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Help - what does ‘woke’ mean.

DarloRich

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As long as the word isn't "woke"?

Problem is the cat is out the bag; language is evolving and there isn't much we can do to stop a term being used for a particular purpose, no matter how much we may want to. Unless another word comes along to describe it, I think the term may be here for the longer term.
Like I said: I don't really care what word is used. It is clear you really do care. If you want to use woke, crack on. I think it is an indicator of silliness on the part of the user frankly.

The disgraceful behaviour towards the LNER Guard that occurred on that occasion widely considered to be unacceptable by most reasonable people; it is not me who has a bee in their bonnet.
It is a storm in a tea cup whipped up by people on both sides looking to cause bother. I have bigger things to worry about in life.
 
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yorkie

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Like I said: I don't really care what word is used. It is clear you really do care. If you want to use woke, crack on. I think it is an indicator of silliness on the part of the user frankly.
As I said, words come into use, language evolves; you offer no solution. I'd very much like an alternative word to evolve and come into use that is less controversial, but if no-one does anything about it, it's not going to happen.

It is a storm in a tea cup whipped up by people on both sides looking to cause bother. I have bigger things to worry about in life.
Which is why you have such strong views on it and are so keen to post about it ;)
 

DarloRich

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As I said, words come into use, language evolves; you offer no solution. I'd very much like an alternative word to evolve and come into use that is less controversial, but if no-one does anything about it, it's not going to happen.
You wont let me use the words I would like to describe people on both sides of the argument so can I suggest: wally.
 

AlterEgo

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The actual definitions are:

Woke: Alert to injustice in society*

Only certain sorts of injustice. Woke people in the US generally don't care, for example, about the racist admissions policy at Harvard. Or, perhaps, the injustice suffered by unborn babies who are aborted. Or, perhaps, the injustice suffered by small business owners during rioting. Or, perhaps, the erosion of women's protections in patriarchal societies which took centuries to accrue.

Claiming they are the only ones who are "alert to injustice" is absolutely wrong, and completely ignores conservative principles of justice. It is certain types of injustice.

The disgraceful behaviour towards the LNER Guard that occurred on that occasion widely considered to be unacceptable by most reasonable people; it is not me who has a bee in their bonnet.

I think what happened there was very misguided. I follow the chap who tweeted the original complaint, and am not convinced it was done entirely seriously and it was certainly without the expectation of making the national news. The comeback on him was far greater than was deserved and he was trolled much harder by right wing idiots than the guard was by leftie wokes. I did feel quite sorry for him, in as much as his rather silly tweet blew up in his face in a way which was entirely unwarranted.

The vast majority of people are somewhere in the middle and find all the right wing culture war stuff just as daft and self-defeating as the leftie woke stuff. You probably don't want to be woke, you probably want to be a healthily critical, even-minded person who takes each issue as it comes.

I think that this chimes with my views on its meaning, with a slight nuance on that the 'certain (alleged) injustices' may only be perceived to be such injustices by those who feel that they represent the views of the 'oppressed'*. In reality, the 'oppressed'* may not feel there is an injustice.

* I'm using the word 'oppressed' in a loose sense since I couldn't think of a better word. I'm trying to describe those at the receiving end of the alleged injustice.
Yes, wokery insists everything is about power structures. They are half right.
 

brad465

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A rather timely BBC article for this thread:


Adults should stop mocking young people by calling them "woke" for standing up for things they believe in, says a leading head teacher.
Samantha Price, president of the Girls' Schools Association, is urging parents and teachers to keep up with the younger generation instead.
She will tell a conference on Monday that pupils are genuinely worried about racism, sexism and climate change.
They want to address these issues with support from adults, she adds.
Woke is an informal term from the US, meaning alert to injustice and discrimination in society, particularly racism and sexism. But it is often used in a derogatory way to criticise someone for a certain set of views.
Ms Price, headmistress of the prestigious, independent Benenden School in Kent, will tell her organisation's annual conference: "Adults comment that they feel today's teenagers are speaking a different language; that they can't say anything without being corrected or 'called out' by these PC children."

'Times have changed'​

She says she is "weary of hearing the older generation say, 'you can't say anything any more'."
And she adds: "The fact is that times have changed, and we simply need to keep up with them."
The last few years have seen numerous protests by young people about social issues, such as the treatment of women, racism through the Black Lives Matter movement, and demands for action on climate change.
Schools are hosts to young people as they develop and become aware of the issues that concern them.
Large numbers of young people have taken part in the Fridays for Future and School Strike climate change protests, sometimes with the support of their schools and teachers over the last few years.
Ms Price adds: "This so-called 'woke' generation are actually simply young people who care about things: about causes, about the planet, about people. It ultimately comes down to something very simple: being kind.
"Isn't that what we all want our toddlers to be? We teach them to be kind.
"And then when they grow up to be impressive, kind young people with an understanding and appreciation for the world around them, how can it be right that we mock them, or dismiss them as unrealistic do-gooders?"
She cautions against the older generation dismissing the "energetic changes of this generation" in "derogatory tones and sighs".
Former US President Barack Obama is one of the highest-profile figures to call out self-righteous attitudes among "woke" young people.
In a TV interview in 2019, he said to try to bring about change by being "as judgemental as possible in 2019" against others with different views would not achieve much.
 

alex397

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I mostly agree with that article. By writing off the younger generation as ‘woke snowflakes’ it gives the message that their opinion does not matter, which is a further divide in the silly culture wars that are being encouraged.
 

DynamicSpirit

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I think Samantha Price does say some good things in that speech, but she's also being a bit naive/uninformed about the problems of and nature of 'woke' politics.

There's absolutely nothing wrong with younger people - or indeed people of any age - being 'genuinely worried about racism, sexism and climate change', and I don't think I would ever describe someone as 'woke' just because they want to prioritise dealing with those issues. And I agree with her to the extent that you shouldn't use the term 'woke' (or any other term for that matter) as a way to denigrate people. However, there is problem when people go beyond - say - merely wanting to end racism, but start presuming (wrongly) that every problem is somehow racism-related, or when they go beyond wanting to end climate change but start presuming (wrongly) that all our climate problems are related to capitalism and that we have to end capitalism in order to fix the climate. Those kinds of attitudes are far too common amongst people who self-identify as 'woke', and I would say that, by failing to acknowledge that, Samantha Price is somewhat misrepresenting the issues.

The other thing is that respect goes both ways. It's very noticeable here how Samantha, while rightly calling for respect for young people's views, seems to dismiss out of hand the concerns of older people in a way that is itself disrespectful - for example, by saying "The fact is that times have changed, and we simply need to keep up with them.", which ignores that older (or non-'woke') people will have genuine concerns/beliefs of their own, which equally deserve respect. I'd also question her use of the phrase "'called out' by these PC children." The problem here is that 'calling out' is often simply double-speak for 'expressing disagreement with someone'. By saying you're calling someone out instead of saying that you disagree with them, you're actually using somewhat weasel-language to implicitly claim the moral high ground, and to imply that their opinions don't count. Again, Samantha rather distorts the situation by ignoring that problem.

(Caveat: I don't have access to the full text of her speech, so I'm assuming that all the quotes attributed to her in the BBC article are correct)
 
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Dent

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However, there is problem when people go beyond - say - merely wanting to end racism, but start presuming (wrongly) that every problem is somehow racism-related, or when they go beyond wanting to end climate change but start presuming (wrongly) that all our climate problems are related to capitalism and that we have to end capitalism in order to fix the climate. Those kinds of attitudes are far too common amongst people who self-identify as 'woke', and I would say that, by failing to acknowledge that, Samantha Price is somewhat misrepresenting the issues.

Are these kids of attitudes really "far too common"? They sounds more like strawmen fabricated to denigrate people's concerns. I certainly haven't see anyone seriously claiming that literally every problem is somehow racism-related, which would be totally absurd if anyone was.
 

ungreat

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Its a term used nowadays usually..in the UK..by right wing imbeciles OR brexiters (usually the same) to describe anyone who dares to say anything against Brexit/Tories/not supporting brexit/you should hate Greta / They love Nigel Farage/ they actually hate foreigners / Labour has a Sir in charge etc etc..the usual retort is " I voted out because of the fishing " or some other nonsense that never bothered them till Farage opened his fag smoke riddled gob.

And there are a lot of people in the UK that think like that.
 

Busaholic

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Its a term used nowadays usually..in the UK..by right wing imbeciles OR brexiters (usually the same) to describe anyone who dares to say anything against Brexit/Tories/not supporting brexit/you should hate Greta / They love Nigel Farage/ they actually hate foreigners / Labour has a Sir in charge etc etc..the usual retort is " I voted out because of the fishing " or some other nonsense that never bothered them till Farage opened his fag smoke riddled gob.

And there are a lot of people in the UK that think like that.
Interesting that George Galloway, who claims to despise alcohol, is so matey with Farage. Guess it shows that charlatans mass together: come to think of it, if Galloway could choose either a Labour or Conservative government.....
 

Bevan Price

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Its a term used nowadays usually..in the UK..by right wing imbeciles OR brexiters (usually the same) to describe anyone who dares to say anything against Brexit/Tories/not supporting brexit/you should hate Greta / They love Nigel Farage/ they actually hate foreigners / Labour has a Sir in charge etc etc..the usual retort is " I voted out because of the fishing " or some other nonsense that never bothered them till Farage opened his fag smoke riddled gob.

And there are a lot of people in the UK that think like that.

"Woke" is a horrible term. To me it seemed to emerge at the same time as "virtue signalling" and "snowflake", and it appears to be a word that is used by those who hold slightly bigoted tendencies use to beat those who are rather more enlightened in the ways of the modern world. In short, it seems to have become a derogatory term for "open-minded".
Alternatively (in USA) - people who do not believe that Trump is God's Gift to the World and its politics.
 

ungreat

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Interesting that George Galloway, who claims to despise alcohol, is so matey with Farage. Guess it shows that charlatans mass together: come to think of it, if Galloway could choose either a Labour or Conservative government.....
Where did i mention Galloway (who is a tit) or alcohol?

Interesting that George Galloway, who claims to despise alcohol, is so matey with Farage. Guess it shows that charlatans mass together: come to think of it, if Galloway could choose either a Labour or Conservative government.....
But also a very valid point!!!
 

yorkie

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Its a term used nowadays usually..in the UK..by right wing imbeciles OR brexiters (usually the same) to describe anyone who dares to say anything against Brexit/Tories/not supporting brexit/you should hate Greta / They love Nigel Farage/ they actually hate foreigners / Labour has a Sir in charge etc etc..
That is the opinion of the far left, but I disagree; as I said earlier, I think Barak Obaman has it right.

Whether anyone likse it or not, the term has no universal meaning and is increasingly used by normal people to describe someone who has extremist views, rather than used by extremists to refer to people who have mainstream views.
 

al78

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Someone described as a snowflake has a sense of entitlement, believing themselves to be special, but are not, also sensitive to the point of being unable to cope with differing views.
A boomer was born between 1946 and 1964, when the baby boom occurred postwar
It refers to someone who gets too easily offended, where "too easily", is of the opinion of the person making the accusation. The irony is, "snowflake" tends to be used by those who can't take any challenge to their opinion and therefore try to attack the person (i.e. ad-hominen fallacy), meaning they themselves are the "snowflake", and accusing others is nothing more than psychological projection.

Woke is a specific world-view which, at its core, is very closed minded and just as much so as the conservative right.
I suspect it is meant to cover extreme opinions and has since been diluted to be applied to those who threaten another's world view and identity with their calling out of something, that something could easily be something that should be called out.
 

DynamicSpirit

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I suspect it is meant to cover extreme opinions and has since been diluted to be applied to those who threaten another's world view and identity with their calling out of something, that something could easily be something that should be called out.

Something that should be called out in whose opinion?
 

ungreat

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That is the opinion of the far left, but I disagree; as I said earlier, I think Barak Obaman has it right.

Whether anyone likse it or not, the term has no universal meaning and is increasingly used by normal people to describe someone who has extremist views, rather than used by extremists to refer to people who have mainstream views.
Are you for real???
I've NEVER heard it used by anyone even remotely left wing!
The only people I've ever heard it used by is right wing gobs**tes who cry down everything they refuse to listen to!
 

yorkie

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Are you for real???
For saying Barak Obama is spot on?
I've NEVER heard it used by anyone even remotely left wing!
The term is generally used in a negative manner, so those who are 'woke' are unlikely to use the term, despite the term originating from the 'left'

The only people I've ever heard it used by is right wing gobs**tes who cry down everything they refuse to listen to!
But the term has become far more widespread than that, to mean someone who has a view that is generally seen as unreasonably judgemental and critical of things that most people see as harmless/benign (e.g. that a train guard should be reprimanded for saying something like 'ladies and gentlemen')

As I said, the term has no universal meaning. It's a slang term which has been imported from the US. The meaning of terms can vary across generations, by region/area, over time and on this case can also vary based on political leanings.
 

MotCO

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I've NEVER heard it used by anyone even remotely left wing!
Would you accept that the people who toppled the Edward Colston statue were left wing? I would hardly think that they were right wing. As @yorkie says, they may not call themselves 'woke', but I think most people would argue that they were.

But the term has become far more widespread than that, to mean someone who has a view that is generally seen as unreasonably judgemental and critical of things that most people see as harmless/benign (e.g. that a train guard should be reprimanded for saying something like 'ladies and gentlemen')
I would go slightly further and say that 'woke' people are intolerant of people who hold different views to them.
 

alex397

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But the term has become far more widespread than that, to mean someone who has a view that is generally seen as unreasonably judgemental and critical of things that most people see as harmless/benign (e.g. that a train guard should be reprimanded for saying something like 'ladies and gentlemen')
Like you say, it has slightly different meanings for different people. Sure, ‘woke’ is used to describe far-left views, but I also frequently see it used (alongside ‘snowflake’) to describe people who are merely fans of Greta Thunberg, people who are supportive of asylum seekers, people who disagree with right wing commentators and publications, supporters of anti-racism causes, people who find fox hunting offensive, and so on.
 

ungreat

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Would you accept that the people who toppled the Edward Colston statue were left wing? I would hardly think that they were right wing. As @yorkie says, they may not call themselves 'woke', but I think most people would argue that they were.


I would go slightly further and say that 'woke' people are intolerant of people who hold different views to them.
I would also add that people who use "woke" are intolerant of people who hold different views to them......
 

alex397

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I would also add that people who use "woke" are intolerant of people who hold different views to them......
I largely agree with that. It feels like some people use ‘woke’ to just disregard someone’s opinion.
Sure, there are some far-left views I certainly don’t agree with, but you see people defending asylum seekers for example and people just disregarding them as ‘woke leftie snowflakes’.
 

DynamicSpirit

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I largely agree with that. It feels like some people use ‘woke’ to just disregard someone’s opinion.
Sure, there are some far-left views I certainly don’t agree with, but you see people defending asylum seekers for example and people just disregarding them as ‘woke leftie snowflakes’.

Can you provide mainstream examples of that? Off the top of my head, I'm sure I've seen the word 'woke' used quite a bit - generally to refer to people who are obviously either acting intolerantly or showing some disdain towards UK traditions etc. but I don't think I've ever seen it used by anyone reasonably mainstream to describe people purely on account of those people defending asylum seekers.
 

Acfb

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A lot of this nonsense is actually confected by a lot of deeply unpleasant middle class/affluent people in the establishment. There a lot of utterly vile commentators in the Times in particular who are just sh*t stirring nowadays.

'Woke' has become utterly meaningless. I presume a lot of idiots are now calling the incoming German government 'woke' just because it is has extremely progressive views on trans rights despite being very centrist in most other regards.
 

yorksrob

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A lot of this nonsense is actually confected by a lot of deeply unpleasant middle class/affluent people in the establishment. There a lot of utterly vile commentators in the Times in particular who are just sh*t stirring nowadays.

'Woke' has become utterly meaningless. I presume a lot of idiots are now calling the incoming German government 'woke' just because it is has extremely progressive views on trans rights despite being very centrist in most other regards.

I used to read the Times (up until about five years ago when it took the piss by becoming £1.60) and they all seemed a fairly middle of the road, level headed sort of lot. Certainly nothing particularly boorish, as one would expect in the tabloids.

Has it got rowdy of late ?
 

Acfb

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I used to read the Times (up until about five years ago when it took the piss by becoming £1.60) and they all seemed a fairly middle of the road, level headed sort of lot. Certainly nothing particularly boorish, as one would expect in the tabloids.

Has it got rowdy of late ?

I just find it pretty insidious and full of bad faith actors TBH, with commentators pretending to be 'centrist' who actually pretty right wing (at least economically), not to mention the amount of columns by Melanie Phillips and don't get me started on the utterly smug Danny Finkelstein. I think you learn a lot more from other right wing papers actually as to how 'the other side thinks'.

My mother has a subscription and I enjoy doing the puzzles on the website and reading the World articles but I can't stand the rest of it.
 

yorksrob

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I just find it pretty insidious and full of bad faith actors TBH, with commentators pretending to be 'centrist' who actually pretty right wing (at least economically), not to mention the amount of columns by Melanie Phillips and don't get me started on the utterly smug Danny Finkelstein. I think you learn a lot more other right wing papers actually as to how 'the other side thinks'.

My mother has a subscription and I enjoy doing the puzzles on the website and reading the World articles but I can't stand the rest of it.

Oh yes, they're all for free market economics.

I used to find that you'd find more about what was going on in the world in the business pages of the Times, than anywhere else.

It just doesn't work on line though, because you don't get to scan through everything.
 

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