Brit funnyman Andrew Doyle created Titania McGrath to tweak social justice warriors on Twitter; now Doyle's fictional intersectional feminist is ready to conquer America with a guide to being woke.
Titania McGrath, the satirical Twitter persona created by British comedian Andrew Doyle, has the perfect antidote to the plague of pompous moralists who currently rule the internet: Her fresh-to-the-U.S. self-help book, Woke: A Guide to Social Justice, which offers a welcome salve to all those annoyed by the regressive left’s finger-wagging Mrs. Grundys and their preachy imposition of woke ideology on Western society.
Using Titania as his po-faced sock puppet, Doyle broadly defines wokeness as a worldview that polices speech perceived as objectionable, equates offensive language with physical harm and reduces the complexities of life to issues of race and gender. In the woke world, the marginalized enjoy the most clout, while those in the majority or perceived as being powerful have zero or negative clout.
Despite its sometimes laudable goals, woke ideology, which encompasses the realms of intersectional feminism and identity politics, has morphed into a peevish, oppressive Zeitgeist, and thus, ripe for Doyle’s ridicule.
Named after the queen of the fairies in Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream (a character who falls madly in love with an oaf sporting donkey’s head), Titania is the instrument by which Doyle lampoons the woke movement. He assigns beliefs and pronouncements to this humorless, bourgeois enfant terrible that are only slightly exaggerated versions of those proudly proclaimed by actual woke warriors.
In the book, Titania declares that she was “born woke,” the lone child of two barristers who were well-heeled enough to send her to a private school and take her on “holidays to Montenegro and the Maldives,” which she regarded as “a ruse by which my parents could distract me from my oppression.”
Though she’s a white, well-educated female with a three-bedroom flat in London’s posh Kensington district, Titania contends that she suffered severe trauma growing up as a woke child in a “heteronormative patriarchal white supremacist world.”
If you only have sex with people you find attractive, you might want to ask yourself why you’re such a superficial bigot.
— Titania McGrath (@TitaniaMcGrath) March 10, 2019
Courageously, she overcame this Matterhorn-like handicap, growing up to become a “radical intersectionalist poet committed to feminism, social justice and armed peaceful protest.” As a result, she possesses “that rare ability to take a linguistic scalpel to the cancerous bigotry of modern Western culture.”
The Path to Righteousness
Titania seeks to educate her readers on achieving total wokeness. She maintains that being woke is not as tough as some make out.
“Anyone can be an activist,” she insists. “By simply adding a rainbow flag to your Facebook profile, or calling out an elderly person who doesn’t understand what ‘non-binary’ means, you can change the world for the better. Indeed, social media has now made it possible to show how virtuous you are without having to do anything at all.”
I fundamentally, unequivocally, wholeheartedly, 100% believe in free speech.
Except when people say offensive things in which case it’s hate speech and they should be arrested. pic.twitter.com/a94ier4hQk
— Titania McGrath (@TitaniaMcGrath) September 4, 2019
The book presents a parade of prejudices common to wokeanistas. All women are innately victims and innately superior to men. All men are exploiters and rude beasts who start off life “literally inside a woman [i.e., their mothers] without her verbal consent.” Whiteness “always equates as structural power,” even in a majority black country. And persons of color are “invariably persecuted,” no matter how powerful or wealthy. Why, even Helen Keller, though deaf and blind, benefitted from white privilege, claims Titania.
According to Titania, all men are “presumed guilty” under the dictates of the very woke #MeToo movement, and all women must be believed, “under all circumstances,” regardless of the truth of the situation. As Titania proclaims, “Feelings don’t care about your facts.” She elaborates by saying that, “all knowledge is a patriarchal construct, because it has been acquired over centuries of male totalitarianism.”
I have absolutely no desire to impregnate a male.
But if I ever change my mind I won’t allow some “scientist” to tell me that I can’t.
— Titania McGrath (@TitaniaMcGrath) June 3, 2019
Nearly every paragraph in Woke ends in a punch line, or is its own punch line. And Titania’s logic inevitably follows a beeline to an absurd conclusion. Newborns should be assigned numbers rather than names at birth, until they decide on a gender identity. Maleness is so toxic that sexual relations with plants is preferred. Pro-Brexit British folk are Nazis, and defenders of free speech are crypto-fascists.
Titania believes in censorship, online activism and deplatforming problematic speakers as necessary tools in the achievement of a “woke utopia.” Non-woke language should be criminalized, and “robust hate speech laws” should be used to enforce the proper use of personal pronouns (they/them/their and xe/xem/xyr, for instance). She notes that “to defeat bigotry,” society needs only to “eradicate the words required to express bigoted views.”
I am a white woman of colour.
I am the spirit of the Amistad made flesh.
Behold my truth. #TitaniaMcGrath
— Titania McGrath (@TitaniaMcGrath) June 13, 2019
Comedy is not exempted from the dictates of wokeness. Titania tells us that, “Jokes are violence,” and humor, like knowledge, is a manifestation of the patriarchy.
“Light-hearted jokes, if not properly regulated, can quickly spiral out of control,” Titania explains. “Let us not forget that Al-Qaeda started off as an improvisational sketch group.”
The Scolds Are Unamused
Unsurprisingly, Doyle’s detractors have taken a dim view of Titania as a caricature of woke culture. Writing for UK’s New Statesman, critic Mollie Goodfellow labeled Doyle’s Titania shtick “tired and unfunny,” claiming that Doyle was simply an example of “the old sneering at the young.” (Not sure how old Doyle is, but his boyish demeanor hardly looks ancient. Also, Goodfellow’s appeal to ageism is ironic coming from a putatively “woke” journalist.)
Vote for Labour or we’ll be plunged into a fascist apocalypse with mob rule and super gonorrhea.
Don’t let fear win here. https://t.co/1LuVun0lFO
— Titania McGrath (@TitaniaMcGrath) May 16, 2019
At The Guardian, which is often the target of Doyle’s barbs, scribe Alex Clark practically peered down her granny glasses at Woke, calling it a “cheap shot” and a “speedy cash-in” by Titania’s Pygmalion. Other pundits have accused Doyle, a gay man, of punching down at the powerless and the downtrodden.
On the contrary, Doyle is punching up at the purveyors of woke propaganda, who tend to be members of academia, the mainstream media or left-wing political movements. It’s their hypocrisy and privilege that Doyle’s mocking, not the populations they claim to speak for.
Woke only recently became available for purchase in the U.S. It arrives at a propitious time. Progressive scolds have been on a tear of late, ripping such non-woke entertainment as Dave Chappelle’s “Sticks and Stones” special on Netflix and Quentin Tarantino’s brilliant and unfairly maligned Once Upon a Time…In Hollywood. Yet, both artists have proven impervious to these attacks, and their work remains popular and highly profitable. (Might a woke backlash be afoot?)
If you’re not wearing my face, you’re probably a fascist. https://t.co/HyowFUBE6L
— Titania McGrath (@TitaniaMcGrath) May 9, 2019
Though Doyle has faced challenges, like Titania’s briefly getting booted from Twitter last year because moderators took the imaginary intersectionalist seriously, Titania’s Twitter account currently boasts a healthy 334,000 followers, and there’s been talk of a Titania TV show in Britain.
A couple of professors at York St. John University in England have made the obvious comparison of Doyle to Jonathan Swift, but Doyle’s uproarious and often scatological humor also calls to mind that of Francois Rabelais, who famously wrote, “Laughter is man’s proper lot.”
The idea that everyone is entitled to their own opinions is outdated and dangerous.
If you’re unsure what opinions to have, this is the book for you.https://t.co/g9Uimi2bBY
— Titania McGrath (@TitaniaMcGrath) March 17, 2019
Woke provokes plenty of laughter, though the American inhabitants of woke-istan will not be pleased that the joke’s on them. For the rest of us, gems from the book such as the one below offer a reprieve from the dour lectures that the woke community regularly inflicts on humanity.
“I am a teller of truths, a slayer of patriarchs, a fearless metaphysician,” exclaims Titania one point. “I teabag the foes of justice with a gender-neutral scrotum. I suckle the babes of hope with my sinewy teats of equality.”
Long may she reign.