Woke’ — the much contested one syllable word which has become increasingly pervasive in recent years.
Depending on what side of the fence one sits, the word is either considered an insult or a compliment — and it’s no secret that Telegraph readers generally consider it the former.
The word has been particularly useful in helping to highlight the pattern of ideological creep that is threatening many of our institutions — from the RAF being accused of discriminating against 160 white men in its efforts to meet “aspirational diversity targets”, for example, to Tate Britain’s “inclusive” rehang.
Telegraph readers have spoken out about how wokeism has affected them for the worse. Their cases are a testament to how woke culture is infiltrating all corners of society.
‘Our taxpayer funds have been spent promoting a political identity ideology that is more divisive than inclusive’
Reader Anthony Mooney, for example, despairs over “Hounslow Council painting rainbow crossings at the very salient junction of Chiswick High Road and Turnham Green Terrace”.
The Rainbow Junction consists of four separate crossings in the colours of the pride flag. According to Hounslow Council, the idea was the “brainchild” of West London Queer Project (WLQP).
On the installation, the Leader of the Council, Councillor Shantanu Rajawat, commented: “Hounslow is a borough where everyone is welcome regardless of sexual orientation or identity. WLQP have grown from a small group of friends to a borough wide organisation of more than 5,000 members in under a year; a clear indication of the need for our LGBT+ community to have a voice, recognition, and support.”
Mr Mooney emphasised how there was no consultation with residents regarding the change, and that it “just appeared overnight”.
He goes on to voice how, “just recently, Shantanu Rajawat made a public statement, warning that the council will need to make some tough decisions as the authority grapples with increasing costs and rising demand for services.
“Despite these fiscal challenges and a cost-of-living crisis, our taxpayer funds have been spent promoting a political identity ideology that is more divisive than inclusive and certainly adds no value for residents. I despair.”
‘The pride flag is not inclusive, unlike the original Newtonian rainbow spectrum flag that represented everyone’
On a similar note, the Princess Royal University Hospital, in Bromley, south London, last week opened a new link-bridge which is wrapped with a giant three-sided “intersex-inclusive flag” showing the LGBT+ rainbow.
Joining the likes of the Health Secretary, Steve Barclay, who has rebuked the NHS trust over the rainbow mural, reader Teresa Steele declared, “this is my local hospital. I find this flag deeply offensive and upsetting.”
Expressing her views on the pride flag, Ms Steele argues that “it is not inclusive, unlike the original Newtonian rainbow spectrum flag that represented everyone. This incarnation only represents certain groups. It is, therefore, exclusionary.”
‘I looked at the top of the cistern to find three brands of tampon and something else that my wife refers to as “sleeping bags”’
Another reader, Simon Jenkins, told of his “disturbing” toilet experience in Carmarthen, Wales.
“The urinal was taken so I went into the cubicle. Relieving myself, I looked at the top of the cistern to find three brands of tampon (apparently for different flow rates!) and something else that my wife refers to as ‘sleeping bags’ with a jovial little message to the effect that if you are caught short, help yourself to one of ours.
“‘S–t — wrong toilet’, no, I reassured myself that the urinal was occupied. My wife also needed the loo and she wasn’t here, so it was not a unisex…”
‘I have had lecturers tell me my gender critical views are transphobic’
Also on the topic of loos, Cormoran S., a student at Queen Mary University of London, shares how she has been “forced into gender neutral bathrooms”.
Despite Cormoran’s attempts to push back, “I have had lecturers tell me my gender critical views are transphobic… I try to argue my case but I am almost immediately shouted down.”
‘We have had BLM promoters, a Just Stop Oil duo and several black theologians discussing the decolonisation of Theology’
Meanwhile, at Alistair Tevez’s university, where he is studying Theology, he outlines how “in every other class at regular intervals ‘guest speakers’ are brought in.
“We have had BLM promoters, a Just Stop Oil duo and several black theologians discussing the decolonisation of Theology by not studying ‘dead white men.’”
Mr Tevez describes this as “blatant presentation and indoctrination of far-Left ideology. It’s so warped into the faculty there is literally no discussion or room for debate.”
Alistair labels universities as “propaganda camps where you are taught to hate your nation, your white skin and capitalism”.
‘I have refused to give my pronouns even after being told it is policy’
Matthew S. describes how, working for a well known government science organisation, he works in seasons and is away for six months at a time.
He says: “We have a board with all the names and faces of the people on station at that time. This season, I arrived and everyone now has their pronouns next to their name, all because one person ‘identifies’ as they/them.
“I have refused to give my pronouns even after being told it is policy. I’m sure, however, you cannot be forced to give your pronouns?”
‘A girl at our school has decided she identifies as a cat’
Remaining on the topic of pronouns, a teacher, who wishes to remain anonymous, tells of a female pupil who has “decided she identifies as a cat”.
“We now have to deal with the boys who have been ‘barking’ at her.”
The teacher proceeds to detail how “all offer letters to prospective students are now being sent out with ‘them’ and ‘their’ pronouns even though none of these children (11 years old mostly) have ever suggested they are uncomfortable with the gender given to them at birth.
“I have to hope that the parents receiving these letters assume the pronouns used are all typos, but they are most definitely not — someone is on a woke crusade. It’s just embarrassing.”
‘My daughter at the age of 13 came out as non-binary and goes by a different name’
Transgender theory has been discussed in reader Robert C’s daughter’s Ethics class.
Robert’s daughter, who is in Year 8 at her local private school, has “learnt about gender, how it was not binary and how you can identify as any number of genders.
“Two weeks later, my daughter at the age of 13 came out as non-binary and goes by a different name.
“A year later, we are still dealing from the fall out,” adds Robert
‘My children are being taught non-binary verb conjugations in French class’
Reader Beth Brockley reveals how schooling is just not as simple as it used to be.
“My children are being taught non-binary verb conjugations in French class at secondary school — so as well as ‘il’ and ‘elle’, they are taught how to make verbs agree with the genderless ‘iel’,” she explains.
“They are told to learn vocabulary like ‘my non-binary sibling’ (‘mon froeur’, apparently) and have to practice writing adjectives with odd gender neutral endings — for example, writing ‘gentil:le’ instead of simply writing ‘gentil’ for a man and ‘gentille’ for a woman, because ‘you can’t tell someone’s gender by looking.’”
Ms Brockley also points out how “this use of language is highly controversial in France and, according to a French acquaintance, banned from being taught to French children. Why on earth is it in the British national curriculum?”
‘My sister was turned down for the job with the explanation that her experience did not give her ‘sufficient appreciation of diversity or white privilege”’
Reader Stephen Cass shares how his youngest sister, in her fifth job interview for a charity management role, was told that the interviewer had “woken up the day after George Floyd was murdered and checked my privilege”.
“The interviewer then asked my sister, ‘what have you done to check your privilege and live diversity?’
“My sister, who is white and speaks fluent Spanish, had previously been CEO of several charities working primarily with lower income Hispanic and black citizens, as well as the disabled. My sister responded she had devoted her entire career to working in the charity sector and that her success with these organisations spoke for itself.
“She was turned down for the job with the explanation that her experience did not give her ‘sufficient appreciation of diversity or white privilege’. She remains jobless.”
‘I pointed out when I resigned that I could see that the staff were about to be told what their politics should be’
Tim Williams held a senior position in a major 15,000 strong British consultancy company.
However, Mr Williams “left on principle” after they took “a radical position in support of Black Lives Matter (BLM), having previously attempted to make us do ‘unconscious bias’ training — the aim of which was clearly to make us all prove that we had such bias”.
Having been a Labour Party member all his life and “deeply anti-racist”, Tim refused the training — “knowing that experts doubt its value, too”.
Tim resigned when the Chair sent around a newsletter with three women ‘taking the knee’ under the BLM slogan, ‘no justice, no peace’, he said.
He added: “I pointed out when I resigned that I could see that the staff were about to be told what their politics should be.”