SJW

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"The only way to win is to not read the crazy, and just fap and/or shlick to the pictures."

/d/

"People love to pretend they're offended."

– Matt Groening

"Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster."

– Friedrich Nietzsche
The SJW mindset in a nutshell.

Meaning

Skub's final form.

SJW stands for Social Justice Warrior, a term originated in the late '90s to mid-2000's, where it was originally more neutral and meant to refer to ardent or outspoken advocates of social change, usually for 'furthering' civil rights. This generally meant someone who demanded that all races, genders, sexuality... any group where members can't leave voluntarily be represented in media and treated with equal respect.

Nowadays, it has a less-than-savory connotation to most people who browse the internet, but especially to people within 4chan (especially /pol/ and /v/ - the lattermost is a partial by-product of the GamerGate shenanigans). The modern usage of SJW refers largely to the (usually but not always) left wing-group of people who demand that media and society be inclusive and inoffensive before all else - in practice, usually only to groups said SJW is a part of and those whose beliefs align with them. The extreme ones even attempt to police all media to influence the course of the rest of society and become - or get weaponized by - bigoted subversives attacking majority groups.

SJWs also tend to chuck that aforementioned respect out the airlock as they prioritize looking and feeling "good" over actually doing good, like most zealots. They frequently employ simplistic and/or ahistorical analyses that could wring both tears and rage from any fa/tg/uy's inner history buff (and not just the ones with military vehicle fetishes, either). Such piping hot takes also open them up to "easy debunking", often by a mix of opportunists looking for an easy 'gotcha', /pol/acks looking for an easy triggering or (perhaps most rarely) people who actually studied their shit - bonus points if said people are left-wing and/or themselves part of groups on whose behalf the SJWs pull this shit even as they speak over them.

Of course, the debunking may itself be poorly researched - most political discussions set the bar amazingly low, if you hadn't guessed. Some very vocal SJWs also practice the double standard of selective outrage (attacking a particular person or group over what they said or did, but glossing over similar behavior from other groups - bonus points if the latter group is one the "rager" is part of and/or claiming to defend).

In short, it's associated with activists that advocate a a view of progressive societal change that non-progressives and sometimes even progressive groups, like feminists and minority activists, perceive to be ostracizing, harmful or unnecessary. This being mostly subjective is why the definition is so contentious to begin with.

Expect Social Justice Warriors to show up or at least be mentioned anytime some combination of the following occurs:

  • A) a popular figure does or says something considered offensive, whether legitimately so or otherwise;
  • B) some asshole's trying to shut up people they're being rude to;
  • C) someone is harmlessly being a bit less politically correct than people want them to;
  • D) someone is being far less politically correct than the situation warrants; or
  • E) there isn't enough presentation in a work for ethno-social groups that are already infinitesimal to begin with.

On that note, feel free to play a drinking game where you take a shot each time Godwin's Law is invoked, and be sure to bid your liver farewell beforehand.

This is not to say that criticality of media to try to identify problematic elements or to work out ways that things can be improved upon going forward is in of itself bad. Books, movies and TV shows from the 1950s were much more prone to casual racism and sexism than media made in recent years and that process is still ongoing. Though there are complexities and stumbling blocks, in general positive representation of marginalized groups is a good thing.

Expect the affected thread and any other nearby discussion to be derailed in short order; this is becoming more and more frequent on /tg/ lately as hobbies like MTG, Dungeons and Dragons and Warhammer 40k are being subjected to changes that are viewed as "progressive" and generate unholy waves of skub. This often appears in the forms of users being accused of bigotry for either not checking off enough "oppressed minority" checkboxes in character creation, or else portraying certain groups too positively. The sources are generally either the usual crowd of trolls and shit stirrers, or else actual morons who want to show off their 'good guy' badges - aka virtue signaling - and miss the point of their ideals entirely. Naturally, most people who hold similar views prefer to voice them only when appropriate to do so, and outside of the "radical" fringe, they differ from the average fa/tg/uy only by the presence of a few things they think tabletop games could be better at doing.

This can and does often lead to rifts in communities, fanbases and franchises, with creators (most often independent ones) facing harassment and death threats. Despite this, even the largest companies and fandoms aren't immune (as all sides of the Star Wars fandom can attest). Any legitimate criticisms are almost immediately lost in the mix of mob mentality - just like most of the internet - and identity politics.

tl;dr: They are an awful lot like the Christians who started the Satanic Panic except more widespread, rooted in pushing socio-political agendas instead of religious ones, often get disproportionate support from media organizations seeking easy PR and drown out those concerned with real social justice issues.

See Also

  • /pol/ - /pol/ is the largest visible face of the "alt-right", the yang to the SJW's left-leaning yin... if the analogy works when one side has a worse track record and without the excuse of at least having a good cause to hide behind. Exudes a very similar rage to their perceived enemies, but it has a chance of ranging from hilarious (google Internet Historian He will not divide us or the Tumblr-4chan wars, or the CNN meme wars), to the pot calling the kettle black, to "Hitler did nothing wrong", to actual Neo-Nazis and mass shooters.
  • Nazi - A tyrannical political party that ruled Germany decades ago and instigated World War 2. As a result, the word is also used to name the above cases or serve as a snarl word aimed against those on the right wing.