>My privilege may make me more comfortable engaging with Tumblr “social justice” discourse, not less.
>Seeing as I have like ALL the privilege, I’m only writing this because people with less privilege than me have recently been critiquing the “Tumblr social justice” memeplex, specifically from their position of disprivilege. These are people who seem to know the system quite well, as opposed to the odd “female/black/gay equalist/real justice blogger” or whatever.
>”Tumblr social justice” as I’ve experienced it is one side of a weird split in the “radical” left between economic and environmental issues on one hand and race, gender and other social issues on the other. Groups like Adbusters take hardline stances on the environment, the economy and class while being incredibly problematic (the "post-autistic movement"); “SJW” will often take Ontario NDP-esque “environmentalists are elitists” positions borrowed from the right, and just ignore class for whatever reason.
>Virtually the only people on the left committed to a principled investigation of all these topics are Marxists. I don’t know how to feel about this.
>”SJW” is a functionally valid term. Not every person from an oppressed position in society who talks about their oppression on the internet does so using the common terminology or principles (“x”-ism = power + privilege, etc.) identified with “SJW”. On the other hand, at this point it’s clearly loaded and problematic.
>It doesn’t seem fair that the movement commonly known as “social justice” should need a label, but the way a lot of people tend to identify their particular views and opinions with entire demographics, or the entire range of non-bigoted thought, often seems unhelpful.
>There is no strict set of rules. Everybody tries to act as if there is one which is a noble project. Everybody also tries to acknowledge their own hypocrisy which is also noble, but sometimes they don’t succeed. For example re: cultural appropriation, I’ve never seen a definition of this applied consistently. White people using AAVE is appropriative but white people rapping rarely is. Wearing a culture’s clothes is always appropriative but making and selling their food rarely is. Being Buddhist is appropriative even though it’s a soteriological religion that makes universal claims, Drawing, cosplaying or being obsessed with anime is only appropriation in a couple of specific forms that are “OK” to look down upon - some big-name “SJW’s” are worse weebs than me (e.g. fireworkcomic draws left-to-right manga not set in Japan where everyone still has Japanese names for some reason). It’s one thing when people critique problematic things and admit that they participate in others, but another when the things people say make you an “objectively terrible person” are not necessarily worse than the things they do. Which seems to happen often.
>This may be unavoidable at some level, but a lot of these contradictions seem like problems it could benefit the movement to look at and at least try to solve, more for its own peace of mind than in the interest of an abstract “coherence”. Which it might be easier to do if the movement/opinions within it could be treated as such - as an often highly abstract attempt to represent and deal with a set of underlying problems in society - rather than ~basic human decency~ or a set of obvious things that everyone should know by default.
>People seem more interested in letting the community check everyone’s privilege for everyone else than in checking their own privilege relative to each other.
>This may have to do with the “whatever reason” people ignore class - e.g. class privilege is the one shared by maybe the largest slice of the “social justice” community