Dear angry people–
It’s come to my attention many of you believe Social Justice Warrior is an insult.
For all those people, here’s an honest question: Do you know what the words social, justice, and warrior mean?
I am of the opinion they’re all GOOD things. Warrior means someone willing to fight for what matters to them. Social justice, or the concept that all members of our society should have access to the same rights and opportunities, means stuff like:
Big corporations paying people fair wages
Cops not shooting unarmed people for no reason
Movies and TV shows not constantly objectifying women
If you honestly disagree with those things and want to insult people who choose to fight for them, here are some other insults you could try:
Big Ol’ Human Rights Head
Mister Thinks Murder Is Wrong Guy
Those examples at least have some negative words in them.
I understand you’re trying to make Social Justice Warrior an insult by saying it sarcastically. It’s meant to be said in quotation marks, dripping with irony, followed by a loud “pffffft” noise, and perhaps a masterful mime impression of masturbation. But really ANY good thing can be an insult if you go “pfffft” after it.
You make a lot of money. Pfffft.
You’re emotionally well-adjusted. Pffft.
Your shoulders look muscular. Pffffft.
I tried to get at this issue in a more succinct way when I tweeted this:
Trying to insult someone by calling them a Social Justice Warrior is like getting in their face and yelling, "You're a decent human being!"
— Joseph Scrimshaw (@JosephScrimshaw) October 4, 2014
I got a lot of angry responses to that tweet explaining why Social Justice Warrior is a great insult. Those responses included several interesting alternative insults including:
(and my favorite)
Mister Slippery Slope
None of those are particularly effective insults either. Let’s take a look at each of them.
This one is pretty good. At least most of our culture agrees it’s bad to be a fascist. A lot of the people who think Social Justice Warrior is a great insult think their freedom of speech is being threatened. I know this because I’ve read 800 blog posts about them losing their free speech. Please ping me if you don’t understand the irony of that and I will respond with some sort of flowchart.
Basically, it goes like this.
PERSON A: I think Redskins is a racist name and it should be changed.
PERSON B: You’re limiting my free speech!
PERSON A: No, I’m calling you a racist.
PERSON B: Pfffft. (Masturbation gesture.)
That’s a conversation. Not one to be particularly proud of, but no fascist limiting of free speech there.
Yes, I was insulted for being imaginative. This person’s argument was that Social Justice Warriors don’t matter because social justice is just an “imaginary concept.” Surprising news that one can’t fight for a concept. DEMOCRACY and RELIGION will be shocked to hear this.
I get called a White Knight on twitter basically any time I say something remotely decent about gender issues. The claim is that by having and stating a non-hateful opinion about gender issues, I’m riding in like a white knight to save and/or impress women. This is problematic for many reasons. First off, thank you for thinking that I’m strong, reliable, and valiant like a knight! You basically just called me Superman! Unfortunately, my shoulders are not that muscular.
But the Superman analogy only works up to a point. I say things about social justice because they’re issues I believe affect our culture as a whole. White Knight suggests Superman is just rescuing Lois Lane after she fell out of a helicopter. What Social Justice Warriors are doing is trying to stop a meteor from destroying the entire planet. Lois Lane can, and does, rescue herself.
Mister Slippery Slope:
We’re all familiar with the slippery slope. We shout it anytime something we don’t like is about to happen with all of the calm, intelligent, reflection of shouting “shotgun” when we want to ride in the front of a car.
Marriage equality was supposed to be a slippery slope which is why so many cats are getting married now. Cats aren’t getting married now. That was a joke to illustrate the slippery slope thing. Again, flowcharts can be made available. Also, someone please send me a link to all the tumblr posts of cats getting married that are probably out there.
Happy cat marriage tumblr thoughts aside, I think slippery slopes are at the very heart of the Social Justice Warrior debate.
I think they’re causing the fear that motivates the anger.
If you admit some of the video games you like are objectifying women, you might have to stop playing them.
WHERE WILL IT END THEN? WOULD YOU ACTUALLY HAVE TO LEARN TO RESPECT WOMEN? OR PAY THEM EQUALLY? LOOK HOW FAST WE’RE SLIPPING TOWARD TREATING ONE ANOTHER WITH RESPECT AND BASIC HUMAN DECENCY! DAMN YOU, SOCIAL JUSTICE WARRIORS!
Maybe no one from the other side of the argument will find this blog. But if you do and it makes you mad, let me try to help. I’m not being a White Knight. I’m not being Superman. I’m just a person who used to be young and angry, too.
If you’re angry because you think equal rights somehow means taking your rights away, I say let the anger go.
Life is like a video game and the hate is a big, bad, pain-in-the-ass Boss Monster. Try defeating it with a hug, some counseling, some empathy, anything. Just get in there and do your best.
If you disagree with me, by all means, use your free speech. Have a discussion.
And if you’re too angry to even manage that, go ahead and call me names. I would suggest jerk, asshole, or shithead. Or maybe get creative and try out something weird and fun like idiotface, weakshoulders, or dunceburger.
Or you can try to insult me by calling me a Social Justice Warrior.
But that will just make me proud. Because it is the worst insult ever.
If you want to know more about social justice issues and the recent attacks on women in the gaming industry, there’s an overview here. If you enjoy my posts, check out Patreon and the kind patrons who make them possible.