, anti-racist etc I actually subscribe to a lot of 'woke' 'PC' notions. It is frustrating that mostly only the Times/Daily Mail are interested in challenging gender ideology - I'm glad for the sunlight, but I'm not going to otherwise align myself to their general politics in some sort of misguided gratitude or shared loathing for 'the woke'.

I agree with pp it is sometimes handy to have an umbrella term - not because all aspects of left-ish identity-ish politics can be sensibly bundled together, but because in practice they often are bundled together, by the righteous (and mostly shielded by privilege) of twitter, LOJ style, and as a phenomenon that's worthy of some discussion. I liked a suggestion on this thread of pseudo-progressive.

I think 'GC feminism' is an incredibly broad church, and I'm in favour of both pragmatism in alliances and platforming ideas which challenge me (I'm not quite a free speech absolutist though). 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?

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beastlyslumber · 30/11/2021 11:03

@Ereshkigalangcleg

What's the correct level of usage? Who are 'these people' who are the barrier to social justice and equality for women?

If you read the thread, you will see what people arguing for an alternative word for "woke" are referring to! On the Sex and Gender Discussions board, there are lots of further examples. 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.

These people are not just a barrier to women's rights, but to the rights of gays and lesbians, and to minorities. It's these people (the "woke" for now) who have instigated things like systemic discrimination against Asians at Harvard, in the name of "anti-racism". We really need a name for the people/ideology that is responsible for racism, homophobia, misogyny, the chilling of free speech, the "cancelling" of individuals, the instigation of purity spirals in every online community from knitters to fan fiction... What do we call these people?

On the point that some people use "woke" as a disparaging term for "pc gone mad" type utterances, I guess I think, well so what? The word itself doesn't make any difference to those people. If we called it "critical theory" or "fauxgressive politics" they'd use those terms in the same way. So I don't think we should stop using a word because some people misuse it.

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.
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beastlyslumber · 30/11/2021 10:51

@Ereshkigalangcleg

Anyway, to re-rail the thread, the Julie Burchill video was great. Whatever you think about her it's worth a listen.

Thanks Ereshkigalangcleg! I thought it was very enjoyable indeed!
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Ereshkigalangcleg · 30/11/2021 10:29

Q as in queer? A term used to insult LBG people and which many LGB are asking people to stop using because of this? Or is queer allowed to be appropriated?

Apparently so.

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Ereshkigalangcleg · 30/11/2021 10:28

What's the correct level of usage? Who are 'these people' who are the barrier to social justice and equality for women?

If you read the thread, you will see what people arguing for an alternative word for "woke" are referring to! On the Sex and Gender Discussions board, there are lots of further examples. 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.

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Lovelyricepudding · 30/11/2021 10:23

LGBTQ+ inclusion

Q as in queer? A term used to insult LBG people and which many LGB are asking people to stop using because of this? Or is queer allowed to be appropriated?

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Gncq · 30/11/2021 10:18

What's the correct level of usage? Who are 'these people' who are the barrier to social justice and equality for women?

Not being funny, but you must have noticed the woke lunatics all across the Guardian, and social media, people like LOJ, who are so smug and convinced they're fighting for justice but who are wrecking the women's liberation movement entirely.
Are you really sure you haven't noticed?

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Gncq · 30/11/2021 10:15

I've implemented a space for feminist digging numerous times.

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weverly · 30/11/2021 10:12

@Ereshkigalangcleg

I've seen woke being used in a pejorative way as an insult to describe people who campaign for racial justice, climate change, safe streets for women, LGBTQ+ inclusion. Any issue the Daily Mail doesn't care for.

I was quite clear on the fact that I believe it's heavily overused.

What's the correct level of usage? Who are 'these people' who are the barrier to social justice and equality for women?
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Shedmistress · 30/11/2021 10:07

I'm off to chop down a willow and move some compost, if that helps define the garden variety feminist.

Is it a woman with her own pitch fork? Guilty as charged.

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Ereshkigalangcleg · 30/11/2021 09:47

I've seen woke being used in a pejorative way as an insult to describe people who campaign for racial justice, climate change, safe streets for women, LGBTQ+ inclusion. Any issue the Daily Mail doesn't care for.

I was quite clear on the fact that I believe it's heavily overused.

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Ereshkigalangcleg · 30/11/2021 09:46

What's a "garden variety feminist" exactly?

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weverly · 30/11/2021 09:44

@Ereshkigalangcleg

We do need a term for these people. It is helpful, because they are fucking up every genuine movement for social justice.

Who exactly are these woke people you think are the barrier to social justice? I've seen woke being used in a pejorative way as an insult to describe people who campaign for racial justice, climate change, safe streets for women, LGBTQ+ inclusion. Any issue the Daily Mail doesn't care for.

As a garden variety feminist, I thought the barrier to equality for women ( and others ) was the patriarchy?
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MildredsMoustache · 30/11/2021 09:40

(Thanks both for replies, I will come back and read properly later as at work now.)

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Ereshkigalangcleg · 30/11/2021 09:36

I think there are an awful lot of people who are generally trying to be kind, socially conscious and inclusive, who just haven't thought about gender ideology properly yet.

Yes, like many terms used when talking about identity politics (eg mansplaining, virtue signalling) the term is overused and used in the wrong context by people who don't really grasp what it's supposed to mean. But these are still useful concepts to describe certain types of unhelpful behaviour. And I would argue they need a name.

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Shedmistress · 30/11/2021 09:28

MildredsMoustache...

Gncq: We do need a word to describe the current political movement originating from North America, so popular amongst middle class university students, that is completely against free speech and is pro language control, that we now describe as "woke". We need a word for it. Any suggestions?

Libertaire: Stalinism?

BlackandGreen: So black women posting on here, expressing a view to other women, are now Stalinists? That's quite sad to read. I'll leave you to it then.

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MildredsMoustache · 30/11/2021 09:21

@Shedmistress I saw a suggestion for 'pseudo-progressve' I think? Was there something else? (I have read the thread I just can't remember all the posts.)

My questions I guess are
a) whether any term we come up with for 'the kind of person who believes TWAW and also considers themselves woke' would end up problematic, as people like my dad would then use that new term as a sweeping sneering generalisation and an excuse to be genuinely rude and offensive. And I think most/all of us want to distance ourselves from thoss attitudes.

and b) whether in general it is actually helpful in the overall battle against gender ideology to focus on 'those sorts of people'. Does that not potentially make people on the 'other side' feel more defensive and dig their heels in more? I think there are an awful lot of people who are generally trying to be kind, socially conscious and inclusive, who just haven't thought about gender ideology properly yet.

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Ereshkigalangcleg · 30/11/2021 09:12

Anyway, to re-rail the thread, the Julie Burchill video was great. Whatever you think about her it's worth a listen.

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Ereshkigalangcleg · 30/11/2021 09:11

We do need a term for these people. It is helpful, because they are fucking up every genuine movement for social justice.

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Ereshkigalangcleg · 30/11/2021 09:07

AT THE VERY SAME TIME people on this board agree that it’s not ok to use Karen because it’s original meaning (a white woman who uses her power and privilege to call authorities down on Black people) has been watered down and now its use is purely misogynist.

That isn't its original meaning. It was coined by a misogynistic man on Reddit about his wife, Karen.

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Shedmistress · 30/11/2021 08:57

So is there a useful term for that kind of person? Do we need to have terms for 'that kind of person', or is that unhelpful/divisive anyway?

This question has already been asked, and answered on this thread and when answered, a black woman objected as she thought it meant her.

So we can't even distinguish between woke and 'new woke' because it might upset the woke.

So who knows.

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