If you don’t know what a “SJW” is, please be aware that it is not Single Jewish Woman, which was what I thought for the longest time and it confused me greatly. (Nor does it stand for Socialist Jewish Workers, which my husband thought for a long, confused time, too.) Basically, SJW is used as a pejorative to describe someone who is concerned about or active on issues that the insult-slinger deems phony or a misuse of one’s time.
To vegans who refer to intersectional activists as SJWs, here are 30 things to know…
1. I feel sad for you.
2. I feel sadder for this movement.
3. I feel saddest for the animals because you are pushing away many of the very people who could be fantastic advocates on their behalf.
4. You are alienating the people who could also actually help you become to be a more effective, far-reaching activist if that matters to you.
5. If it doesn’t matter to you, what the hell are you doing?
6. Also, I’m not sure if you’re a right-winger, but if you use SJW as an insult, you sure sound like one.
7. As such, I read your comments in Rush Limbaugh’s or Ann Coulter’s voice. You sound gross.
8. If being inclusive feels overly restrictive to you, maybe you should examine the kind of person you are. No, not maybe: you should really examine this.
9. If people tell you that you’re behaving like a bigot, is there even the teeny-tiniest possibility that they may be correct? That it's not just some kind of weird coincidence or attempt to tyrannize you?
10. I know that if even one person tells me that I am saying or doing something oppressive, I want to examine that but, hey, I’m a SJW.
11. You understand that veganism is a social justice cause, right?
12. Fighting bigotry, unfairness and injustice, yeah, who’d want to do such a silly, worthless thing?
13. It’s almost as if you think intersectional activists should get a life. Hmm…ever heard that one before?
14. I honestly cannot believe that I have to type this out, it should be that obvious.
15. If you refuse to entertain the idea that human oppression exists or believe that it only exists when you deem it as such, that is your limitation and it restricts your ability to be an effective advocate. Oh, also: a decent human being.
16. Speaking of, you do not get to be the arbiter of what is and what is not racism, sexism, etc. especially if you are not in a group harmed by racism, sexism, etc. (In case you are, I’ve got you covered: fast forward to #24, please.) Nor does having a friend, partner, whatever who is okay with oppressive attitudes negate the voices of those who find the attitudes to be problematic.
17. If you think that human suffering is not only acceptable but enjoyable because you despise humanity and believe that we should be punished, honestly, you are the worst and you are confirming what many already think of vegans. How does this help the animals?
18. Believe it or not, the above is an actual attitude I’ve encountered in vegan circles and it is wholly despicable.
19. A massive number of animals live and die in a nightmarish hell-scape that is completely unnecessary and unfathomably brutal. Dismissing the oppression of humans will not fix that.
20. Having the mentality of bigotry that underpins oppression recognized and rooted out can only help the animals.
21. Because shouldn’t we, you know, be working toward an overarching ethic of compassion and justice if we truly want to create a new reality for the animals?
22. You must be a pretty shielded person to decide that other forms of bigotry and oppression don’t matter.
23. If you are 1/32 Cherokee, you are not allowed to use that as an excuse for your bigoted views and remarks.
24. Actually, even if you are a disabled, transgender person of color, you are also not allowed to use your inclusion in marginalized groups as an excuse for your bigoted positions.
25. There is no valid justification for oppression. There are excuses but they are just that: excuses.
26. Seriously, I know I said this earlier, but why do I need to point this shit out? Isn’t this just basic common decency?
27. Without so-called SJWs, we wouldn’t have a vegan movement. You get that, right?
28. We also wouldn’t have the abolition of slavery, the Civil Rights movement, the right to vote for women and black people, the eradication of child labor in the U.S., the anti-sweatshop movement and on and on, but, yeah, what good were those whiny crybabies for, anyway?
29. Please stop talking on behalf of the animals. If you can’t treat people with basic compassion and understanding, you are doing far more harm than good.
30. For reals.
A Proud SJW