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Thought Police: Are we allowed to query 'woke'?

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I think that some of the discussions on the Battle Special thread got me thinking about this issue.  I get how complex it is but at the same time I also find aspects of it uncomfortable.

As near as I can tell, and I'm happy to be set straight, the term 'woke' seems to have been created, appropriated and misappropriated by several different groups.  Like many I'm not sure when I first became aware of it but the origin appears to have been inspired by the idea of an 'awakening' to issues of social importance.  From there it has morphed into a badge of consciousness, particularly among influencers in the social media sphere and now into an insult in the political and media spheres.

What I find difficult is the way in which our thoughts and attitudes are not just seen as possibly incorrect but more fundementally as aberrant.  Irrespective of our own experiences and understanding, if we do not think about things in the 'correct way' then we are castigated for those thoughts.

I'm not talking about hate speech here.  Rather about ideas that we might have grown up with but are no longer deemed acceptable.  Like all of those comedy shows and films that are now being withdrawn from circulation as the ideas they played with are now considered inapprorpriate (and yes, may well be so ...).

It's almost as if we have reached a point where we have realised that there is no point railing against 'the man' since we are powerless against 'him'.  Railing against each other though?  Anger and outrage at the petty injustices of the world?  Now that is something that is acceptable.  Bread and circuses and all that.  Too busy fighting each other to worry about what else is going on.

it feels a little like that line by Dredd from the Apocalypse War:  "The Citizens?  What makes you think they're interested?"  We're all fighting with each other over identity or sexuality or skin colour.  What fight really matters though?

Colin YNWA:
Specifically on woke I just find it weird its used as a negative. As if its a bad thing to be made aware of important issues, to grow and progress in understanding and empathy is a bad thing. If a strip is seen as 'woke' well good. If someone thinks that's a bad thing maybe they should reflect on why that is, why increased awareness is a bad thing and what it is they are afraid of about being 'woken' (is that even a term in this context?).

I was a bit shit and ignorant in the past, I can hide behind the context of the times, the fact that very few of us knew any better and the cultural influences in my life renforced my ignorance, whatever. The fact that I've been made all 'woke' to that isn't  a bad thing and is something we should celebrate. Its not easy, but owning my own male white privalege, accepting it and trying to do something about it is making me a better person - I hope.

When I was younger I was apalled by the casual racism of previous generations and even in the 80s and 90s I realised that some of the telly I saw from the 60s and 70s (as an example) was pretty bad. I hope my son and daughter look at me when I'm older as someone - who no doubt will still have faults, but has at least tried to progess and grow up with the world.

Funt Solo:
My problem with the term "woke" is that it seems to be used to polarize opinion in what could otherwise be a thoughtful discussion or debate.

So, perhaps someone is saying they were pleased to see a minority represented in a medium where they're not often represented. Someone else says it's just pandering to a woke sensibility. Claws out! Missiles launched! Ding ding - round one!

Recently (if you want to take a different tack) what seemed like openers to an interesting debate about modern transgenderism were shouted down with what seemed like banner slogans as opposed to reasoned arguments. Like "Transgender women are women". Are they? What are non-transgender women, then? It's a fucking fascinating point for debate because it impinges on things like women's refuges. But it's not a debate at all if people just shout seemingly nonsensical slogans at one another and refuse to budge.

I managed to follow the argument quite far for gender being a choice, but now sex as well? Biologists sex animals. Aren't humans animals? Am I allowed to be confused by all of this redefinition of terms? Or will I be cancelled?

Well, we needn't worry too much - Trump is fomenting a civil war and my kind of "hey, can't we just talk it through" approach won't last long against either side. It feels like the end of days - with working class blacks being persuaded to take up arms against working class white militias, while all the rich folk sell them guns!

Their solutions are our problems
They put up the wall
On each side time and prime us
And make sure we get fuck all
They play their games of power
They mark and cut the pack
They deal us to the bottom
But what do they put back?

Suspect Device, Stiff Little Fingers


--- Quote from: Funt Solo on 24 September, 2020, 08:23:31 PM --- What are non-transgender women, then?

--- End quote ---

Women. That part is not complicated.

The issues you raise are real, and complex, but the starting point for addressing them has to be universal Human Rights.  If transgender people don't have the same rights in society as everyone else, there's no point in any sort of nuanced debate.  There are just as many - or as few - transgender predators and monsters as there are cis, hetero, gay, white, black etc etc. ones, and we don't restrict their rights (mostly,  anymore), we just deal with the criminals best we can.

It's hard for us oldies to change. We can sort all this important-but-fiddly stuff out,  the sport issue, the refuge and medical issues, but first we need to start with the basics, and that's a level playing field that listens to transgender people and accepts transwomen as women and transmen as men.

Funt Solo:
I can't quite go that far.

One probably wouldn't argue (for example) that anyone gets to become any racial identity just because they identify strongly with it or even consider themselves to be it. Why is it different for sex? (I'm deliberately not using gender, because it seems the argument is being taken further.)

And all I'm doing is talking about categories - not human rights. I wouldn't argue that because I see a difference in definition between someone born with a sex compared with someone who adopts a sex that either party should have fewer rights.

Just on logic: there are differences - differences in physicality. To deny them seems like doublethink.


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