The average person pretends to know what they are talking about but in reality know only shallow surface points of the social issue or topic they are arguing.
Cue the social justice warriors (SJW), those passionate social issue advocates who start blogs, webpages and petitions to persistently “enlighten” people who either do not care or do not know about certain social issues like feminism or abortion.
Often times these individuals are ill-informed about the issues they are advocating or raising public awareness about.
According to Urban Dictionary, a SJW is “an individual who repeatedly and vehemently engages in arguments of social justice on the Internet, often in a shallow or not well-thought-out way, for the purpose of raising their own personal reputation.”
“I feel like they should learn more about the topic before speaking on social media because that’s how misunderstandings come about and [they] could be seen as ignorant,” said student Jamey Johnson.
Idrees M. Kalhoon stated in The Harvard Crimson, “Why is it that I find myself so often agreeing with a socially just cause, but none of its proponents?”
As a young adult, I can say that I have fallen into the SJW category, claiming I knew about an issue just to be knocked down with facts and opposing viewpoints.
I believe it’s natural to fall into the SJW title because when we are young, we have yet to fully develop knowledge about issues we believe we’re passionate about.
“We think we have all the information we need about something, but often times we miss the point of arguments or movements completely,” said student Shelly Gunther.
For example, in high school, I was a feminist advocate, thinking it was only about women and their rights.
I wanted people to see women as strong and independent after being disrespected by men and boys for being a female.
I knew little about the history behind feminism until I got to college and started researching about new age feminism.
I watched Emma Watson’s “He for She” speech for the United Nations (UN), advocating equality for all and read articles both defending and opposing her speech.
Now I tell people that I am a feminist. I preach and practice equality for all.
I believe that there are two types of SJWs: a negative, radical warrior and a positive, enlightening warrior.
For example, according to the Los Angeles Times, the Westboro Baptist Church is an extremist hate group that pickets outside of concerts, funerals for veterans, and street corners claiming “God hates everyone” and that if you do not agree with their ideals you will go to hell.
They have started blogs, webpages, and Twitter accounts advocating their views and forcing them down people’s throats.
They fail to look further into the issues, like sexuality and equality, they say God does not agree with, becoming ignorant, hateful and hated people.
“Sometimes they go too far, like they cross the line in some situations,” said student Leslie Pacheco when I asked about radical SJWs.
In my opinion, an example for a positive SJW is the “He for She” Campaign for the UN; they have a webpage and social media accounts but do not negatively promote the campaign.
They are not yelling, they are not commenting hateful comments, and they are not protesting with obscene signs.
I believe they have looked at both sides of their argument and have presented people with reasons why equality for all is important in today’s day and age. They hold talks at the UN of how inequality has impacted men and women
I believe that having a strong voice on an issue is definitely important because we can make a change and teach others about the issues, but there is a way to go about it.
With social media being so accessible and open for anything and everything, you can do your research after listening to an argument by reading articles, blogs, and listening to other voices who may offer you deeper, more informative facts about an issue you have found interesting.
Speaking to me with an open mind, showing both sides of the argument and making me feel equal to you will help me see your view rather than ignore it.