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Social justice warrior

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I beg you, look for the words “social justice” or “economic justice” on your church website. If you find it, run as fast as you can. Social justice and economic justice, they are code words. Now, am I advising people to leave their church? Yes.
Glenn Beck[1][2]

"Social Justice Warrior" (abbreviated "SJW")[note 1] is a derogatory term used to refer to liberals, progressives, feminists, and supporters of political correctness. The term is an appropriated one, generally used by the right wing as a negative snarl word.

The term "social justice" was originally a Catholic one that originated in the late 1800s as a philosophy to reduce 'brutal class domination' and solve philosophical questions about freedom vs law that arose from Western Society moving from agriculture to industry.[3][4][5] The term was reappropriated in the 1960s to mean advocating for racial and gender demographics, among others.

Adding the suffix "warrior" onto "social justice" was (very) sporadically done prior to 2009 and was used to refer to someone extremely dedicated to literal social justice, and in a non-partisan way. The term was initially, consistently used as a pejorative by a left-winger named William Shetterly around 2009. He meant the term to mean left-identitarians he (and others) deemed culty, puritan, and too focused on identity over economic class.[6]

The term is most commonly used today as an ad hominem and (usually) right-wing handwave — an easy way to dismiss any liberally framed challenge. In other words, the easiest way to deal with a progressive political critique is to huff and puff and call you a SJW. No actual response or explanation is required. There has been an attempt by those labeled SJW to "adopt the enemies' insult" and reclaim the phrase, for themselves at least.


Those who are threatened inconvenienced by SJW advocacy use the term Social Justice Warrior in a pejorative snarly form. In theory, one can discredit and dismiss SJWs and their arguments by simply labeling them a bloody SJW with no follow-through nor accompanying counter-argument. It is not that different from using terms like "lefty" or "damn socialist" or "you heartless conservatives" or even concepts like "the gay agenda". However, doing so is fallacious because it counts as being an ad hominem, so don't do it.

Several groups have defined a Social Justice Warrior in a certain way —

  • A snarl word used by those liberals, progressives, feminists, moderate conservatives, and others critical of what they regard as eccentric and aggressive political activism, especially on college campuses by radical left student groups. Examples of such actions include calls for safe spaces to expand from the widely accepted need to provide safety to people who have faced serious abuse, assaults, and incidents that have triggered a person's post-traumatic stress disorder, to expand it to include microaggressions and content in courses that is claimed to be triggering for some students; the need for trigger warnings for course content; seeking to forcibly disrupt lectures or speeches by people they oppose based on allegations of bigotry by the speaker; calls being openly heard among some protesters promoting collective guilt upon straight white men by implying that they have dominated public discourse for ages through white privilege and that their privilege means that efforts to include marginalized voices are needed. This use of the snarl word is more aimed at the methods and claimed mis-perceptions of the said SJWs that have been criticized for being hysterical and excessively confrontational. There are concerns by the liberal critics that identity politics and victim mentality connected with that identity politics are playing a large role in the SJW phenomenon at the expense of individuality.
  • A snarl word used by the reactionary and radical right to dismiss the concerns of liberals, progressives, feminists, and perceived supporters of "political correctness."[7][8][9] The reactionary and radical right focuses on SJWs as being an example of the degeneracy of modern Western culture, and steel to use this to call for a return of the Good old days; they often assert the rise of liberalism, communism, and other political values they disagree with has encouraged the "degeneration" of Western societies. Several of them like to note how young men among SJWs are effeminate, and the racist crew among them likely see SJWs as a front for Jews and other conspiracy theories.

Some users of the term will claim to label a specific kind of social justice advocate, rather than stereotyping all social justice activism as negative. However, the considerable variety in definitions used makes the term next to useless as a descriptor.

Some of these assorted negative traits are attributed to SJWs:

  • A needlessly hysterical, permanently outraged attitude to social ills
  • Being too dogmatic and black-and-white in their views; refusing to acknowledge the nuanced complexity of human society; painting large groups of people in broad strokes
  • Enforcing a confrontational and incendiary style of discussion; eagerness to label others as oppressors; holding ordinary people personally responsible for atrocities
  • Demanding that others change their attitudes and behavior without a willingness to engage in respectful dialogue; refusal to see respect and tolerance as a two-way street
  • Loudly broadcasting their own views while attempting to deprive their opponents of a platform
  • Smugly self-aggrandizing their own slacktivism
  • Equating pious humorlessness with moral rectitude
  • A complete inability to laugh at themselves

Most revealing about the above traits is the fact that so-called "anti-SJWs" tend to display the very same insufferable characteristics themselves.

In its pejorative meaning, the negative connotation of the term is often used as a way of dismissing contested issues out of hand, merely through the latter's association with SJWs (e.g. as with cultural appropriation or trigger warnings).[10][11]


Although there were a few positive usages of the term previously,[12] the term's first sighting as a pejorative was its use in 2009 by SF writer Will Shetterly as a blog title criticizing what he calls "social justice warriors" in contrast with "social justice workers", with the former being what he considers more extreme activists.[13]

It is often used by modern conservatives on the internet — especially Gamergaters, MRAs, and reactionary and neoreactionary bloggers — to refer to anyone who expresses a point of view that is to the left of /pol/. As a result, use of the term "SJW" as a pejorative is now a handy shibboleth of the aforementioned groups and a good indicator that this person will not at any point henceforth say anything worth hearing.[14]

People who think social justice (a term with a history back to the 1840s) actually sounds like a pretty good idea worth fighting for, and aren't fond of reactionaries' racism and sexism, have in turn self-labeled as SJWs, particularly in the context of talking about the reactionaries.

Disconcerted at the actually-decent people reclaiming the term for themselves, reactionaries reached deep into their knowledge of the one half-chapter of 1984 they read once and coined[15] the ridiculously clunky "socjus"[note 2] (pronounced either "Suck-jews" or "Sock-juice"), correctly realizing that this is too silly a term for anyone to try to reclaim, but failing to realize how ridiculous the clunkiness makes them sound saying it.

The reclamation of the term has spread to people who have never had it used upon them, and as a result, it is seen by many social justice advocates as a legitimate and accepted label for people who promote social justice. This has, in many circles (for example, Tumblr), heavily mitigated its pejoration, and consequently, heavily increased its positive usage by (those who would be called) SJWs themselves.[note 3]

Those who do use "SJW" as a pejorative expression these days, however, overwhelmingly use it to mean "somebody who really supports social justice",[citation needed] not "hypocritical fighter for pseudo-social-justice", and themselves do not even agree that "social justice", in any shape or form, is a good thing and sexism or racism bad.[16][note 4]

The term itself[edit]


The term "social justice warrior" was first used as a pejorative in a blog called "Social Justice Warriors: Do Not Engage", launched by Will Shetterly on 6 November 2009.[13] The blog was left-wing and believed that humans are currently living in post-scarcity. A post on the blog entitled, "the Social Justice Warrior cult", argued that SJWs function as a type of cult. The post argued that SJWs form enemies for group cohesion, that they hold beliefs they believe to be unfalsifiable, and that they become intoxicated with their beliefs to the point of elitism and cliquish behaviour.[17] The blog also wrote that SJWs "rage, mob and dox in the belief that promoting identitarianism will make a better world." (by "identitarianism", he appears to mean identity politics, rather than its more recent usage as a euphemism for white nationalism).

Urban Dictionary user "poopem" defined "social justice warrior" on 21 April 2011 as:

A pejorative term for an individual who repeatedly and vehemently engages in arguments on social justice on the Internet, often in a shallow or not well-thought-out way, for the purpose of raising their own personal reputation. A social justice warrior, or SJW, does not necessarily strongly believe all that they say, or even care about the groups they are fighting on behalf of. They typically repeat points from whoever is the most popular blogger or commenter of the moment, hoping that they will "get SJ points" and become popular in return. They are very sure to adopt stances that are "correct" in their social circle. The SJW's favorite activity of all is to dogpile. Their favorite websites to frequent are Livejournal and Tumblr. They do not have relevant favorite real-world places, because SJWs are primarily civil rights activists only online.[18]

The definition on (which is owned by Oxford University Press, but is not technically the OED[19]) is simply "A person who expresses or promotes socially progressive views", but one of the example sentences is "Some of them admit they're afraid that social justice warriors will ruin video games."[20] Obviously an SJW plant.


On 26 May 2011, the Tumblr blog "Fuck No Tumblr SJW" started,[21] with the goal of "exposing tumblr's most heinous social justice warriors".[22] The author stated, in response to "I'm just a bit confused on your mission or perspective. I only found it trying to figure out what sjw even meant.":

Well as I’m sure you’ve figured out, “sjw” stands for social justice warrior. Back when I and a few others started this tumblr several years ago, “sjw” seemed, to us, to be more of a criticism on people who used social justice to further their own bigoted ends, push already marginalized people out of their own spaces, and dominate discussions with bigoted rhetoric.

In the years since this blog died out, “sjw” came to stand for anyone who supports social justice, a favorite go-to insult for white male nerds/libertarians/redditors. This blog is now followed by people with that attitude, and still gets asks of that nature. Hence the (partial) reason why I no longer update, even though I’ve somewhat returned to tumblr.

For the record, I am not opposed to social justice, and I never will be. I still think there are toxic elements of tumblr social justice underlying a lot of the discussions here. I think it’s important to criticize those elements, but I no longer want to be someone that does it, when my audience has changed and the audience for these types of blog posts has changed to something I don’t support.[23]

On 22 December 2012, the Tumblr "Social Justice Warriors of OKCupid" was launched,[24] to mock "SJW"s (here, persons who reject a gender binary or mention "patriarchy") who were trying to get a date.[25] On 13 November 2013, SomethingAwful forum user "Bo-Pepper" created thread "Hey what does SJW mean?"[26] (Best response: "it doesn't actually mean anything but if someone sincerely uses the term it's a good sign that they're a piece of poo poo".[27]) At this point, SJW had gained middling popularity,[28] and was a known term to many denizens of the conservative parts of the internet.

On 3 March 2014, Will Shetterly released book How to make a Social Justice Warrior: On identitarianism, intersectionality, mobbing, racefail, and failfans 2005-2014, which follows the "history" of the SJW movement.[29] On 1 May 2014, YouTuber "That Guy T" uploaded video "My beef with the (SJW) transgender community".[30] And finally, on 29 June 2014, Redditor "bluedude14" submitted a post "Social justice warriors and feminists ganged up on Richard Dawkins", which received over 4000 upvotes.[31] After this point, shit-storms like Gamergate expanded SJW from anti-feminist and conservative groups to more general usage.[28]

Internet Aristocrat's video on SJWs typifies the views of Gamergate and conservatives.[32]

With its evolution into a conservative dogwhistle, "SJW" has more or less become a substitute for whatever sort of bigoted epithet the speaker wanted to say but knows that they cannot without being labeled a bigot. However, when the ideological opponent is a white male ally, then the reactionaries are free to say "beta" or "cuck" rather than self-censor with "SJW". Another idea is that "SJW" has replaced "Liberal" as a pejorative; that way, the speaker doesn't have to automatically identify as a waste of flesh conservative when using it as a snarl word.[33]

SJWs ruined gaming![edit]

See the main article on this topic: GamerGate

SJWs have become the bogeyman of conservatives and "gamers", who think that SJWs (and their shadowy network of Cultural Marxist friends) have infiltrated their sources of information and filled them with feminist political correctness.[34] As Roosh V puts it,[35] SJWs "ensure compliance and homogeny of far left thought. [....] They have also been successful at positioning themselves in the upper echelons of universities, media organizations, and tech companies." Apparently, it is unthinkable that publishers can become more liberal over time, and so an insidious conspiracy becomes the preferred conclusion. In addition, SJWs are often believed to be in it strictly for monetary gain/personal glory/sex.

Since some Social Justice players think Warriors have sub-par mobility and boring class features, there's been some study[36] into the optimum way to play the other Classes in the Social Justice League, such as Social Justice Rogues, Social Justice Mages, and Social Justice Clerics. But don't bother being a Social Justice Bard, because what are you going to do, write songs about Social Justice? That'll never work.

In March 2015, a satirical RPG studying this concept leapt onto Steam for PC, called Social Justice Warriors.[37] The player is tasked with eliminating five different categories of internet trolls. Eric Ford, the game's designer, had this concept come about when he saw the phrase being used to invalidate concerns about another person's opinions and decided to make a video game since the label was too empowering to be wasted on a pejorative label.

The perceived concerns about "SJWs ruining gaming" can be better understood less as a product of social justice and more as a byproduct of its flawed implementation for purely mercenary reasons; mass-marketing social justice-related politics enables what can easily become the usual out-of-touch pandering to "what the kids are into today" without understanding the how and why of it. As a result, attempts at inclusivity are made only as a transparent ploy by disinterested marketers to tap into a current they do not understand and lack the interest to learn about, which tends to be further compounded when consumers' criticism is interpeted as being a sign of racism even when their complaints are totally unrelated. Ironically, these attempts are more likely to antagonize "SJWs" due to them being little better than tokenism.

Anti-SJW glossary[edit]

Not all "anti-SJWs" use all of these terms.

Feels before reals[edit]

A derogatory term that is meant to suggest that an SJW is neglecting facts in preference to feelings — that is, attacking an argument without dealing with argument in a logical manner.[note 5]

Identity politics[edit]

See the main article on this topic: identity politics


See the main article on this topic: Misogyny

Defined as "the forms of prejudice against women that no longer exist in the country I live in," or if they're really based, "something made up by feminists that never existed at all." When referenced, it will often be "creatively" misspelled as "muh soggy knee" or "muh sore 'giney" (see Muh below), to signify that people who complain about misogyny are whiny and therefore wrong. A form of Oppression.


"My", in a manner imitative of a child complaining or of mock ebonics.[38] The implication is that whatever follows is meant to be viewed as whiny and stupid ("muh feminism", "muh oppressions", and so on).[note 6]


See the main article on this topic: Persecution complex

The series of exaggerated and/or imaginary disadvantages which collectively makes someone from a minority group or a woman a special snowflake (see below). It is caricatured as a desired trait, since, in the anti-SJW's eyes, the amount of oppression you can successfully lay claim to (oppression points) will determine your position on the progressive stack. This is obviously totally different to complaining about how you are persecuted by cultural Marxists for being a white heterosexual cisgender male, which is completely legit because shut up.

Oppression olympics[edit]

The supposed competition for oppression points to determine one’s place on the progressive stack. In 1993, the phrase "oppression olympics" was coined by feminist author and activist Elizabeth "Betita" Martínez to challenge the idea of the "hierarchy of oppressions" when addressing inequalities faced by minorities.[39] The term was at first "used inside feminist circles to address race-related grievances within the feminist movement." It has since been discarded by feminists and is used online to mock those who are seen as seeking approval for having fewer advantages than others.[40]

Political correctness[edit]

See the main article on this topic: Political correctness

A term used recently by the American political right to refer to language ostensibly aimed at minimizing offense, especially toward minority groups identified by race, gender, culture, or sexual orientation.[41] It is most often used to deride people for using more polite terms and phrases and (especially from the right wing) connotes being brainwashed by SJWs into using "Newspeak". The phrase has been used throughout the twentieth century by a number of authors, including Nazis and Marxist/Leninists, to denote adherence to party doctrine.[42] See conservative correctness.

Progressive stack[edit]

The perceived hierarchy of people in the mind of SJWs, according to anti-SJWs, ordered by how oppressed they claim to be. People nearer the top of the stack — like black disabled lesbians — are claimed to be treated by SJWs as always right, and people at the bottom of the stack are always wrong. However, anti-SJWs point out that this hierarchy magically vanishes as soon as black people, women, etc. speak out against the SJW's most treasured beliefs.

Real diversity[edit]

Real diversity or true diversity is claimed to come from diversity of opinion rather than diversity of identity (sex, gender, race, sexuality, etc). The anti-SJWs' use of these terms is problematic for two reasons:

  • Sex, gender, race, sexuality, disability, and other attributes often traditionally associated with "diversity" are mostly physical. However, each of these is highly culturally important and will almost certainly lead to different experiences of society, economics, and politics. These experiences, in turn, lead to wildly different opinions. Other attributes – such as religion – have a more obviously direct impact on opinions. In short: promoting diversity of identity is, in fact, intended to increase diversity of opinion.
  • When the alt-right — and their more moderate alt-lite cousins — use the word, it is hypocritical. The alt-right and the alt-lite virtually never encourage discussion with leftist thinkers – in fact, the alt-right generally tacitly or explicitly encourages violence against liberals, leftists, and socialists. Ideologically, the alt-right and alt-lite generally believe in ethnostates to some degree or another – states founded on racial, cultural, and ideological conformity, rather than free expression and ideological discussion.

Anti-SJWs often use this term when critiquing colleges — which have allegedly become hives of ebil liberal SJW drones — or "the media".

Regressive left[edit]

A term used to critique feminists who are silent on the issue of women's rights in Islamic countries. See cultural relativism. Just as had happened with SJW, it's also devolved into a general term of abuse toward all leftists over time.

Safe space[edit]

See the main article on this topic: Trigger warning

The concept of a safe space is used and exaggerated by both anti-SJWs and by conservatives to decry liberals as being oversensitive, easily defeated, over-emotional wrecks – despite the fact that, by doing so, users of this term are guilty of the same behavior they are condemning (that is, demanding that others change their behavior based on how it makes them feel). Telling someone to "go back to your safe space" is a cheap alternative to having to come up with an actual argument.

Social justice warrior[edit]

The term social justice warrior was first used sometime in 2013-14 as neoreactionaries and other people spoke out against the social justice movement and the people who are for it. The terms "SJW" and uncommonly "SocJus" have also been used negatively towards the movement, both words with similar meanings.

Special snowflake[edit]

See the main article on this topic: Snowflake

In short, "special snowflake" is a childish and condescending insult against those who vocally oppose or condemn anti-SJWs or conservatives; more specifically, those who use the insult accuse the target of being a delicate, over-sensitive, self-righteous goody-two-shoes who expects attention and praise just for being themselves. Despite internet rumours on websites such as Urban Dictionary claiming otherwise,[43] "snowflake" was in fact not a Nazi term,[44] and in fact was popularised from the movie Fight Club.[45][46][note 7]


See the main article on this topic: Trigger warning

Because the general consensus among anti-SJWs is "emotional equals wrong" (but only if you disagree with my politics), some have taken to using "triggered" as a way to use ridicule in place of an actual argument. This term alone doesn't tell you much except that the speaker is not particularly intelligent or creative and probably at least a little bit ableist, unless it is being used as a standard English word.[47]

"Virtue signalling"[edit]

Since reactionaries are starting to realize that people aren't taking them seriously when they say SJW, the synonym "virtue signaller" — one who "virtue signals" — is now taking prominence. Virtue signalling is an appeal to motive that can refer to any SJW belief or claim. The term suggests that the SJW is just trying to look morally better ("signal their virtue") to other people. The term thus suggests that they do not really believe what they are saying: they're just regurgitating trendy political slogans for "ally points". (Because those smug bastards have to have an ulterior motive to not be a bigoted asshole, right?)

It was popularized in a 2015 column by James Bartholomew (a non-frothing conservative) in The Spectator[48] and originally referred to the type of people that buy organic food, recycle absolutely everything, and like lots of activist messages on Facebook so they can appear to be good people or feel like they're making a bigger difference than they really are.

The term was seized upon by reactionaries almost immediately and broadened to just about every instance of somebody publicly expressing a desire for a better world.[note 8] As with accusing somebody of being a social justice warrior or a white knight, the accuser assumes that being a prejudiced, oppressive asshole is the default and knows that saying as much won't get them any traction, so they throw terms around that assume bad faith of "the other side" in order to poison the well.

White knight[edit]

See the main article on this topic: Whiteknighting

White knight is a pejorative term to describe men who defend women on the internet. The assumption is that they are looking for a romantic or sexual reward in return.[49] This may sometimes be a case of the typical mind fallacy and/or psychological projection — in which the person assumes that because they only do nice things for women in order to get into their pants, every other man must think the same way.

Social justice glossary[edit]

"Please, my good Sir, may you explain why you think the police shoots black men more than any other demographic if there is no law that tells police to shoot black men? Are you accusing every police officer of being racist? Do you need a safe space??? I am just asking questions, gentleman."

Many so-called "SJWs" may have invoked or accused interlocutors of:

  • Just Asking Questions: a sarcastic term for asking questions in a trolling or otherwise insincere manner.
  • Emotional labour: demanding explanations or clarifications of things that they are tired of explaining, because they believe the answers are variously too obvious, too unpleasant to talk about, or fruitless because the questions are not being asked in good faith (see Just Asking Questions). It is not always clear why the speaker is tired of explaining themselves, but this rhetorical technique may give rise to the unfortunate impression that they are unable to defend their arguments. The interlocutor may attempt to credibly defuse such suspicions by demanding payment in advance for performing such emotional labour — although this can be perceived as rude and strange behaviour, especially by people who are unfamiliar with the concept of emotional labour.
  • Sealioning: which basically refers to a troll jumping in to a social media thread to dispute criticisms of their group being made in that thread, dishonestly asking questions and stalking members of the community with their questions.
  • Microaggressions: statements or behaviors which don't necessarily rise to the level of explicit and intentional racism or sexism, but which are still offensive or problematic. An example of microaggression could be complimenting someone with a non-white skin color as "clean" or "well-spoken", implying that non-whites are usually dirty or inarticulate. People who perform microaggressions may be unaware that their behavior is unacceptable, might not be consciously discriminatory, and may even think of themselves as opposed to bigotry and discrimination. The best course of action here is to think before speaking.
  • Privilege: a series of advantages that people from a dominant group are claimed to have. "Check your privilege" is an expression which is both used sincerely by some social justice advocates and mocked as a thought-terminating cliché by anti-SJWs and reactionaries. Class reductionist socialists might claim that instances of "white privilege" turn out, on closer inspection, to actually be class-based privileges rather than of racial or ethnic nature.

The concept of performative allyship carries a similar connotation to virtue signalling; someone who claims to support social justice but really only uses it as a means of self-glorification, and cares more about respectability and validation than the cause they supposedly champion.

Problems with the term[edit]

Systematic bombardment about the menace of SJWs in anti-SJW internet echo-chambers has produced beliefs not unlike religious indoctrination.
If you think it's an insult to accuse someone of being for social justice or against fascism, you need to work on your "savage burn".
Betty Bowers[51]

The problem with this term is the usual problem with all snarl words: it is used to discredit/smear anyone who dares to criticize the social status quo in terms of gender and race relations.[note 9] Recent incidents of internet drama have revealed that many people on the internet believe in a vast "SJW" conspiracy to "ban hurt feelings." This snarl word has no meaning because to the average anti-equality reactionary, absolutely anyone with any kind of open opinion that minorities are human beings is apparently enough to saddle people with the "SJW" moniker.

Of course, as with any ideology — humans being humans and therefore not angels — people do exist who take the language and ideas of social justice advocacy and weaponise them into tools to serve power and dominance (in ordinary language, these people are called bullies). And again, as with any ideology, there are people who ride the social-justice train of thought too far, into a bitter version of Cloud Cuckoo-land that interfaces poorly with the reality-based community. This cannot be helped. Every identifiable group of people has its share of assholes, and whatever has power for good can be subverted.[note 10] The error of the thinking behind the phrase "social justice warrior" is to claim that all advocates of social justice are equivalent to their cause's worst representatives.

Reasonable people, however — both within and outside of social-justice advocacy — are quite able to address and label such behaviour without resorting to snarl words or tarring an entire community with a broad brush.

A few social-justice advocates have begun to adapt the term to differentiate themselves from an ugly and alienating minority, on a "ju-jitsu" theory of redirecting the slur's energy away from social-justice advocacy in general and toward the specific behaviour involved. The aims are two: (1) to use the nutpicking's energy against its own purpose, and (2) to signal to the broader community of social justice advocacy that that specific kind of behaviour is not acceptable. The latter seems a worthwhile and achievable aim, but normalizing slurs is very much a sub-optimal approach; the former seems a poor course due to the inherent dangers of playing ball with aggressive willful ignorance. Granted, the specific behaviours objected to themselves stem from willfully ignorant aggression, so there is a Scylla-and-Charybdis situation in play; but the answer to such a situation is to avoid both monsters, not to flee from one into the arms of the other.

The terms "woke" and "ultra-woke" have come to be used more frequently as an alternative to SJW by anti-SJWs, perhaps because they are both more concise and less inflammatory. "Woke" is a term that was originally used by "woke" people themselves, and is now used both by SJWs and anti-SJWs. However, it is important to clarify that just as with the term "political correctness", a certain amount of "wokeness" is normally to be found in most people in contemporary developed nations, and the anti-SJWs are generally — unless they are on the far right — only concerned with those who they see as taking "wokeness" too far.

Shutting down conversation[edit]

A quick way to deny SJW arguments any validity.
A quick way to deny anti-SJW arguments any validity.

As much as conservatives might attempt to deny it,[52] the term "SJW" is almost never applied positively and is virtually always used only to discredit the person rather than their points.[53][54] Why bother calling someone an SJW when you can call them wrong? Max Hill writes:[55]

Problems that social justice advocates have been stressing for decades are finally finding themselves in the spotlight — issues of sexual abuse and coercion, objectification and sexualization, gender imbalance in the cultural industries — and this has forced those who cling to tired, oppressive ideologies to find an insult for those who dare to challenge the systems of oppression that have kept white, straight, able-bodied men on top of the heap. Hence, the social justice warrior.


Another issue with taking "SJW" seriously is that some of the most popular "examples" of SJW nuttiness were created by trolls on 4chan and elsewhere. For example, "free bleeding"[56] and #EndFathersDay,[57][58][59] allegedly examples of "SJWs" going too far, were actually part of of a trolling campaign called "Operation Lollipop": an attempt to divide feminism along racial lines through the creation of an army of sockpuppets posing as "feminist" black women.[60][61][62]


A common criticism of SJWs is that they are themselves not members of the groups that they defend. Hill describes the typical SJW strawman, stating that:[55] "SJWs are generally young, white, and spend their time on social media condemning those who fail to live up to their own moral and ethical standards." Yet there is no clear evidence that this is true or how this deflects from SJWs' arguments towards equality among disenfranchised identity groups.

Research has been done into the psychology of self-identified SJWs, using a corpus of nearly a million tweets and employing Jonathan Haidt's moral foundations theory.[63]


Hill writes:[55]

The occasional overly pedantic Tumblr user targeting white men in power is dwarfed by the thousands of racist, sexist, and homophobic tirades which flood online comments sections every single day. Who’s the real problem here?

SJW websites[edit]

See the main article on this topic: Cultural Marxism
"i replaced all instances of ‘witch’ in the malleus maleficarum with ‘sjw’" (eelcock)

Who has the all-powerful SJW conspiracy infiltrated? Are you next?

Are you now, or have you ever been, an SJW?

Twitter and Tumblr are (pretty accurately) described as containing many social justice advocates, and consequently SJWs.[64]


Essentially everyone who wished to publicly respond to any tweet by Donald Trump had to join Twitter prior to 2021, along with all those who wished to retweet or defend him. This plus an extremely lax enforcement of bots[65][66] make Twitter a cesspool comparable to 4chan or Breitbart or Stormfront or Daily Caller, but with the addition of many militant social justice warriors, typically living in their own separate filter bubbles.

Various parody Twitter accounts have been set up to satirise SJWs. These include:

  • Titania McGrathWikipedia (Twitter) - who has written a spin-off book, "Woke: A Guide to Social Justice". Likes to take liberal and/or SJW ideas and turn them up to 11.
  • Dr. Madeline Seers, PhD - the academic equivalent of Titiana McGrath.
  • Shanley (sadly, a real person, not a parody)
  • Various 4chan trolling operations, which are sometimes harder to definitively identify as satire because of Poe's Law


The Tumblr social justice community, pejoratively labeled as Tumblrinas, tends to be pro-minority rights, supportive of people with mental illnesses, pro-LGBT, pro-fat acceptance, and pro-feminist. While the more extreme users make up a small sub-section of the social justice community, they're disproportionately noisy, so they make for easy nutpicking. As a site that allows users to set up an unlimited number of blogs and where it isn't hard to set up multiple Tumblr accounts, none of which have to trace back to any concrete identity, it is also ripe for false flag attacks; indeed, Tumblr recently announced that several purportedly pro-social-justice Tumblrs were run by Russian troll farms.[67] Nutpickers not infrequently parade obvious hoax accounts and transparent parody posts from serious users as evidence for the "insanity" allegedly infesting the website. If something sounds too nutty to be serious, one should consider the possibility that it is, in fact, not serious (also compare Poe's law). Tumblr being a photo sharing site that is essentially free advertising for models & copyvio central, it would be rare to actually have a serious conversation there.

Tumblr as a SJW breeding ground may be largely a stereotype, much as other sites garner other stereotypes. The "Discursive Spaces" blog writes that[68] "[there may be] certain stigma suggesting that the average Reddit user is a fedora-touting neckbeard or that a person on Tumblr subscribes to the 'social justice warrior' mentality."

Tile Wolfe praised the Tumblr SJW population, writing that it, "with enough characters to write a novella, are actively educating each other in super-active queer corners of the platform."[69]

There is plenty of sane, well-informed stuff.[note 11]


Assuming, of course, RW is not a manarchist brospace populated by MRAs in ladyface, RationalWiki has been taken over by SJWs, who control most of its operation. Or, so think people who don't like RW.[70]

Of course, we in RationalWiki never allow people with opposing viewpoints to debate, making us SJWs!


Reddit, according to a subset of their userbase (very much a reliable source as anyone will surely agree), has apparently been infiltrated by a cabal from the "SJW" subreddit ShitRedditSays (SRS).[71] SRS, a sub created for the purpose of calling out racist/sexist/homophobic/etc. posts getting upvoted on the site, was regularly treated as a boogeyman within the community, which later culminated in whatever the hell this is. Following a change in policy a few months after that which prohibited harassment subs, resulting in a ban of the popular subreddit /r/FatPeopleHate, this crowd promptly went into meltdown and spammed the front page with posts insinuating that Interim CEO Ellen Pao was literally Mao "Hitler" Zedong, and attempted to leave for a Reddit clone called Voat, which crashed under the strain of traffic.[72] SRS, of course, had little to no influence over anything that happened, but decided to claim credit anyway because they thought it would be funny.[73]

While the SRS subreddit lacks influence and is not even spoken of much any more, it can act as a very good illustration of the paradigmatic SJW mentality — with behaviour such as declaring that everything is problematic to some degree, declaring SRS a "safe space", banning/blocking users based on the slightest dissent, etc.

Now and then, some users and communities on Reddit continue to claim that the Admins and moderators of certain subreddits are SJWs or their puppets, accusations which usually spike around the time controversial subreddits or posts are quarantined (i.e. requiring opt-in) or removed.


Simply admitting that there is such a thing as systemic biasWikipedia at Wikipedia itself, and taking any step whatsoever to counter it by recruiting persons who are more typical of Wikipedia's readers than writers, invites social justice warrior input and recruiting to balance who is commenting. But obviously, North American and British and Israeli males comfortable with wiki editing are a completely objective community when it comes to feminism, Marxism, socialism, ecology, climate change, Islam, Africa, etc., so there is no need for such SJW meddling.

At the same time, it is also against Wikipedia rules for groups to edit Wikipedia for the purpose of social change, with Wikipedia stating that they 'follow, not lead'. For example, if "significant viewpoints"[74] in prominent academic/media/news sources are exclusively cis-hetero biased, then according to Wikipedia, Wikipedia should be too.[75]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. Not to be confused with Smooth Jazz Waluigis or the Czech political party Workers' Party of Social JusticeWikipedia or the villainous Female Misogynist Serena Joy Waterford from the Handmaid's Tale
  2. Intentionally invoking 1984's own Ingsoc, whose primary concern in the book, as we all know, was people's feelings.
  3. For a fuller discussion of this, see the Wikipedia "Social justice" article.
  4. In other words, they're assholes.
  5. So… basically what conservatives do all the time.
  6. Given how frequently conservatives say whiny and stupid things, this can easily be turned on them.
  7. That the term came from a quote by the antagonist of the film, a depiction of mental illness, seems to have been lost on the anti-SJWs.
  8. Remember, these people are conservatives, a.k.a. nostalgia-addled nudniks who have deluded themselves into believing that their ideology is the pinnacle of thought and the status quo they defend is the ideal state of humanity (when it's really just an orgy of pleasuring themselves at the expense of everybody else).
  9. Again, these people's ideology boils down to "fuck you, got mine", and they will do anything to gain and maintain power over others — even if that power is an illusion.
  10. Just look at what the Religious Right has done to Christianity!
  11. A somewhat prominent example is Your Fave Is Problematic, a Tumblr that serves as one-stop shopping for questionable celebrity quotes, although see this post of theirs.


  3. Duplass, James A. The idea of a social studies education: The role of philosophical counseling. Routledge, 2017.
  4. Willoughby, W. W. (1900). Social Justice: A Critical Essay. United Kingdom: Macmillan.
  5. Kraynak, R. P. (2018). The Origins of “Social Justice” in the Natural Law Philosophy of Antonio Rosmini.The Review of Politics, 80(01), 3–29. doi:10.1017/s0034670517000754
  7. "Are gamers misogynistic? Some certainly are". Irish Times. 18 October 2014. "The term "social justice warrior" (surely a good thing) has been used pejoratively to describe those writers who choose to examine the social and political subtexts of contemporary video games" 
  8. "The Only Guide to Gamergate You Will Ever Need to Read". The Washington Post. 14 October 2014. "...'SJW,' for social justice warrior—a kind of shorthand insult for liberals and progressives." 
  9. Johnson, Eric (10 October 2014). "Understanding the Jargon of Gamergate". Re/code. "A Social Justice Warrior, or SJW, is any person, female or male, who argues online for political correctness or feminism. 'Social justice' may sound like a good thing to many of our readers, but the people who use this term only use it pejoratively." 
  10. North, Anna (29 August 2014). "Why a Video Game Critic Was Forced to Flee Her home". The New York Times. "[citing Vice] 'For certain segments of the gaming world, she writes, the term refers to "people who, according to Urbandictionary, engage in 'social justice arguments on the internet ... in an effort to raise their own personal reputation.' In other words, SJWs don't hold strong principles, but they pretend to."'" 
  11. Ringo, Allegra (28 August 2014). "Meet the Female Gamer Mascot Born of Anti-Feminist Internet Drama". Vice. "People who, according to Urban Dictionary, engage in 'social justice arguments on the internet ... in an effort to raise their own personal reputation.' In other words, SJWs don't hold strong principles, but they pretend to. The problem is, that's not a real category of people. It's simply a way to dismiss anyone who brings up social justice—and often those people are feminists. It's awfully convenient to have a term at the ready to dismiss women who bring up sexism, as in, 'You don't really care. As an SJW, you're just taking up this cause to make yourself look good!'" 
  12. e.g., 17 July 1998, 13 March 2001, 30 July 2007, 1 Feb 2008, 3 Nov 2008, Summer 2009 — and one from a 1995 novel, which appears more commentary than approbation.
  13. 13.0 13.1 Will Shetterly. Ricky Gervais Extras: The Racist Test. Archived from, 6 November 2009.
  14. From the horse's mouth: "The true definition of SJW is up for debate, but most generally it has become a catch-all term that describes feminists and liberals who actively try to solve the perceived social injustices of modern society by organizing in online communities to disseminate propaganda, censor speech, and punish individuals by getting them terminated from their employment. They have also been successful at positioning themselves in the upper echelons of universities, media organizations, and tech companies." (
  15. "Urban Dictionary: SocJus" Urban Dictionary.
  16. "No, ‘SJW’ is not used to deflate pompous Comstockian moralists. That’s not how it’s used at all.", Slacktivist
  17. the Social Justice Warrior cult. Archived from, 3 September 2012.
  18. "Urban Dictionary: social justice warrior". Urban Dictionary.
  19. "The OED and Oxford Dictionaries". Oxford English Dictionary.
  20. social justice warrior, Oxford Dictionaries
  21. "Fuck No Tumblr SJW".
  22. "Fuck No Tumblr SJW".
  23. "Fuck No Tumblr SJW".
  24. "Social Justice Warriors of OKCupid".
  25. "Social Justice Warriors of OKCupid".
  26. "The Something Awful Forums".
  27. "The Something Awful Forums".
  28. 28.0 28.1 "Google Trends".
  29. "How to make a Social Justice Warrior: On identitarianism, intersectionality, mobbing, racefail, and failfans 2005-2014, Will Shetterly -".
  30. "My beef with the (SJW) transgender community...". YouTube. 1 May 2014.
  31. "Social justice warriors and feminists ganged up on Richard Dawkins this week after he dared to imply that old White men are good at things. Here's a snapshot of a much longer argument that took place on Twitter. : TumblrInAction". reddit.
  32. "InternetAristocrat explains how SJW's work.". YouTube. 14 September 2014.
  34. Riley Sailer. "GamerGate: An Example of False Consensus". Medium.
  35. "What Is A Social Justice Warrior (SJW)?".
  36. So, as I see it, this is how SJW-stuff works.
  37. "Slay Internet Trolls in Social Justice Warriors, the Game," Vice
  38. Mock Ebonics: Linguistic racism in parodies of Ebonics on the Internet by Maggie Ronkin & Helen E. Karn (1999) Journal of Sociolinguistics 3(3):360-380.
  39. Donald B. Holsinger, W. James Jacob, ed., Inequality in Education: Comparative and International Perspectives, 1993.
  40. Oppression Olympics at
  48. James Bartholomew, The awful rise of 'virtue signalling', The Spectator
  49. White Knight KnowYourMeme.
  51. Betty Bowers. Speak English? YOU FIRST! YouTube.
  52. "Articles: Is 'Social Justice Warrior' a Pejorative?".
  53. "Are gamers misogynistic? Some certainly are". The Irish Times. 18 October 2014.
  54. Caitlin Dewey (14 October 2014). "The only guide to Gamergate you will ever need to read". Washington Post.
  55. 55.0 55.1 55.2 "In defence of ‘social justice warriors’". The Peak.
  56. "4chan is trying to make 'free bleeding' the latest Twitter trend". The Daily Dot.
  57. "Here's How A Fake Feminist Hashtag Like #EndFathersDay Gets Started And Why It'll Keep Happening". BuzzFeed.
  58. "#EndFathersDay". Know Your Meme.
  59. "No, feminists aren't trying to #EndFathersDay—it's a hoax". The Daily Dot.
  60. "#EndFathersDay: Trolls being trolls, or “black propaganda” designed to tear apart feminism? | we hunted the mammoth". we hunted the mammoth.
  61. "Activists Are Outing Hundreds Of Twitter Users Believed To Be 4chan Trolls Posing As Feminists". BuzzFeed.
  62. "#YourSlipIsShowing Busts Men Who Are Pretending to Be Feminists to Attack Black Women".
  63. [1]
  64. Lola Okolosie. "Sexists and racists are resorting to online sabotage. But they still won't win". the Guardian.
  65. Rand Fishkin, We Analyzed Every Twitter Account Following Donald Trump: 61% Are Bots, Spam, Inactive, or Propaganda., 9 October 2018.
  66. Brendan Cole, Trump has 15 million fake followers. Newsweek, 22 May 2018.
  67. Tumblr's Ban Of Russian Accounts Adds Detail To Targeting Of Black Americans
  68. "Who Holds the Controller? Power in Gaming and Other Virtual Spaces". discursive spaces.
  69. "In Defense of the "Social Justice Warrior"". The Huffington Post.
  70. "Anti-GG is trying to put together a RationalWiki page to spread disinformation about "Gamergate claims" : KotakuInAction". reddit.
  71. "SRS/Anti-SRS, Secret Cabals, and Meta Reddit Cancer Recap. : OutOfTheLoop". reddit.
  72. "[RECAP A RECAP OF THE FPH FALLOUT AND LIVE FEED : SubredditDrama"]. reddit.
  73. "ArchangelleJoan comments on [META The cabal scores a major victory as FatPeopleHate and other harassing subs are banned!"]. reddit. "We claim full responsibility. I mean, that's what y'all are going to assume anyway."