Titania McGrath, 24, is a radical intersectionalist vegan activist, feminist slam poet and the author of Woke: a Guide to Social Justice. She won’t meet me in person for security reasons – she fears doxxing – or send me a photograph of her face. Rather, she consents to an interview by email from her gîte in the Buis-les-Baronnies district of France, where she is “working on a new anthology of slam poetry which will end the patriarchy” in the nude. This is from her poem Cultural Appropriation:
Plunderbeast of history.
My ancestors scream in your hollow wigwam,
Ghostrolling in the ectoplasm of your hate.
I staunch the flow of simpering tribal sauce,
A digital sombrero clings deafblind
To a face falsely smeared in a coalish hue.
She wrote Woke because, “I was permanently banned from Twitter for a whole day. This gave me time to reflect on my subjugation as a woman in a patriarchal world and write a book about my oppression. The entire document is a masterpiece unparalleled in the history of the written word”.
I am not sure a book dedicated to the destruction of the Capitalist patriarchy should be available on Amazon but there is no contradiction for Titania: “I’m attempting to destroy the capitalist system from within, and the only way I can do that is to make a shit-load of cash”.
She is confident of good reviews, but she will not allow men to review Woke: “Any male who attempts to review my book will be committing a form of sexual assault”. (I hope the literary editor is reading this). She thinks men are the cause of all misery, and should wear blinkers, like horses: “They’re gruff. They’re bad-tempered. They have base sexual instincts. And they sleep standing up”.
Yet she does not identify as a woman: “For me, gender is not so much a spectrum but a kaleidoscopic ouroboros, in a state of perpetual self-nourishment. I am all genders and none.” She does not believe in love – a construct – but she has designed a Valentine’s card featuring Fred and Rosemary West: “For all their incest, murder, and regional accents, they were a shining example of a successful polyamorous relationship”. She describes herself as “polyracial – I generally fluctuate between white, black and vaguely beige” and she plans to transition to obesity: “being skinny is an act of passive-aggressive fat-shaming. If you don’t believe me, try gaining fifteen stone and hanging around with some gymnasts”.
What made her? Her education was, “fairly typical. I studied Modern Languages at Oxford University and then stayed on for an MA in Gender Studies where I wrote a groundbreaking dissertation on technopaganism and the corrosive nature of cis-masculine futurity. I only went to university so I could deplatform speakers and vandalise old statues of dead white colonialists”. She was raised by parents who “lavished” her with “gifts and money” in an attempt to distract her from her “oppression. It would,” she says, “have been better to have grown up on a council estate”.
Even so, “money has never really been something I’ve thought about very much. I do get annoyed by all these people complaining about the “economy” and having to resort to food banks when they could be on Twitter calling out sexist and transphobic jokes”.
Her own path to wokeness was inspired, “by the story of Jesus attacking the money-lenders in the temple. I did a similar thing when I was four years old in my local branch of HSBC. Believe me, it took them several minutes to pick up all those pens from the floor”.
Like Him, she would heal the world broken by Brexit: “Brexit has shown conclusively that democracy doesn’t work. In any case, only 1,269,501 more people voted to Leave than to Remain. No serious mathematician would consider that any kind of “majority”.
Her solution is a referendum to decide how to execute the leading Brexiteers – “eg hemlock, fire” or drowning them in liquids produced by Emily Thornberry. Leave voters, meanwhile, “should be branded on the forehead with the word “gammon”. They should not have access to housing, employment, or running water. That should teach them a lesson.”
For Titania, Theresa May is “the antiChrist”. (The other great threats to our security, she writes, are limericks and Crufts). She has more time for Anna Soubry – “she has the courage to ignore the wishes of her constituents when they vote the wrong way” – and for Jeremy Corbyn because he is “a good friend of Stormzy” and “adores grime music”. She is equally optimistic about the Independent Group: “They understand that working-class people don’t know what is best for them, and they’re brave enough to do something about it”.
She is not afraid for herself, “but I am deeply concerned that free speech extremists will find a way to prevent the state from monitoring what people say and think. We need to ensure that the police can arrest those who digress from woke ideas in order to prevent the rise of fascism”.
She is committed enough to run for president of the USA: “I am convinced that I can win over the electorate with some well-judged slam poetry. My announcement has already had over 2000 retweets, so I’m well on the way to victory”. She would, if successful, have Donald Trump flayed, and make a rug from his skin.
The patriarchy will always find a way to get its way. Titania has been dismissed as a parody – “unpersoned” – by Charles Moore in these pages. She denies this, and calls her defamation, “an inevitable consequence of being a truth-teller in a corrupt heteropatriarchal world. The Spectator is a foul pro-Brexit rag. Every copy should be incinerated. Except the ones my name appears in”.
Woke: a Guide to Social Justice is published on 7th March