100 Comments
Oct 29, 2022Liked by Jenny Holland

This reminds me of the Facebook knitting groups that my wife used to follow. You'd think few things could be more innocuous and apolitical than a hobby that produces sweaters and baby booties, but these groups developed into cults of foaming-at-the-mouth woke fanatics, constantly poised to pounce on and cancel anyone who even inadvertently uttered a disapproved-of word or idea. My wife, of course, being an intelligent, rational woman, bailed out when it crossed the line into full-on crazy-eyed leftist derangement.

Expand full comment
Nov 4, 2022·edited Nov 4, 2022Liked by Jenny Holland

I left the FB crochet group I was in when full-on wars would start any time someone would even mention yarn that was Hobby Lobby's brand. No thanks.

Expand full comment
author

Just nuts. OMG.

Expand full comment

JessiL, Have any un-woke (apolitical) knitting/crochet groups formed in the years as a result/reaction?

Expand full comment

Yes, I had to leave my on line knitting and crochet group when the opening page announced that any themes with Trumpian or Republican bent would be deleted and result in the deletion of the member. Who wants to hang out with psychos who politicize KNITTING?

Expand full comment
author

Wow. I know I should not be surprised by this but somehow I am.

Expand full comment
founding
Aug 13, 2023·edited Aug 13, 2023Liked by Jenny Holland

Jenny - Look into the story of Ravelry - it’s a WILD ride. I lost one of my dearest friends to this black hole of insanity.

Ravelry is a website that started out as just a little app a husband wrote for his wife so she could keep track of her yarn and patterns. Then the wife’s friends and other people hopped in - they added little knitting-chat areas, and things went INSANE. Ended up as one of the epicenters of the lunatic left.

It’s one of the clearest examples of social contagion I’ve ever seen - all clearly documented because it all happened online.

Oh, of course, the husband-programmer? He is now “She” and was actually removed from the platform he built because he went (very literally) insane.

Wild and tragic story. Look into it if you’re feeling strong.

Expand full comment
author

I just looked it up but I can't access the New Yorker article as I've read too many free ones this month. All I'm seeing is stuff about the 2020 Trump thing. Would love to know more!

Expand full comment
founding

Lots of articles - re: Casey/Cassidy Forbes, his complete unhinging, etc - Here’s one that isn’t usually cited:

https://unherd.com/2020/01/cast-out-how-knitting-fell-into-a-purity-spiral/

Expand full comment
author

Oh ok. I will look that up right now.

Expand full comment

I followed the Woke Knitting Wars on Quillette when it/they happened. Was astonishing.

Expand full comment

#MeToo

Expand full comment

I did as well. My friend, Kathrine Jebsen Moore, wrote the Knitting Wars series of articles. It was insane ... I presume it still is, by sounds of this post.

Expand full comment

BarbaraVice, Oh, wonderful! I recall her name now that you write it. A lot of early wokism was affecting many of us (and in so many ways!), but we had no idea the breadth and depth of it. Now we do!

Expand full comment
Nov 5, 2022·edited Nov 5, 2022Liked by Jenny Holland

A Facebook group for sharing reproductions of historical tablet weaving went ballistic a couple of years ago. Historical tablet weaving often contain an ancient motif which was culturally appropriated by a 20th century monster and it was understood that these patterns would be upsetting. So it wasn’t a weaving with a real swastikas that started the fireworks. No. It was another weaving that was deemed swastika adjacent, at least if you squinted real hard. The group ended up splitting into two. I’m glad to say the first, original, group, stayed peacefully apolitical. Not sure about the other.

Expand full comment
author

I mean, this is just insane. Like I said below, I don't know how I can possibly still be surprised by this, but somehow it's still shocking. What do you think motivates these people to go so crazy over...historical tablet weaving???

Expand full comment

Iirc there was a clash between weavers in Scandinavia who were reproducing archeological fragments from their country and... weavers from America with little historical knowledge and swastikas on the brain

Expand full comment

I can't but help think of the "Les Tricoteuses de la guillotine" of the Reign of Terror in 1793-94. While the accuracy of the "knitting women of the guillotine" is still debated among historians, the specter of that kind of revolutionary fervor did exist during the Reign of Terror -- later to be written into "A Tale of Two Cities" by Charles Dickens. The irrational illiberalism of the current "social justice" movement reminds me so much of what transpired in France in 1793. It has descended into the same "if you're not with us, you're against us" absolutist thinking. Among accepted members of the "tribe," merely asking a question is enough to get one "denounced." If one happens to be of the wrong identity (e.g. perceived as white, male, old, of European descent), one does not stand a chance in Hell of being considered human -- short of having to continuously give penance unto death. During the Reign of Terror, one could be denounced by a neighbor, friend, even family for the smallest of manufactured infractions, like NOT singing La Marseillaise with enough “passion.” Denouncement in those years guaranteed death under the blade. While the current “tribe” of illiberal social justice activists don’t have a real guillotine at their disposal to dispatch “heretics,” they do have the virtual guillotine of social media to destroy their lives piece by piece under the euphemism of “accountability.” I recently saw a photo of a TRA sporting large guillotine earrings, which makes me think that they would use a real guillotine if they could.

I would say that it would be advisable for these knitting clubs to read “A Tale of Two Cities” or perhaps venture into reading the history of the Reign of Terror. But it’s far more likely that they will consider Dickens and the historians to be “settler colonialists” and thus dismiss them entirely.

Expand full comment

I have no doubt a lot of wokeheads would be sending people to prison or death row as punishment for wrongthink and wrongspeak, if they had the power.

Expand full comment
Nov 1, 2022Liked by Jenny Holland

The internet has turned the entire world into middle school. Tribal affiliation and signaling has become as critical to (perceived) survival as in middle school because (perceived) threats of isolation, public shaming are greater than ever. In middle school and in adult life today you can lose your social support/livelihood because of one wrong (or wrongly interpretable) move. And since today this public sentencing lives on in a persistent historical record, the stakes are as high as they were back in middle school when survival (as we knew it) depended on tribal acceptance.

Expand full comment
author

Yes, I agree with this. It's like there are not even any adults left. All discourse is dominated either by a toddler mentality (hitting, screaming, tantrums, inappropriate taking off of clothes) or teen girl mentality, as in this case. I genuinely think this is not political issue at all, it's a parenting issue.

Expand full comment

Once upon a time, not that long ago, there was a stereotype of a corporate bigshot on a country club golf course utterly clueless about the travails of the working class. Today, that corporate bigshot is a big Democrat donor and a big donor to woke causes who not only is clueless about the problems of the working class but who is actively hostile to the working class who he blames for not being sufficiently deferential to his elite class status (those nasty MAGA people in the red hats you know).

Expand full comment
author

Nailed it.

Expand full comment

It's the same person though. Limousine Liberals...

Expand full comment
Nov 4, 2022Liked by Jenny Holland

Yes, it is a certain type. Whether it is a trust fund baby from a wealthy family oblivious to the problems of those who did not have similar advantages, or whether it is an old scholarship student who did very well financially and who thinks that was 100 percent because of him and 0 percent because of his opportunities in the USA, the mindset is the same.

Expand full comment
Nov 4, 2022Liked by Jenny Holland

I have seen this personally more than I would care to admit. When the world suddenly became openly political I narrowed my focus to groups with specific value. As a homeschooler I need to find out about interesting opportunities, so I have to just plug my nose sometimes and enter these groups on Facebook. It is sad that so many liberal moms have decided to go this route, but in a way they sorted for the rest of us. Everyone who didn’t follow their lead now knows we have shared values. We were the ones who avoided controversial topics, who had friends on all sides but didn’t really talk politics in public. Some of us were castigated in public (FB) for not saying what everyone else was. Remember silence is violence? I eventually took steps to narrow my focus even more, for my own well being. I avoided being drawn into arguments but just seeing them happen made my stomach turn the way it does when you see a video online of bullies assaulting one person unprovoked. Now I have rebuilt my community with all the other people like me who see what is happening, I’m much happier and my friendships are deeper. It was painful at the time but worth it.

Expand full comment

I ran a Life of Fred Facebook group. We would get infiltrated by the wokesters, who were mad that it was written by *an old white man*. I'd boot them as soon as I could. I left many other IRL and Facebook groups when they *attempted* to ridicule me over my firmly held beliefs and no pronouns on my name tag. Kiddo is 18 now and accepted to college. We made it just fine without them.

Expand full comment
Nov 5, 2022Liked by Jenny Holland

Love LOF! ❤️ Congrats on college too, hope it’s not a woke school

Expand full comment
Nov 5, 2022Liked by Jenny Holland

Fingers 🤞 it's hard to avoid. He's majoring in a math based program and has a solid foundation.

Expand full comment
Nov 4, 2022Liked by Jenny Holland

Why did she post the job opportunity in that group if she was looking for someone with a sense of humor😉?

Expand full comment
author

🤣

Expand full comment

Bari didn't post it to the FB group herself; a member of the group shared the Twitter link.

Expand full comment

There are multiple sides to any woman's personality. But there are also two flagship sides. Those two are a.) nurturing and caretaking, and b.) social control. Political correctness has taken a toll on having any meaningful discussion on what it means to be a woman. But I'll tell you -- if you want to see (b.) and how it maps around the world, read about the Afghan grandmas in Anand Gopal's amazing book on the Afghan War, 'No Good Men Among the Living'. The Taliban's enforcers of burqas, and persecution of women? That's right. It's the whole elderly women caste.

No surprises here. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

Expand full comment
author

This is in part why I don't buy the feminist "patriarchy" argument. Not because patriarchy does not exist, or that it's not oppressive. It that it's not as simple as women in patriarchies are all oppressed. In fact, women are extremely powerful, just in the private domestic sphere.

Expand full comment

Fascinating take. Thanks for sharing.

Expand full comment
Nov 4, 2022Liked by Jenny Holland

Was in a lawyer-mother group with thousands of members and eventually had to remove myself due to the nastiness of those who were most vocal. Not only was it painful to observe the women go after another member for, as an example, saying “Happy Holidays” (insulting because the recipient may not celebrate whatever holiday and well-intentioned is no excuse), but mind-blowing to me as a lawyer that these narrow-minded intolerant women were actually trained in law.

Expand full comment

It's always extra jarring when you use a term like "Happy Holidays" that you think is correct and then get attacked because you haven't educated yourself on the latest inclusive language.

Expand full comment
Oct 30, 2022·edited Oct 31, 2022Liked by Jenny Holland

Brilliant article, Jenny, one of my favourites. I've also witnessed this kind of behaviour on Fb. A couple of years ago, I was a member of some online female/spiritual group. It was all about celebrating the feminine, self empowerment, support, sisterhood, etc.. Then one day (and, yes, this was probably around or after the whole Trump/Brexit shocks, or possibly around the time of the BLM protests) one of the members ventured the question: 'Has political correctness gone too far?' And it generated a lot of response! At first, it was quite civil. People were discussing the question honestly. But, as the conversation went on, a few members went on the attack, and it completely spiralled out of control, until it was out and out war! Mostly, a lot of accusations of racism, bigotry etc...were levelled towards those who felt that political correctness/wokeism had gone too far. It got really nasty. In the end, the poor moderator had to shut the whole group down! Unbelievable!

Expand full comment
Nov 4, 2022Liked by Jenny Holland

Yes I got my first peek into FB batshittery of that kind around 2015 or so when I commented on a post in a group for children's literature that I had fond memories of the Little House on the Prairie books. I just appreciate that woman who was so kind and helpful to inform me that that means I am a vicious racist and protesting that I am not in fact racist and can understand that attitudes toward Native Americans in a different time and place belong there and not here just, of course, means, that I'm EXTRA EXTRA racist. ☺️

Expand full comment
author

It's like dealing with witchfinders general with this nonsense. Your defence is proof of your guilt.

PS I loved the Little House on the Prairie books. 🤣

Expand full comment

You aren't alone - I have fond memories too. And in fact, the scene in LHOTP where she watched the tribes being sent away is heart rending and was very thought provoking for me as a child.

Expand full comment

And there's a newer iteration of the batshit-crazy woke-girl meme than the photo above Last week a conserv comedian visited some U.S. college, and an unhinged 20something screamed and spit on him. It was surreal. Mememakers now put three women in a row: 1, Newest woke spitter; 2, Crazy-eyes (photo, above); and 3, Fake-Indigenous Elizabeth Warren. The three women bear some resemblance, so it's pretty funny.

Expand full comment
author

Yeah that girl was really something.

Expand full comment

I hope a meme-maker someplace puts her beside some Nazi woman photo circa actual Nazi Germany. Would work nicely.

Expand full comment

the eyes. it's always in the eyes. rage and cluster-b

Expand full comment
author

Cluster B is at the heart of all of this.

Expand full comment

I had to look up what "cluster B" means. Yep, fits perfectly.

Expand full comment
Nov 4, 2022Liked by Jenny Holland

Ah, The Heathers...

Expand full comment

Exactly the kind of reasons why I left both, Facebook and Massachusetts.

And it’s only going to get worse with that fascist Maura Healey being crowned next dictator of the Commonwealth.

Expand full comment
Nov 4, 2022Liked by Jenny Holland

I left Facebook. Unfortunately I'm married to a liberal and have not yet been able to convince her to leave Massachusetts. Never mind that we could probably trade our modest Massachusetts house, which still has 25 years of mortgage to pay, for a reasonable home in central Florida FOR CASH. Be all that as it may, I am praying to God that Healey loses though I think Diehl is simply not charismatic enough or accomplished enough to get the job. A good man, not a great man.

Expand full comment

Nothing screams has been like still being in a judgmental mommy group on Facebook. Facebook mommy groups like this are not a thing anymore for anyone under 50 outside of deep blue places, excepting maybe happy go lucky drinking clubs masqueradeing as book clubs scheduling their next in person wine tasting........ but even those have moved mostly to texting groups.

These women are destined to be those angry grumpy old women no one wants anything to do with (including their own children). The ones when normal women pass them on the street they look at whomever they are with and say “don’t ever let me turn into THAT when I get old.”

Expand full comment

Not in my area of NC. All the FB mom's of young kids are like that. Mostly mom's in 30s..

Expand full comment
Nov 4, 2022Liked by Jenny Holland

I followed a link from Bari Weiss blog today. You should apply! You are a great writer with a refreshing perspective.

Expand full comment
author

Oh my thank you very much! 🥰

Expand full comment

The girl in the first picture was most likely a Democrat. But OK 👍.

Expand full comment
Nov 4, 2022Liked by Jenny Holland

Michelle, thank you. This is important. The schools-media have done a phenomenal job of keeping people ignorant of the fact that the vast majority of southern white racists were Democrats. Google Dixiecrats, Orval Faubus, Sheriff Bull Connor. Senator and Klansman Robert Byrd. Etc

Expand full comment

I'm not American and I was very surprised when I finally figured this out. Then I would ask Americans on social media why they supported this guy who was BFFs with southern KKK Democrats for decades and I'd get ignored or berated, hahaha.

Expand full comment

Yes, Joe Biden spoke at Byrd's funeral. He spoke very highly of him.

Expand full comment

I noticed that. Imagine anyone with the scarlet R eulogizing a past Grand Wizard of the KKK! Weeping, wailing, gnashing of teeth, pounding of breasts, accusations of sedition and racism...But Joe Biden does it...crickets.

Expand full comment
Nov 4, 2022·edited Nov 4, 2022Liked by Jenny Holland

She didn’t say she was a democrat. She said she was a cultural conservative.

Expand full comment

Dearest Phillip,

The current political climate places the (R) on anyone who is considered *conservative*. You're being coy. No need for that.

Expand full comment
author

Dearest Michelle,

I absolutely agree with you that she was likely a Dem and that the Dems have successfully distracted from their racist past by conflating 'Republican' with 'fascist.'

I also agree with Phillip that the point of my post was not what party she would have voted for but which broad camp she would have fallen in at the time. Which was, again very generally, conservative.

Expand full comment
Nov 4, 2022Liked by Jenny Holland

Sorry, but not really sure what you’re getting at. Being against school integration was a conservative position in the 1950s. That’s all the author was saying. I think you’re reading into something that isn’t there.

Expand full comment

That's an important distinction. And all these labels are getting insanely confusing.

Expand full comment
Nov 4, 2022Liked by Jenny Holland

That's part of the plan. Saul Alinksy would be proud.

Expand full comment

Nuttier than fruitcakes.

Expand full comment
Nov 5, 2022Liked by Jenny Holland

“....it illustrates just how much the cultural left has become the conformist hegemony brutally policing any deviation from its religious beliefs.” Brilliant. Thanks for writing this piece.

Expand full comment
author

Thank you!

Expand full comment