Flat White

What’s woke this week?

15 January 2019

12:50 PM

15 January 2019

12:50 PM

The fairyland that is wokedom is a wondrous place. Freed from the constraints of objective reality, history, facts and even polite civility, its members can indulge in fantasies about gender, race and social justice and then take to social media to shrilly reprimand and lecture the rest of us. What fun! The possession of cultural superiority, moral certainty, power… seems we’ve heard that somewhere before. But, of course IT WAS WRONG (to use the shouty Twitter vernacular favoured by wokers) when it was the development of western civilization and culture.

Most at home in Hollywood, safe space university campuses, mainstream journalism and anti-Trump demonstrations Spectator readers who live in the real world may miss out on some of wokedom’s  gems, and what a shame that would be. Here are some of the highlights of this week in wokedom. I’ve left coverage of the biggest woke show in town, The Golden Globes, to The Spectator USA .

Proud pronouns

As a university that “recognizes and appreciates diversity” The University of California San Francisco (UCSF) has introduced a range of cheery, colourful stickers to be added to the ID badges of staff and students. You might wonder what all-important information was previously absent from the badges. Why, preferred pronouns, of course.  The university’s LGBT Resource Center wants “to allow for everyone to specifically indicate their pronouns so each individual feels safe navigating UCSF.”  They’ve added a new meaning to the horror of ‘labeling’.

Vegan virtue signalling

Not content with trying to convince you that vegan ‘meatloaf’ and vegan ‘cheesecake’ are better than turkey and pavlova for Christmas dinner for a host of ‘ethical’ reasons, vegans now have their ‘clean-eating’ hooks into the month of January. Welcome to Veganuary,a registered charity, where people are encouraged to sign up for 31 days without animal products as “one of the most effective choices a person can make to reduce the suffering of animals, help the planet and improve personal health”.

One of Veganuary’s poster girls is Monami Frost, tattoo model (yes, it’s really a thing) and Instagram sensation, who initially turned to veganism after watching some documentaries about the alleged health risks of some of the foods she was eating. It seems, though, that Frost, who sports tattoos over most of her body, clearly isn’t too concerned about the well-documented health risks of tattoos.

It’s not too late to sign up. You can “choose compassion”, donate to the cause and take the pledge here.

Homophobia and transphobia at Oxford

Student activists have called for the sacking of John Finnis, emeritus professor of law and legal philosophy at Oxford University. His crime? Not to be restricted to just one accusation, the petition (which has 500 signatories at the time of writing) accuses Finnis of the whole box and dice of homophobia, transphobia, racism AND xenophobia in his philosophical writings on the natural law and moral norms. Oxford has not caved in to the student demands, instead issuing a statement that the university’s harassment policy “protects academic freedom of speech and is clear that vigorous academic debate does not amount to harassment when conducted respectfully and without violating the dignity of others.” The activists remain unconvinced.

Whistling Dixie

ESPN apologized for playing the Confederate Civil War anthem “Dixie” during its telecast of a Colts-Texans NFL game last weekend. Colts quarterback, Andrew Luck, has a Civil War parody Twitter account. During the broadcast ESPN displayed a graphic of Luck and other players in civil war uniforms with the strains of Dixie playing in the background.

Predictably, Twitter went into meltdown with offended viewers accusing ESPN of racial insensitivity. What was supposed to be a spot of tongue-in-cheek humour quickly turned into hand-on-heart backflipping by ESPN. Here is another case of people being unable to put their tongues into their cheeks because they’re too busy flapping with outrage.

Ecofeminism is Really a Thing

The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth is offering an online course in Ecofeminism Philosophy and Practice in 2019, where students will study “ecofeminism as systems of oppressions based on race, class, gender, sexuality, and ethnicity that stem from a cultural ideology that enables the oppression of nature”. Students will earn 3 credits for the course, which will be assessed by blogging about what they’ve learned in areas such as vegetarian ecofeminism, intersectionality and connectivity, and (surprise, surprise!) activism. The course is clearly a welcome addition to the world of woke philosophy and a snip at just $US1218.

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