SJW is a pejorative term for people with left/far-left social views.
The term emerged in popularity around 2013 and reached its peach around 2016, with the rise in left-wing activist causes that were criticized as "SJW." Concurrently, there was a rise in outlets (such as youtube channels) criticizing people and views they would describe as SJW.
Many views perceived as characteristic of the SJW mindset arose in academia, while others emerged in internet forums. They include radical feminism, radical advocacy of race issues, and transgender issues, and so on. Such views are typically characterized by a left-wing/progressive sociological approach, which believes that historically powerful groups have derived power disparities entirely from oppression of victimized groups. They reject, especially, any HBD claims, in favor of social constructivist views.
Some believe that, by righting injustices, equality in the form of parity between groups can be restored. Others wish to "flip the tables of oppression," for previously victimized groups to become the new powerful oppressors.
There is a lot of jargon which has been associated with "SJW." Many of these terms are now used ironically or outside of their original meanings. These include:
- Triggering: Upsetting someone by supposedly invoking trauma. The term was based on PTSD research, paired with the idea that many members of opposed groups experienced so much abuse, harassment, and shaming for their traits to the point of having equivalent trauma.
- Feminist concepts such as: patriarchy, rape culture, internalized misogyny, toxic masculinity, and so on
- Privilege: Inherent advantage of certain groups (e.g., "white privilege"). Holds that, because of privilege, only white people can be considered racist. Some also believe that all white people are racist. This view recommended trigger warnings, although that term has fallen out of favor. Similarly, it recommended defense against microagressions.
- As per the above, it applies to many terms for "bigot," e.g., racist, sexist, ableist, transphobic, fat-phobic, ethnocentric
- Intersectionality: the idea, roughly speaking, because many people's identity constitutes an intersection of oppressed identities, every person's views need to be considered in the context of what their identity is.
- Heavy condemnation of "cultural appropriation," and criticism of the "dominant, hegemonic culture"
- Reading into the actions and views of people as being motivated, without their knowlege, by unconscious resentment (subconscious bias)
- Coinage of slurs like mansplaining, manspreading, manterrupting, etc.
- Some favor speech restrictions of "hate speech"
- Views related to parity: although not unique to the "SJW" view, they particularly emphasize various measures of parity/equity. They also tend to be critical of media which they consider problematic. Also not unique but common to "SJW" views is criticism of sexualization.
- Frequent claims to be acting on behalf of some other more oppressed group, rather than fighting on their own behalf.
- The term "people of color"
- Distinguishing gender, sex, and gender roles, and criticism of "-normativity"