What’s this whole SJW thing anyway?

Greetings! I am Isende (eye-sen-day). I know, difficult to figure out how to pronounce, but that’s ok. I speak phonetics 🙂 You can also call me ‘Sende; see what I did there? Removed one complete syllable by simply removing one letter! Yeah me!

I have been thinking about what to blog, how to blog, why to blog. I believe I have perspectives that, perhaps, being shared, will help others. Long and short of it, that’s my goal. To help others. Why? Certainly not altruism! No, it’s because I want the world around me to be a happier, easier, less-stressful place to live in. And if I can effect some form of change, small or large, by penning words … why not try it? Keep in mind; to me, my happiness is my responsibility, yours is your responsibility. However, my being happy can impact you, and vice verse; isn’t it time we became aware of this, but from a slightly more enlightened perspective?

Caveat — cuz ya know, you can’t write without having some! I’m not an expert in anything except being me. I’m not an expert on social issues, nor on the complexities involved in them, nor on the ways & means of handling them. What I am is a human who’s aging, which means (hopefully!) gaining experience, and that experience shows me, more and more, that we are all inextricably linked one with another. It’s also shown me that while there may be a “common” understanding of some things, there’s also a common reality; not all things are what they seem. For instance, there are multiple different schools of thought in feminism. It’s not enough, anymore, to label someone a feminist; shouldn’t you also know which brand of feminism they’re espousing? How can you adequately argue with them if you don’t really understand where they’re coming from?

Anyway. To begin, I want to talk about responsibility. It is the premise I operate from in pretty much everything I do — what am I responsible for? Where do my responsibilities begin, and where do they end? What, exactly, is responsibility, and how does it play out in our lives? If you watch the following video, you’ll see where I came up with the definition I now currently espouse — responsibility is having an ability pertinent to a situation, then deciding what one’s response to that situation can be. The video is of Richard Pimentel, an Army Veteran who served (thank you!), and a man who has since been an unequivocal advocate for the rights of what we term “Disabled” folk; you can see his video here: clicky to watch! He says, “Responsibility isn’t what someone else puts on you. Responsibility isn’t your job description. Responsibility isn’t a paper you sign. We all find ourselves looking at situations … and we all find ourselves with abilities. And what we have to ask is, ‘Given my ability, what then will be my response …?”

He asks an amazingly important question, and I believe it’s important for each of us, also, to ask this question. What are my abilities? Given any situation, what are my potential responses? Which will be of the most benefit to myself and those around me? Or, in the case of many of our first-responders, military personnel, and so on — Which will be of the most benefit to those around me? Notice that “me” has been taken out of the latter equation. I will likely discourse, at some point, on species survival vs individual survival, but that’s not today’s post.

Next, I want to talk about SJWs. You know, those lovely Social Justice Warriors whom, we presume, just want to beat us over the head with sticks and rub our face in what we should be doing/thinking/saying, without actually doing/thinking/saying those things themselves. I looked up SJW after I got lambasted in a game forum (yes, I’m a gamer!) for being an SJW. At the time, I hadn’t heard the term. The situation was this: one of our participants on the website for a new game was requesting that the character creator have a slider option for muscularity of characters — male and female. I don’t recall if this player was male or female and, really, I think it’s irrelevant. What is relevant is that, for this person, having the ability to pump up the muscles was a very big deal, whether their characters were male or female.

Oh, wow, the backlash this person received! As they posted pics of their past characters, they received comments such as “I’d puke if I saw a woman who looked like that!” to “No one should be able to make a character like that, it’s too ugly!” and so on and so forth. Now, to my simplified way of thinking, who cares? Am I paying this gamer’s fees for the game? No? Well then I don’t really have any right to tell them how to play, now do I? Nor does anyone else. Further, if I have the right and ability to create a character I want, the way I want it to look, shouldn’t everyone else? So, of course, I piped in with the above question, and was instantly slammed by one of the more vociferously toxic players with the epithet “You’re just an SJW!” And each time I projected an opinion, I received a variation on the same theme. I asked him once if I was supposed to be offended; what do I know, right? Let’s just forget for a moment that I choose what to be offended by, and he just wasn’t cutting it!

Me being me, I had to go look up SJW. Remember, I still had to figure out if I should be offended or not! Then I had to go look up the history of SJW. I mean, I’m fairly well-read, but I hadn’t come across it yet. In essence, once upon a time, an SJW was literally what it sounded like — someone who stood up for others’ rights, or their own. Nowadays, it is more of a bad name. It’s applied to people who stand against anything, it seems, that someone else is standing for. So if someone’s standing for oppression and you say “No oppression!” you can be called an SJW, just as well as if you’re the one standing for the oppression. In essence, it’s a way of attacking someone for countering your opinion/belief/etc.

Why, you’re asking, does any of this matter? Remember the above, about responsibility? Well let me throw another wrench in the works, ok? It’s a quote by Marcus Aurelius; if you don’t know who that is, feel free to go visit Google! The quote is:”Men are born for the sake of each other. So either teach or tolerate.”

We are social creatures; in order to thrive, we must interact with others. I am quite an introvert, but I still require friends in my life. Other people I look up to, whose opinions I wish to gain, or whose experience I wish to emulate, or what-have-you. I’ve also been described (and self-described!) as a hermit; I love being in my own home. However, I also love entertaining others in my own home. Let me cook for people and I’m happy! When I receive any services; when I have to do a job; when I interact with clients; when I talk to my neighbors … in all these instances, I must interact with others. In fact, I looked up jobs with no social interaction. The following link lists some of them: click me, click me!

Yet, each of those jobs at the very least has a boss, and has a customer. In other words, people. In yet more words — social interaction. It is still possible, I’m sure, to completely isolate oneself from people. But for most of us, social interaction is normal, it’s expected. We know we’re going to have to engage in it. So what, then, will our position be? Will we strive to assist or to hinder? Why? What’s driving each response? What’s our ability within these situations? What are the beginnings and endings of our responsibility, within these situations?

These are the things I intend to write about. Further, it’s my goal to bring SJW back to being a description of good people, not a description of people who’re combative for the sake of combat. Yes, I know; long shot, right? I mean, that’s no small undertaking. But a journey of a thousand miles begins with one step, and this is my first step. Let’s see where it takes us, shall we? It is my position, and one I’ll continue to try to share, that we get more out of helping/supporting/building up than we’ll ever get out of tearing down. That’s what I intend to promote; that’s the Social Justice Warrior I intend to be.

I welcome comments. I also welcome criticism and correction; keep that in mind for future writings. Also keep in mind that I’m aware of my own abilities and limits. In short, you wanna be toxic, trollish, or any other yucky behavior, and I have the right to refuse to respond to you. Arguments do, after all, require two statements (or people) in order to occur. Oh — for those who don’t understand the statements part, think mathematics 😀



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