What the F does WOKE mean and a trans boy’s mother.

A recent edition of Sydney’s “Daily Telegraph” newspaper had “WOKE FEST” splashed across its front page. Woke? As in, “He woke with a headache”? Had to look that one up and found in a “The Guardian” article on the meaning of ‘woke’ that if I didn’t know the meaning, then I had been left behind. OK… that’s a start.

‘WOKE’ apparently describes a movement or a person who supports social justice and racial equality and according to “The Guardian” the term has been co-opted by the far right and “weaponized” for use against the far-left. Just like, ‘politically correct’ they point out but without explaining where ‘politically correct’ came from. Actually from the communists themselves and so it’s acceptable to say a far-left policy is “political correct if it is part of far-left ideology.

So what’s this ‘Woke Fest’? Well according to the bit of the article I was able to recover from the garbage bin where the “Daily Telegraph” had been cast, the WOKE are seeking to get God (him again) and the teaching of ancient history (namely Greek) banned from schools. The reason my flat mate, a devout Christian, had cast the filth (her words) into the bin and for sure she is not the only person outraged at the suggestion teaching children Jesus was born in a manger and that “democracy” is a Greek word meaning rule by the people, is likely to damage society. Unless of course you are a hardcore communist who does not believe in multiparty parliamentary democracy and misunderstood the sociological context of Marx’s “religion is the opium of the people”. We no longer have four-year-old children going from Sunday mass to an underground mine where they would, near naked and on their hands and knees, haul coal carts.

I disagree with the “Daily Telegraph” there is cause to fear society will collapse because if the proposed changes to school curriculum went ahead I’d put money on the end result being the far-right increasing its membership, and ASIO (our domestic spooks) again fronting the senate requesting more power and money. We had this ‘safe schools’ thing a few years ago which was supposed to make schools safe for LGBTQI+ students. I could well imagine the result was not expected as evidenced by what I saw at a railway station one afternoon. A group of teenagers in school uniform, the girls giggling at every word uttered by what must have been the good-looking trophy boy, who I didn’t catch why, reached out and taking the arm of a lanky dopey-looking boy, softly said, “It’s OK – don’t worry – you can be gay.” Causing the girls to burst into fits of giggles. So much for safe schools, and hope that lanky boy was not actually gay. It’s the kind of public humiliation that could easily be the small event that triggers suicide. Kids will always rebel against what adults order them to do, and as someone said, “We send our children to school to be educated by other children”. Watts? Can’t remember, but for sure children shape their opinions and beliefs on those of their peers.

Further on this ‘progressive vs conservative’ arm wrestling, I was the other day asked, as someone who had been a street boy himself when “young and beautiful”, for an opinion on an article that appeared in “The Catholic Weekly”. The story was that of a mother and her experience of trying to manage her fourteen-year-old son’s infatuation with the ‘Trans’ movement. Straight up I’d say that seeking happiness by putting on an ‘identity’ as one would a piece of clothing, is bound to at best only partially succeed in the long term. That self-evident truth aside, this particular case I found to be indeed sinister.

Based on my experience of five decades ago, this mother’s description of what her son was going through sounded uncomfortably familiar and reading, I’d say it is highly likely her son was been groomed into underage male prostitution. In the past, before the Internet and social media, a child experiencing family and social difficulties might runaway and in the early seventies it was estimated that over 60 thousand arrived in London every year. Demand for boys by child porno producers and pimps was high, and so they were particularly valuable. Most runaways arrived at London’s main railway stations where what I’d call ‘spotters’ would survey people disembarking from trains arriving from the economically shattered northern cities looking for good-looking young teens and preteens, and who could be runaways. Approached, and the runaway status confirmed, the boy would be offered accommodation and the possibility of making money. Such as ‘modelling’ work. The boy would then often be taken to places such as the Playland amusements arcade near Piccadilly Circus where he was ‘introduced’ to his new friends, and the spotter got his 5 to 10 pound reward. The average wage in England at the time was 30 pounds a week, or 3 boys ‘introduced’ to Playland. From there on the boy was emotionally, and physically if need be, bullied into prostitution. Trying to leave could be very dangerous.

The teen in the article was experiencing emotional difficulties which he shared online and was contacted by an adult trans woman who said his suffering could be the result of the fact he is actually a girl and not a boy. This adult person then went on to advise him on how to transition, insisted on video chatting because “typing is just too much” – more like wanting to know if he was sufficiently good-looking – and advised him on how to break the news to his parents which he did in a letter his mother later found was actually dictated to her son by the adult. The adult then told him that if his parents did not accept they had a daughter and not a son, they were ‘transphobic bigots’ and this adult would pick him up and take him away.

It screams grooming and is the social media equivalent to what happened in the past. The teen would be reported as missing and so could not attend school once ‘taken away’, nor could he get a regular job. There is only one way he could earn his keep, and if good-looking he certainly would be a significant business asset to his new friends. Also, and as often happened in the past and continues today, if the boy is killed, either accidentally or deliberately, who will come looking for him? Bodies can be dumped like a broken washing machine in a ditch outside the city – or by the side of a canal.

I’m not suggesting the trans community is a vast child prostitution racket but because of the wild-west nature of the Internet, online LGBTQI+ youth communities would be a prime hunting ground for criminals seeking out vulnerable kids. For sure, and as this mother said, parents do keep an eye on your child’s social media. I’d add don’t believe for a moment boys are at less risk than girls. The numbers over decades undeniably show that a good-looking boy is at greater risk than a girl of being groomed into prostitution. Boys, as a sociologist surmised seeking an explanation, are ‘more exotic’ and therefore more desirable to adults (men and women, Hetero, Bi and Gay) who are bored with ‘normal’ and can pay whatever a pimp asks. An investigation carried out in Houston (Texas) in the early eighties put the ratio of sexually abused runaway kids at 9 boys for every 1 girl.

Blessings.

I now need two hours of zazen.