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Alia Al Hazami: Twitter activism: The rise of radical Social Justice Warriors
September 17, 2016
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Exclusive to The Gulf Today

In 2006, a social networking service called Twitter was created. Needless to say, it is a platform that has managed to take over the world, and actually change it. People who were interested in social issues used Twitter in order to stand up for what they believed in. They believed they had a cause, and this network had the ability to make their voices heard.

It was lovely to see that despite the atrocities going on in the world, people can still come together. You did not have to be an African-American to support the Black Lives Matter movement, nor did you have to be a Palestinian to support the Free Palestine movement. You could fight for issues that did not necessarily impact your existence and living.

I for one have learnt a lot from Twitter. It has influenced my way of thinking and exposed me to realities and issues I never knew existed. It made me more aware of what is going on in the world. Before I knew it, it turned me into a social justice advocate, or as others would label it, a Social Justice Warrior (SJW).

According to the Oxford Dictionary, an SJW is “a person who expresses or promotes socially progressive views”. To me, that is a beautiful definition that showcases the human’s interest in more than one’s self. However, as days went by, and as more people got into the movement, others started getting critical of the term.

Like all theories and beliefs, there are those who oppose and those who support. Most importantly, there are those who have a radical understanding of those movements. In the last two years on Twitter, I have seen a rise of radical SJWs. If anything, their radical understanding has made others wary of social justice. Such radicals have turned beautiful theories such as the feminist theory into one that came off as one that hated men and sought superiority. People are sinking into misconceptions by attaching negativity to matters that promoted equality due to their actions. Of course, that is still not an excuse; individuals must be aware beings. However, as we have seen with the association of terrorism with Islam, people tend to believe what they see the most on media.

Sadly, nowadays, when others look into what an SJW stands for and believes in, they get labelled as uneducated loud people on the Internet. They are portrayed as a group that fights for whatever is trending at the moment. They would stand for an issue simply to please their favourite blogger or Twitter user to get on their good side. In a nutshell, radicals have turned fighting for justice into a relentless struggle where political correctness is being thrown around.

Radical SJWs constantly want to prove that they are correct and disagreeing with them is the biggest sin humankind could make. They have completely disregarded the fact that the world is not black and white, as there are many shades of grey. Instead, they made sure that anyone who has a different testimony is wrong and they are not entitled to their own opinions. Now, even though opinions vary and should be respected, some people tend to have ignorant opinions. However, dealing with ignorance with ignorance is definitely not the way to go.

Radical SJWs have resorted to means such as making fun of others’ looks, interests, beliefs, and ideologies. In plain words, they are bullies. Personally, I find that to be very hypocritical. Social justice advocates for equality, acceptance and understanding, whereas radicals ignore all the things mentioned above in order to prove a point. Nonetheless, it is important to note that several people use the ad hominem tactic against SJWs in general, radicals or not, as a means of fighting back.

I personally do consider myself to be a social justice advocate, and I have had enough of being portrayed as a self-righteous Mother Teresa. I desperately ask those radicals to doublethink their actions. It is amazing to care for the world, so do not let others’ points of views demonise you. It is okay to agree to disagree. The only way anyone could even think of joining a cause is by being level-headed and debating the topic rationally. Ignorance cannot prevail when proper ways of communication are present. Do your best to fight for your cause positively; only then, people will join forces for a better world.

is the writer of “Alatash,” a columnist,
and an International Studies and English
Literature student at AUS.
Twitter: @aliaalhazami

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