LONDON — This just in: former Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May thinks she’s “woke.”
Speaking on Times Radio with ex-Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson Friday, May was asked whether she is woke — a term broadly defined but often pilloried on the political right for its focus on social justice and identity.
May agreed she met the definition “of somebody who recognizes that discrimination takes place,” and said of the word woke: “Sadly, that term has come to be used … as part of this absolutism and polarization of politics.”
Pressed further by Davidson on whether she’s aligned with the term, May said: “I am, yeah! It’s a bit like being asked in the old days, was I a feminist? Well, I wore a T-shirt that said ‘This is what a feminist looks like.’”
May — ousted from office by her own Tory party in 2019 amid Britain’s Brexit drama — has been outspoken in her support for transgender people, a position that puts her at odds with some parts of the Conservative tribe.
As prime minister, she put forward plans to allow self-ID — where people can define their own gender without a medical diagnosis of gender dysphoria. But they were scrapped by her successor Boris Johnson, and May has warned the U.K. is at risk of “sliding back” on LGBTQ+ rights.
Her legacy at the U.K.’s Home Office is much more controversial on the left, however. May introduced a “hostile environment” policy aimed at reducing access to public services for undocumented migrants, while the Windrush scandal saw people who legally came to the U.K. from the Caribbean decades ago wrongfully deported and mistreated.