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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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Momobeats · 30/11/2021 01:00

The word "Karen" is similar in that respect. The subreddit which came out of that man hating on his (ex)wife Karen was in 2017, the subreddit blew up, the (general) Karen memes took off in 2018 and by 2020

This is simply not true, the name Karen being associated with race was first made popular in 2010 (see below)

knowyourmeme.com/memes/oh-my-god-karen-you-cant-just-ask-someone-why-theyre-white

Origin
The catchphrase comes from a set of lines from the 2004 comedy Mean Girls. In the film Karen Smith (Amanda Seyfried) asks Cady Heron (Lindsay Lohan) “So if you’re from Africa, why are you white?” to which Gretchen Wieners (Lacey Chabert) admonishes “Oh my god Karen, you can’t just ask people why they’re white.”

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BlackandGreen · 30/11/2021 01:02

Shedmistress My reply has disappeared twice now. So in short, no, I didn't read it like that.

I'm not a regular poster on FWR, just a lurker.

A one word post saying Stalinism, posted after I've posted, doesn't automatically translate to a wider meaning. Especially when read in context with sneery replies to another poster.
I've spent my life organising for women and girls, I understand the issues. What I have difficulty with, is understanding the shorthand on here.

Thank you for clarification. More helpful to me as a lurker, than your original dismissive FFS.

For a woman, who is also black, looking in on FWR, it's not always clear when you are all using this term " woke" in a derogatory way, that you aren't referring to black people, but others.

To me, reading dismissive comments about " wokeness" reads to include me as a black woman. Black people don't use it in your way, it's as simple, and as complicated as that. Telling us simply to get on with it, as others have decided to appropriate the word for their own means, leaves us still on the outside. That's why many women who are black organise amongst themselves. We are expected to fit in with the majority but usually with some cost to us. ( Like not being listened to) Divide and rule, as ever.

(JB, incidentally, I'm familiar with. We are around the same age. JB is all about JB, ultimately, and always has been)

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LobsterNapkin · 30/11/2021 01:09

@HazelCarbyFan

The notion of “class consciousness” goes back to Marx, but nobody was using the specific term “woke.” The concept is not new, but the post-structuralists (largely writing in French) were not using “woke.” That is a term originating in contemporary Black culture within the last decade. Before that we talked about developing racial consciousness but we used to just call it “being conscious,” being real, etc.

Woke was absolutely around before the last decade. It was around for sure in the 70s and while I don't remember earlier than that I believe it had been around since before the 50s.
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Lovelyricepudding · 30/11/2021 01:14

(JB, incidentally, I'm familiar with. We are around the same age. JB is all about JB, ultimately, and always has been)

Now you reveal your true intention.

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LobsterNapkin · 30/11/2021 01:17

Not my words, it was a disgusting comment by @dropthevipers in this thread on friday

I don't think that comment means what you think it means.

It's pointing out that liking dresses or romantic films doesn't make you a woman, any more than liking jerk chicken makes you black.

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EmbarrassingHadrosaurus · 30/11/2021 01:19

@Lovelyricepudding

(JB, incidentally, I'm familiar with. We are around the same age. JB is all about JB, ultimately, and always has been)

Now you reveal your true intention.

This is FWR, not Wacky Races and the poster that you quote is not Dick Dastardly.
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Momobeats · 30/11/2021 01:23

@LobsterNapkin

Not my words, it was a disgusting comment by @dropthevipers in this thread on friday

I don't think that comment means what you think it means.

It's pointing out that liking dresses or romantic films doesn't make you a woman, any more than liking jerk chicken makes you black.

Wow!

Jerk chicken and marijuana

You really don't get it do you?
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LobsterNapkin · 30/11/2021 01:35

Unpleasant stereotypes are unpleasant stereotypes.

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PrincessNutella · 30/11/2021 01:45

The two terms are not at all the same. "Karen" is purely an insult, while "woke" is a term, like "politically correct" that has been hijacked by privileged white so-called progressives as a form of self-flattery. The very idea that white people would feel free to appropriate this term is part of the irony that makes "wokism" so mockable.

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Momobeats · 30/11/2021 01:51

@LobsterNapkin

Unpleasant stereotypes are unpleasant stereotypes.

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?
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CharlieParley · 30/11/2021 02:32

@Momobeats

The word "Karen" is similar in that respect. The subreddit which came out of that man hating on his (ex)wife Karen was in 2017, the subreddit blew up, the (general) Karen memes took off in 2018 and by 2020

This is simply not true, the name Karen being associated with race was first made popular in 2010 (see below)

knowyourmeme.com/memes/oh-my-god-karen-you-cant-just-ask-someone-why-theyre-white

Origin
The catchphrase comes from a set of lines from the 2004 comedy Mean Girls. In the film Karen Smith (Amanda Seyfried) asks Cady Heron (Lindsay Lohan) “So if you’re from Africa, why are you white?” to which Gretchen Wieners (Lacey Chabert) admonishes “Oh my god Karen, you can’t just ask people why they’re white.”

It wasn't made popular in any way by that catchphrase. Because that never took off and didn't turn into Karen being used as a slur.

All kinds of names have been used to denote stereotypes, Becky was one of the more popular ones previously, but Karen didn't take off until after the madly popular subreddit "Fuck You Karen" first turned the word into a slur against any middle-aged woman who dared to be assertive.

Its use for white women being racist followed shortly thereafter. I mean there's a reason why the papers and the literati were writing countless columns about the word Karen in 2020, why it was made word of the year in 2020 in the context of labelling white women being racist as Karens. That's because it wasn't popular much before then.

The name itself is bloody ancient, so obviously there's all kinds of sketches about this name (and other names). But we're discussing widespread usage in this specific context and that didn't happen until after 2018.

(It is obvious that many people had no idea that the use of Karen as a slur originated from a properly misogynist subreddit. Or that the haircut now associated with Karens became a meme on its own a few years before the name was popularised as a slur. The haircut was associated with the same stereotypes as Karen - white, middle-aged woman, plus traits like assertiveness or entitlement and someone married them up and the meme Karen had a meme haircut.)
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CharlieParley · 30/11/2021 02:36

I should probably add that in your example it's the catchphrase that subsequently took off (but not in any massive way) and not the name. As is clear if from the link you posted.

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Shedmistress · 30/11/2021 07:21

For a woman, who is also black, looking in on FWR, it's not always clear when you are all using this term " woke" in a derogatory way, that you aren't referring to black people, but others.

Really? This whole thread was about it way itnhas been hijacked and gncq even said '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 are not using it in a derogatory way, we are reacting to those that call themselves 'woke' in their protests against women who believe in biology,

But hey have a pop at the women on here who despise the people that have appropriated it, rather than the people that appropriated it, sure. If that makes you feel better.

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beastlyslumber · 30/11/2021 07:52

This discussion was not at all what I was expecting with this thread, but it's been interesting!

I don't think women on here use the term with the intention of being derogatory towards black women. I can't speak for anyone other than myself, of course, but that's my impression.

I think, as LobsterNapkin pointed out earlier, there is an inherent irony in the use of the term "woke" which usefully identifies the way the word was adopted by wealthy white millenials who believe they are giving voice to people whom they (racistly) assume cannot speak for themselves. And as Shed says, I think any negative feeling is directed towards those people, rather than towards those who originated the term in the first place.

I don't believe that words can be "appropriated" but of course they can be misused and deployed in different ways. I definitely agree that another term might be better, although I can also see that it will be difficult to find a good name for a movement/ideology that does not really want to be named.

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MildredsMoustache · 30/11/2021 08:46

MurielSpriggs

Whatever it's origins, the way "woke" is currently used is the Daily-Express-reactionary equivalent to "political correctness gone mad"


My father, who has some horrible views, uses 'woke' to write off anything in the exact way he would use 'pc gone mad'. If I discussed gender ideology with him, he would use it as permission to sneer at trans people, and then move on to sneer about e.g. overweight people or immigrants.

So for me, the term is already problematic for that reason.

As I am also hearing black women on this thread saying they find the use of 'woke' problematic, which I hadn't realised before, I would be quite happy if we could leave this word out of the discussion. And find a better term for this specific context.

I do agree with this though:

We are not using it in a derogatory way, we are reacting to those that call themselves 'woke'

It is a sort of one-step-removed appropriation of the word, right? It's different from, say, 'snowflake' in that I don't think anyone has claimed proudly to be a snowflake. But there is a kind of person who considers themselves woke, and isn't just using it in a racism context.

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?

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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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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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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 09:12

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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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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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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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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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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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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Ereshkigalangcleg · 30/11/2021 09:46

What's a "garden variety feminist" exactly?

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