They may be the most annoying people in the world. They don’t listen to reason, they accuse you of all sorts of evil intentions, and they never shut their mouths. They ruin the most innocuous of things. They are the social justice warriors (SJWs). And while they may be the most irritating people in the world, I think we as libertarians need to just start ignoring them more.
Yes, virtually all of their claims are wrong: western society has a patriarchy that oppresses women, western society has a privileged white class that oppresses minorities, etc. They get triggered when you don’t ask them which pronoun they prefer to use to describe themselves. You can go on and on with how ridiculous these people are. But what does constantly bickering with them solve? And is that constant bickering exactly what they want?
The typical SJW is an attention seeker. Everything they do is dramatized and everything requires a huge fuss. They even justify fake rape accusations by saying it brings attention to the issue of rape. By engaging them in conversation, no matter how one-sided, it helps them to receive attention. Though you may criticize them in the best way possible, you get their message out. And by showing that you care and are bothered by them, you provide the positive feedback that keeps them going.
For anyone who grew up with siblings, what did your parents tell you when one of them was bothering you? “Just ignore them and they’ll stop.” Even as a little kid, I knew this was true, but there was just too much personal satisfaction in returning fire. But that pursuit of satisfaction was short-lived. It ended with a fight or frustration—but either way, I got into trouble.
I know that plenty will disagree with me, but with all of the misinformation that exists in the world, I think that focusing on fighting the SJWs is basically a waste of time. Let’s give attention to issues that require a change of heart—the issues that we’re in the minority on in a big way—like how taxation is unethical, war is a racket, or how all humans have equal rights. These are the things that require most of our time and effort while the combating the war cries of the SJW basically requires none. The only people who believe an SJW who says that all men are rapists simply because they are men are other SJWs. This is not an idea that pervades mainstream thought.
So why do some libertarians spend so much time with it?
I believe it is because debunking SJWs is easy and there are enough people out there who loathe the SJW movement to consume the anti-SJW content and keep it going. And yes, I’ll admit, I get a kick out of it; it’s usually pretty funny. But it’s like a dirty joke: it’s a cheap laugh, so it doesn’t take much skill to execute it. Going after SJWs is like shooting fish in a barrel. Being proud of destroying an SJW in a debate is like me bragging about beating a four year old in a game of one on one basketball (I’m absolutely terrible at basketball by the way). I’m sorry, but I’m just not impressed. This is not to say that I feel the need to levy criticism every time someone goes after SJWs. My point is not that you should never focus your attention on these people. They do exist, so it is good to have good logical responses to them out there. And if you or someone or something close to you is attacked by them, then by all means do whatever you need to do to respond.
The seeking out of problems and feeling the need to constantly inject yourself into the SJW dialogs, however, is where I see the problem. As I said before, the vast majority of people do not relate to the ideas of SJWs. Being an anti-SJW warrior is a more or less self-serving endeavor. It has changed some of the people I follow in the libertarian world. They used to provide insightful content but now they just whine about what some crazy person said on Tumblr.
What’s worse is that the anti-SJW campaigns attract a reactionary movement that libertarians should probably steer clear of. The men’s rights activists (MRA) used to present good counterpoints to radical feminism, but many of them now are just as bad as their own enemies: they complain about meanies on the internet. The alt-right movement feeds off the attention they receive for critiquing the SJW movement. The problem with them, for example, is that you may start with a conversation about how ridiculous some of the Black Lives Matters movement has become and then wind up in a conversation about how black people are apparently a genetically inferior race.
It is okay to have views in common with people have other views you vehemently disagree with. Do not, however, fall into the trap of believing that the enemy of your enemy is your friend. React, but do not become a reactionary. When you produce libertarian content, remember to think about what your family, friends, and acquaintances might need help with. Sure, it might be fun to talk about the terrible things SJWs have said and done from time to time, but if you’re trying to change hearts and minds, don’t focus on the points of view that don’t need changing. If you do, you only bring attention to a point of view you claim to want to eliminate.