Bethany Mandel Explains Why She Couldn’t Define Woke

Conservative author Bethany Mandel said she struggled to explain what “woke” meant during a talk show interview because the host was caught “humiliating parenthood” with a hot microphone before she spoke.

In a Twitter thread, Mandel tweeted a video of her in which Briahna Joy Gray, host of Hills web series Rising, asked her to define “awakened” during an interview.

Mandel stuttered and once said, “This is going to be one of those moments that goes viral.”

Mandel was on the show to discuss her new book, Stolen Youth: How Radicals Are Erasing Innocence and Indoctrinating a Generation.

The book claims that “the left is waging an all-out struggle against the American family, particularly its youngest members. If they can get our children … to question every building block of society and rebuild their entire concept of reality, then the left and their bright indoctrinators will see that as a victory,” reads their summary on Amazon.

The interview actually went viral.

Gray Joy asked what “woke” meant to her and if she would mind defining “woke” because it came up a few times in the interview.

“So, I mean, woke up is…um…kinda…the idea that…um…this me…is going to be one of those moments that’s going to go viral, I mean, woke up is something that’s very hard to define, and have that.” we spent a whole chapter defining it. It’s a kind of understanding that we have to completely reinvent and redesign society to create hierarchies of oppression,” she said. “Um… sorry… it’s hard to explain in a 15 second soundbite.”

Mandel is one of several conservative influencers and writers who have waged a war on “woke,” her preferred term for criticizing a range of progressive policies focused on gender and racial equality. Following the recent collapse of Silicon Valley Bank, a number of right-wingers said the bank collapsed because it was too “woke,” citing an employee who identified as “queer.”

Mandel also just yesterday repeated the “groomer” slur that has become popular among the far right, which seeks to brand LGBTQ communities as pedophiles.

A number of netizens howled in response to Mandel’s efforts to define a word so prominent in conservative critiques of public policy, especially given that she said, in her own words, she spent a chapter in her book on it to define it.

Now, Mandel claims she wasn’t able to define “wake” based on comments she heard from Gray before they went live.

“Just before we went on air, Briahna Joy Gray sat at a hot mic. I heard her degrading parenting in general in colorful and nasty terms, explaining that parents only have children to maintain their own narcissism,” she said in a tweet. “Robby [Soave, cohost of Rising] replied, “There are some good and some bad.”

But some commenters don’t buy the comment.

“‘I’m the victim!!!'” I shout, angry at being embarrassed for not being sufficiently articulate in my disparagement of minority groups,” one user wrote.

“I was distracted because my host is such a bad person you know,” another called.

Others posted memes about it.

Gray has not commented on the situation, but has liked several joking tweets about Mandel’s claims.


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*Initial publication: March 15, 2023 2:49 pm CDT

Jacob Seitz

Jacob Seitz is a freelance journalist originally from Columbus, Ohio, interested in the intersection of culture and politics.

Jacob Seitz Bethany Mandel Explains Why She Couldn’t Define Woke

Jaclyn Diaz

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