What is woke?
Woke is a fairly new word, I think. Some people have been accusing me of it. They say I am joining in a culture war. People do not usually think of me me as warlike or cultured. Not if you mean highbrow or sophisticated but I suppose everyone is part of some sort of culture, in the wider sense. It could be working class culture, rural culture or student culture. I consider those terms as meaningless generalisations based on stereotypes, but if you must…
What is woke culture?
I think it means liberal regarding race, gender and religion. That means being tolerant and inclusive and also sympathetic to people with disabilities or who are different in any way. If that is true, then by definition woke culture is not warlike. The war must be one that narrow, intolerant people want to wage on those they disagree with.
Can a book be woke or engage in a culture war?
I suppose you could write a book with an agenda to attack or defend some intellectual or other beliefs and attitudes. Do I do that? All authors are bound to put something of their attitudes into whatever they write. I don’t write religious books but my Christian faith will probably be evident. I explained that some time ago in a post. By the way, I think that is where my woke thing comes from because I believe every human being is loved by and answerable to God. That means I can’t condone treating anyone as sub-human. Neither can I regard any as superior in a dep sense.
Is the subject matter woke?
Another reason people might think my books are woke is that I try to make my them realistic and contemporary. Therefore, there are often black or Asian characters and the subject of race comes up as it does in real life. This is not the 1950’s when you could ignore such things safely.
Is justice woke?
Surely all crime writers want justice. They don’t want innocent people to be punished or guilty ones to get away with it – regardless of the race or religion of the victim or the villain. I don’t know if there are any racist writers of whodunnits. In DOWN the hero investigated a historic miscarriage of justice in which the wrongly convicted man’s race was apparently a factor. I wrote in a previous post about the credibility of such an injustice. In New Money the victim’s race raised the possibility of the motive being hate-crime. Does that make the books woke or are they contributing to a culture war? Whether they are or not, I hope they are good murder mysteries. What do you think?