10 Unmistakable Signs of a Woke Dude.


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Let’s be honest: this latest news cycle has been rough.

The situation with Brett Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford along with the subsequent Senate Judiciary Committee hearing was just plain disturbing.

First, because the country has gotten to such a place where a person like Kavanaugh is being considered for the Supreme Court at all and second—and even more difficult to reconcile—that sexual assault is now debatable fodder for social media trolls to weigh in with their misguided and awful opinions.

It seems like all of the news coming out of Washington is screaming pretty loud and clear, “We don’t care!” to women everywhere, and it’s hard not to feel angry. We need to revere our women, not disenfranchise them.

I will leave my humility aside for a moment and shout it to the world: I am a “woke” dude.

I feel it internally and viscerally when a woman—and in these recent days—when all women are being subjected to the insensitivity of the patriarchy and the pervasive fraternity culture.

If you think you too are a “woke” dude, check your attitudes against the following 10 traits:

1. He wants to smash the patriarchy. Men have been running the show practically since the dawn of time and, well, look where we are now. A reality TV personality and confessed sexual predator is running the country and giving all of his gross friends positions of power. It’s time to try something different.

2. He welcomes the anger. Some men take it personally when women take to social media to vent their scathing anger. Sorry, but that makes you less than “woke.” A man “in the know” understands exactly why there is so much vitriol and even feels pretty good when he sees it.

3. He raises courageous daughters. I have three daughters, and because of this, I feel as though I have been given the precious opportunity to help socialize them differently than women have been socialized in the past. I don’t play into this princess pretty narrative. My girls don’t have to learn to be beautiful. They were gifted with that at birth. What they need to learn is to be tough and to be fearless.

4. He raises emotionally intelligent sons. As long as we are tossing aside the age-old habit of teaching our daughters to be passive and deferential, why don’t we also teach our sons to be sensitive to their needs as people in this society. Isn’t it about time?

5. He will not watch mainstream TV or movies. Let’s face it, the mainstream is where most of the unhelpful stereotypes of women live. Shows such as “Second Wives Club,” and “The Platinum Life” do absolutely nothing to raise women up in our society. Woke dudes won’t go near it. We experience a natural revulsion to it.

6. Powerful women make his heart throb. I have had the pleasure of meeting one of the most powerful female CEOs in the country recently, and I have to tell you, I almost turned to putty. There is nothing that makes me feel better about being alive than the thought of a woman running sh*t. It’s nothing short of life-affirming.

7. Relationships. A woke dude approaches intimate relationships with the idea that he is there to give and not to get. The days of the average schlub going into a relationship and politely jumping through the right hoops to wind up in the bedroom—those days are coming to a close. And, really, this cannot be a bad thing. As woke dudes, we need to help cultivate change in society and this is a great place to begin.

8. He never objectifies women. This thing that I see some guys do—you know, where they leer over beautiful women like they’re inspecting a side of beef—that’s pretty gross. A woke dude keeps his eyes in his head and his neck straight. With all of the challenges that women face in our culture, the average guy does not need to add to it by engaging in this type of behavior. Besides that, it’s creepy.

9. Sexual attitudes. A woke dude views sexual relationships as the manifestation of something larger than a notch on a bedpost. Sexuality should be an organic outgrowing of feelings toward someone you care about intensely. Anything less than that is simply lame. A woke dude is never lame.

10. He listens. A woke dude knows the inherent difference between actively listening to their partner and impatiently waiting for their partner to get done talking, so they can continue with their overblown ideas. Women have had the grave misfortune of enduring this sort of behavior since time immemorial.

Now I may have left a few things out, but I believe this captures the essence of what it means to be a “woke” dude. Either way, whether you are pro level woke or just getting there recently, it doesn’t really matter too much.

What matters is that you understand the need to change and you are trying. Right now, as a society, we will gladly accept any attempt you’d be willing to make. We need to get behind our women now more than ever.


author: Billy Manas

Image: Romain Robe/Unsplash

Editor: Catherine Monkman


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Billy Manas

Billy Manas is a poet, singer-songwriter, and truck driver from the Hudson Valley in New York, where you can catch his act at wine tastings and breweries. His distinct voice in both song and poetry is likely the result of his degree in literature and his teenage years spent outside of CBGB’s on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. His new book “Rockstar Recovery” will be available everywhere Fall 2019. Catch up with Billy on his website.

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maryschnorrenberg Feb 10, 2019 7:42am

Amen brother!

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Billy Manas Oct 8, 2018 2:03am

Thank you Courtney. I will have one coming out this month where I will be discussing the perfect storm that brought us the #timesup movement. I believe you may find it very interesting.

Billy Manas Oct 8, 2018 2:01am

Thank you Sukriti. That makes me feel incredibly good.

Courtney Barrow Oct 7, 2018 7:04pm

I'd love to read more articles about and from the perspective of a woke dude! This was a pleasant surprise!

Sukriti Chhopra Oct 7, 2018 4:35am

Great article Billy. I've loved a lot of your writing in the past, but this one is the best so far!

Sharon Humphreys Oct 6, 2018 4:54am

Julia Flynn This culture has never "served us".....we've always been the "servers" . It's designed by, and for men. My advice to any woman is get the fuck out of the way of the trainwreck ...it's rotten from the inside, and will consume itself. I say this as an ex-tomboy only "girl" on the soccer team, the only "girl" in the office etc.

Billy Manas Oct 6, 2018 3:23am

Wow! I really appreciate the vote of confidence, Mary. Thank you.

Billy Manas Oct 6, 2018 3:22am

Thank you Bianca!

Mary Martha Oct 6, 2018 12:07am

So glad you wrote this!! As I read, I was thinking, I bet this is Billy! Great job, from a tough and fearless woman!

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Bianca Lane Oct 5, 2018 10:11pm

Fantastic, Billy. Thankyou for writing this. Keep up the good work!

Bruno Germain Oct 5, 2018 5:34pm

Do I detect a note of condescendence ? Your post was already viral by the time I commented, so surely the "tone", not only the message, resonated with many. Sorry to be the squeeky wheel. But for the main part, I still beleive that in order to not posture as a "woke dude", to be able to receive with an open heart the anger, the tears, the frustrations, etc. of Carole (and many other women) that are not necessarely aimed at me but at men in general, to not just have your heart moved by a powerful women but to stand by her and push her forward, one needs to be deeply rooted, strong and at peace with the fact he his a man. Anything else would be deceitful.

Billy Manas Oct 5, 2018 2:27pm

Stephanie Brail alright. Well not everyone is going to agree with everyone and that is healthy and normal. Thank you for commenting. Everyone’s opinion is valid.

Stephanie Brail Oct 5, 2018 2:19pm

Billy Manas Not all the accusations in #MeToo were by women - some accusations were by men who were sexually assaulted. That seems to be forgotten in this current trend of making women into victims and men into the universal enemy. What's the difference between being a girl or a boy who was sexually assaulted? Should there be? Are we taking women victims more seriously? I think we are. And the thing is, a boy actually has even less incentive to report sexual abuse due to the additional shame. If his assaulter was a female, adults blow it off, saying that he was "lucky" to have attentions from an older woman. We make the assault and abuse of boys and men into no big deal. All that said, I think it is dangerous to have no statute of limitations and allow anyone with a potential grudge, male or female, to claim someone sexually assaulted them decades after the fact with no corroborating evidence. I believe the presumption of innocence is far more important to uphold than revenge against a perpetrator - because, if you wait that long, you are no longer acting to protect others, but to get some sort of revenge or catharsis for yourself. Now, I can understand a child being afraid to speak up. But if you are an adult, and someone has truly acted in a violent way, you need to report it as soon as possible to protect others. If you wait decades later, it is too late to save those interim victims. There are also degrees of hurt and trauma. My sexual harassment was nothing compared to the pain and terror of a young girl who is forced into marriage and then gets acid thrown in her face for trying to run away. Should she get priority over my issues? Yes, I think she should. Because it's life and death for her. Me having some guy in a business context make a comment about how I'm "fuckable" pales in comparison. Now, I'm not saying that women don't also get killed here by violent men, but there is absolutely nothing in the American legal system that *encourages* that, whereas in some localities, women being stoned for being raped is the *law.* So in terms of dismantling patriarchies, yes, I'd start there first. I'm simply not convinced that in the West we have a problem with "patriarchy" so much as a problem with people doing bad things, which is a universal problem, and not something that will be solved by making men into the enemy.

Billy Manas Oct 5, 2018 1:38pm

I'm really trying to comprehend the overall message of this comment. I think what you are essentially trying to say is that women in America have it good enough for now and all efforts at this point should be directed toward women in other countries. I mean, I get it--I'm not so sure these things are mutually exclusive. Of course, on an anecdotal level, if you are a girl who has been sexually assaulted last week, there's little comfort in the fact that women in America are doing better than women in China. Especially if you don't feel safe enough to report it.

Stephanie Brail Oct 5, 2018 1:00pm

I believe women in the Western world have unprecedented opportunity and equality, more so than any other time in human history. Women in some other cultures, not so much. I would prefer if today's feminists would focus on more elevating women around the world who truly need help, and stop making Western women into victims of some vast patriarchal conspiracy. I'm talking about women in other countries who don't have basic rights, can't go outside with a male escort, get stoned if they are a rape victim, are forced into marriages as children, etc. Or let's talk about girls who don't get educations in India because they are girls, or who are afraid to go to school because they don't have a private bathroom where they can deal with their periods. We are obsessed with abortion rights here, but don't seem to care about all the women in China who are forced to have abortions due to their one child law - oh wait, that's now solved, now they can have two children, so the abortions are only forced if you get pregnant three times. Great! Where's the Handmaid's Tale TV show about women forced to abort? Is that not just as bad? (And I'm pointing a finger also at American pro-life groups, who spend all their efforts on the US and ignore China.) And yes, I've been sexually harassed, date raped, etc. But a good number of my male friends have also been victims of sexual predators as children. I read stories in the news daily about female teachers preying on their young male students. Why is it somehow OK when a female teacher has pedophilia predilictions that she acts on in school?? Yes, we have a sexual predator problem in this country, but let's get honest with ourselves and knowledge that both men and women can be the perpetrators. As a young feminist in my 20s, I fought for equal treatment, not special treatment.

Billy Manas Oct 5, 2018 4:16am

This article is not really about Kavanaugh and if I am reading you correctly, I believe you are insinuating that the hearing was not really about whether to appoint a known predator to the Supreme Court but an empty attempt by liberals to sway the outcome in their favor. I disagree. It is of course only my opinion, but I believe the crux of the matter rests with the quality of person that we, as Americans, want legislating for us. As I said, this is only my frivolous opinion--of course I am not a serious student of the judicial system--but I believe since we are still referring to our government as a democracy, I have a right to have one.

Pat Cochran Baker Oct 5, 2018 3:37am

Billy, I don’t even know where to start. Where in your vast world experience have you even slightly earned the right to begin speculate on Brett Kavanaugh’s worthiness for the Supreme Court? Do you know the requirements or the resumes of current or past Supreme Court members? Do you have a grasp of what is at stake for liberal leaning people if he is chosen, or why that possibility would lead them to unearth or fabricate any possible allegation that would delay or derail his nomination? We are talking a gutter fight for territory here. Your best bet would be to listen to some moderate conservatives or at least serious students of our judicial system. It is the last best chance this country has to remain true to our Constitution and to fairly, without political bias, to enforce the laws of this land. Desperate, politically encouraged attempts to disgrace this man’s reputation will not hold up to public inspection. But they have brought this country’s opponents to a very public and revealing low in morality, patriotism, and honesty to an all time low.

Billy Manas Oct 5, 2018 2:37am

Absolutely Toni!

Toni Crans Oct 5, 2018 1:08am

Thanks for being a woke dude! Sometimes us women forget the good guys are out there because of how often we get treated a certain way. Gives me hope that we are not alone and we are not the only ones standing up for ourselves. The main thing we need to remember that there are both men and women on our side and we will get through this together!!

Billy Manas Oct 4, 2018 10:22pm

Thank you Melanie!

Billy Manas Oct 4, 2018 10:21pm

That is SOME compliment. Thank you Evans!

Billy Manas Oct 4, 2018 10:21pm

Thank you Wendy!

Billy Manas Oct 4, 2018 10:20pm

Carole this is one of the nicest comments I’ve ever ever gotten. Thank you 🙏