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Social Justice vs SJ

“SJW's are the worst people ever. Ever.
I thank them for making the internet even more fun.”

Nonny, July 12, 2012

“It's an irregular verb. I care about social justice, you go a bit too far sometimes, she's a SJW.”
Nonny, April 9, 2015

Whoa, big topic. Okay. “SJ” stands for “social justice,” right, but not actual social justice. It refers to the misuse of social justice terms to get your own way in fandom and tear down disagreement. We used to refer to people who did SJ as “SJers,” but it has morphed into “SJW” or “SJ Warriors.”

God damn am I sick, in general, of the whiny, overly precious people in fandom that can't seem to so much as look at something bad without getting the vapors. That Holocaust fic was fucking stupid and offensive, but you can just say “this is fucking stupid and offensive” without going into oh my God how you can't stop shaking you're going to throw up and cry all over blah de blah. I don't understand how these small, shaking animal types deal with life on a day to day basis.
I'm not even talking about people with legit triggers and disorders – I have those and sometimes they make me react really stupidly to things! I'm just talking about these twee assholes who appropriate spoon theory and apparently have fits of apoplexy whenever someone acts like an idiot on the internet.


However, as of 2014, with the advance of Gamergaters and other people with right-wing sensibilities adopting the term as an epithet for anyone who's anti-racist etc., many nonnies are backing away from “SJW.” For example, in November of that year, one nonny linked to Andrew Sullivan's column on “SJWs” and asked, “Has the term “SJW” finally, officially, jumped the shark?”

Origin of the term 'SJW'

In February 2016, one nonnie gave a brief history of the term SJW:

The term originally was a derivation from 'keyboard warriors,' a phrase used to refer to bloggers who were super gung-ho about the Iraq War but who had not ever actually served in the military. Such bloggers often acted as if their blogging made them sort of warriors-by-proxy; they boasted about how “we” were going to take out the Iraqi Army, or wrote how their struggle in the “culture war” was as important as the one undergone by the actual American infantry. So some liberals began calling them 'keyboard warriors' to mock their attitude that a few blog posts was basically the same thing as storming Fallujah.

Other characteristics of the keyboard warriors was that they tended to be really vehement and aggressive and took anything-goes approaches to advancing their cause. After all, in war you don't play nice but instead seize enemy territory with every resource at your disposal, and these keyboard warriors thought they were at war, so it fit. Also, many of them didn't seem to care about the military in any other context; they opposed funding the VA at appropriate levels, for instance, or were dismissive of the “soldiers had to pay for their own body armor” scandal. So they acquired a reputation as people who didn't actually care about the military but just liked to posture about it to look good.

Later, with the rise of social media, certain progressives began taking similar approaches. These particular liberals acted as if a few retweets or 'likes' on Facebook made them a bold warrior for justice like Rosa Parks or Nelson Mandela. They acted like they were in a real war instead of just a blog spat. (After prominent SJW Kynn committed rape, for instance, another prominent SJW wondered if Kynn had developed PTSD as a result of arguing about social justice on the Internet, much as soldiers can develop PTSD after combat, and asked if this could excuse Kynn's actions).They acted without any sense of restraint or proportion, because they're at (culture) war and in war the stakes are so high that you can't afford to play nice but instead must do whatever it takes to win. And many of them didn't seem to actually care about social justice ideals, casually offending and hurting other people with nary a qualm, unless they could use those ideals to puff themselves up and make themselves look good.

And so, since these people shared so many traits with the aforementioned keyboard warriors, they were deemed Social Justice Warriors. Different party, but same concept.

Later, of course, the term was applied to basically anyone left of Vox Day

SJ Warriors

Sometimes these people have great things to say. However, lots of times they get caught up in the dogpiling and shunning.

SJ Communities

Not necessarily created for the purpose of SJ or populated entirely by SJers, but they have a tendency to go that way. (LJ = LiveJournal; DW = Dreamwidth; JF = JournalFen)

Anti-SJW Communities

A number of Tumblrs have emerged to mock SJWs. Sometimes they're right, sometimes they're really wrong, but they're usually worth checking out:

Various f_fa discussions about SJ

social-justice-vs-sj.txt · Last modified: 2021/08/30 20:26 by nonnymousely