Tuesday, 23 April 2019

Titania McGrath's "Woke: A Guide to Social Justice" made me weep with laughter

Why should you read it? Titania McGrath explains early on in the book:
"Activists such as myself are spearheading a new culture war, sniffing out prejudice like valiant bloodhounds of righteousness, courageously snapping at the heels of injustice. To give a tangible example of our achievements, consider how the definition of the word 'Nazi' has been successfully broadened to include anyone who voted for Brexit, has ever considered supporting the Conservative Party or who refuses to take the Guardian seriously. Although this is a great victory for the progressive cause, it does mean that there are now more Nazis living in modern Britain than even existed in 1930s Germany. This makes Woke: A Guide to Social Justice not only timely but essential."
She goes on to confront her horrific upbringing...

"I was the only child of two barristers. I learnt early on that my private education and frequent family holidays to Montenegro and the Maldives were merely a ruse by which my parents could distract me from my oppression." 
As for her monstrously insensitive mother...
"I had been breastfed for the first six months of my life. Did my mother not realise that I was a vegan? Did she even care? Either way, this was abuse."
Woke is brimming with uncomfortable truths regarding, for instance, racism:
"We need to challenge the lazy assumption that people aren't racist just because they never say or do racist things."
"...sometimes the opinions of all black people are best expressed by white celebrity millionaires."
And Islamophobia:
"Unconscious bias against Muslims is particularly rampant. Studies show that 96 per cent of respondents would run away if they heard someone shouting 'Allahu Akbar' in a public place."
"Recently, beauty queen Sara Iftekhar broke new ground by wearing a hijab in the final of the Miss England competition. She had already been voted the most attractive woman in Huddersfield, which admittedly is a bit like winning an arm wrestle in a hospice."
 The true role of the university:
"A university is hardly the appropriate place for exploring alternative ideas."
"If women choose to sacrifice the prospect of a career in order to breed, that is of course up to them. By doing so, however, they are embodying all that is rotten in patriarchal society. They have internalised their misogyny to such a degree that they genuinely believe that raising a child is more important and rewarding than earning money."
Transphobia, Gender Fluidity and Misgendering:
"In any case, if it is true that men are superior at sports,  why is it that transgender athletes tend to win more medals after they transition to female?"
"Note, for instance, that historians tend to refer to King Henry VIII as a 'he'. But why? Do they ever stop to think that Henry might have preferred a nonconformist pronoun? There is nothing particularly male about having a huge beard, broad shoulders and a massive cock. My friend Belinda is hung like a shire stallion. This doesn't make her any less feminine." 
And the importance of supporting disadvantaged artists:
"I only like music if it is produced by artists from marginalised groups. Def Leppard is a good example, because the drummer lacks an arm. Then there is Gabrielle, who is black, female and missing an eye. Lily Allen is another sound choice because she is clearly retarded."
"[Andrea] Dworkin was a genius of the highest calibre who produced some of the most perspicacious feminist writing of the twentieth century and was a key activist in the anti-pornography movement. And she managed to achieve all this with a total lack of charm and a face like a robber's dog. A true inspiration."
Titania McGrath is a genius and if Woke: A Guide to Social Justice isn't this year's bestselling book, it will be because of racism, homophobia, transphobia, misogyny and Brexit. It's available at all good bookshops and from Amazon, here.


  1. I can't wait to hear the review on Radio 4!

  2. Nick Kerr - Stornoway24 April 2019 at 06:14

    Best truth - touching satire since Private Eye's 'Dear Bill' column.