Social Question

NerdyKeith's avatar

Do you agree that there is a crucial difference between feminists and social justice warriors?

Asked by NerdyKeith (5464points) October 3rd, 2016 from iPhone

Or the better question might be, is there a separation between the two?

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19 Answers

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

Yes and no. I’m a feminist, but at this point, I’m not actively lobbying or protesting for women’s rights. I believe staunchly in the need for women to gain equal rights and I don’t think we are there yet, even in Western countries like the US, the UK and Australia. However, there are women in other countries who are feminists and who are still actively fighting for the rights of women. I’m thinking of Malala Yousafzai for instance. Suffragettes were social justice warriors. There are women here (in Australia) who are actively trying to raise awareness of violence against women and for stronger action to stop this violence. They too are social justice warriors AND feminists.

So a social justice warrior may be a feminist. However, they might be fighting and protesting for some other cause – to stop the police shooting Black youths, to prevent cruelty against animals etc. The distinction is that they are actively doing something to challenge the status quo and to bring about some change.

stanleybmanly's avatar

If feminism is about “women’s liberation” then it is of course a social justice movement.

ragingloli's avatar

The former is real, the latter is a fiction, a strawman, designed to summarily dismiss an opposing position without having to come up with an actual argument.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

Depends on what faction of feminism you subscribe to. Social justice warrior is indeed derogatory but completely valid for certain people.

SmashTheState's avatar

The term “social justice warrior” actually originated on the left and is used to describe clicktivists and slacktivists, people whose dedication to activism and organizing consists of clicking “like” on Facebook, retweeting things, and waving a flag at protests. SJWs are the first ones to take offence at meetings and turn the proceedings into finger-pointing victimization sessions, and the last ones to volunteer for necessary scut-work. SJWs love to look radical by getting tattoos and piercings, joining controversial organizations, and making declamatory statements, but rarely if ever actually do anything radical.

The term was hijacked by RWAs, but in an ironic proof that even a stopped clock is correct twice a day, many self-identifying feminists really are SJWs.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

Stop the press! I’m in complete agreement with STS

janbb's avatar

The terms are so vague and undefined as to render the question meaningless.

elbanditoroso's avatar

I’d say that they’re pretty much the same.

Both are trying to use persuasive (sometimes coercive) means to achieve what they perceive as their goals.

But I agree with @janbb – the definitions of each are so amorphous that it’s hard to say.

Cruiser's avatar

Yes I do in that “social justice warrior” is a pejorative term presumably employed by those in opposition to said warrior. Feminism is a social movement indeed but IMO anyone who simply refers to a feminist as a “social justice warrior” is an idiot.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

I don’t use such terms because of their obscure definitions. I determine each person’s intentions to either make this a better world or not for all of us by their actions and words.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

@Espiritus_Corvus That’s how I tend to be. I have even advocated dropping the labels multiple times to folks here and other places but I’m usually then viewed as being hostile and not helpful. People have to have their tribal membership though. Fuck, I give up.

Sneki95's avatar

I’ll play with the meanings of the words.

According to Wiki, social justice warrior used to be a positive term in the beginning, but became an insult, in a way @SmashTheState wrote.

In other words, “sjw” lost it’s positive meaning and has only a negative one. Let’s go with that scenario.

When it comes to “feminists”, there are more meanings of the term at the same time. Or rather, the term is used with different meanings. Some see them as people who fight for female rights and equality; some others see them as crazy men haters.

So, sjw has one meaning. Feminist has two. Kinda

If we then connect sjw with feminism, I would say that it refers to the negative meaning of the word.

It does not refer to feminism in total, but the negative understanding of it.

So, it can mean that some feminists are sjws, but some are not.
Or rather, that sjw equals only to one meaning of feminism.

But then again, some use feminism only with it’s negative meaning and omit the positive one.

Which means it can all be brought down on who you ask. If a person uses the term feminism in negative meaning, then it can be made equal with sjw. If a person uses the term in positive meaning, then it will probably not be connected with sjw.

I am speculating. I may be wrong.

But if you put it like that, it seems that “feminism” has broader meaning that “social justice warrior”.

That may be the difference between the terms.

I repeat, I may be very wrong there.

Anyone feel free to point out anything wrong in here.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

SJW most certainly is not only applicable to feminists.

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

@janbb The terms are so vague and undefined as to render the question meaningless.

Agreed. The question isn’t worth addressing.

DominicY's avatar

I’m inclined to agree with @Call_Me_Jay, but to address the question, I’ll just say that in current parlance, SJW seems to be a largely pejorative (and largely internet-focused) term that refers to extremists on the “social justice” side or those who are all talk and no walk. So while some radical feminists might fall under the definition of SJW (i.e. those who complain about “man-spreading” and dismiss all men’s issues as silly and irrelevant), many feminists probably would not.

stanleybmanly's avatar

A feminist is a social justice warrior. The only question involving the validity of the definition is around the squabbling over the necessary degree of commitment, involvement, dedication, etc.

NerdyKeith's avatar

@SmashTheState Great answer you have there. But would you mind clarifying what exactly a RWA is? Excuse my ignorance.

SmashTheState's avatar

@NerdyKeith It stands for ”Right Wing Authoritarian,” and the term was coined by renowned psychologist Bob Altemeyer.

NerdyKeith's avatar

@SmashTheState Thank you for your information. Much appreciated.

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