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Can anyone explain “woke” to me

(62 Posts)
Flossieturner Thu 14-Nov-19 10:36:52

I am used to feeling that I live in a foreign country, as I am baffled by a lot of the speech that the youngsters use. Quite often the word that used is the total opposite of its original meaning. For example my GC saying the chocolate cake she had was so dirty, meaning delicious.

These words are now appearing in print and leave me totally baffled. I read an article about Boomers at war with Generation Z which I just about get. The problem was the word ‘woke’ which seems to be everywhere.

So wise Boomers, what the heck does it mean?

Amagran Thu 14-Nov-19 10:41:19

I came on to this thread looking for enlightenment too Flossieturner. Let's hope someone knows....

Calendargirl Thu 14-Nov-19 10:41:27

It’s a byword for social awareness Flossieturner

gmarie Thu 14-Nov-19 10:45:34

I think it means being awakened, mentally and emotionally, to certain societal issues that may you have been aware of but not have necessarily understood or appreciated in its entirety.

gmarie Thu 14-Nov-19 10:46:53

oops may you you may

suziewoozie Thu 14-Nov-19 10:47:16

It’s one of those words that has recently shifted in meaning - originally it meant what Cal said but in the context of social, particularly racial, injustice. Now it’s often used negatively to apply to people voicing very ‘right on’ opinions on a whole range of social issues often imo talking through their hats. I often use it disparagingly to describe the pro- trans views of many celebrities and leading politicians.

JenniferEccles Thu 14-Nov-19 10:47:28

It describes sanctimonious hypocritical people who think they are better than the rest of us as only they are concerned about the planet.

They often fly around the world preaching their message about the horrors of, well, any form of motorised transport.

suziewoozie Thu 14-Nov-19 10:48:51

gmarie yes that’s a good explanation in its pure meaning

gmarie Thu 14-Nov-19 10:48:57

and its their

Sheesh, I'm tired! After 3 a.m. here in CA. Off to bed...

suziewoozie Thu 14-Nov-19 10:50:51

I wouldn’t use the word ‘woke’ about climate change activists - I think its more touchy feely than that.

Chestnut Thu 14-Nov-19 10:51:44

I searched and found this:
Probably easier to read an article than to try and explain it! I'm not sure any of us can really. I think the problem is that some people are becoming too socially aware!

gmarie Thu 14-Nov-19 10:55:49

Agree, suziewoozie . Here in the US, racial injustice and sexual harassment are the two issues currently associated with the term most frequently.

Flossieturner Thu 14-Nov-19 10:56:39

So have I got this right. It started as referring to issues that were currently in the public conscience but now and insult for being too aware of them. Any one know how it originated?
People being woken up to these things perhaps?

suziewoozie Thu 14-Nov-19 10:58:59

I don’t actually like it as a word to use - even though I sometimes use it in exasperation but always I’ve realised in relation to trans issues. I think it’s when the feely bit of an issue somehow trumps the bigger picture and there’s little evidence of logical thought. Two recent examples - Always were being woke when they decided to take the female symbol of their sanitary packaging and second, Mand S announcing that men could use women’s changing rooms if that made them feel more comfortable. Neither of those examples are hypocritical, they are just damn stupid and defy rational thought.

suziewoozie Thu 14-Nov-19 11:03:22

African-American origin I believe and racial injustice to start with ( and sexual harassment latterly).

Urmstongran Thu 14-Nov-19 11:21:14

And Meghan writing those daft messages on bananas last year for sex workers. ‘You’re special’ etc. Jeez.

suziewoozie Thu 14-Nov-19 12:55:25

How strange that that was the first example you came up with Urm

Callistemon Thu 14-Nov-19 13:05:29

I think it's considered sick to use words like woke - it slaps and lets people know how aware you are of social issues.


suziewoozie Thu 14-Nov-19 13:09:47

I don’t think people describe themselves as being woke- more other people describe what they’ve said.

rosecarmel Thu 14-Nov-19 13:24:01

President Obama said (in so many words..) that if all you're doing is casting stones, then you're not woke, and what you're doing couldn't be considered activism but judgement-

So woke would mean offering both solution and insight-

merlotgran Thu 14-Nov-19 13:36:23

I was about to suggest you ask Meghan Markle and she'll write the answer on a banana but Urmstongran beat me to it.

It's the only example I can think of.

suziewoozie Thu 14-Nov-19 13:37:47

Really merlot?

merlotgran Thu 14-Nov-19 13:42:00

Yep! Round here it means you're not asleep.

suziewoozie Thu 14-Nov-19 13:42:36

This is interesting

Urmstongran Thu 14-Nov-19 14:06:18

Why ‘strange’ suziewoozie??