In this podcast, you’ll learn about cancel culture and what it means to be woke.
Before you listen to this episode, here is a ‘trigger warning’ – and trigger warning is one of the expressions you’ll learn today – the views expressed in the podcast are 100% the opinions and beliefs of Reza and Craig. We take full responsibility!
Voice message from Gaston from Argentina
Gaston passed the B2 First exam and now he wants to study for the Cambridge C1 Advanced exam.
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Alexander comments on the topic of motivation that was discussed with Christian from Canguru English in episode 457 – https://www.inglespodcast.com/457
An email from Honorio, a Brazilian guy living in Australia.
In a recent episode on Pet Peeves (https://www.inglespodcast.com/461) I agree with you on many of them, but what caught my attention was your mention of wokeism and the fact that you are planning to make an episode about it.
I don’t like wokeism also and I’ve been criticizing it for a long time, discussing it with friends, family and colleagues.
I’m far from being an expert on the subject and my arguments are mostly reflections of my feelings about the damage that wokeism has been causing in society, in relationships with other people, and in our freedom.
I’m looking forward to listening to this future episode, very brave of you to consider making it!
What is wokeism?
“the behaviour and attitudes of people who are sensitive to social and political injustice” – Collins dictionary
Some dictionaries have a negative definition:
“Usually Disparaging. promotion of liberal progressive ideology and policy as an expression of sensitivity to systemic injustices and prejudices:
She worked for nearly a decade at the university before she finally tired of the influence of wokeism.
“The only religion allowed around here is wokeism,” he complained.”
The adjective is woke which originally comes from African-American Vernacular English (AAVE) meaning “alert to racial prejudice and discrimination”. “WOKE” dates back to the 1930s, although it became popular around 2010.
Woke means a broader awareness of social inequalities such as sexism and racism.
PC – Politically Correct – a term used to (pejoratively) refer to conforming to the latest or most fashionable demands of inclusion and social equality
Identity politics – political positions that are based on the social groups that people see themselves as belonging to, for example based on religion, race or social background, rather than on traditional political parties.
Critical Race Theory (CRT) – a set of ideas holding that racial bias is inherent in many parts of Western society, especially in its legal and social institutions, on the basis of their having been primarily designed for and implemented by white people.
Cancel Culture – is a phrase that became popular in the late 2010s and early 2020s and used to refer to a culture in which those who are said to have acted or spoken in an unacceptable manner are ostracized, boycotted or shunned.
Social justice – The pursuit of fairness and equality in society, particularly in terms of access to resources, opportunities, and rights.
Microaggression – A subtle, often unintentional form of discrimination that communicates derogatory or negative messages to marginalized groups.
Privilege – Unearned advantages or benefits that individuals have due to their social status or identity, such as race, gender, sexuality, or socioeconomic status.
Trigger warning – A warning before content that may trigger or cause emotional distress to individuals, such as discussions of violence, sexual assault, or other traumatic experiences.
Snowflake – A term used ironically for people deemed to have an over-inflated sense of uniqueness or entitlement or are too easily offended. Generation Snowflake currently refers to people who were born around 1990 – 2005, considered by many to be less resilient than previous generations.
Greenwash – This is when a company goes out of its way to convince you that it’s more environmentally friendly than it really is. For example, a few years ago, McDonald’s switched plastic straws to paper ones – but it turns out that their thickness made them too hard to recycle at the time. (And don’t forget the enormous carbon footprint of its cows)
“What is freedom of expression? Without the freedom to offend, it ceases to exist.” –Salman Rushdie
“If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.” – George Orwell
“What is needed is the right to print what one believes to be true, without having to fear bullying or blackmail from any side.” – George Orwell
“I may not agree with you, but I will defend to the death your right to make an ass of yourself.” – Oscar Wilde
Is it a problem that the pendulum is swinging too far to the left after being on the right for so long?
Should companies and businesses be forced to employ workers on the basis of their sex, ethnicity or background rather than their ability?
What advice would you give to foreigners who emigrate to countries whose cultural norms they don’t really like or intend to adopt?
Do you think equality of opportunity in the workplace would lead to equality of outcome?
What’s better/worse or more/less acceptable: a gay racist, a black homophobe, a sexist socialist, or a lesbian anti-trans feminist, (all of which there are plenty around)?
Some famous people who have been cancelled
Dave Chappelle – transphobic jokes
Kevin Hart – 2019 Oscars, homophobic joke 10 years earlier on Twitter.
Jonny Depp – Amber Heard’s allegations of abuse. He had to resign from the Fantastic Beasts franchise. He said, ‘no one is safe from being cancelled these days’
Will Smith – after slapping Chris Rock at the 2022 Oscars.
J.K. Rowling – Tweeting in 2019 that she supported a woman who lost her job for saying it’s not possible to change your sex.
…and now it’s your turn to practise your English.
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