I had started writing an article about racism (which will now have to wait for a subsequent post), and in the process of doing so I became slightly sidetracked.
Given that the topic of racism is a somewhat sensitive area of discussion, I was unsure how I should set the tone of the article – to adhere to my usual blasé affectation could possibly have the effect of alienating certain readers, if it seemed that I was treating a delicate topic disrespectfully.
Then I thought, fuck it – the last demographic I’d want to appeal to is the ‘PC crowd’ – those vociferous voices of unreason, who seem to seek out any excuse to be offended.
The realization that I had actually considered filtering myself so as not to offend these people, served to rouse that dormant section of my mind that usually only surfaces in response to a persistent fly that just won’t piss off – annoyance.
Perhaps this is no surprise, since the two things are not so dissimilar. Much as a fly spreads shit over any surface unlucky enough to attract it (my leg, usually), so too do crowds of emotionally charged prima donnas spread toxic viewpoints, laced with irrationality and devoid of critical thinking.
Both entities produce buzzing clouds of noise that appeals only to the members within them, while evoking either indifference or irritation in everyone else (for me it’s the latter).
“Social Justice Warrior” is the derogatory moniker so aptly coined to describe this special breed of outspoken crusaders – you do certainly get the sense that some of them actually harbor visions of fighting some virtuous battle, in which they are the noble paragons surrounded by a bigoted, tyrannical society.
I don’t mean to imply that their motivations cannot be well intentioned. Amid the outraged shoe stomping and vitriolic finger pointing, lie real issues that truly do deserve condemnation. But these SJW are adepts at misidentifying reasonable criticism as bigoted hate speech. They can be only too eager to play the “racist” or “sexist” cards, despite the true nature or intention of their target’s comments.
They also tend to speak in vague generalities in order to condemn, say, ‘the patriarchy’.
Too often I come across some sensationalized article where the author writes about men as if they are all sexist misogynists, if not born rapists.
Hundreds of equally misguided comments on the article attest to the ignorance that exists in these circles.
Often such articles articles attempt, quite successfully, to incite anger – subconsciously eliciting in readers a rising sense of outrage, as he or she talks in gross generalizations.
You can imagine the readers nodding their heads in agreement with every word of pseudo-reason the author spouts, gradually growing more incensed, as the nonsensical ramblings spilled carelessly over the page by the illogical prat lacking a propensity for critical thinking, strikes an emotional chord within them. Perhaps it serves to reinforce a particular narrative they have themselves already partially conceived. They are then only too eager to accept the poorly constructed commentary since it serves merely to confirm what they now realize they already knew. Thus no logical, critical reflection upon the facts is initiated, and the author’s ignorant view is perpetuated through these fools.
Now, if you re-read the preceding paragraphs while maintaining a critical perspective, you will see what I mean about speaking in incendiary generalities to stir resentment for a particular type of person – which in this case, I have done for ‘SJWs’.
If you found yourself nodding along to my provocative (and rather prolix) prose, then you yourself may have fallen victim to the phenomenon of impaired critical thinking due to the influence of your own emotion, and missed the juicy irony precipitated by my brazen hypocrisy.
We should tread carefully.
In the pursuit of reason, we need to stay critical – especially of ourselves – and not fall into the same trap as the people we have hitherto been describing.
So, applying a healthy dose of reason to the issue of SJWs, rather than simply bashing the group as a whole, what can we learn?
When we apply labels to such a broadly and vaguely defined group of people – it can then become easy to dismiss the views of someone whom we have categorized into this group.
By jeeringly characterizing someone as an SJW in response to something they say, we may be engaging in anti-intellectualism – stifling opportunity for reasoned discussion. We become no better than those who wrongfully play the “racist” card to discredit your argument.
But, this isn’t to say that there can be no value in using labels such as ‘SJWs’.
Here’s a salient example:
You encounter an online comment somewhere, accusing someone of bigotry, where, upon rational inspection, no bigotry is to be found. You set out a logical response to the commenter, systematically deconstructing their argument, and explaining in a reasonable manner exactly how and why they are mistaken.
For a rejoinder, the person wittily pronounces you ‘a misogynist’.
You are now fully justified to reason to yourself:
“I’m dealing with an SJW deadshit. I shall thus not expend any further time, or mental resources in conversing with this creature, as doing so would most assuredly be a thoroughly unprofitable exercise”.
In short – use the term. Just be careful to critically evaluate your own usage –know when you’re engaged in anti-intellectual argument, and when you’re innocently mocking a dullard with the intellect of an ant.
See you in Part 2.