Two Very Good Reasons Not to Use SJW as an Insult

There are two ways to use the phrase “Social Justice Warrior” as an insult, and both of them are fairly appalling:

A: Using it to target people who are not members of a marginalized community, but show empathy for members of that community and lend their voice to that community’s deconstruction of its own oppression. In this case, “SJW” acts as a euphemism for bigoted speech (for example) that would otherwise alienate a speaker from their audience.

B: Using it to target members of a marginalized community that are speaking out against their own marginalization. In this case, trying to silence somebody by calling them an SJW is no different from trying to silence a woman speaking out against misogyny by calling her “bitch”. It’s immature, reactionary, and gives the overall impression that the speaker isn’t actually paying attention to what they’re saying.

If you find yourself about to throw the phrase SJW around as an insult, consider which of these two things you’re about to do, and then do us all a favor and don’t do it.

Show your support

Clapping shows how much you appreciated A. Campbell Payne’s story.