Woke and Womanity
Posted: 06 March 2017 02:00 PM   [ Ignore ]
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I was reading this article on Slate which has the following headline:

Watch Cecily Strong Fend Off Woke Men on Saturday Night Live

Woke? I can only presume it means wakened or awakened men, ie awakened to feminism, but if so it seems an odd form of the verb to use. The article brings no illumination and unfortunately the video isn’t available for the UK so there’s no assistance there. Is this an Americanism or have I missed something obvious?

BTW if you follow the link in that article to the wiki on the Declaration of Sentiments at Seneca Falls in 1848 you’ll read this in the third paragraph:

An article in the Oneida Whig published soon after the convention described the document as “the most shocking and unnatural event ever recorded in the history of womanity.”

That term was new to me but I see it has an OED entry and some modern cites. (The cites I use are selective.)

womanity, n.

Freq. humorous.

1. Women considered collectively; womankind.

1836 J. Galt in Tait’s Edinb. Mag. New Ser. 3 99/2 Judith set out for the ball-room; partly to obtain a sight of so much fine company, or their fine dresses, (which object had drawn together half the humbler womanity of Portmullins).
1970 O. Petrova Black Virgin 62 What a mouthful of words to impress the stupid rabble-babble called womanity.
2004 R. Thomashauer Mama Gena’s Marriage Man. (2005) iv. 132, I deserved first-class travel and spas and a designer-only wardrobe. After all, look what I had done for womanity!

2. The disposition, character, or qualities traditionally attributed to women; womanliness.

1843 E. B. Browning Let. 7 Aug. in Lett. R. H. Horne (1877) I. xviii. 81, I will be secret beyond womanity, if you are frank beyond discretion.
2006 Z. Wanner Madams p. x, It is a sad reality that in South Africa my ‘womanity’ is still defined by how well I cook and clean.

Womankind and womanliness would seem to fit the bill for senses 1 and 2 respectively but I guess variety is the spice of life and there’s always room for humour!

[ Edited: 06 March 2017 02:03 PM by aldiboronti ]
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Posted: 06 March 2017 03:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Woke is an African-American slang term meaning socially aware. It’s been around in African-American speech for a while, but has been making inroads into white speech in the last six months or so. It was the runner up for the American Dialect Society WOTY this past year.

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Posted: 06 March 2017 10:41 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Ah, missed that. Thank you, Dave.

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