Wokefishing in a High Tide of Social Change

Image credit: Tumisu via Pixabay

Words by Amy King

You might have heard of catfishing or even blackfishing, but what about wokefishing?

A vegan who wears mainstream makeup. A feminist who thinks boys showing their affection is ‘gay’. Posting a black square on Instagram but not actually giving a shit about Black Lives Matters.

Wokefisher’s appear to be socially likeable by all, but beneath the surface their ‘wokeness’ is a masquerade for public acceptance. Used by celebrities, influencers, and even those boasting about much of a feminist they are on Tinder, wokefishing is used by its predators to make you think they are someone they’re not, someone more appealing and relatable rather than their actual, most likely problematic, self.

Since the creation of one of 2020’s more lighthearted terms, accusations of wokefishers have crept into the social media scene blaming influencers, especially during the pandemic, of preaching for social change when they themselves are contributing towards the issue they are campaigning against.

Flashback to 2016, where the publicly praised Leonardo DiCaprio took a 8000 mile trip in a private jet to pick up an environmental award, or the countless celebrities during current lockdowns who claim that we are all in this together whilst still living lavishly in Dubai. Lets not forget the tone death and out of pitch rendition of John Lennon’s Imagine, starring Wonder Woman’s Gal Gadot, where celebrities from around the world sang of a world with ‘no possessions’ and ‘sharing the world’, whilst sitting in their multi-million homes planning their next holidays.

Image credit – Tumisu from Pixabay

You don’t just have to be in the public eye to claim that you’re woke about a subject and later show that you are in fact, not. When it comes to dating, especially when your first encounter is online, its easy to portray yourself and beliefs as something completely different to your true, authentic self. On dating platforms such as Hinge you can state your political stance and write your personal opinions on certain subjects, such as general social situations. Since the creation of the app, many users have taken to social media to report the unusual difference between people’s dating profiles and their actual conversational selves.

Coined by Vice, reports of wokefishers in the dating scene are forever increasing. Multiple users have been accused of proudly claiming themselves as a feminist but are later quick to slut-shame women they are chatting to for finding out they too enjoy sex and have had it as many times as them. Many users on Twitter during 2020 added #BlackLivesMatter to their Tinder bios, yet later made racist remarks or held problematic views about race as a whole, or the race of the person they were talking to.

All of these instances add to the easily misrepresented personality of those behind a screen. Celebrity or everyday person, detaching yourself form your own reality and creating a new one on the internet is alarmingly easy for some.

If you yourself are a wokefish, it might be useful to ask yourself why you are too ashamed to publicly present your real views and opinions, and whether jumping on the newest bandwagon or hashtag is actually beneficial or just problematic for whatever reason.