A Beginner’s Guide to Woke-Signaling at the Movies

Adora Svitak
Sep 6, 2018 · 2 min read

Before MoviePass goes completely bankrupt, use it to your advantage: watch some movies and signal your woke-ness to your friends, family, and everyone who follows you on social media.

  1. Choose to watch any number of recent releases about a marginalized group, such as Sorry to Bother You (African-Americans), the Miseducation of Cameron Post (LGBTQ kids), or Crazy Rich Asians (Asian-Americans).
  2. Announce on Twitter that you plan to see this film. Make sure you include the words “important” and “timely.” Bonus points if you include an imperative statement: “Go watch this important and timely film.” This will make other people who also Care About Things feel bad if they haven’t yet seen the movie. The people who have seen it will like your tweet. Success!
  3. During the movie screening, make extremely loud noises of condemnation when injustice happens. Wide eyes are not enough. Vigorous head shaking and loud sighs are better.
  4. Whenever a person from a marginalized group stands defiantly on top of something, such as a table or a car, cheer more loudly than you did for Harry Potter in Deathly Hallows. Harry Potter didn’t have to deal with gentrification.
  5. Cry.
  6. Draft a powerfully emotional Facebook post about crying, preferably linking it to a childhood experience. If you are not from one of the marginalized groups in the movie and have no pertinent childhood experience, write that you are thinking of your one [marginalized group here] friend and their pertinent childhood experiences, which you have not asked them for permission to share. Tag them so their friends like your post.
  7. As the credits roll, speak sagely about how much you admire the film’s director and actors, who you just looked up on Wikipedia. Imply that your friends are behind the times if they are not closely following these personages. Ask, “Did you read Boots Riley in Jacobin?” Look surprised when they say no.
  8. While walking out of the theater, scroll through critical think pieces that ask if the movie you just saw does enough, or even actively harms the Cause. What the Cause is is not clearly articulated, but you support it.
  9. If the movie you just saw does not pass the Bechdel Test, say to everyone in earshot that you were disappointed by the lack of speaking roles for women.
  10. If it passes the Bechdel Test but the women talking to each other were mostly white, complain about White Feminism™. Your feminism is intersectional and extends to all womxn, except the sort of grungy-looking one who asks to borrow your phone outside the theater to make a call, because you think she might steal your phone.