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A surprisingly accurate depiction of how SJWs attempt to deal with #GamerGate

I asked my gamer daughter about gamergate; she rolled her eyes. She has no use for the trolls, nor the scolds, nor their dreary flame-war; like most real gamers, she just wants to game.

But we agreed that the core scandal is delicious. A sex scandal, plus journalistic corruption! Kisses for plaudits! What’s not to like?

Couldn’t the GG boys have chosen a different name to dismiss their ideological opponents with than “Social Justice Warrior”? Because no matter how ironically it’s meant to be used, it’s still pretty bad ass. I am a Social Justice Warrior! Boo-yah!

SJW was a self-chosen term; some say self-congratulatory. When the SJWs are cogently critiquing injustice, then they’re social justice warriors. When the SJWs are self-righteously scolding difference, then they’re social justice wankers.

As far as I understand it SJW was not self-assigned, no; I believe it has always been a sarcastic pejorative. However, it does pre-date GamerGate and has been in common usage on MRA fora, 4chan (pol, certainly) and areas of Reddit (like TumblrInAction) for some time. (If you can find evidence that it was originally self-chosen, I’ll be genuinely (no sarcasm) interested to see it; certainly I wasn’t aware of its existence as a term until I found myself being called one on Reddit.)

I stand corrected. I first encountered the acronym here; and I find its referent to be (as usual with humanity) a mixed bag; both warriors and wankers.

The other half of Manfeels reckons it MAY have originated on Tumblr as a self-assignation, so I could be wrong. Certainly I have only seen it used as a positive term by people ‘reclaiming’ it, as gays might ‘fag’ or ‘dyke’, and it nowadays seems to be pretty overwhelmingly negative. Perhaps there’s evidence of its origin somewhere, or maybe we’ll never know…

What names other than “SJW” would you apply to your political faction? Third-wave feminism, perhaps?

There is another social movement that can call themselves ‘social justice warriors’ with no irony at all; the labor movement. Also known as ‘the folks who gave you the weekend’; and all it took was organizing, marches, strikes, and occasionally being shot at by fascists. So yes, social justice, and yes, warriors. The labor movement has _earned_ the name of Social Justice Warriors.

I’m not sure where you’re going with this one; I’m pretty sure that even if SJW is a term that said folk came up with for themselves they’re probably using it with no small measure of irony.

That being said, that modern sociopolitical movements are not out getting shot at (everywhere, not _everywhere_ – some still are) is more, I would think, down to the relative usefulness of said actions than their willingness to do so.

I’m not sure what country you’re in, but I’m in the UK, and our most recent spate of really hardcore direction action against injustice was hijacked by opportunistic thugs and then painted by the media as a greedy smash’n’grab by skivers and scroungers and lazy malcontents.

We are in today’s society damned if we do and if we don’t when it comes to public assembly – if we gather in our tens of thousands for a peaceful protest we are ignored by the media and the public alike, and if we get our hands dirty and cause some property damage and chaos we are decried as at best immature and at worst villains. We can see similar media spin going on in Ferguson in the US today.

Add to that the fact that laws around free-association and public gatherings today have been designed (in the name of ‘preventing terrorism’) to prevent people from getting enough people together to even _have_ a spontaneous protest.

With these new limitations and the tide of public sentiment turned so thoroughly against direct action, how would you suggest modern ‘SJWs’ in the UK go about their protesting in a way that would actually achieve anything?

(For the record my answer to this is ‘organise online and find other, smarter ways to apply pressure’, which is what any ‘SJW’ worth their salt is doing. And I’d argue that they’re doing rather well – cf the results of #shirtstorm and the Julien Blanc incident within a week of one another. Right now, people may be decrying these incidents as massive overreactions. But they got results, and those results will transfer into new standard practices and, in time, those standard practices will cease to be simply ‘going through the motions to keep the crazy feminists happy’ and will become a given that everyone accepts – AND understands. Because that is how social change works and has always worked – not bottom-up but top-down. Cf interracial marriage, which was legal in the USA for around 30 years before the majority of the general public were actually okay with it.)

I am glad that you mentioned Ferguson. Here in the USA, the civil rights movement has also earned the name of Social Justice Warriors, without the slightest need for snark or irony. They’ve fought for social justice, against fascists willing to kill; and they have collected a long list of martyrs, saints and heroes. So; warriors in fact and in deed.

For modern SJWs, I give you Occupy. They were tear-gassed, pepper-sprayed, infiltrated, raided and ultimately crushed; but not before the American people agreed with them, that there _is_ a 1%, who _do_ have inordinate power. That bell cannot be unrung. Mission accomplished.

I also give you Manning, Assange and Snowden. They paid the price of telling truth to power.

What all these SJ_Warriors_ have in common (as opposed to SJ_Wannabees_) is that they took risks. Also, they spoke for all the people, rather than an identity faction.

You’re making a lot of assumptions about the folk doing their ‘SJW’ thing on the web. A lot of them are taking to the streets right now too. The two aren’t mutually exclusive. But I’m not going to decry folk doing what they ARE able or willing to do.

As to our ‘faction’? I don’t belong to one. I share broad aims with a whole bunch of people but I can’t even agree with people on which wave of feminism I belong to never mind anything else. I’m one of the folk trying to make things better, and everyone else is an arsehole or a layabout. Beyond that, I don’t much care.

(That’s me bowing back out on this one; as you’ll know, I try not to engage for too long in the comments here.)

You write: “Because that is how social change works and has always worked – not bottom-up but top-down.”

I beg to differ! Counterexample: the labor movement, which was never top-down. Also the civil rights movement. Both of which I regard as truly “Social Justice Warriors”.

Top-down social change is by definition superficial, elitist and pre-compromised. It is at best a social justice palace coup.

This cartoon does not mention #gamergate, nor makes a joke, nor presents an argument, nor even gives women a single word.

Sometimes, you don’t need to anything at all.

To “do” anything at all.
Perhaps in context the offense is clear, but taken at face value the man said nothing but debater’s boilerplate. There are debater’s boilerplate ripostes, some even funny; but here, nothing but voiceless rage.

Perhaps voiceless rage is all some women have been left with. Think about it.

I’ve thought about it, and I pity but I am not impressed. Incoherence is not a winning strategy.

Go on, instruct the nice ‘girls’ in how they should debate. I suspect you would see nothing in the least ironic about doing so, either.

Not “how” women debate, but “that” women debate. I find it ironic that silence – and silencing others – is thought to be success.

“War doesn’t determine who is right… only who is left.”

Sociologists and feminists take that awkward silence resulting from the gray area between *wanting to explain the logical errors in their arguments* and *not wanting to come off as a racist/sexist* as a victory. I guess it’s the only way their fields have survived in academia, and if it survives, it breeds.

This is cold. Like put all the gamergate crap aside for a minute… two people grin as someone hurls themselves to their death. What the fuck. This is horrible.

Mahablog (a 2nd-wave feminist from way back) speaks of a “Greater A**hole Theory”; namely that in a political debate, the side that looks like the greater a**hole loses the vital spectator vote. So when you argue with an ideologue, do so in front of the undecided, and be the reasonable-sounding one, even if that lets the other one ‘win’ by bad-faith tactics.

That said… not all the gamergaters are trolls, but some are, and some of the trolls have gone way over the line. So it’s not clear who the bigger a-holes are.

The issue is both sides have gone way over the line, but only one side is being expected to police everyone in their group, and only one side is attempting to stop the negativity by reporting the people trolling on their own side.

Huh. I read this as “they throw him off the cliff”.

You can’t prove a thing.

Did you really forget to strawman? How do you forget to strawman?

They remembered for the follow up comic though it’s clearly not any better. They are still painting themselves as silencing dissent. This comic though just says “this person has a good point and we have nothing to say so we will silence them”.

This comic, for me, was about two lunatic homicidal comic women pushing a reasonable comic man off of a cliff. look like homicidal maniacs. And now I feel sad for poor comic man, and poor comic man’s family and loved ones. Which I doubt is what you were going for.

On the bright side, you have accurately portrayed my own fustration with online feminist activism. So much of it follows a predictable pattern. It starts with hyperbolic claims, followed by dedicated social media campaigns to drum up outrage over them, and incensed women blindly retweeting. There is very little concern for actual facts. I have a background in journalism and have personally become disillusioned with a number of online feminists after doing some simple fact-checking and realizing how often they were embellishing and exaggerating facts and statistics, omitting relevant details or just plain making stuff up to elicit that outraged response.

It sucks that now, even though I know women get harassed on the Internet and have experienced it myself, I question each incidence because, frankly, these feminists have made me question everyone’s credibility.

What really bothers me is this pattern makes it even easier for misogynists to dismiss all feminiss as hyper-sensitive. So I guess the problem I have with this comic is it hits a little too close to home for me.

Thank you for your thoughtful comment.
Humor is subjective; a delightful comeuppance to one is thought-policing to another. But if humor is to be witty rather than just cruel, it needs to speak; and these two women are mute.
Perhaps the problem is with online activism in general, which has a tendency to misinformation, disinformation, and echo-chambers. Doubting everyone’s credibility is far from dysfunctional; it’s the default epistemology of the Web.
Or perhaps the problem is with ideology, which confuses opposites such as passion and evidence, or vehemence and reliability, or pride and certainty.

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