Second attempt today writing. Here. We. Go!
My friend Trey pointed out earlier this week that my initials spell S.J.W. This is incidental because I also happened to rain on everyone’s parade growing up. I was at the epicenter of the phrase’s inception back in 2014, when I was at Sequart Organization. (At least it was brought to my attention / I noticed it, and others making a scene about it.) SJW stands for “social justice warrior,” a pejorative word that typically hyperbolizes a liberal minded person that takes a stand on a number of social issues, to the effect of making others very aware of systemic disenfranchisement of minorities and the LGTBQ community. My careful wording of this implies that, while I cringe at the small proportion of the general population that such a label applies to, I do not enjoy the term, its use, and practice. It’s very misleading. It supposes that someone who wants to be a part of something but is denied entry to that subculture / practice and voices their very reasonable concern for not gaining entry has sinister motives for doing so.
As a white male I have yet to assess my privilege. (Many online surveys I have taken suggest it to be “Moderate to High”.) I have been told that it is “very good.” But the issue I have with SJWs is the impact they have on a very moderate population of women and minorities that are trying to be accepted into the fold of popular entertainment. In order to pave the way for change, an open dialogue has to be made with the opposing side. Empathy, to understand the impact that disenfranchisement has on the Other, is key. This is what was revealed in Kenneth and Mamie Clark’s doll experiments during the Civil Rights case, Brown Vs Board of Education. The arguments I’ve seen thus far are artificially divisive where each side regurgitates the company line like a 14 year old using their parent’s arguments for why abortion is right / wrong. I recall one article a colleague of mine wrote where he attempted to engage in dialogue with an Anita Sarkeesian harasser, to no avail. Note: there is no intelligent repartee between Marc and his specimen, just an oddly robotic dialogue.
The controversy (still ongoing, last time I checked) generally positions one in the camp of Sarkeesian’s following, because who wants to side with misogynistic near-rapists? This is frustrating because there could be something intelligent to say on behalf of the often paranoid doomsayers. There is a real problem today with the creation of safe-spaces at universities, the unchecked postmodern deconstruction of institutions, and the growing sentiment of nihilism, which, in turn, produces similar soldiers that one could term “SJWs.” I was once told by Julian Darius that for every Ku Klux Klan parade held, there is a line of Jewish and Black lawyers willing to defend the KKK’s right to assembly and freedom of speech. To censure a hate group is still censure. America is great because people get to have an opinion, even if it is really fucking stupid, still many college professors have been incorrectly coined racists and bigots because of their failed attempts to explain this caveat to their students. Freedom of speech extends to all, including the multinational corporations that own the tights that Superman wears. People have every right to stop buying comics, organize protests, and initiate and dialogue between the other side. They do not have the right to harass and emotionally harm another person because they believe something different. It’s a two way street people!
My milquetoast rallying cry to moderation could be extended to many dialogues, including our own recent presidential race. I don’t think for a moment that Trump has anything to offer America, or her people. He is Satan. (Owning most if not all of the biblical titles.) It’s possible that we could have avoided Trump by having these conversations on consensus, say, thirty years ago, but here we are. Now we have to make the best of 2017, which I have money on being an amped up iteration of the Apostle John’s Vision of Revelation.
I’ve made it a goal to hear someone out this year and next, regardless of their position on life. This is my resolution for the new year. I hope it can be yours too.