“I wanted to write a movie that was about modern activism. I see that a lot of people want to care and want to help, but in general I feel like people don’t really want to inconvenience their own lives. And I saw a lot of people just reacting to things on social media. These social justice warriors. ‘This is wrong, this is wrong, this is wrong.’ And they’re just tweeting and retweeting. They’re not actually doing anything.”
Eli Roth had that to say and more about SJW’s in an interview this past July with the LA Times. He followed up this shot across the bow to online activist types with a poster that could only be described as inflammatory, at least to anyone familiar with the ongoing culture war being waged online. The problem with taking on this term is that Roth also has to take on all the baggage that comes with it – namely an association with misogyny, racism and harassment so strong it has arguably poisoned the well. That is, of course, if you don’t think the water down there wasn’t toxic already.
So what is a Social Justice Warrior? Where did the term come from?
A common belief is that the term SJW arose out of online gamer culture. In 2015, the term is commonly associated with the GamerGate movement and this strange axis of gaming, right-wing libertarianism, pickup artists, white power, mens-rights and Silicon Valley “brogrammer” culture but it’s actual origins give us an important insight into the term and how it was used, then and now.