Right-wing author Bethany Mandel mocked online after she couldn't define woke in interview

A right-wing author whose new book is centred around the idea of 'wokeness' has been ridiculed online for not being able to define the term in an interview. 

American author Bethany Mandel believes that progressive views are damaging to children and appeared on Youtube show The Rising Morning last week to discuss her latest book about this, Stolen Youth. 

Mandel has been widely mocked online after the show host Briahna Joy Gray asked her to clarify the meaning of woke. 

"It’s come up a couple of times and I want to make sure we’re on the same page," Gray said.

The video shows Mandel struggling with how to respond and stumbling over her words even saying "this is going to be one of those moments that goes viral". 

And she wasn't wrong, the video of her stumbling over her words and unsure of what to say has since received six million views. 

Many of those responding were amused by Mandel's lack of an answer and spoke out about conservatives' frequent misuse of the term, woke.

Dan Slott a comic book writer with a large following tweeted a response to the video saying "Dear News Shows, any time a politician says the word ‘woke’, ask them to define what they mean. The Far Right is starting to use ‘woke’ in the all-purpose way that Smurfs say ‘smurf’”.

“Oh my God. This Republican talking head was just left completely speechless when asked what ‘woke’ actually means,” podcast host Brian Tyler Cohen wrote.

Davidson public policy professor Issac Bailey wrote, “woke was a positive term used by folks (mostly black) who wanted to be aware of things larger and more important than themselves but is clearly just a slur when used by Bethany Mandel and others. There’s no reason to pretend otherwise”.

The author responded to the online backlash in a post to Newsweek saying prior to going on air she heard the host speaking about parents in what she believed to be a negative way. 

As a mother of six, she says this startled her and made her fear the questions she may be asked on the show. 

She says she was on edge during the interview awaiting an ambush against her personal life and when asked the question to define woke, she was unable to answer.

"By that point, the panic attack had arrived and I was rendered speechless…Eventually, I sputtered out what I thought was a decent definition of the word, but by then it was too late."

She says she often feels attacked by 'liberals' for her approach to parenthood which is why she wrote the book criticising the supposed influence of progressive views on youth.

In the post, she also shared that the backlash has been hard on her mental health and is spending time with family as she moves forward with further publicity for the book.