Social Justice Movements: Good in Theory, Troublesome in Practice


Students of North Forsyth High School stand with signs to represent groups they are a part of, but are scared to actively advocate for. All things in life have good and bad side to them, but when people have to hide their thoughts and beliefs because the word itself brings a nasty taste to people’s mouths, there is a problem. All of these started out with good intentions, to help save people and bring equality, but are now tarnished by members within the advocacy group itself.

Diana Rodgers, Web Editor

Humans are opinionated by nature and when it comes to a matter of civil rights, we are doubly so; but is that always a good thing? The thoughts themselves are very logical. Black lives do matter. Women are equal to men. LGBT+ people should be able to marry or use the bathroom of the preference. Everyone should have the rights that they deserve, and no one should have the right to keep that from us as a whole. While that should be the reality, countless times in history, and even in the present, those rights have taken away from us, so we have taken it upon ourselves to try and get those rights back.


We want to cause change in the world we live in-make life better for us and following generations; but are we doing that effectively or just adding to the chaos? People now are afraid to say that they are part of a movement because of the people that are associated with a group. The main problem with “activist” groups is that they start with good intentions, but after the movement picks up speed, those good intentions falter.


A good example of this is the progression of Feminism. In the beginning, the goal of Feminism was to create equal rights within the workplace for women, to be recognized as equals. That was the initial goal; however, current representations of Feminism in media show a glorified version of that goal with new-aged “feminazis”. It is no longer about equality; rather, it has turned into thinking women are superior to men. While that is not the majority of feminists, it has been so focused on in media that all people labeled feminists are inherently extremists.


Another, more recent, example of a bad connotation for a good cause is the Black Lives Matter Movement. Everyone deserves to feel heard, especially when they are currently living in a state of repression, but the way to solve that is not rioting or stealing. That is not the majority thought of people who stand up for the cause, but again, because of the news and media, that is the forefront the we as consumers see.


There are extremists within every group of people. It is just a matter of being able to look past what is presented on the surface. These are wonderful causes that people want to support, but with how media is presenting them, there are a lot of people who are afraid to actively support the cause due to bad connotations the group carries.