The danger of woke politics is that the adamant self-righteousness that accompanies it blinds people to the weaknesses of their ideology.
Following anti-woke declarations from both Winston Peters and Judith Collins, the most woke among us have lashed out on their usual stomping ground (Twitter) and in their characteristic fashion (with Mean Girls gifs – looking at you Chloe Swarbrick).
Whether the woke want to acknowledge the moniker or not, most ordinary people are finally gaining awareness and rapidly growing tired of it. The left can continue to play purity politics and lobby for sackings of anyone a millimetre to the right of them, but they underestimate the public’s ability to detect bullshit at their peril.
Our Labour Party actually isn’t particularly woke and would do well to distance itself from the increasing extremism of the Green Party. Although leftists baulk at the notion, Labour and National are not all that different. They jostle for the centre and represent alternating status quo establishments. As a Marxist friend of mine puts it, “National are capitalism’s A team and Labour are the B Team.” And with the economy and healthcare such crucial focus point of this election, neither “team” can afford to get pulled into identitarian mudwrestling.
The Green Party have spent this last term trying – and sometimes succeeding – to sneak through woke policies and laws by stealth. First the Births, Deaths, Marriages, Relationships Registration Act saw them attempt to remove all safeguarding regarding people changing the sex on their birth certificate. Luckily my own organisation was on hand to point out the huge risks of sex self-ID and the anti-democratic process employed to try achieve it.
Then the Green Party nearly derailed abortion law reform with attempts to remove the word “woman” from it. So it shouldn’t be surprising that without consultation or any kind of process an OIA informs us that Julie Anne Genter’s Ministry for Women has rendered itself meaningless by redefining women as anyone who identifies as one. While Green Party co-leader James Shaw’s Statistics NZ has proposed collecting gender (self-identified) as a default instead of biological sex in public research.
Finally, Speak Up For Women recently contacted all candidates to ascertain their positions on women’s rights issues. We received a response from Green’s Rainbow Spokeswoman Jan Logie saying, “The Green Party believes that womanhood is not defined by giving birth or having periods, nor invisible factors like chromosomes or reproductive organs.” They never did say what did define womanhood though. One can only assume that if not material biology, they must mean stereotypes. This seems strange since being female isn’t about performing a role, wearing a dress, playing with dolls, or having a proclivity towards domestic chores. The only thing all women have in common is that we are the females of our species.
The determination of this small party to erase sex from policy and law is extremist and not reflective of the vast majority of New Zealand’s wishes. How would we prevent criminals popping online to change their sex in order to be moved to women’s prisons if the Greens had succeeded in self-ID? How can we take a government seriously who promotes the notion that men can be pregnant? What is the point of having a Ministry for Women if anyone can say they are a woman? How would data reflecting the subjective and internal gender feelings of New Zealanders help policy decisions around healthcare and pay equity for example?
Reflecting on this cluster of complete time-wasting, elitist nonsense, it is difficult to dispute that Collins and Peters are well advised to oppose ‘woke pixie dust’. The surge in popularity for David Seymour and ACT provides further evidence of the appeal of a politician who resists wokeness and speaks up for principles of democracy.
While other party leaders seem to have heeded this advice, Ardern would do well to also remember the (paraphrased) adage that mud wrestling with the woke only results in you getting dirty and the woke enjoying it.