Some answers may have been merged – ie, where I’ve been given the same link/article/answer multiple times, I will just include link with a note of how many people answered with this in the format: [article](x5)
Some answers may not be included if they misunderstood the question – they may instead have moved to ‘bonus’ as a section. Will highlight if that is the case.
People are anon if they didn’t explictly say “call me x”. Email me again if you want to change that 🙂Anon referencing consistent within this topic, but not with others.
1. Define what you mean by SJW (Social Justice Warrior).
Anon1: “SJW is negative slang, specifically a label applied to people who are willing to harass those who have differing opinions, or to defend certain people without actually looking at the facts of the situation, in relation to “social issues” such as sexism, racism, etc. Often they will be someone who does not fall within the group they are defending. Often their spoken opinions will be somewhat hypocritical (e.g. attacking a woman for disagreeing with their own view of feminism). Often they will dismiss presented evidence that goes against their public beliefs. They will look for things to be offended by (someone casually saying an “abelist” term by mistake). Often they will badger someone for an apology, then take it as an admission of guilt, then proceed to attack that person even more (this encourages people to not apologise, or even engage with them, in order to avoid being harassed further). Often they will “shout down” someone, rather than attempting to understand their point of view, or openly discuss things. Often they will demand unrealistic changes that would be difficult, or impossible, to obtain in real world conditions. Often they will demand the silence of other groups or individual people based on “privilege”. Often they will focus on the negative aspects of a group, without also discussing the positive aspects that would fit with their goals (looking at mistreatment of women characters, but not the well treated women). Often they will parrot incorrect or lazy readings of statistical data to support their case. Often they will try to inject general social issues into specific fields and demand major changes to accommodate them. Aethiesm, Science Fiction, Occupy Wallstreet, Technology have a number of examples where these sorts of groups have derailed the actual topic in order to force their own discussion, only for the whole discussion to become so fragmented that it completely collapsed.
It is entirely possible for someone to be a feminist, or to fight for the civil rights of minorities, without being considered a SJW. It is entirely possible to ask for better representation in certain fields. It is possible to do this without being part of that minority group. It is possible to encourage the whole of society to adopt changes rather than to blame a niche group within it. Adding voices to a discussion should enhance the debate, not create a form of “group-think” that rejects alternative interpretations or solutions.”
Anon2: “(Disclaimer: No vocal SJWs in my free democratic country.)
For me a SJW is someone who wants social justice right now by trying to change the way people think and behave in accordance to their own believes. For example: throwing a hand full of underscores and asterisks on a text to counteract ableistic and sexistic language, demanding from others to do the same and labeling everyone who doesn’t follow suit “oppressive asshole”. Someone who projects their insecurities as anger on everyone they perceive privileged resulting in slurs like “white cis scum”. Big part of my definition is also that SJWs think of everyone who is not 100% in line with their believes to be the enemy, for a real SJW there is no middle ground. Finally most SJWs seem to have no problem treating enemies using the same concepts they claim they want to change.
In short: Not everyone fighting for Social Justice is a SJW, but those behaving like assholes are.”
Anon3: “I think SWJ is just a term used by people who either are on the right or don’t agree with the message of people to dismiss them.”
Anon4: “I want to consider myself an SJW, but after spending a lot of time on tumblr, I decided against it. I do however, advocate for social justice for sure. I actually JUST finished writing a twitlonger about this before checking your WordPress again. You can read it here if you like. Mentally, I make a very clear distinction between social justice /advocates/ and SJWs. Social justice advocates are those who are really fighting for equality and justice in the real world and online by helping the disadvantaged. SJWs are are creepy cult that call tumblr and other parts of the internet home and are more concerned with maintaining their image of justice and victimhood within their clique and insult and guilt the privileged instead of actually helping the disadvantaged.
The stereotype is that they make big deals out of nothing and have really warped views on the world, but I’ve personally interacted with people on tumblr who call themselves SJWs and I can literally confirm that those stereotypes are true more often than not. They might honestly have good intentions, but these SJWs don’t show it. Of course, there are reasonable SJWs who actually do help and self-identify as SJW and think these radicals don’t define the label, and I really do sympathize with them. Just look at how #GamerGate was hijacked by people who would rather harass Ms. Sarkeesian than write e-mails to advertisers.
Might seem ironic that I decide to include myself in one group that seems to have been hijacked but refuse to include myself in another, but the distinction is that the majority of people who would call themselves SJWs and are doing something for the supposed cause, don’t, while the majority of people who would use #GamerGate and are doing something for the supposed cause, do. It’s a matter of proportions. At a certain point you can’t even say SJWs are a group of well-meaning people that includes a small number of toxic tumblr alarmists anymore. They ARE the poisonous alarmists. Other people who actually care have moved beyond the label and so have I. SJWs allowed their label to be hijacked, #GamerGate is actively calling out our hateful members so that the same doesn’t happen to us, which is why I’m still using the tag.”
Anon5: “It’s pejorative, braching from ‘armchair warrior’: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Armchair_warrior – It basically means people who are ill-informed about a ‘social justice’ issue and veheminantly defend their stance, believing themselves to be morally correct, usually betraying hyprocrisy in their rhetroic. To wit, just because you support or are active in ‘Social Justice’ (eg. Feminism), does not mean you are automatically an SJW.”
Anon6: “It’s shorthand to refer to a particular type of activist, generally but not exclusively online. Key characteristics are the wholesale and unquestioning adoption of modern extreme feminist/anti-racist ideology which beliefs are manifested in tactics that tend to avoid debate but instead bully, silence opposition, apply fallacious logic and, ironically, justify the sneering and attacking of others based on their gender/race etc. “
Anon7: “Someone who imposes his political view on others and state you or this game is wrong for not fitting that view, im against political correctness agenda harrasing any creative product”
Heather Alexandra (non-GG): “As someone who probably falls under the SJW category, I don’t quite understand the term. It’s pejorative but the overuse has robbed it of effectiveness. I get that it applies to people being forceful with their agenda and being unwilling to listen to others but the larger context of “social justice” doesn’t strike me as something terrible. “
Anon8: “SJW is a person that claims to fight for minorities and social injusticies. What separates a SJW from a feminist / X rights advocate is how they go about it – an SJW will disregard any and all voice that isn’t their own, using bullying and other “strong arm” tactics to silence anyone that doesn’t agree with them. If that doesn’t work, they’ll just ignore the other party.”
Anon9: “Honestly I don’t care about this one. Just keep in mind that the concept of social justice warrior was not originally a pejorative. It only came one later. There is nothing wrong inherently with the idea of social justice, but the actions of certain individuals changed how the term was received.”
Nathan: “It’s twofold with me. There’s one kind, the “follower,” where they’re naive, disingenuous, and often young and read from a list of talking points, claiming to be against bigotry when they’re in fact against anyone not like them, which is the definition of bigotry. That’s the Tumblr crowd. Then there are the leaders, such as Anita Sarkeesian and Suey Park, who are disingenuous and make a living from their “suffering.” I liken it to the right’s fixation with abortion at the highest levels of office. Do they want abortion to completely go away? Of course not, since it gets them so many votes from the religious. If abortion was made illegal, those religious would turn their attention elsewhere, and might just vote for someone else. That’s how SJW leaders think. They’re not in it to actually fix anything. They’re abusing these issues to shamelessly self-promote, expand their “brand” and get high-dollar speaking engagements.”
Anon10: “It’s a name given to pretty much anyone who disagrees with gamergaters – apparently they believed this was a terrible insult. It’s been adopted by social rights activists and supporters. Ultimately it’s a fairly meaningless term.”
Anon11: “Personally not very interested in the label and I don’t use it. But I am certainly troubled by people who through their commitment to social justice in fact practice unacceptable forms of discrimination, and I would guess this is what many mean by “SJW.””
2. Do you agree with this statement: “Being Anti-Corruption and Anti-SJW are hand in hand.” If so, why? If not, why not?
Anon1: “Anti-corruption does not necessarily deal with SJW opinions. SJW have a much smaller influence on bigger news outlets, as those outlets tend to deal with AAA publishers who hold the real money. These AAA publishers can throw millions of dollars in advertising and products at a website, essentially brute-forcing a background noise of their product. No AAA publisher would claim “Gamers are dead” because they know and acknowledge that gamers are the ones who pay for their product. If anything AAA publishers are the ones who pushed the “gamer” identity in order to market their product.
Anti-SJW is much more about retaining a sense of community that anyone can enjoy. Anti-SJW are more about games that do not have to cater to one groups ideology. SJW would be happy to complain that every game features a “straight white male” as the lead, but completely forget the vast array of games that feature no lead character (e.g. RTS, puzzle, management, racing) or lead characters who are not even human (e.g. Edge, Toki Tori, Escape Goat). Anti-SJW do not want only games “with a message” and little else, like Gone Home or Depression Quest. Anti-SJW do not think “fun” or “entertainment” is “problematic”, nor does it have to “mature” to be taken seriously. At its most I would say Anti-SJW do not want “feelings” to trump gameplay elements or entertainment. A game that scores highly because the reviewer “felt the story spoke to them” or scores low because the reviewer was “offended” is not good practise. The reviewer may have felt the story was well delivered, or that they found the game too heavily relied on toilet humour, but then they should say that. “Problematic” or “offensive” as words do not explain anything beyond some abstract meaning known only to the reviewer.”
Anon2: “Might be nitpicky, but I’ve got a problem with the “and”. One can be an anti-corruption SJW who just doesnt see SJWs influence as corruption, someone could be just anti-corruption or anti-SJW while not caring about the other. Only the combination SJW pro (from their point of view) corruption seems impossible.”
Anon3: “As far as gamergate is concerned, yes. The people who are pro gamergate are the kind of people who don’t want to hear about what “SJW” have to say and feel they’re ruining games by getting other people to talk about it. Instead of just taking themselves out of the conversation or giving the opposite view they’d rather label it as corruption and try to sweep it away.””
Anon4: “Nononononononononononononono. NOoooooooooooooooooOOooooo. There might be a lot of overlap between those who are corrupt and are willing to sell good reviews, and those who want to push an extremist agenda, but the two issues are separate, though and through. SJW who just want to write reviews and say games are shit based on their own experience on them on a gaming site are welcome to. SJW who want to make their own games that illustrate and push their agenda are welcome to. I will disagree with them and might criticize them based on my own beliefs, but their freedom to do these things is protected by hundreds of years of the Western tradition of liberty.
What is NOT protected however, is if these SJW want to intimidate and/or bribe dev studios and journalists into doing things they themselves don’t want to do. That is not being anti-SJW, that is being anti-corruption. I’m against corruption, and that corruption might be perpetrated by SJWs. I don’t care about their identity. I just care that they’re manipulating people. I’d be just as angry if I found out Ron Paul’s supporters in dev were buying good reviews to push their agenda or that a 9/11-truther journalist was funding devs that agreed with them on Patreon, then covering their games unfairly.”
Anon5: “No. While they go hand in hand with GamerGate because there happens to be cross-over, they are two seperate issues. DoritoGate for example, was purely Anti-Corruption.”
Anon6: “I disagree. An SJW is likely to consider him or herself anti-corruption at any point where he/she perceives corruption although due to the beliefs/tactics adopted, he/she will likely only ever perceive it when it involves straight white men. An anti-SJW person may well accept corruption that is pragmatic as the cost of doing business or, like SJWs, may only perceive it when it involves SJWs or those for whom SJWs speak. The two go hand in hand for supporters at #GamerGate because of the issues raised by the events that led to the #GamerGate protest.”
Anon7: “I agree, corrupt politicians in my country [PixieJenni note: person is writing from South America + references Ecuador, Venezuela and Argentina] hide behind left wing statements and social issues, the similarities they share (playing the victim, making us an enemy to the public opinion) with Anita Sarkessian and SWJs frightens me, they dont care about gaming or those social issues, they just use it to personal gain.”
Heather Alexandra (non-GG): “I don’t think so. I think there’s plenty of opportunity for ‘corruption’ to occur in games and games journalism that is robbed of a social justice component. The situation years back with Jeff Gerstmann comes to mind. “
Anon8: “I don’t think that persons being at the root of the current conflict are actually SJWs, they just use them as a smokescreen of sorts, directing angry gamers towards an easy and already disliked target while keeping a tight lip about what it’s really about. This is why Zoe Quinn keeps popping up time and time again. So, no, I don’t think fighting corruption equals fighting SJW, to properly fight one it is necessary to ignore the other.”
Anon9: ” I do not agree with that. Not all corruption is due to “SJW” and not all SJW are corrupt. There are many that are, but not all. To me Gamergate is not about social justice, or defaming those who seek it. Though many of the corruption issues are related, the issues are two different things. Much of the corruption comes from AAA game industry. I do think it can’t be denied that some individuals are trying to push agendas for their own gain, under benevolent monikers.”
Nathan: “In terms of GamerGate, yes. A few self-promoters have found their way into the industry, or others are taking others’ harassment and making it into a victimization shield for their bad behavior. However, when you expand it beyond that, absolutely not. Hypothetically, if Car & Driver or some gearhead publication got super-cozy with the oil industry and started publishing “Why we should drill in Alaska” articles, all while going to parties with the CEO of Ford and receiving free Mustangs in return for favorable reviews, then that’s the exact same issue as GamerGate, and has nothing to do with social justice or SJWs.”
Anon10: “No – one is about the supposed corruption of people who report on games and one is about persecuting people. “
Anon11: “No, but there are examples where something like a “SJW” position (again don’t normally use the term) could prop up unacceptable practices like corruption. For example, one might so fervently supports giving minority people a “leg-up” in the job market (which is not a disagreeable thing in itself) that they support illegal forms of discrimination to meet that end. I have seen a prominent indie dev support such a thing, but not the place to name names. In short, not necessarily, but it depends on what one means by “SJW” which I don’t have a strong opinion on.”