It's official: 'woke' has been added to the dictionary. Actually, it happened over two years ago. But as always, I'm behind the times. That may be a good thing, because originally, 'woke' meant "well-informed, up-to-date."
I strive to be that.
But quickly it became: "alert to racial or social discrimination and injustice."
I also strive for that.
But those were 2017 definitions.
Today, it's a whole new world. I agree with Peggy Noonan's troubling summary of the current 'woke' movement: "The past decade saw the rise of the woke progressives who dictate what words can be said and ideas held, thus poisoning and paralyzing American humor, drama, entertainment, culture and journalism... They are the most hated people in America, and their entire program is accusation: you are a racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic; you are a bigot, a villain, a white male, a patriarchal misogynist, your day is over... they claim to be vulnerable victims, and moral. Actually, they're not. They're mean and seek to kill, and like all bullies are cowards."
(Wall Street Journal, Saturday/Sunday, January 4-5, 2020).
It's ironic that the children of 'woke' parenting are turning the tables on their well meaning parents with shocking and unexpected outcomes. Skye Bloomer recently left home for school in an outfit her 'woke' mom said "looked like a prostitute" and her equally 'woke' dad opined "truly powerful and intelligent women don't have to show off everything they have." Skye, disdaining the "second wave feminism" of her parents, promptly called them misogynists. Probably not the reaction they expected. Apparently, the children of such 'woke' parents no longer view the objectification of their bodies as problematic. Instead, "it's a form of power they want to claim." (American Conservative, "Woke Parenting Eats Its Own").
"This is the inevitable result of viewing life not as gift—which for two millennia defined Western tradition—but as victimhood, the result of an endless series of power plays. In the not-too-distant past, American children were taught to view their lives, their political participation in a prosperous democracy, and their cultural inheritance marked by the Bible and Shakespeare, all as gifts to be learned and appreciated. Of course, as youth, many rolled their eyes and complained. But by the time they reached adulthood, most had been sufficiently catechized to appreciate these gifts and assume their roles in civic life and participatory government.
No longer. The past, whose great if often deeply flawed men once served as moral exemplars, has become something to be condescendingly sneered at. Not only must Columbus, Washington, and Jefferson be unceremoniously censured, their public memory must be trashed, if not excised. Mom, with her “second-wave feminism” full of “internalized misogyny,” is also worthy of derision. In her own rebellion against the traditions of her time, she provided the template for her own destruction. As long as this is the milieu in which we must raise our children, the trend will only intensify."
(American Conservative, "Woke Parenting Eats Its Own").
I don't tend to get so political here, but the damage we're doing on such young, impressionable minds with all this 'woke' nonsense is disheartening. I think Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young were probably progressive, if not 'woke', for their time. But I like their wisdom better: "Teach your children well... and feed them on your dreams... because the past is just a goodbye."
By almost all indicators, the world is actually getting better not worse. Less poverty. Less unemployment. Less people living in horrid conditions. But you'd never know by reading the newspaper.
Our children deserve hope and a vision for the future.
It will carry them far further than accusation and victimhood.
(I'll spare you the Whitney Houston song I'm about to bust into. But seriously. She was right.)