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Virtue signaling hateful phrase.

(18 Posts)
grapefruitpip Fri 20-Sep-19 17:21:34

The words make my toes curl.

Can't people just be kind/do a good deed/help a neighbour without being accused of this?

M0nica Fri 20-Sep-19 17:29:49

I think you misunderstand what virtue signalling means grapefruitpip.

It has got nothing whatsoever to do with doing good deeds or helping a neighbour, these activities are still described as they ever were.

virtue signalling is grandstanding your virtues, when frequently you do not really have them. The celebrity has her photo taken with someone needy when their particular need is in the news, but whose commitment doen't really go much beyond the photo-op. The celebrity loudly espousing politically correct opinions, when again something is in the news.

In the next few days (if it hasn't already started) a whole lot of well-known people will issue statements congratulating Greta Thunberg on her speech to the UN and the children's strike today, and saying how we muct do more for the environment, before hiring a private plane to get them to Heathrow so they can get on a commercial flight to the Seychelles or Maldives for a holiday in the sun.

That is virtue signalling

NanaandGrampy Fri 20-Sep-19 17:39:45

I was confused too grapefruitpip I would have said Monicas example of the commercial flight was hypocritical not virtue signalling. I thought virtue signalling was doing something nice and boasting about it .

Every days a school day 😁!

EllanVannin Fri 20-Sep-19 17:39:51

Double standards to me.
Do as I say not as I do is another form of the above heading.

grapefruitpip Fri 20-Sep-19 17:43:04

So how is saying for example...My husband enjoys helping at Scouts, virtue signaling?

GillT57 Fri 20-Sep-19 17:45:45

It is a clunky phrase, but useful nonetheless. To me, it is 'look at me, helping the poor/helpless'. It is different to lending your name to a charity that you wish to support, because strangely, people will donate more to charities with a famous name as patron as if it somehow gives kudos and authenticity. The opposite is people like the late George Michael, a discreet quiet donor who made a huge difference to ordinary people's lives, nobody knew until after his death.

M0nica Fri 20-Sep-19 17:47:47

GFP In most circumstances that is not virtue signallig, especially if it is something he is committed to and doing it.

But if, at some social occasion, you chose to put someone down, who has admitted that now their DH has retired, he is enjoying doing nothing much by saying 'Oh but of course DH would like to relax more but has always been so committed to the Scouts that he now runs the local group. That is virtue signalling.

M0nica Fri 20-Sep-19 17:55:40

There is a difference between virtue signalling and hypocrisy. Virtue signalling is making a big parade about associating yourself with something, without actually doing anything to support it.

Grete Thunberg and the environment are hot news right now, so someone, usually in the news, will make some statement that associates them with this new and coming cause and casts its benificent shadow over them, but their commitment goes no further than saying something.

The classic virtue signallers at the moment are the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, saying all the right things, being seen with all the people that do good things, talking about their concern about the environment, which seems to mean that Duchess has signed up for Yoga, is vegan and only eats organic food and has all sorts of holistic beauty treatments, before hiring a private jet to go on holiday.

Witzend Fri 20-Sep-19 18:12:55

I think it's a useful phrase. To me it conjures up the kind of person who wants to make a point of how uber-PC or 'right on' they are, particularly as regards any fashionable cause or idea.
It doesn't conjure up at all people quietly doing 'good deeds' or donating to good causes - not unless they make a point of letting everybody know how virtuous they're being.

I'm reminded of the motto of our local boys' grammar school - 'Faire sans dire' - to do without talking of it. At least that's how I interpret it.

hugshelp Fri 20-Sep-19 18:18:31

I find it confusing.
The Cambridge dictionary defines it as 'an attempt to show other people that you are a good person, for example by expressing opinions that will be acceptable to them, especially on social media'
and the Oxford as 'the action or practice of publicly expressing opinion or sentiments intended to demonstrate one’s good character or the moral correctness of one’s position on a particular issue'
I'm not clear as to whether it's supposed to mean you're pretending to be good, or you're making a big fuss about being good.
But surely saying, 'I do this because I think it's the right thing to do' is just giving an opinion and backing it up with what you do about it, so those who share your values can join in if they want and those who don't - well they can do whatever they want.
I've seen it used against anyone who expresses an opinion and says what they do. eg, 'My husband thinks young people need more positive things to do so helps out at Scouts' or even, as grapefruitpip says, just saying 'he helps out at Scouts' if it's brought into any kind of conversation where different opinions might be being expressed.
I don't know how it's supposed to be used, but I think it is often used unkindly. What is wrong with spreading ideas about positive actions within the context of what we believe in?
I do see that it's a totally different matter if someone talks the talk but doesn't actually walk the walk. But even then nobody can do ALL the right things, constraints in our own lives due to health, work, family commitments etc etc often mean we can't do everything we would wish for a cause we believe in but do what we can.

Urmstongran Fri 20-Sep-19 18:47:26

Virtue signalling might seem a hateful phrase. But it’s not as hateful as those who actually do it.

MissAdventure Fri 20-Sep-19 18:55:28

The Urban Dictionary definition, with example.

Virtue signalling:

Advocating a political or philosophical position, and/or taking up a public cause, from a position of vanity, for the primary purpose of demonstrating your conformity with fashionable pop culture values.

Angela's sudden advocacy for the local pet shelter was mostly an exercise in public relations and virtue signalling. She had never much cared for dogs and cats before, but she instinctively understood teary-eyed public support for defenseless animals generally said something good about her as a person.

Doodledog Fri 20-Sep-19 21:10:55

It can be about using something you do as a justification for not doing something else.
'Sorry, I can't do the garden. I am serving the homeless at the soup kitchen that day.'

I don't think it's necessarily hypocritical; but it is intensely irritating.

hugshelp Fri 20-Sep-19 21:26:19

I guess it's like a lot of buzzwords, it can be used as a short-cut or a weapon. And it's meaning can be a bit fuzzy, since, particularly on social media, people will use it in different contexts. I prefer it when people just debate things the long way then I know what they're actually talking about but I know, time constraints and fashions and all that.

Cherrytree59 Fri 20-Sep-19 22:10:41

Of course it would not be virtue signaling to point out as a GNer, I am "extremely' Wokewink well on Fridays anyway

BradfordLass72 Fri 20-Sep-19 23:40:41

I usaed to know an Event Planner, sometimes employed by the big charities to organise balls and dinners where the tickets werr up to $10,000 a ppop.

I naively asked her if it wouldn't be better, in all senses, if each person just pledged $10,000 and none of it was deducted for posh food, wine, entertainemtns and venue hire.

She looked at me pitiyingly. 'They wouldn't give me $10, let alone $10,00,' she said scornfully, 'the whole point is that they are SEEN to be giving $10,000. They don't care, or even know, where its going or to whom and its all tax deductible. It'll be another big 'charity bash' next week.'

BradfordLass72 Fri 20-Sep-19 23:41:35

Sorry about the many typos, I hit 'Post' instead of 'Preview'. sad

Fiachna50 Fri 20-Sep-19 23:45:29

I have to say even reading the definition above. I still don't understand about virtue signalling. Its not a term I would use as I personally dont understand what exactly it is.