A Washington Post writer wondered whether the progressive obsession with “wokeness” is hurting romantic relationships and our dating culture at large in a piece published Tuesday.
It’s become increasingly common for people to criticize others for their perceived biases and prejudices against minorities as more people feel it necessary to prove how socially aware they are, author Alexa Peters wrote. But with the new desire to be seen as “woke” comes the question of whether some people are lying about their wokeness in order to get ahead in romantic relationships.
“Nowadays, Adams argues, social media has made us all into public figures, thus subjecting us to high expectations all the time,” Peters wrote. “By extension, some savvy daters feel they must project an appearance of righteousness to impress their partner. Emphasis, in my experience, on the word appearance.”
“Woke” refers to someone concerned about and aware of social justice issues, like racism. “Woke(ness) provides us with a basic understanding of the why and how come aspect of societies’ social and systemic functions. The phrase itself is an encouragement for people to wake up and question dogmatic social norms,” one writer noted.
Peters often sits across from her dates and wonders if they are actually concerned with social justice issues or whether they’re lying to impress her, she wrote in WaPo.
“For instance, it’s not uncommon for me to question whether the 26-year-old computer programmer I’m having drinks with is really a social progressive, or if his behavior — wearing that #StayWoke shirt, marching in a Black Lives Matter protest — is just put-on virtue to get me into bed,” she wrote. “After all, I have encountered more than one guy who sidles up to the bar waxing poetic about toxic masculinity, just before he touches my thigh without my consent.”
Henry, a 28-year-old engineer Peters interviewed, agreed that being woke can earn extra points when dating others. “Being ‘woke’ is the new vogue thing, and if you want to be successful in a dating arena, you have to be up on what’s popular,” he explained.
Peters also pointed out that the obsession with judging wokeness can cause men to be fearful on the dating scene. Men are concerned about getting accused of “mansplaining” or having certain biases, Peters wrote. A gay man, Anthony Canape, said this fear was “ruining the authenticity” of dating.
“I’ve been on dates with dudes that are white, and they are afraid that I’m going to call them out for something [racist]. And they’re very nervous, and they almost call themselves out for being racist, even when they haven’t been,” Canape said.
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