On 29 November 2022 Rod Liddle delivered the New Culture Forum’s 2022 Smith Lecture to a sold-out audience in central London. The title of his talk was “The Story of Woke: How the West Went Mad”.Rod Liddle – The Feminist Roots of Woke: How The West Went Mad. THE NCF SMITH LECTURE 2022. – YouTube
From cancel culture, deplatforming and policing free speech, to the extremism of Trans radical activists, Black Lives Matter and Extinction Rebellion, “woke” ideology has permeated almost every aspect of public — and increasingly private — life. Not even the English language has escape unscathed.
How did we arrive in a world of “chestfeeding” “pregnant people”, where even the most basic definition of “woman” can tie a political party in knots? A world where police can tell a member of the public to “check your thinking”, where institutions hide statues of national heroes and where employees are forced to take absurd courses drenched in pseudo-intellectual theories of race and gender?
In this entertaining talk, Rod Liddle traces the myriad origins of the woke movement, tying it to feminism, in particular.
One of Britain’s most-read columnists, Rod Liddle is known for his acerbic wit and his willingness to tackle difficult or controversial topics. He was the editor of the Today Programme and currently writes for The Sunday Times, The Sun and The Spectator (where is an associate editor).
His published works include Too Beautiful for You (2003), Love Will Destroy Everything (2007), The Best of Liddle Britain (co-author, 2007) and the semi-autobiographical Selfish Whining Monkeys (2014). He has presented television programmes, including The New Fundamentalists, The Trouble with Atheism, and Immigration Is A Time Bomb.
THE SMITH LECTURE
The Smith Lecture is the NCF’s flagship annual event and is delivered by a nationally or internationally significant figure from the arts, media, politics or academia noted for their involvement in the “culture wars”.
2017: Douglas Murray, journalist & author
2018: Nigel Farage MEP
2019: Dr. David Starkey, historian & broadcaster
2021: Neil Oliver, author & broadcaster
2022: Rod Liddle, journalist & author