Sally Allen: ‘We need to wake up to all this woke business’
You all may know this of course, but I certainly didn’t. I have just been getting more and more fed-up with ‘woke people’ in the news
I have just been getting more and more fed-up with ‘woke people’ in the news as the whole movement has now become more and more ridiculous. I didn’t understand where the word had come from so, I researched it, as I wanted to know which moronic and demented person had coined the saying first. So, at last I now understand how it evolved, and by the standards of its origins – horrors of horrors, I find I am definitely ‘woke’
The phrase ‘woke’ and to ‘stay woke’ is not new — it began appearing in the 1940s and was first used by African Americans to ‘literally mean becoming woken up or sensitised to issues of justice’, says linguist and lexicographer Tony Thorne. Mr Thorne, a visiting consultant at King’s College London, told The Independent that the word is rooted in African American Vernacular English and has been used in American street and youth culture for a long time.
In 1971, the phrase was used in a play by American playwright Barry Beckham titled Garvey Lives!, in which he wrote: “I been sleeping all my life. And now that Mr Garvey done woke me up, I’m gon’ stay woke. And I’m gon’ help him wake up other black folk.” It started becoming a politicised word in 2014, after the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, sparked the Black Lives Matter movement.
So, the origins, as with most things, are good, sound and full of honourable ambition, and something I have agreed with all my life. However, the word now seems to have been abused beyond belief and has therefore lost most of its meaning by denuding the world of a sense of humour and encouraging the lunatics to run the asylum.
How did we get to where we are now? Transgender (or maybe not) criminals donning wigs to try to enter women’s prisons. Surely if you still have men’s genitalia, you are still a man, whatever you might want to be. Now a medical breakthrough can allow transgender women to breast feed, albeit in a limited way. Couldn’t the medically induced lactation affect the health of a baby? This particular transgender woman went to doctors when her partner was five months pregnant. She said her partner did not want to breastfeed the couple’s child, so she hoped to take on the responsibility. So, something else I don’t understand. If you are a biological man and you become a transgender woman but end up in a relationship with a biological woman – aren’t you back where you started from? I am totally bemused, but I would like to understand. Personally, I strongly believe that you can’t be a woman without being biologically born one. There clearly is no limit these days to what you can have chopped off or inserted with medical science and if it makes people happier in their own skins, then fine, but please consider the children.
Woke has now developed into ‘cancelling’ people. I was shocked to hear that Nigel Farage has had his bank accounts closed without his permission or involvement. How on earth could the Government allow this to happen? Farage is not the only one either. This ‘cancelling’ is happening more and more. Whatever happened to our right to free speech? It is something that civilization has fought for since its inception and millions have died in their pursuit of it. After all it is our democratic right – or was.
I have recently taken to watching the news on GB News from 9pm. There never appears to be much of a script, and to their credit, they always have people discussing the news who are picked for their opposing views. This used to be called debate, but sadly isn’t evident in many areas of society these days. If you don’t challenge things, how can you make progress or come to the right decisions. It is important to value all viewpoints to enable you to come to a balanced decision.
So, in short, I am in favour of old-fashioned woke but definitely not in support of the current woke bunch. They should get their sense of humour back, un-cancel the cancelled and allow comedians to push the barriers as they used to. Free speech in all its forms must be fundamental to every society to allow it to flourish.