Why Social Justice Warriors are losing

12 November 2014

5:46 PM

12 November 2014

5:46 PM

What has happened to social justice warriors recently? Every campaign seems to fail, the latest being a cack-handed attempt to police Twitter in order to win the Gamergate saga (turn to p194 for details).

Gamergate is one of those things that a couple of years ago would have been resolved quickly, going into the narrative as part of the great struggle against the ‘isms’. Instead it goes on and on, and SJWs seem to be losing the battle.

It’s not the only one. Take, for example, the ‘This is what a feminist looks like’ T-shirt campaign, which one would have expected the core group of online SJWs to win. Instead the campaigners looked like the aggressors; to make matters worse, it turned out that these luxury items (£45 for a T-shirt – being a SJW ain’t cheap) were made by people on 62p an hour.

Likewise the campaign to illustrate the problem of street harassment, which instead descended into an argument over race – as anyone who has ever visited the Planet Earth could have predicted. Social justice campaigns about sexism and racism will inevitably clash, but it’s amusing to see how some SJWs try to square this.


Even manufactured outrage seems to fail these days. Labour’s attempt to misconstrue Lord Freud’s words ended with booing on Question Time, while last year a similar effort at construing anger about an adviser’s comments on education and IQ met with a lot of resistance.

SJWs are a powerful but small group, and they depend on the good will and tacit support of a far larger number of social liberals. If they can win their backing then social change really is possible, even if it’s change that ignores prevailing evidence and which most people think is a bit nuts.

Social liberals inhabit what I think of as the ‘nice left’ and don’t like to confront issues where conflict is about the lesser of two evils, or which raise uncomfortable truths. People on the nice left will tend to support anything that a) makes them feel like they’re one of the good guys and b) doesn’t make them look ridiculous or unintelligent. Educated men in particular don’t want to seem unkind, but they can’t stand looking stupid.

Social justice warriors have been pretty successful over the past two or three decades, but they seem to be losing their touch. Perhaps this is because there has been a certain democratisation of opinion in the media; newspaper commentators, who for some reason take themselves as moral arbiters, tend to side with SJWs, but their monopoly of the pulpit has long faded. SJWs work by making disproportionate noise, but with the decline of the newspaper comment monopoly enough people with enough clout can see that, for example, Dominic Cumming’s word on IQ and education, or Lord Freud’s words on disabled workers were being twisted, or that the street harassment campaign didn’t quite fit the SJW narrative.

Compare the situation today with that of 20 years ago, during the greatest social justice warrior victory of all, the controversy over The Bell Curve – a big event in American and by default British cultural life. While the scientific community said one thing about Charley Murray and Richard Herrnstein’s book on intelligence, the political-media elite said another, and the public followed the latter’s lead. If The Bell Curve was published today it would be much harder for the modern-day Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to attack it.

The Bell Curve ‘war’ was an important issue in itself – as an opportunity to counter America’s growing inequality was lost. But it was also significant because it confirmed the idea that anyone who came to a controversial conclusion (in this case supposedly ‘racist’) could be ostracised, name-called and in the current parlance ‘shown the door’. That sort of ideologically-justified bullying is a key tactic of the social justice warrior movement, but when exposed as such can work against them. The nice left, after all, don’t like to be seen siding with self-appointed policemen of debate.

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Show comments
  • Brian Hull

    As a game designer I find it pretty hard to believe the world didn’t laugh hysterically at these clowns from the beginning.

    Fact 1) consumption of video games has EXPLODED in the past 30 years
    Fact 2) violent crime including rape and sexual assault has PLUMMETED in the past 30 years

    So what exactly are they fighting to prove? Is there really so little to worry about in the west that arguing over FEELINGS is all we have left?

  • ZombiesRuleTheWorld

    What a wonderful article. Thank goodness there are still people with a brain.

  • Alexander Rose

    Because they are morons. Anyone who does what that woman did is going to get death threats online and all kinds of other hate. Male or female. These morons (usually women) want other people to stop hating on them so that they don’t feel hurt or threatened, when they really need to stop letting it affect them.

  • P.J.101

    Women are toxic permalying parasites and ppl have widely begun to realize.
    so nice to see that.
    noone needs women. not even women. 🙂

    btw : women are the fascist gender.

    Menkind should finally face the truth and implement an early education of women, so that they will finally also develop too humans.

  • Aril

    It might be time to revisit the social cultural warriors vs social justice warriors debate to see who is winning.

  • GraveDave

    How the h e l l does an eight month old article like this pop up now?

    Btw, even the Guardian allows you to say words like ‘h e l l ‘ without mods holding it back. Infuriating.

  • James Fox

    Liberals are killing our country
    They are making the whole country (the USA) suffer because 1 asshole shot 9 people
    How? ban the Confederate flag, ban General Lee (the fucking car) and yank Dukes of Hazzard off the air
    And now the “Vote for me because i have a vagina” candidate (Hillary Clinton) is using the Charleston shooting to get votes

    • Sten vs Bren

      “Liberals are killing our country
      They are making the whole country (the USA)”

      Not our country.

  • justsomeone

    They’re only losing if they’re losing ground. The fact that an eminent scientist, a Nobel prize winner was thrown under the bus and made to resign over a wry look at working alongside women when a bizarre looking female journalist, whose CV has since been discovered to contain lies and distortions and whose ego and self-importance rivals her figure complained, shows these so-called SJW’s are gaining ground like Isis, and like Isis they lose the occasional battle.
    20 years ago no one would have paid any attention to that woman.
    He made a joke and the joke wasn’t really offensive, certainly not hateful. It would make many – including women – chuckle. It was almost sweet. And that one small joke was enough to ruin his career.
    Those so-called ‘social justice warriors’ have to be made to retreat, as does political correctness.
    There are some who fear that without political correctness we’d be beating up minorities and shackling women to the kitchen (why the kitchen? wouldn’t the bed make more sense?). In that, they’re similar to religious types who claimed that if we don’t fear God, we’ll be killing each other.
    That is nonsense. We’re decent people. We believe in decency. We don’t need and don’t want political correctness, which is a dangerously stupid totalitarian system that tramples over people, crushing their career and gradually crushing society.

  • Thorsted

    In relation to “The Bell Curve” Europe is now importing people that is with no use but a burden to society due low IQ. A year ago 2.repports came out and said that 50% of the current jobs would be automated or computerized away in the next 20.years.

    • TrueNorthFree

      The average IQ of subSaharan Africans is 70. How is that type of “diversity” a strength for our countries, especially when millions will be showing up on the beaches of Europe?
      We need to treat this as a hostile invasion and close our borders.

  • Steve Brulé

    SJW’s are not interested in justice. They are bigots and bullies hiding behind a camouflage of righteousness.

  • Fraga123

    As a White Male, I am ashamed of my existence and my implicit oppression – conferred by my very existence in the presence (!) of Minorities and Humans of Color.

  • Bob

    An answer: firstly, most people have twigged that SJW’s will simply never stop, there is always another moral outrage just around the corner to be had, it’s a default position in the SJ indoctrinated and frankly increasingly tedious to wider populace to deal with, and secondly, the SJW’s have revealed a distinct tendency to take hearsay as evidence, without the skillset to verify sources and respond accordingly, ‘outrage’ reactions are often knee jerk and even when shown to be based on incorrect evidence, the SJW will still defend their ‘in principle’.
    In short order the SJW’s face a future of purely media feedback loop communication with like minded souls in internet ghettos such as Tumblr.

  • Dean Esmay

    What’s happened is that most people upon repeat exposure to them realize they’re just plain awful, hateful bigots within a religious cult framework.

  • tz1

    The confederate flag is an SJW attack, and generally successful

  • Spider Jerusalem

    “threats against her have become part of the ‘#Gamergate’ controversy.”

    Yet no evidence of where these alleged threats are coming from has ever surfaced. Yes, it’s the boogeyman.

  • Don Carpenter

    The professional SJWs like Anita are grifters. Nothing more. They don’t care about their cause. They’re in it for money.

  • Rupert Murdoch

    I have generally liberal views, but I get turned off by the tendency of SJWs to latch onto rumors that fit their narrative of privilege and oppression, without bothering to substantiate the event. Case in point, “Hands up, don’t shoot.” When you rally around an event that didn’t occur, your credibility takes a hit when the truth comes out.

  • Jenny Bright

    shhhh, don’t tell Laurie Penny her head will explode!

  • JenkPac Shakur

    SJW’s are NOT fascists they are Communists. Even Eron Gjoni himself whose relationship drama with the lowlife sociopath Zoe Quinn that kicked off the GamerGate consumer revolt against corruption in game’s journalism is a self admitted Communist and social justice warrior. Literally he has referred to himself as both terms at different times but the terms mean one and the same thing and that is you as a person are a Communist and stand against the US constitution especially its freedom of speech and freedom of expression doctrine.

  • John Jones

    Social justice warriors are all mentally ill and evil.

  • ZURATAMA1324

    Glorified bullies with ideologies.

  • Jalil Middleton

    What is a psychopath like Anita Sarkeesian doing at an ambassador award ceremony?