I will say one thing: before GamerGate, I wasn’t too familiar with the term “Social Justice Warrior,” or SJW for short. I had heard it before, though. So, it wasn’t like it was completely new. I’ve read quite a few media reports that say we invented the term. However, the record clearly shows that we did not. It existed for many years beforehand. I guess it is fair to say we popularized it, though. It’s even reached a level to where it’s now been added to the Oxford Dictionary. From The Washington Post:
Most people hadn’t heard of a “social justice warrior” until about a year ago, when it emerged as the preferred term among the GamerGate movement for the people they believed to be their greatest enemies. Now, the word has crossed over enough into mainstream use that in August, “Social Justice Warrior” was included in the latest batch of words added to Oxford Dictionaries. The online dictionary from Oxford University Press defined the phrase as an informal, derogatory noun referring to “a person who expresses or promotes socially progressive views.”…
[T]he word came into the mainstream during GamerGate, an online backlash against progressive influence in gaming which cannot be described neutrally in one sentence. Its supporters say the whole thing was really about ethics in gaming journalism, but the movement gained widespread attention for a subset of GamerGate’s supporters, who conducted several troubling harassment campaigns against women in gaming and journalists…
Feminist Frequency’s Anita Sarkeesian is the most high-profile target of this online rage: GamerGaters have done everything from trying to get a Kickstarter supporting her work shut down as a “con,” to creating a (now-removed) flash game where players could punch her in the face. Sarkeesian became a target for her video blogs, which examined the representation of women in gaming.
Personally, I like the definition from Urban Dictionary a lot better:
Social Justice Warrior. A pejorative term for an individual who repeatedly and vehemently engages in arguments on social justice on the Internet, often in a shallow or not well-thought-out way, for the purpose of raising their own personal reputation. A social justice warrior, or SJW, does not necessarily strongly believe all that they say, or even care about the groups they are fighting on behalf of. They typically repeat points from whoever is the most popular blogger or commenter of the moment, hoping that they will “get SJ points” and become popular in return. They are very sure to adopt stances that are “correct” in their social circle.
It’s not about being left wing, even though most SJWs are ultra-lefties. It’s about repeating easily disprovable dogma as if it were scientific fact. It’s about being a hypocritical shitbag who isn’t capable of having societal views challenged in even the mildest of ways. It’s about trying to stifle debate at college universities and everywhere else these authoritarians possibly can. They’re not a bunch of pious advocates for a better culture. Instead, their pernicious influence actively poisons the one we already have. If you read this puff piece, you would think they are doing something of value. They aren’t. These thugs are everything that is wrong with modern democracy in the West. Keep calling them out at every turn, and don’t let bullshit definitions like the one in The Washington Post discourage you. The word is getting out about these phonies, and pieces like this won’t stop the bleeding.