What on God’s green Earth is a “Social Justice Warrior“? Today, we take a better look at this apparently derogatory term for anyone who has socially progressive views. The term social justice warrior or SJW wasn’t always derogatory in its usage.
What did it begin as?
First spotted on the social media platform Twitter, an SJW was pretty much anyone who wanted to promote social progressiveness and equality. However, in its more recent incarnation, an SJW is a ‘slur’ used against people who engage in prolonged and aggressive debates against others about a range of topics. The topics closely associated to an SJW are politics, political correctness, feminism, and social injustice.
What’s so bad about that?
It would seem that the enthusiasm and self-righteousness of several bloggers and activists all lent credence to SJW becoming a derogatory term. The phrase ‘Check Your Privilege’ was a favored rhetoric of SJWs. It was a concept that expressed the idea that the body and life you are born with carries its own set of privileges that others do not have. While true in a sense, it was thrown in arguments a lot.
What made the idea of the SJW become so toxic is the fact that there are people out there that were overboard when it came to discussing social issues particularly those that revolve around gender equality.
So they’re all bad?
Not in the least. It should be noted that the term SJW is now a favored method of dismissing often valid views. When it comes to the concept of social justice, it is important to remember that it is not only what you are fighting for that should be thought of. The way in which you fight for your cause must be thought through carefully.
In its most toxic sense, an SJW was anyone who was thought to engage in lengthy and vitriolic debates for personal validation. The ideas of ‘tall privilege’ and disuse of gender pronouns for all have been credited to SJWs. Rather than bringing people together, they are divisive.
In its truest and original sense, an SJW is crucial to spearheading the awareness campaigns both online and offline. They are a credit to social awareness.
What should I do if I am called one?
First off, consider if your arguments were constructed based on calm and grounded logic. It is often easy to be carried away due to conviction. If you believe that your arguments do not warrant the degrading term, disengage from the conversation.
While it is important to fight against social injustices, it is ultimately more important to care for your mental health. Online discourse is often a murky swamp which never ends. Always remember: what other people think of you is more indicative of what sort of people they are. You have the choice to continue to engage or to walk away. It is ultimately up to you.
If you ever feel that your safety is in peril, never hesitate to consult legal avenues immediately.