Social Justice Warriors and the New Culture War

I don’t quite know how to articulate it, but a big part of the movement in this culture war from the old positions of bigotry to the new positions of liberalism is that the art and ideas of the old bigotry relied on privilege in the casual corporate world of media. So the landscape was populated with crappy ideas, as with anything associated with advertising and marketing, but the crappiness of bigoted ideas didn’t get lose the juice of corporate privilege until recently.


I’m not at all sure of the author’s sense of political timing. From what I can see, feminism is losing ground on core issues like abortion, and “flash mob” issues get huge attention, but do not seem to be producing long term change. I am not encouraged.

Are we sure this isn’t going after soft targets (gamers) while the hardcore Christian Conservativen nuts are just too hard to crack?


She’s not American.


I moved 19 posts to a new topic: Should Social Justice Warriors reclaim the term Social Justice Warriors?

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I moved 3 posts to an existing topic: Should Social Justice Warriors reclaim the term Social Justice Warriors?

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Admintip: sometimes specific tangents, words and contextual stuff hovering around threads might deserve scrutiny in their own right. Remember that as it’s easy to start new threads here about tangents–say, the appropriateness of certain terminology–we generally like to keep threads on-topic and might delete off-topic or rhetorically leading postings.

Specifically, the topics of “Is the term Social Justice Warrior worth reclaiming in the first place?” and other issues related to the implicit or subconscious ableism of specific insults could do with their own venues here at BBS.


Mod note: Pay attention to the admin tip @beschizza gave.

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I moved a post to an existing topic: Should Social Justice Warriors reclaim the term Social Justice Warriors?

On the more substantive issues, here’s my question: 50 Shades of Grey
and Twilight contain an enormous number of gender stereotypes which are
generally taken to be damaging. Are these works of art classed
differently because they are literature, because they were written by
women, becuase they are popular among women, or for some other reason?
There’s been a fair bit of discussion about these issues in various
fora, but I haven’t seen the gamergate discussion framed in the wider
discourse about gender, sexuality, violence in art.

Or is the actual story about the reactions of that community when they were rousted?


Wait, hold the phone!

I just put two and two together…

Laurie Penny… of The Guardian? Featured on BoingBoing? Did I step into Bizarro world or something?


Oh, to be fair, it’s about something close to BB’s collective interests.

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The Nostalgia Chick addresses this very question, by brilliantly crowdsourcing a parodic novel of the genre. Check out 50 Shades of Green.

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One gains advantage by applying pressure to one’s opposition where they are weakest, not where they are strongest.


I check in on 4Chan from time to time, and the unspoken consensus seems to be, “we’re all losers here”. As if the only way for a betamale to level up his “sexy” badge is through trickery, or brute force. There is no “playing well with others”, when the “others” have different plumbing.

Anyone who mentions being female is mobbed with, “tits or GTFO”, and who can possibly take this kind of adolescent trash seriously?

I don’t think it’s a very large group that spews this poison, but they’re very loud to compensate for their numbers. Much like the christian right, the more they sense their old fashioned privilege being threatened, the more they puff up to make themselves look bigger and more fearsome than they are.

I can only hope that one by one, these basement dwelling neckbeards will eventually come out of their caves and socialize, maybe even get to have sex, and so notice that “the enemy” is not so different from themselves. As long as that process happens no slower than new ranks of forever alone virgins graduating into the ranks of trolldom, it’s going to be a death-spiral into irrelevance.


No, what I mean to imply is that the social justice warrior phenomenon is largely symptomatic of how media and technology are successfully pacifying and distracting the middle-class from actually challenging the real injustices and inequalities that our society is riven with - a society in which a certain percentage of the population are starving or below the breadline, a certain percentage are denied basic educational opportunities, and a small (increasingly precarious) middle-class are privileged enough to devote a considerable amount of their time and energy towards video games, becoming outraged by comic book covers, spending a hour or two online discussing whether Laurie Penny’s use of war rhetoric is appropriate, or whether the term “mouth breather” constitutes “ablest” rhetoric. To actually fight for social justice in a meaningful way would involve great sacrifice, putting oneself on the line, whereas it is far easier simply to do what most of us (and most so-called Social justice warriors) do: passively acquiesce to a society of massive inequality and injustice, continue to enjoy the perks of that unequal society (video games, fandom, technology), and yet persuade ourselves that we are after all very good and moral people, because we fight the good fight online as regards scrubbing video games of dumb representations of women, so we can enjoy those video games even more.


Well, I can’t afford great sacrifice, so I may as well heed your “xxxx or GTFO” assessment and do nothing.


If you can afford it, is it a great sacrifice?


The cut of your jib Yoda does like :smile:


Dunno about calling this thing a “culture war”. Seems more like getting rid of a wasp nest you found in a disused room of your house.

4channners have always found delight in shocking people, but the community wasn’t outright hostile to females before. It’s something that has gradually built up. In some ways it’s fascinating how established memes and methods feed into this gamer gate thing. Raiding and doxxing was something used against Habbo Hotel and racist radio hosts and so on, Then as the misogyny increased they became “acceptable” methods for going after females. There was that meme about attention-whoring gamer girls which I at first dismissed as the perennial fandom storm about who is a true fan and who isn’t. Except as female participation and visibility rose at fan conventions the tone became more irritable (get off my lawn cosplayers!). 4channers also have this wonderfully self-depreciating humor about being losers, virgins and 2D lovers but somewhere along the way it turned into self-pity: “I’m a nice guy, why won’t girls have sex with me”. Then they they try to console themselves by claiming girls aren’t worth it, they are cheating sluts and whores. Even so they can’t help it, some of them are so obsessed with sex they think it will improve their lives and social standing if they could just have sex once. So when you got a female game developer, apparently cheating on her BF, it was like blood in the water for the sharks.

I also suspect this is why some 4channers are so upset at their demonization, because they thought they were doing what they have always been doing on 4chan. It was just a female this time, nothing personal, just a bit of fun. This kind of fun is seen as being part of the community they like, which is probably why some are so keen to defend the gamer gate hashtag. They’re just sufficiently confused that they don’t realise they’re defending the tribe, not a tag or a cause. They can’t rehabilitate Gamer Gate but they’ll try because convincing people it’s legit makes the tribe look good, as if it was actually fighting a good cause. And you gotta admit, they’re pretty darn good at convincing themselves.