We've heard of catfishing, blackfishing, and now the new phenomenon in the dating game is wokefishing. As if dating couldn't get any more complicated. With online dating getting a resurgence amid the pandemic, there is a slew of online users who are utilizing an all-new manipulative tactic to reel you in, get a date, and/or try to get you in bed. And it has everything to do with being woke.
No, we aren't talking hoteps. We're specifically talking about baits its unsuspecting daters into thinking that they're aligned with womanist views or that they've read and reread Hood Feminism: Notes from the Women That a Movement Forgot, or that the thoughts they have about the latest in politics directly mirror yours. Also, #BLM isn't just a trend for them, it's a lifestyle. For all intents and purposes, the person that's your 'match' on this app has political views that are so left, they can't even see right, and the depth they portray tap into your deepest sapiosexual fantasies. Well ladies, without even realizing, you might be getting wokefished. And since what you're seeing isn't what you're getting, therein lies the issue.
Before you have a panic attack and throw your phone, let me provide insight into exactly what wokefishing is and how you can avoid being baited into this ever happening to you.
So, what is wokefishing?
Coined by VICE, wokefishing is a dating term that refers to people that portray themselves as being "woke" or having progressive political ideologies and views as a means to lure in partners who have those beliefs. Furthermore, a person wokefishing "may present themselves as a protest-attending, sex-positive, anti-racist, and an intersectional feminist." However, in reality, they use that to waste your time and piss you off. Depending on the climate, they use a moment in time to reel prospects. For example, when the death of Black lives at the police's hands is circulating in the news, those who indulge in wokefishing may lead the conversations about racism and how pro-black or anti-racist they may be to appeal to your interest in social justice issues.
Men stay wokefishing and will be the most abusive and violent.— glo$$ (@GloryAliu) August 30, 2020
The political landscape is no longer something to veer away from with perfect strangers. In fact, politics tends to spew over into our everyday lives. Whether it be at work, the news, something we see on social media, or life imitating art on movies and shows, we've come to a point where we are forced to think deeper. Our initial conversations in dating apps sometimes reflects this. Ice breakers these days look more like social issues and the unapologetic battle cry of "arrest the cops who killed Breonna Taylor". Wokefishers take advantage of appearing to have a connection with you by capitalizing on a perceived shared interest in social issues.
How do you spot a wokefisher?
What a person doesn't say tends to speak louder than what they do say. So, if your date's intentions become called into question, keep an eye on their response to certain scenarios. For example, casually ask them a question about a viral video or a new cause picking up steam, pay attention to what they do. Are they pretending to seem up-to-date on matters, do they look confused or seem unclear on the subject overall? Do they tend to allow you to do more of the talking to seem more engrossed in your opinion? If conversations seem to be one-sided, with no feedback or opinion, that's a red flag.
Speaking of red flags...
I don't know about you but I get turned off by men who try too hard. Persistence I can deal with, but going above and beyond to gas me up and not being authentic in the process is something different. Having someone always saying "amen" to your thoughts and opinions without rarely giving any of their own might seem like a match-made in effortless heaven, but a vibe with no pushback and no offering of a different perspective, does not make for an interesting conversation. What you might be experiencing instead is a lot of love-bombing, which is another manipulative technique daters do in order to leave your mind all twisted up and accelerate the connection in the process.
The wokefisher will allow you to talk so that they can agree to everything. The hope is that the agreeance will make you feel bonded to them, and rather quickly at that. To test how "woke" the person you're interacting with really is, try asking specific questions regarding whatever topic at hand. If the person you're talking to states that they're a feminist, then ask what it is about feminism that makes them a supporter? Ask about ideals or perspectives that might be rooted in feminism, like inclusion and equal pay in the workplace, and have them expound on those ideals. Likewise, a sex-positive dater should be able to dabble in hot topics like "WAP" with nuance that suggests they are confident in women owning their sexuality unapologetically. If they look at you dazed and confused or state views that are in direct opposition of their "stance", then run sis. They are not the one and should not even be a contender.
There are so many pitfalls that come from online it can be difficult to keep up. With so many rules and regulations that come with another set of rules and regulations, it can be discouraging. But, if we ask the right questions and not ignore the red flags, we will save ourselves so much time. Wokefishing being one of them.
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