The odds are you’ve already heard of the term social justice warrior (SJW). But what does it actually entail? What makes a person be a social justice warrior? Where does this term derive from and what does it stand for? These are all legit questions we’d like to talk about in today’s article.
Introducing Social Justice Warriors
Social justice warrior or SJW is a label or term utilized for describing groups of individuals that use social media and the internet for propagating certain values and principles. This term has actually been so widely used recently, that it was added to Oxford Dictionary back in 2015. This phenomenon appeared in the internet and it also demonstrates a connection between social media and critical thinking (How often do you question things?)
Originally, social justice is a term that has been around since 1840s. The last word – namely warrior, has only been added in the 1990s. At that moment, the label didn’t have a negative connotation. Nevertheless, over the course of time, it has become associated with obsessive online behavior, as opposed to being synonymous with activism in the non-digital world.
Therefore, at the time being, its connotation relies solely on intent and interpretation than on something specific, let alone useful.
What Is Social Justice?
In order to better understand this movement, you should be acquainted with the initial meaning of the term social justice. Essentially, this term originates from Catholic texts, and it actually entails the distribution of advantages and disadvantages to the members of a society. Thereupon, we could argue that social justice promotes the idea that each member of the society should benefit from equal political rights, opportunities, and distribution of wealth and privilege.
We could divide the issues covered by SJWs into two major categories. That is to say, activists focus on the many ways in which people are treated unequally due to their age, sex, gender, race, immigration status, disability or sexual orientation. Additionally, many activists concentrate on the ways in which government policies affect people, restricting their access to education, amongst other things.
With that in mind, what harm do social justice warriors do – considering that they promote equality?
Social Justice Warriors Stifle Free Speech
The truth is that the phenomenon of social justice warriors has influenced almost every aspect of modern life – social media being the most affected. The primary problem is that anyone who doesn’t fully agree with a social justice warrior will imminently be labeled as a right-winger, even if, in fact, they might have progressive viewpoints.
It can be difficult to express your viewpoints on the internet, especially nowadays. Inevitably, you are bound to be labeled as a closed-minded conservative or a social justice warrior. Even if you might want to navigate nuancing positions between the two, you are bound to be wrongfully accused from both parts.
Evidently, the access to free speech is of paramount importance especially when it comes to controversial topics. Therefore, nobody is indebted to agree with what is being said. Nonetheless, this very foundation of a democratic society is prone to be torn to pieces due to the fact that many of these activists are incapable of separating their prejudices from the system in which they live.
What Behaviors Do Social Justice Warriors Employ?
As pointed beforehand, the original connotation of the term social justice warrior was positive, in the sense that this implied fighting for a good cause. Still, the negative connotation surfaced when certain people started engaging in social justice debates for inauthentic reasons or for self-serving. That is to say, most social justice warriors pretend to hold strong principles, when, in fact, this is far from the truth.
Therefore, the main problem with these activists is that that they are hypocrites.
Hence, rarely do these social justice warriors manage to make any significant changes in the areas in which they supposedly fight. Is there any social justice warrior that has made notable improvements in terms of equality? Unfortunately, the answer is negative. As a matter of fact, the eruption of social justice warriors has made it perfectly acceptable to attack or hurt anyone else that doesn’t agree with their ideology.
Aside from that, even if social justice warriors propagate equality, they do this in a negative manner. To be more specific, as opposed to wanting women to be equal to men, activists blame white men for everything wrongful in life, calling them rapists, children molesters, among other shameful things.
Concurrently, instead of promoting race equality, activists seem to want white people to be enslaved, cheering the murder of innocent police, assuming that the police are anti-black.
Without a doubt, this is a controversial and complex topic. However, the main reason why we could argue that social justice warriors have a negative impact on our society is because they aim at deliberately stifling other people’s right to free speech. Most notably, though, the most disturbing aspect is that these activists hardly do anything for the things they supposedly fight for.