As if there weren’t enough terms for weird things people do during dating, including ghosting, breadcrumbing and orbiting, we’ve got another one. Yes, another one. This time, it’s *wokefishing*.

What is wokefishing, you ask? Well. A play on the common term catfishing (side note: remember when that was a new thing?), wokefishing is when someone uses a mirroring technique to appear involved or an ally to progressive social causes, for example BLM, to get in someone’s pants. Yeah, you heard right. People who actually pretend to care about social and human justice issues as a tool to get laid. I’m smiling, but I’m inwardly screaming.  

What exactly is *WOKEFISHING*?

Coined by journalist Serena Smith in a piece for Vice, wokefishing is when a “wokefish may at first present themselves as a protest-attending, sex-positive, anti-racist, intersectional feminist who drinks ethically sourced oat milk and has read the back catalogue of Audre Lorde, twice. But in reality, they don’t give a shit,” she says, “It’s sort of like catfishing, but specifically with political beliefs.” For example, imagine you’re with someone who declares themselves a feminist, but slut-shames and belittles women when they’re with their friends. Or someone proudly displays #BLM in their dating bio, but they make casually racist jokes because they’re ‘funny’ and say you’re “too sensitive” when you call it out. This is wokefishing and it’s not okay but unfortunately, usually, once the wokefisher has revealed its true colours (scales?), it’s too late. I spoke to Beth, 27 who said: “I’ve only recently spotted the term ‘wokefishing’ - I wouldn’t have put a name to it previously, but I think this has happened to me! Around the time when BLM was at its peak, I was being very vocal on Instagram. This guy would like and comment on everything I posted with supportive feedback, but when I went to talk to him about it, it was very surface-level and I didn’t feel like he actually ‘got it’, although he was claiming to be an ally. I did go on a date with him and any time I tried to bring up a heavy topic, he would skirt over it and bring the conversation back to inane chat.” “I felt like he didn’t actually have any steadfast opinions at all. Such a shame - but I guess I was wokefished,” she said. Not that we need anything else to watch out for in the current world of dating, here’s how to spot those pesky wokefishers in the wild.  

How can I tell if I’m being wokefished?

When you meet someone new, it’s likely that you will agree and disagree on topics - that’s fine and normal. To that end, watch out for people who are extremely agreeable with everything you say. It’s likely you haven’t found your soulmate, they just really like the look of your profile picture and want to get a closer look at you.

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