The Authentic Eclectic
Are The Super-Woke Simply Super Guilty?
Projection As Protection
We’ve all met them. Someone says something race adjacent and they jump in to deliver a ten-page thesis on why you — because you exist — are a racist. Or you use another word or phrase that the Double Plus Ungood crowd have banned in their own circles and suddenly you’re a mass-murdering xenophobe.
They’re fans of the Kafka trap whereby the comment “But I’m not an — insert slur” seals your fate. By explaining why you’re not an “insert slur”, ergo and ipso facto you must be an “insert slur”.
It’s feelpinions all the way down.
Strangely, the Super Woke never seem to make the claim that all men are misogynists for existing in a systemically misogynistic system. But I digress.
I’m going to tell you a story, of a girl from long ago.
Picture the scene. 1980s Scotland on a warm, sunny day. Stop laughing, we did occasionally did enjoy warm, sunny days. Two girls in their school uniforms are heading home. One of them lived in Eastwood, one in Cathcart. So Cathcart girl was walking Eastwood girl to a bus stop. They’d chosen one about a 20 minute walk from school, through the park, to extend their chatting and gossiping time.
Those of you playing along at home may have heard the name Ann Marie before. Ann Marie was a prototype Wokerati, did I but know it, but back then most of us just told her not to be so stupid, and she generally self-censored her more ridiculous stances. Thankfully, there was no internet at that time.
I do recall she made a claim one day about how no cultural behaviours could ever be categorically and objectively worse than others, until Heather mentioned female genital mutilation (which I think we were still erroneously calling circumcision back then), and that shut her up for a bit.
Anyway, most of the time Ann Marie was just your ordinary Glaswegian working-class girl, much like me. She and I were friends for about 15 years until time, life and geography got in the way.
Queens Park is an enormous green space, adjacent to many different neighbourhoods on the Southside and certainly back then was always busy and a natural thoroughfare from one neighbourhood to the other.
And on this particular day a group of boys decided to harass and frighten us, for their amusement.
I have mentioned it in a previous piece:
Age about 14, a group of boys followed Ann Marie and I through Queens Park. We were walking back from school, once again in uniforms. They started making sexual suggestions, circling around us. Nobody intervened. We kept moving and eventually they let us go.
When writing the article “Ogled in the park and other stories” I didn’t mention the ethnicity of the young men who harassed us — because it wasn’t relevant to me. Nor did I mention what we said at the time while desperately trying to escape their attentions. What mattered to me — then and now — was that they were males, not their ethnicity.
You can’t say the phrase “colour blind” without being burned at the stake — and I do actually understand why many dislike the term (so there’s no need, at all, to lecture me).
Nevertheless, when it comes to men — certainly men I don’t know — I mainly am. Blind to everything except their sex. The reality is that for the most part white men have done me the most harm, both individually and systemically.
But men — as a sex — are predators, and individually their ethnicity or culture doesn’t factor into it.
And yes, I already know it’s not all men. I birthed one and am married to one and neither of them are predators. And that’s before we start talking about my brothers, other family members, and friends.
Please Stop Saying ‘People’ When You Really Mean ‘Men’
Humanity doesn’t have a violence problem, we have a male violence problem
If I encounter an unknown male in the wild I am on my guard and cautious. Always. Until I have reason not to be.
This is a sensible stance, and a precaution most women take without any deep consideration.
Of Course It’s Anecdotal
Every memory we share is anecdotal. That’s the nature of personal, lived experience.
Anyway, until this morning, when I was chatting about it to my husband, I’d never actually pieced Ann Marie being a prototype Super Woke together with her comment of that day.
But I have mentioned before that I have a horrifyingly good memory. And this is my memory of what happened on that long ago lovely afternoon on the other side of the world.
So, as I mentioned, Annie was walking me through the park to a bus stop on the other side. We often did this, it was a way to hang out together for a bit longer. We had such terribly important matters to discuss. Whether David Bowie or David Sylvian was cooler, should I get my hair cut, and did Kevin O’Donnell really fancy Caroline?
We were deliciously oblivious of the people around us in the way of 14 year olds.
And then out of nowhere we were surrounded by a group of boys, perhaps 6 or 7 of them, circling us like sharks. They were taller, older, not quite men. They started out with the usual forced teaming stupidity — “What are you girls doing here? Where are you going? What’s your name?”
Before quickly degenerating to making lewd and sexual suggestions.
The instant they circled us we were, of course, frightened. We were absolutely unwelcoming and asked them repeatedly to go away. After several minutes of their jibes and harassment I clearly remember saying “Just fuck off and leave us alone!”
And then Ann Marie turned to one of them and hissed “Just stick to girls of your own colour!”
Because, you see, they appeared to be either Pakistani or Indian.
Even in the moment I was shocked by that comment. Believe that or not as you choose. I was shocked because it hadn’t occurred to me, I saw males and that was all I cared about. I was shocked because we’d both been raised not to make those sorts of comments. And I was shocked because I’d never heard her say anything remotely like that before.
Obviously, she was afraid, and whatever she said was absolutely acceptable in that moment. There’s no such thing as going too far verbally when a male is harassing you.
But it was so unexpected. So out of the blue. It was so far from what I had been thinking — that was the shock.
It actually worked. Whether they were going to leave off or not prior to that anyway, they only persisted for a few more minutes before ambling off to set fire to cars, or spray paint a shop, or grope some poor woman on her own, or whatever pass time they had earmarked for their afternoon’s entertainment.
They sauntered away throwing us a few “sluts, whores and insert generic slurs” over their shoulders. You know, the terms certain men use for females they want to terrorise and degrade.
After they left we hurried towards the bus stop. And even then, Ann Marie was already apologising for that remark. I assured her I understood completely, she was scared and trying to get rid of them. It was fine.
And it was.
But all these long years later I do wonder.
Projection As Protection
It can be incredibly uncomfortable accepting unpleasant truths about yourself.
“Like a lot of aspects of human behavior, projection comes down to self-defense. Koenig notes that projecting something you don’t like about yourself onto someone else protects you from having to acknowledge parts of yourself you don’t like. She adds that humans tend to feel more comfortable seeing negative qualities in others rather than in themselves.”
Could it be? Do the Super Woke refuse to accept that people’s minds do not constantly spiral down hateful sinkholes because of the simple fact that their own minds do?
Could it simply be that they can’t imagine living inside a head that’s not filled with racism or bigotry?
Is it that they just can’t come to terms with the reality that the rest of us just don’t harbour the same malignant thoughts as they do? That for the most part, we’re all just going about our business?
Is Super Woke simply the ultimate in psychological projection?
I guess we’ll never know. But do feel free to project your own issues onto me in the comment section.
That’s always good for a laugh.
Copyright Alison Tennent 2022, all rights reserved. Scottish by birth, upbringing and bloodline, Australian by citizenship since 2002.