I have to admit that I’m extremely confused here. A few months ago, I started to see strange memes on Instagram which were all very anti-social justice warriors. Since A, I had no clue as to what this is, and B, it looked like typical back-lash to me, I decided to finally look up the whole thing. This is what I found:
“‘Social justice warrior’ (commonly abbreviated SJW) is a pejorative term for an individual promoting socially progressive views, including feminism, civil rights, multiculturalism, and identity politics. The accusation of being an SJW carries implications of pursuing personal validation rather than any deep-seated conviction, and being engaged in disingenuous social justice arguments or activism to raise personal reputation, also known as virtue signalling.
The phrase originated in the late 20th century as a neutral or positive term for people engaged in social justice activism. In 2011 when the term first appeared on Twitter it changed from a primarily positive term to an overwhelmingly negative one. During the Gamergate controversy, the negative connotation gained increased use, and was particularly aimed at those espousing views adhering to social liberalism, cultural inclusiveness, or feminism, as well as views deemed to be politically correct.
WOW! So, other people presume they know what these individuals think and feel, and ridicule them for supposedly trying to improve their own social standing through fighting for the rights of minorities. Cool. Apparently working for others isn’t really a thing anymore. I mean, seriously, if you believe this, then all the people who work at places like: soup kitchens, food pantries, for United Services, NAFI, Habitat for Humanity and the like, are really only volunteering in order to make themselves “look good”. Of course, oftentimes others go to help out in the aftermath of a hurricane or tornado. So, these people also are only working in such a way to make themselves look good.
This, of course, is an attack on human and civil rights. In this way of thinking, no one really believes in helping others, they only do it to make themselves look better. Apparently, we’re just a collection of individuals who couldn’t care less about each other and only want to inflate our own egos. According to this logic, the following individuals really didn’t want to change anything, their motivation was to “look good”: Jane Adams (better housing for the poor, founding member of NAACP); Louis Brandeis (defended labor laws, etc.); Florence Kelley (fought against child labor); John Dewey (founder of NAACP, fought for freedom of ideas, etc.); Eleanor Roosevelt (advocated for worker’s and civil rights, etc.). I could go on and on, however, I’ll stop here. Many of the individuals who have worked for social justice have done so at their own peril. As it is, many people are arrested every day advocating for social justice. Yet, the logic of those who denigrate social justice warriors is that they only do so for their own social advancement. This is said in order to negate any good that comes out of working for the poor, downtrodden, and ignored in society. After all, if you’ve got yours, why bother helping others?
So, my take-away from this whole thing? I feel sorry for those with this kind of belief system. To spend your life making fun of others whose purpose is to make life better for everyone is just sad. Too sad.