A short history of wokeness
Romanticism’s rejection of reason sowed the seeds of today’s woke movement
Those who consider themselves woke, … might see wokeness as an embrace of positive virtues, such as tolerance, fairness and awareness.
The OED defines woke as meaning ‘alert to injustice in society, especially racism’.
Urban Dictionary defines it more sarcastically as ‘the act of being very pretentious about how much you care about a social issue’.
The term entered the popular lexicon around 2016, thanks to the Black Lives Matter movement but Dictionary.com traces its origins to a 1943 article in the Atlantic quoting a black United Mine Workers official from 1940, who uses woke as a metaphor for social justice: ‘Waking up is a damn sight harder than going to sleep, but we’ll stay woke up longer’.
Political correctness … was instrumental in dumbing down Western education. In ‘The Language Police’, education historian Diane Ravitch traces the deleterious effects of PC on textbook content. ‘Censors on the right aim to restore an idealised vision of the past, … Censors from the left believe in an idealised vision of the future, a utopia in which egalitarianism prevails in all social relations’.
PC was based on the postmodern, mystical belief that naming something is what gives it power. PC censors subscribed to the Orwellian notion that stopping people using certain words destroys whatever it is the word signifies. As Ravitch puts it, ‘The goal of the language police is not just to stop us from using objectionable words, but to stop us from having objectionable thoughts’. Wokeness is essentially PC on steroids.
Lynched by the feminist mob
Tanveer Ahmed describes how he was ‘lynched by the PC mob’:
“Western feminists remain focused on elite issues such as the pay of women on corporate boards or the wages of millionaire Hollywood actresses”.
“Fairfax polemicist Clementine Ford, described by Andrew Bolt as ‘some feminist with bared tattoos’, criticised my views for using the sneakiest, most privileged tool of the patriarchy, a ‘veneer of reason'”.
“Two nights after my column was published, Labor politician Tim Watts spoke in federal Parliament calling for my resignation. I watched online bemused by it all”.
“The White Ribbon site continued to be mobbed by posts demanding my resignation. Despite the group being about men, the hundreds of angry posts were entirely from women. The following day, White Ribbon issued a statement that the calls for my resignation were so persistent that I had been asked to step down. In a final twist in keeping with the totalitarian character of the entire episode, in order to be reinstated, I would undergo a recommitment program to make sure my views were in keeping with the movement. I packed my ribbon away in a basement drawer and sheepishly returned to my practice, no longer an ambassador for the cause, and resumed writing prescriptions for psychoactive drugs”.
Source: The Spectator Australia