De Coding Wokeness; A Simple Guide.
We hear a lot about the woke. But what is it to be woke? To understand wokeness it is necessary to understand a couple of theories one going back to the 1950s called postmodernism an oversimplification of Marxist consciousness and the other a more recent corruption of postmodernism which is called Critical Social Justice Theory. Both focus on feelings and identities.
In the 1950’s it became fashionable to stop looking at social concepts as fixed and to start seeing concepts like marriage, or gender, as fluid. Things were capable of being defined in a non-prescriptive way by different people. So, for example, ‘femininity’ was once a definition which had accepted social characteristics. It would have defined how a person dresses, modifies their looks, maybe speaks and how they relate to other people. The idea that post modernists developed said that just because you were biologically ‘female’ you did not have to look or behave or have your attitudes shaped by what ‘western’ society said was feminine. This seems reasonable, ask any tomboy!
The feminists who argued this had in mind a world where your biology should not define what femininity looked like. So, they were pushing against social ‘norms’ that defined ‘femininity’. Back in the 1950s femininity was for example not smoking a pipe or wearing a three-piece suit or being powerful in business. Femininity was back in the 1940s and 1950’s the opposite of these ‘masculine’ identities. This became the foothills of wokeness. The early ‘awakening’ that what was ‘real’ like ‘femininity’ or ‘masculinity’ might just be a ‘social construction’ and therefore capable of being changed, becoming ‘fluid’.
What these early and innocent pioneers who were called postmodernists did not say was that if you identified as ‘feminine’ you became ‘female’. Their views were influenced by feminists, so they would have rejected any idea that by identifying as something other than you were, you became that something you identified with.
For example, within the range of ‘masculinities’, it is backed up by research that some white boys identify with black street culture and therefore adopt what is seen ‘on the streets’ as a black identity. But it does not make them black. They are white boys identifying as black for reasons of identity. They know that too.
However, in full-blown ‘woke’ ideology, within certain groups (which incidentally does not include white boys), you can become that with which you identify. This is no more clearly evidenced than in trans radicalism. If we go back to the 1940s and 1950s with the largely French intellectuals who created postmodernism, a female was a biological reality, not a social ‘identity’. The social identity was ‘feminine’. So, for them, a biological female could dress like a man, swear like a man, have sex like a man and bear no resemblance to the ‘social identity’ ‘feminine’. She might choose to adopt every ‘masculine’ characteristic imaginable like fighting, but she was a female and biologically different from males. This is the misunderstanding the ‘woke’ either do not understand or ignore. They believe that it is possible to ‘change sex’. You cannot change your sex, but you can change your sexual identity.
As a result of the ignorance or misunderstanding of lawmakers, it is now possible to change your sex on your birth certificate. This is wrong. There should be a box added to the birth certificate that allows you at the age of 18+ to re-identify other than as your birth sex.
So, what does this mean when dealing with woke people. Very simply it means that a trans man, is one form of identity within the biological sex ‘female’ and a trans woman is one form of identity within the biological sex male. For males, you might argue that at one extreme there is ‘toxic’ masculinity e.g. a belief, often seen in some religious groups, that men are powerful and must be obeyed by women, and at the other end there are males who identify as females. But they are not females they are an extreme form of male identity that rejects ‘masculinity’ as an identity of choice. Anyone who tries to argue against these facts…..is called a transphobe.
Moving on from confusion over transexual identities the critical social justice ideology or wokeness has done a similar exercise with the colour of people’s skin. So, this time whilst there is no doubting one’s skin colour, the ‘identity’ associated with that skin colour is defined. Black people are ‘defined’ as victims of ‘structural disadvantage’ and white people are defined as the ‘oppressors’. This ignores that in capitalist and post-capitalist society there are victims of structural disadvantage who are white and millionaire successes who are black. Class and status is a far better determinant of success and failure than skin colour. A person’s class is defined by their ability to accumulate capital or get access to capital, even if that capital is in the form of taxation paid to people as high public sector wages.
So structural disadvantage isn’t about poor white people keeping black people down but white upper-middle-class people who decide the social and economic rules (senior politicians, civil servants, Charity and BBC executives etc) but they pretend it is ‘nothing to do with us, guvnor’. Anyone applying for a job in the public sector knows how ‘the right candidate’ must have, if not a ‘middle class’ background, learnt middle-class skills with verbal and nonverbal reasoning, and knowledge of psychometric tests etc being demonstrated irrespective of skin colour.
That is why there are probably proportionally more people who are black in the ‘structurally disadvantaged class, but it is not because they are black its because they are poor and have little access to capital accumulation or the ability to acquire the ‘right’ kind of learnt skills. They have not been allowed to progress by a middle class elitist system that pretends its fair to all, whilst then blaming poor white people for the failure of some black people.
So, the real reason there are disadvantaged black people and white people is that there really is ‘structural disadvantage’ and it is getting worse. But it is not racial it is class-based and more and more people will eventually fall into the disadvantaged category. Only then will the scales on the eyes of indebted students and the politically angry white middle class, finally lift as they will see who the real enemies of poor black and white people are. The elitist system that gate keeps entry only to those with the knowledge to get in and shuts everyone ese out. In other words, poorer disadvantaged people of whatever colour.
Finally, we need to explore the woke obsession with Islam and the baffling protection of it from justified critique. This is baffling paradox seems to be the result of the woke misunderstanding both the nature of Islam and the real role of western thinking in liberating people from rule-based religious dogma.
Islam is an ideology based on the application of strict rules which either ban things or allow things. These rules were revealed to Mohammed as the word of God in the 7th century by the Angel Gabriel. Gabriel was the Angel who also foretold the birth of Jesus who whilst not the word of God, was the Son of God, born six hundred years before Mohammed. The Prophet Mohammed had views which were very typical of the 7th century Arab Peninsular and elsewhere in the Middle East. He believed women were inferior to men, worth financially half as much as men in fact. He also believed in waging war against non-Muslims to provide booty for the cause of Islam. There are other ‘characteristics’ often levelled as criticisms of Islam such as child marriage, but in fairness, these were just typical of the 7th century almost everywhere.
So, Islam is about strict do and don’ts. The woke do seem conflicted about do’s and don’ts. They like their do’s, hating western history for example, but get angry if they are told to accept others do’s like for example having the freedom to speak your mind. How they would feel about Islam is something one can only speculate about. The problem for the woke is that in their muddled critical social justice theorising, they focus on bashing western freedom, seeing it solely as the cause of disadvantage for non-white people. However too many of their preferred identities clash irreconcilable but abhorring freedom of speech, nothing is ever said. So, for example, traditional Islam and feminism clash, feminism, and trans-activism clash and trans activism and lesbian and Gay rights clash and Lesbianism and Gay rights clash with traditional Islam.
The woke really do not know what the historical and scientific reality is behind what they believe or maybe what the implications are for what they believe in terms of freedom. This is because the woke are simply obsessed with the superficiality of social identities defined for minorities by them and their social justice mentors. So maybe like people who see identity as personal rather than sociological, we should just stop paying them any attention.