So, What Exactly Is ‘Wokefishing’ Anyway?
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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Writer, Empath, Listener, Self Improver, and a motivational speaker to her homegirls Teisha LeShea currently resides in California who loves to add fifteen million items to her Amazon cart. She is passionate about wellness, spiritual improvement, leveling up, and setting up twice a month therapy appointments. She writes with you in mind. Her listicle and personal stories will inspire you to dig deep within yourself to be a better you. You can follow her on Instagram @teisha.leshea and & @tl_teisha.leshea
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Supermodel Winnie Harlow is known for walking in runway shows for some of the top designers and starring in various fashion campaigns. But fashion aside, the Cay Skin founder is just an island girl who enjoys the beach and going after her dreams. The Canadian entrepreneur, who has Jamaican heritage, lives a fast-paced life that includes a lot of traveling for work, but at the end of the day, she always makes sure that she remains grounded.
Growing up, she would visit her dad in Jamaica twice a year, and one of the things she always looked forward to was going to the beach. Now, at 29 years old, she still feels a connection when she goes to the beach, and she uses it as a self-care practice. Winnie opened up about her life and career with Jackie Aina on her YouTube channel.
“Just being near the ocean. Just being in the ocean. Being on the beach, it just represents my culture,” she said. “I feel like too, and it also makes me feel grounded. And looking out into the ocean, you realize how small you really are, and I think that kinda put things into the perspective.” For Winnie, the ocean “feels like home.”
Self-care for Winnie has become an essential part of her life and one of the things she does to help preserve her mental health is saying no. The supermodel shared an experience she had after walking in her very first runway show. While she was backstage, Winnie, who has vitiligo, was asked by a photographer to take a photo backstage. She obliged, but what he did next, left her astounded.
“He walks away and comes back with an iron board with a cow print on it,” she said suggesting that he wanted her to take a photo with it. “I could of cried in that moment. I’m not that girl. I just held it and I was like, okay like, no.”
She continued, “I feel like dealing with those situations has helped definitely made me respect myself a lot more.”
As Winnie continues to build her sun care line, Cay Skin, she is also putting more effort into her mental health after realizing how important it is, especially with having a hectic schedule. She closed out her chat with Jackie by sharing one piece of advice about self-care.
“I posted something on my [Instagram] Story recently, and it really touched me. It said something like your mental health is more important than anything. More important than your career, more important than making money, any of those things,” she said.
“And I always say you can’t pour into others from an empty cup, so making sure that you are spending that time with yourself and making sure you’re okay. Because while yes your family, your friends, your job, all of those things are very important, you can’t get the best out of those things, and you can’t give your best into those things if you are not working from a full cup.”
Self Care with Jackie Aina ft. Winnie Harlow
Feature image by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images