Woke Twitter Claims “Woke” Doesn’t Exist If You Can’t Precisely Define It
Denying reality by arguing over definitions: “One of the most powerful ways to defeat your enemies is to control their language, deny them the ability to even name that which they oppose much less defeat it”
The word “woke” in the context of social/political commentary has a long history dating back to the early 1900s, but the term was popularized in 2014 during the Ferguson riots in the aftermath of the officer-involved shooting death of Michael Brown.
Author Joanna Williams explained how the word became a mainstay in the activist left circles in a book she wrote about how “woke” had allegedly “won”:
In 2014, protests broke out in Ferguson, Missouri following the police killing of Michael Brown. Activists rallied around the slogan Black Lives Matter. The phrase ‘stay woke’, popularised by Badu, quickly became associated with the Black Lives Matter movement through the sharing of the hashtag #StayWoke online. This was a call back to the 1930s warning to black people to stay alert to the threat of racist police brutality, but it rapidly expanded to encompass the broader sense of being aware of all forms of social injustice.
On Wednesday, another book author, conservative commentator Bethany Mandel, went on The Hill’s “Rising” program to talk about the recently released book “Stolen Youth” that she co-authored with fellow conservative commentator Karol Markowicz.
During the interview, Mandel used the term “woke’ and was then asked by “Rising” co-host Briahna Joy Gray how she defined it. Mandel struggled for a moment before she gave her short definition in a clip that has, as she predicted, gone viral:
“Would you mind defining woke?” Gray asked. “It’s come up a couple of times. I just want to make sure we’re on the same page.”
“So, I mean, woke is sort of the idea that… I – this is going to be one of those moments that goes viral,” Mandel said, as she paused and looked for the right words.
“I mean, woke is something that’s very hard to define, and we’ve spent an entire chapter defining it. It is sort of the understanding that we need to totally reimagine and redo society in order to create hierarchies of oppression… Sorry, it’s hard to explain in a 15-second sound bite,” she said.
Reading it, her answer sounded fine. But because she paused a few times while thinking of what to say and looked uncomfortable after she answered it, self-styled progressives had a field day.
LOL: Briahna Joy Gray BREAKS the brain of Rising guest Bethany Mandel by asking her to define "wokeness" pic.twitter.com/uwRSSH0LaM
— The Vanguard (@vanguard_pod) March 14, 2023
Every conservative when they’re asked to define “woke” pic.twitter.com/OYc2neE2dl
— The Daily Show (@TheDailyShow) March 15, 2023
Oh my God. This Republican talking head was just left completely speechless when asked what “woke” actually means. (h/t @vanguard_pod) pic.twitter.com/Ogps8GP7lq
— No Lie with Brian Tyler Cohen (@NoLieWithBTC) March 15, 2023
Predictably, the Washington Post declared that the moment “reinforces the hollowness of ‘woke’ as an attack.”
Analysis: A viral moment reinforces the hollowness of “woke” as an attack https://t.co/VkHU3MLYaT
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) March 15, 2023
In fairness, outside of that moment, Mandel did well throughout most of the back-and-forth with the hosts, as seen in the full video below:
In response to the leftist pile on of Mandel, which included one of the Queens of Woke, Jemele Hill, conservatives and other independent-minded people weighed in with their thoughts on what woke means, with others correctly pointing out how the left loves to play word games with their own words and slogans and then declares the same words off limits for conservatives to use when their games start to backfire:
One of the most powerful ways to defeat your enemies is to control their language, deny them the ability to even name that which they oppose much less defeat it pic.twitter.com/bVf3ST8T6l
— Auron MacIntyre (@AuronMacintyre) March 15, 2023
We are not allowed to call *it* anything.
*It* of course, is wokeness. Now before @BenjaminSWatson (tagging for honesty) says I can't define it, let me go ahead and define it and then explain the game that is being played when we are told that we cannot define "woke."
— Wokal Distance (@wokal_distance) September 4, 2022
The Left has been playing word games like this forever. They call something a term, it gets extremely unpopular, then they pretend people don't understand what it really is or change to a different word for the same thing, as if that changes what it is.
— John Hawkins (@johnhawkinsrwn) March 15, 2023
This meme is my default response to “define woke” pic.twitter.com/TcYnpg1aIx
— The Rabbit Hole (@TheRabbitHole84) March 15, 2023
“If you can’t define ‘game,’ then you can’t argue that games exist!”
Philosophers and psychologists have long understood that explicit, verbal definitions are exceedingly difficult to provide for complex phenomena. Definitions matter, of course, but it’s not a gotcha.
— Bo Winegard (@EPoe187) March 15, 2023
Wokeness is the belief that Eurocentric Cisheteropatriarchy is written into the language and institutional foundations of American society and that a total dismantling of all its norms and conventions is required to overturn the violence and oppression endemic to everyday life.… https://t.co/XdAB3R55SB pic.twitter.com/9xJk2EVXSV
— Wesley Yang (@wesyang) March 16, 2023
‘Woke’ Effectively Describes The Left’s Insanity, And That’s Why They Hate When You Say It https://t.co/Yf3wTC67h6
— Mollie (@MZHemingway) March 17, 2023
But even if one can’t explicitly define “woke,” it’s something you definitely know when you see it, as Professor Jacobson noted:
People are arguing over the definition of "woke" – this is woke, you know it when you see it pic.twitter.com/h2CsJF8oHH
— William A. Jacobson (@wajacobson) March 17, 2023
[Video courtesy Andrew Marcus]
“Because you’re a f*cking white man, aren’t you quite aware by holding that video camera on me that you are surrounded by your privilege, right? Take your privilege somewhere else please because your privilege is not welcome here. So unless you are here to dismantle your privilege, please find somewhere else to go!”
The face of “woke,” ladies and gents. A privileged white leftist using her iPhone to film a white man and accuse him of having privilege becuase he’s filming her berating him (during a Trump protest in Chicago in 2016). Never forget it.
— Stacey Matthews has also written under the pseudonym “Sister Toldjah” and can be reached via Twitter. —
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But the interviewer is a woman, isn’t she?
And the left can’t define what a woman is.
Therefore, she doesn’t exist, either.
Gaslighting for idiots. It does work – with idiots.
All the interview proves is that a particular interviewee is less than agile when it comes to thinking on her feet… a trait I share, moreso as I age. This is why I write rather than make speeches.
Had this interviewer asked the same question of, say, Jordan Peterson, or Matt Walsh, or Ben Shapiro, she would have gotten her lunch eaten.
A shot at it from elsewhere:
“anti-civilizational wokesters are not just against merit, they are positively for anti-merit, dysfunction, incompetence, stupidity, corruption, malevolence, and more. Qualifications don’t matter; ‘wokifications’ matter: being black, female, lesbian, cognitively impaired, truth-insensitive, reality-denying, physically feeble, morally corrupt.”
Mollie has it, it’s the insanity of Cultural Marxism and going against western civilization.
That’s almost how I define it, the anti-western culture
Not just anti-Western, anti-civilization.
being woke is nothing more than being willfully ignorant
It’s easy to define:
It’s the Fundamentalist Progressive Inquisition.
Woke is a virus that escaped from Karl Marx’s lab, and has evolved into an effort to coerce unvaccinated individuals to comply and inoculate the sick into bullies and virtue signalers.
Do women exist? Define woman.
Do Blacks, Asians, etc. exist? Explain your definition to a member of those races.
Shut up and take your L
Just like so many other times with other terms, the left has realized just how poisonous the term ‘woke’ has become to the normies.
Just like ‘global warming’, ‘defund the police’, ‘hands up don’t shoot’, just to name a few, leftist slogans tend to have a very short shelf life because they’re insane and they go crazy with them.
And when their slogans wear out, they discard them or just lie and claim that it was conservatives all along.
Not so much discard them, but make up a new one to shed the stench… or even better, steal one that already belongs to someone else and abuse it to failure (like “liberal”).
or “human right”
Yes, the bastardization of language is the tool of the Party (as foreshadowed in 1984)
I could have easily answered this question as follows – “As Justice Potter Stewart said about pornography, I will not attempt to give an elaborate or exhaustive description of the absurdities that fall under the woke heading, but I know it when I see it, and I am seeing it before me at this very moment.”
I define “Woke” as “sanctimony about all social issues with zero self awareness”
“Woke” = narcissism + sanctimony x Leftist zealotry
“woke” is anything the left is willing to fund with your money and goes against norms.
Okay, just to clarify: neither “woke” nor “Antifa” really exist?
U of Chicago philosophy department is famous for making you define your terms.
It would work except definitions are actually outputs, not inputs.
Woke is being at the forefront of virtue signalling.
You can find woke on the right. It’s different virtue signals, but the same principle and the same wokeness. Clickbait depends on it.
Example, just to be provocative: there’s always been flag etiquette wokeness.
And the humor is that many of the Flag Nazis (if you excuse the mixed metaphor) get it wrong, because the etiquette has changed since they learned it. For example: US flag used to need to be highest in a multiple flagpole array; now it has to be the same height, but on the right.
It should still be the highest, who ever changed flag protocol did it to take the American flag down a notch bot physically and figuratively
Mine is higher, always will. Be
Now compare that to what you can imagine a leftist is feeling about his own wokeness. I think they’re identical feelings.
Not even close.
Wokism is the denial of difference. If you look at a disparity between groups or individuals and can’t imagine a reason for those inequities that doesn’t involve oppression, systemic discrimination or privilege THAT is woke.
If you deny difference, between sexes, races, cultures, individuals or whatever else then all inequity is injustice. Those perceived as disadvantaged must be favored and those perceived as advantaged must be brought low. It is the universal answer to all questions and a woke person is someone who holds to this idea with religious fervor.
What you toking about, Woker?
A dysphoric, dissonant psychiatric state.
Lesson: Don’t go on national television to talk about being “woke” unless you can define the term concisely in 10 seconds or less. It’s called preparing for your interview.
Huge man-glasses: check.
Smug facial expression until cornered: check
Another knee-slapper: check.
Woke is very easy to define. It is a view of “everything” that is based entirely on feelings and not on facts. For example, Carmen Ambar, when asked by Ted Koppel about specific instances of racism from the Gibsons, immediately went to there being a feeling of racism rather than citing any specific facts. Carmen, therefore, be woke.
When someone states that they are woke, it means that they have crossed over into embracing a dogma which is simply fraudulent, but is easy to sell because if there are no facts, then they can’t be argued against, in their mind, at least. When they do utilize facts, thay are always wrong, but are considered correct because they agree with the dogma.
Its kinda like porn … Maybe I cant define it … But I know it when I see it
To me, “woke” encapsulates the self-congratulatory narcissism and sanctimony that is the animating trait of contemporary Leftists and Dumb-o-crats. It’s a posture as much as an attitude, going around strutting and preening and patting one’s self on the back for believing — fallaciously — that one’s opinions and policy positions allegedly represent sagacious and enlightened thinking.
I need to amend a sentence, above — “…that one’s ***LEFTIST*** opinions and police positions…”
C.S. Lewis did a nice job of describing this phenomenon in the conversation between Puddleglum and the Witch in “The Silver Chair”.
Ask them to define assault weapon.
Or, define assault weapon without using the word “black,” cause that is racist.
The term is far too broad to be easily defined, but I’ll take a stab at it. I would put it like this, just off the top of my head:
“‘Woke’ is the word for the denial of objective reality, and a substitution of favored groups and identities for positive merits. Like everything on the left it is ever-shifting and ephemeral. A group or identity that is favored one day can be disfavored the next when a new favored identity group comes along. In practice ‘woke’ involves the alteration of not only language and deeds but even thoughts, to conform with favor for the new identity group. It also involves a self-righteous hatred of the ‘other,’ those who do not conform with the new thought. Woke is a substitute religion for the left.”
Needs work, I know, but I guess it’s a start.
From a quick search.
Briahna Joy Gray is an American political commentator, lawyer, and political consultant who served as the National Press Secretary for the Bernie Sanders 2020 presidential campaign.
I like VivaFrei’s definition, but here’s mine:
“Woke” = Specific words and beliefs that are used as tribal delineators, to promote tribalism in general, to ensure conformity within the woke tribe, and to promote the power of the woke tribe. The definitional boundaries of “woke” continually change, and absolute purity of thought is vigorously enforced. The constantly-changing nature of “woke” keeps all members of the tribe constantly attentive to the latest evolutions and constantly in fear of being expelled from the tribe. If a member of the woke tribe steps over any line, no matter how trivially, the tribe uses all their power to destroy the errant member, socially and economically. No apology can be allowed to cleanse the offender of their non-woke sin. Woke tribal boundaries include: linguistic purity, ritual self-flagellation by historically dominate groups, complete refusal to listen to any non-woke viewpoint and to suppress such viewpoints so they can not be heard by anyone, and an adherence to the belief that all people outside the group must be fascist, misogynistic, racist, thieving-capitalist, and inherently and irrevocably evil. Tribal members are overwhelmingly white, over-credentialed, and have wealth significantly above the median. Tribal societies have never been able to coexist with democracy, and thus the promotion of “woke” is necessarily and intentionally anti-democratic.
“woke”–in denial of the fundamental realities of the natural world
If I had to define “woke” in one second or less, I think that I would have to go with “retarded.” While not all that are retarded are woke, all that are woke seem to be, just sayin. You can’t successfully argue with a woke person, because like their gender, all definitions are fluid and thus can change to suit conditions even in the middle of the argument. It is similar to what a friend taught me back at the beginning of the WWW. He stated that “arguing with someone on the internet is like running a race in the Special Olympics. Even if you win, you are still retarded.” Keeping that in mind before engaging has saved me thousands of fruitless hours at the keyboard.
Woke Is claiming you are always s victim because of your race and gender and that traditional values cherished by normal society such as law and order restrictions on you can have relations with and views that competence free speech free exercise of religion and merit are means of oppression along and that all systems that do not produce identical results for all despite human differences must be torn down
The critical elements are a quasi religious belief in the elements of American Marxism to use Mark Levin’s phrase which are systemic racism as an inescapable fact of life gender fluidity and the so called existential dangers posed by climate change
So women don’t exist because a Supreme Court justice can’t define the term without a PhD in biology?
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