Ed West Ed West

Why Social Justice Warriors are losing

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.

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