May this go deep into the annals of political hypocrisy: The notion that the only demographic that can crusade for vacuous causes, or even be offended at ridiculous things in society, is the modern liberal. The reality is much more colored than such a postulation, and far too many of my conservative acquaintances seem to believe they are immune to the same criticism that is oft-leveled (justifiably) at their leftist counterparts.
So, what is a “social justice warrior” (SJW)?
Most commonly, it is understood as a pejorative term to describe extremist progressives. But… why? Are there not social issues that conservatives also see as abhorrent and wrong? And do they not also wish to see a form of “justice” take hold in these avenues? Why should we allow the puritanism of one side go unchecked while the other remains spotlit?
I submit that the reason for the colloquial understanding of what makes an SJW simply derives from the fact that the extremist progressives of our time constitute low hanging fruit – any idiot with even the smallest grasp of perception can see that the Trigglypuffs of the world are walking cartoons; it’s much more difficult to be just as critical of equally bad ideas when they are currently gilded by an artificial veneer of rationality. This latter description is precisely applicable to the group of folks I refer to as the SJWs of the right.
So, who exactly are these right wing SJWs I describe, and what causes do they rally behind?
Well, for starters, we have the alt-reich, whose handful of rising star personalities are giving once-dead anti-intellectual bastions such as pseudo-bigotry and the very unscientific “scientific realism” new life for a new generation. But these are not the only perpetrators of what I see as the SJW pet problems of the right; and the evangelical wing of Republican activists, as well as the Christian reconstructionists, are pushing for theonomy and historical revisionism in order to push their own moral agendas on modern America. These are, despite no longer being as prevalent in the hot-button locales of the moment (i.e. college campuses), no less erosive to the foundations of true liberty, and therefore should be met with equal scorn.
Perhaps a more “libertarian” framing is still in order, so allow me to agglomerate this succinctly: Any individual or agency that promulgates moral judgment at the legislative level is a non-libertarian actor, because morality cannot be legislated. And it doesn’t matter whether it’s a right wing actor or a left wing one; both are equal enemies of freedom.
I recently stumbled across a meme on social media that proceeded to slut-shame Melania Trump in an attempt to… what, exactly? I honestly had to read it a couple of times before I understood just what angle was being played. And to be honest, I still don’t fully know if the meme was conceptualized by a liberal or a conservative. Because both groups slut-shame women, but always for different reasons and under different circumstances. But both groups make the same mistake of assuming that sexual liberation and bodily autonomy are conditional, limited things. Why? Because to embrace sexual freedom in every circumstance would challenge a long-ingrained societal norm?
Let us look at an example of slut-shaming occurring on the right.
I see no inherent difference between trying to put conditions on freedom of speech vs. doing the same to freedom of one’s own person, as both are constitutionally delineated. And yet, the conservative brand of SJWs always seem to make an exception for the latter issue. They treat women as objects by using them as ammunition for their own political agendas and against someone else’s. They speak of sexuality as if it’s a horrible thing that should be shunned from public, and speak of women who disagree with that notion as if they are lesser human beings. They crusade against Miley Cyrus, and support laws that keep women from baring their bodies in public spaces for any number of faux-responsible reasons. Why? Well… for the greater good of society. For the morality of society.
But then, if those on the right who hold these views are truly sincere in their justifications for legalizing moral subjugation, then what gives them the right to scorn and humiliate and protest those with the same exact motivations on the left? Because their causes happen to be different?
It’s the same marching band, albeit with different players, and it is wrong regardless of who is leading the march. Freedom is freedom. Liberty is liberty. And if one cannot grasp that concept with any level of objectivity, then there is no nobility to be found in any subsequent judgement of the opposing sides’ SJW efforts.
This post was written by Micah J. Fleck.
The views expressed here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect our views and opinions.