Almost every day we see men in power take advantage of and continuously harass women just because they can. Not only that, but it seems like everywhere you look, instances of abuses (especially of minorities) are often present. You may see people defending and coddling them and their actions for whatever reason they make up, but luckily, feminism has become more widespread and accepted in society. While there are still alt-right trolls, being a feminist, or ‘woke’, is usually associated with being correct. You can see those labels in online bios being flaunted like badges of honor or things that grant moral ascendancy, which begs the questions: do people use these labels because their beliefs are aligned with them, or because not doing so will make them more prone to being disliked and detracted? Furthermore, how can one prove that a person’s social awareness is genuine or all for show?
One’s ‘wokeness’ may be measured by the amount and gravity of the issues they address. Sure, people get confused with the definition of feminism, and you’re free to tell them that it is ‘the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes’, but first, you’re probably stuck in 2013 if you think you can just do that and call it a day, and second, in this political, economic, and social climate, wouldn’t it be apt to use more inclusive descriptions of feminism?
Feminism is for all women, most especially those part of other minorities, but while ‘support all women’ is a good notion at first sight, does that mean we’re supposed to coddle privileged women who have exploited the less privileged? Conversely, can someone automatically be right in an argument just because they’re part of more minorities? The term ‘Oppression Olympics’ is often used to poke fun at the constant infighting within the ‘woke’ community, and while the term is usually used to mock minorities, one can’t help but get tired of the seemingly endless debates on who’s the most oppressed. The ‘woke’ community’s essential reason for existence is arguably to welcome and uplift all minorities, but it doesn’t always serve its purpose. At times, it is an arena for the aforementioned oppression Olympics, an echo chamber for fallacious yet widely accepted views, and a place that encourages violent call-out culture and overt public shaming. This doesn’t mean that the idea of calling someone out should be abolished. In fact, in a society where fake news and problematic ideologies thrive, it should be encouraged. However, if and when one abuses the necessity of call-out culture by making it an excuse to start petty fights for clout, then they’re doing more harm than good. Moreover, the concept of problematic needs to be more nuanced and we need to accept that all of us have been problematic one way or another. What sets us apart, however, are the ways we learn and grow from our wrongdoings, and how we let others do the same. Most importantly, we need to draw the line between one-time problematic and borderline abusive.
In conclusion, the woke community is more complex than whether or not someone’s problematic or socially aware. Intersectionality makes it thrive, which we can prove through the issues the community focuses on. Since it thrives on intersectionality and complexities, there has yet to be perfect criteria to measure woke. Probably the most effective way to measure it is to stop focusing on being the best feminist and start creating, doing, and saying things that’ll make the world a better place, whether it be going out to the streets, putting your thoughts into words, or informing yourself/others. With the appalling events happening around the world, we need less petty infighting and heartier fights for what we believe is right.
Image via https://www.litmusbranding.com/blog/indian-brands-activating-activism/