It’s time the left pushed back against woke. Afraid of being branded a racist, misogynist or transphobe, the left has been browbeaten into silence by woke activists, even though the left enabled the modern movements for black rights, gay rights and feminism.
Woke is neither progressive nor left when it reduces politics to individual self-expression and identity. And woke politics is anti-democratic when its call-out tactics and cancel culture create a punitive and exclusionary environment. Fear of being publicly shamed, bullied, cancelled or even fired is stifling sincere dialogue, not least among academics.
Bigots should be called out, but anathemising those with a progressive but different view is divisive and unfair. Opinions that are annoying, upsetting or infuriating are not necessarily intolerant or harmful, let alone “hateful”. They are an everyday part of living in a democratic society.
The only way to understand and effectively respond to opinions you don’t like is to first listen to them. Yet balaclava-clad woke agitators have threatened gender-critical feminists such as Holly Lawford-Smith, an associate professor in political philosophy at the University of Melbourne, so that now she needs security guards on campus. It’s unforgiveable. They want to silence her, going so far as to denounce students taking her feminism course as “fascists”. So, studying different views should be forbidden?
In the Greens, the worship of victimhood is rife, giving rise to some woeful decisions. And intolerance in the trans “debate” borders on the extreme with calls to punish those who do not toe the wokest of woke lines.