Flat White

What’s woke this week?

24 October 2019

3:42 PM

24 October 2019

3:42 PM

This past week has been an absolute cracker in the world of woke with a flurry of activity in aid of inclusivity and diversity. These days they’re everywhere, including taking centre stage in unlikely places like the Royal New Zealand Navy, your breakfast cereal bowl and the Devon and Cornwall police.   

In the Navy

You’ll be thrilled to learn that last week the Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN) announced its new gender-neutral grooming standards. From 1 November, ALL Navy personnel will be allowed to wear makeup, false eyelashes, nail polish, sleeper or stud earrings and perfume or cologne while in uniform.

Chief of Navy Rear Admiral David Proctor announced:

The NZDF can confirm that as of November 1, 2019, guidelines around grooming and appearance for Royal New Zealand Navy personnel will be updated. These changes reflect that diversity and inclusion are critical to our success as an organisation, as are the unique traditions and characteristics of the RNZN.

It seems that inclusivity only goes so far, though. Body piercings, shaved heads and zig-zag haircuts are still verboten. Proctor said the RNZN’s grooming standards are based on neatness, cleanliness, safety and military image. Apparently, men with false eyelashes fit within the RNZN’s scare-the-crap-out-of-the-enemy ‘military image’, but those with shaved heads not so much. I know which one scares me more.

Advertising their latest woke military decisions should be cheap and easy for the RNZN. A couple of classics spring readily to mind but it could be difficult to decide whether to go with Monty Python’s Military Fairies:

Don’t come the brigadier bit with us, dear,

We all know where you’ve been, you military fairy!

Or the Village People’s 1979 flag-waving, disco-dancing anthem, In The Navy. Of course those seventies gay icons could be a tad awkward in 2019 – there’s just that teensy cultural appropriation thing – but I’m sure they could find a way around that.

They might just need to tweak the lyrics of In the Navy. Maybe something like:

In the navy we’re inclusive and diverse

In the navy we won’t distinguish his from hers

In the navy make-up and nail polish for you,

In the navy you can have false eyelashes, too.


It was bad enough when cereal manufacturers stopped putting cute little toys in your cereal box but now you can get a dose of corporate moralising spilling from your packet of sugary morning goodness.

In the real world you probably haven’t ever thought of breakfast cereal as a sexist, intolerant, bullying, trans-phobic oppressor but what would you know? LGBTQI+ cereal eaters everywhere can now enjoy gender-diverse, safe cereal with their vegan soy macchiatos every morning. Let’s hear it for All Together Cereal!

Gay website Pinknews last week announced:

Kellogg’s is launching an LGBT-themed cereal so you can start your day with maximum gay… If you’re a fan of breakfast and being gay, we have grrrrreat news for you – Kellogg’s is launching an LGBT-themed cereal.

While over on their website Kellogg’s assured us that:

We all belong together. So for the first time in history, our famous mascots and cereals are offered exclusively together in the same box for All Together Cereal. It’s a symbol of acceptance no matter how you look, where you’re from or who you love.

Now you can get Raisin Bran, Corn Flakes, Rice Krispies, Frosted Flakes, Froot Loops and Frosted Mini-Wheats all together in one giant packet. Be still my beating heart.

But before you get too carried away with the thought of all those crispy, frosty, fruity flakes and nuggets frolicking happily together in one welcoming, safe space, milky playground, this social justice stunt is actually just a change in packaging dressed up as virtue signalling. All the cereals aren’t actually together in the same packet. Kellogg’s is just offering one big box containing all the individual cereals still packaged separately. Sounds uncannily like segregation to me.

And this limited edition corporate con will only set you back $US 19. Bargain.

Seems to me that Kellogg’s could have saved itself the trouble. They already have their very own boxes of rainbow-coloured sweetness and light. They’re called Froot Loops. Make of that what you will.

But my prediction is that the days of breakfast cereal are over anyway. Anything that’s designed to be smothered in white supremacist milk just can’t last in wokeworld.

‘Ello, ‘ello, ‘ello!

The PC (that stands for politically correct, not police constable) Plods from Devon and Cornwall police spent much of last week touting for business, real or imagined.

Hate Crime Awareness Week included a range of workshops and activities like a multicultural line dancing event, a cookery and safe spaces workshop, a hate crime drop-in clinic, a transgender awareness clinic and an understanding Islamophobia discussion.  Sounds like so much fun.

But it was the cute little cartoons with a peculiar penchant for fruit and vegetables, produced by students from Falmouth University, that really got everyone talking.

My favourite is the tragic tale of the gender-confused tomato (is he a fruit or vegetable?)  who receives help from a mustachioed blueberry PC Plod. Another features a white man enraged by an apple sitting amongst other fruit at a greengrocer’s shop, with a voiceover explaining:

This is John. John doesn’t like apples and seeing them sold with other fruits upsets him.

John then goes on to abuse the black greengrocer, while the narrator tells us:

If you observe or experience any threatening or hateful behaviour, even if it isn’t a crime, you should contact the police.

There’s also a blue blob person upset by comments like ‘your shade of blue makes me feel sick’ and ‘you’re so gay and annoying’. This time the narrator offers the helpful advice:

There are so many ways to report a hate crime, and you don’t even need evidence.

So, there you have it. Devon and Cornwall Police will investigate non-crimes with no evidence. Welcome to the brave new world of woke policing.

Illustration: The Kellogg Company.

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