Flat White

What’s woke this week?

13 February 2019

1:58 PM

13 February 2019

1:58 PM

Super Bowl has been the biggest woke show in town, with a number of performers declining to perform at the half-time show in solidarity with the still football-unemployed Colin Kaepernick (he of the anthem-bended knee and the Nike cash). But enough has been written about that, so we’ve decided to cast our net a bit wider for woke news from around the world. Strap yourself in for a walk on the wild side that is wokeworld.

Banana split

The Duchess of Wokeness this week raised the bar for virtue signalling with the unlikeliest of tools – the humble banana. The yellow fruity favourite was reimagined (to use a neo cliché favoured by millennials) as a messenger of hope, love and support for sex workers in glamorous Bristol. Seriously. On a visit with her husband to sex worker charity One25, Meghan declared herself ‘in charge of banana messaging’, writing her inspirational words – complete with cute little texta hearts – on fruit destined for food parcels distributed to sex workers on the street. Examples include ‘you are special’, ‘you are brave’ and ‘you are strong’. I bet the pimps and drug dealers loved it.

One former prostitute thought it was a lovely gesture:

“I can imagine being on the van, and [someone saying] ‘Meghan wrote this’. I think they might not eat it. I think that banana would be at home until it is rotten, because I would do the same.”

But in the kind of twist you often find in wokeworld, another slammed it as offensive, suggesting that Meghan “should be doing more”. While it’s hard to imagine what the Duchess could do to improve the lot of your average sex worker or why indeed it should be her responsibility (all those trips to Paris by Edward VII to atone for, I suppose), it appears self-evident that trite platitudes written on fruit won’t do much either. Ice cream and nuts, anyone?

Facile fashion

As if there aren’t enough fashion weeks already, the volubly virtuous Vegan Fashion Week made its conscious, inclusive and compassionate debut last week in Los Angeles. At the four-day event (my mindfulness must have slipped, I thought a ‘week’ was seven days) guests viewed ‘avant garde’ fashion collections on the catwalk …oops, runway, drank plant-based cocktails, ate yummy raw vegan bites, were entertained by a ‘contemporary harpist and songstress’ (it figures, but I would have thought ‘singer’ might have been the more ‘inclusive’ term) and attended panel discussions related to ‘Animal Rights, Social Justice, Circularity, Technology and Intersectionality’. What else? Even the models were from a ‘boutique agency with a passion for the vegan lifestyle’.

Organiser, animal rights activist and ‘influencer’ Emmanuelle Rienda said:

Vegan Fashion Week is going to exist until every fashion house decides this is the norm. There is no room for cruelty or for ways of doing fashion that is polluting this planet.

Rienda obviously didn’t get the memo about how vegan alternatives often increase other methods of pollution, as well as worker exposure to harmful chemicals, along with a host of other problems. Given the fashion industry’s questionable record in areas such as sweatshop production Rienda’s vision may take a while. God help us all.

Trans Britannia

In moves worthy of Big Brother’s thought police in Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, two British women have had run-ins with PC plods over alleged transphobia. In one incident 74 year old Suffolk woman Margaret Nelson was telephoned by a member of the local constabulary about comments she made on Twitter and her blog. Her crime? She challenged the statement that ‘transwomen are women’ on the grounds that a person’s proclaimed gender does not change their biological sex. When she questioned the telephone call with Suffolk police she was initially told that it was merely to raise her awareness about social media complaints that had been made about her comments. If only they responded so precipitously to real reports of real crimes.

The earlier and even more serious incident happened in December but only came to media attention this week. Kate Scottow, of Hitchin, Hertfordshire, was arrested by three officers at her home in front of her children and then detained for seven hours after she was reported by a transgender activist for ‘misgendering’ the complainant and ‘deadnaming’ (linking to a person’s former identity). Ms Scottow remains under police investigation and is banned from referring to her accuser as a man while the case is ongoing.

The complainant is a known ‘trans activist’, who gained priceless publicity through a previous stoush with British comedy writer, Graham Linehan. Perhaps Linehan (famous for Father Ted and Black Books) might take a shot at writing a dystopian comedy set in the present day. It should be a breeze. He wouldn’t have to make anything up.

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