Wednesday, September 21, 2016

No, I did not invent or promote "social justice warrior" in 2009

I'm a bit obsessive about getting the facts right, so here is why I am often falsely credited with coining or promoting "social justice warrior" in 2009.

I encountered the term in 2011 (or 2012; see note below) at Be a SJ Ally, not a SJ Sally. I went to Urban Dictionary to verify it. I didn't like the term because it was ironic and irony is always misunderstood by literal-minded people, but it was already being used and I couldn't think of a more precise alternative for the people who rage, mob, dox, and issue death threats in the name of social justice. So I accepted the name when I made this blog, which was originally titled Social Justice Warriors: Do Not Engage. I imported some posts I had made elsewhere, including some from 2009, which had the unintended effect of making it look like Social Justice Warriors: Do Not Engage had existed under that name since 2009.

Since "social justice" was coined in the 19th century, it had been associated with pacifists who believed in working in the world and treating everyone with love and respect, so the common expression for those people was social justice workers. Only rarely was "social justice warrior" used as a term of praise by the same people who use "Christian warriors" as praise, failing to note that it evokes the Crusaders who massacred Albigensians and sacked the Christian city of Constantinople because it was an easier target than any Muslim city.

Calling Martin Luther King a "social justice warrior" appears to be a retcon. If you search his writings, you'll find few references to social justice. Durng the 1960s, the term was still primarily a theological concept. King, a democratic socialist, was more concerned with economic justice, which is why his most famous speech was given at the culmination of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom and he was killed during the Memphis Sanitation Workers Strike while planning the Poor People's Campaign.

ETA: To my amusement, people are discussing my use of the term at Talk:Social justice warrior/Archive1 - RationalWiki. I suspect David Gerard is correct about the timing.

Monday, September 19, 2016

More men than women think the US is ready for a female president

Poll: Most Americans ready for female president | TheHill:
Women are slightly less confident than men about the country's readiness. Seventy-six percent of women say the country is prepared to elect a female president, compared with 83 percent of men. 
And though the country overwhelmingly says it's ready to elect a woman, just 3 in 10 respondents identify as feminists.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Are Female Candidates Still Running Against Gender Bias? | Columbian College of Arts & Sciences | The George Washington University

Are Female Candidates Still Running Against Gender Bias? | The George Washington University:
We systematically looked at media coverage of 800 U.S. House races involving more than 1,500 candidates across two different election cycles from 2010-2014. It turns out that female candidates run virtually identical campaigns as men—from the issues they talk about to the language they use to the personal traits they stress. They are just as likely to be covered fairly by the media as men. Voters are just as likely to regard women as strong leaders. The bottom line is: When women run for electoral office, they are just as likely to win as men.