Welcome to Unwoke Apparel - where we're unwoke all the time.
So...what does unwoke really mean? Perhaps it would be easier to understand if we examine its better known root word - woke. If you type “woke” into google, you get hundreds of results either with definitions for woke, or articles referencing it. Among the top hits was this definition
“alert to injustice in society, especially racism.”
Right below it, “woke” was used in the following sentence to give it context:
“We need to stay angry, and stay woke”
These two statements taken together encapsulate wokeness, in my opinion. The first is taken as a foundational truth by the woke, which allows them to carry out the second statement, in the form of social justice. Discriminatory laws that once existed in the US, such as denying the right to vote for women, or requiring blacks to give up their seats on public transit to whites have long since been removed. There is no existing law that prevents everyone from having an equality of opportunity, or equal treatment under the law, within any western democracy. Current legislation is the way it is because it reflects the values and beliefs of the vast majority of the population.
While there is an equality of opportunity for all individuals, that does not mean that we will get an equality of outcome across the board. Different people, and different groups of people, will get different results. For example the existence of a wage gap between men and women has been parroted by feminists for years. However data has shown that the gap is largely down to differences in choices of college majors between men and women, and different choices made further down the career path. Some ethnic groups will do better financially than others. Again data has shown that this is mainly due to cultural differences that result in different behaviour and choices amongst individuals. But ask any woke journalist why whites are on average wealthier in the US than blacks and they’ll blame systematic racism. Never mind that first or second generation asian immigrants that often arrive with not much money, end up being wealthier than both those groups. Ask a feminist about the wage gap, and she’ll blame the patriarchy. An unseen but powerful male hierarchy. Question it, and you’re part of the problem.
“We need to stay angry, and stay woke”
Is dogmatic. Activists who enact it believe there shouldn’t be any opposing view points besides the official woke ones. It is a very tribal reaction that involves smearing those with differing views as nazis or fascists, to justify shouting them down, or enacting actual violence against them. Meanwhile the very words of those not deemed woke, are considered violence. Requiring safe spaces, and in some cases intervention by authorities on charges of hate crimes.
If I could define what it means to be unwoke, I would say that it’s to prevent negative emotions, especially anger, from controlling your actions, such that at a minimum, you don’t confront differing points of view with the righteous fervour of inquisitors hunting heretics. To be unwoke is to listen, speak, and think for yourself, as to whether something really is an injustice in society, or something else more complicated. To be unwoke is to believe in the right to free speech, to understand its importance and role in our society. Increasingly, as institutions such as the media, government bureaucracies, and large companies, follow the role of academia in becoming woke, it’s felt as if we’re living in a kind of soft authoritarianism. Speak your mind and suffer the consequences. I fear that if this trend continues, this will no longer be a battle about freedom of speech, but about the freedom of thought itself.
It is with consideration to the above statements, that I started this company. While intellectuals battle over wokeness on twitter and podcasts, it is ordinary people that bear the burden of the woke takeover of the institutions that govern their lives. It is ordinary people that had their businesses burned and looted, that had crime and violence sky rocket in their cities in 2020. It is ordinary people that have to sit through employer mandated seminars on critical race theory, that tell them that based on the color of their skin, they are either inherently evil, or perpetual victims with little agency in their own lives. It is ordinary people that were harassed and abused while they sat down to dinner at a restaurant, or were inside their own homes, by “protestors” who largely faced no consequences for their actions.
Ultimately my goal is to foster a spirit of courage amongst people, to counteract woke culture. To create an unwoke culture.
While there have been brave individuals who have spoken out against wokeness, knowingly taking the risk of getting cancelled or fired, and thus suffering the expected consequences; their actions haven’t created the hoped for results. There has been outrage, both privately, and publicly (online), but no one has been uncancelled or hired back. Despite that I am certain that the majority of people, including minorities, despise wokeness. It is a culture controlled by a few, and made powerful by everyone else’s compliance.
I believe that a little bit of courage, displayed by a large number of people living their normal lives, will go a longer way to creating an unwoke culture. So instead of writing an email at work denouncing critical race theory sessions that will likely get you hauled up before HR, try wearing an unwoke logo shirt to the grocery store. How would you feel if you saw someone wearing such a shirt in the frozen food aisle? Would it make you stop and think? Would it make you feel a little better? A little braver?
The solution to wokeness lies with ordinary people, doing ordinary things, without fear.
Good luck my friends, and stay unwoke!
Founder, Unwoke Apparel