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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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CharlieParley · 01/12/2021 00:43

You a fan then Ides?

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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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FlyingJo · 01/12/2021 01:45

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

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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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