becoming a true social justice warrior
April 13, 2015 1:00 AM   Subscribe

What would a Social Justice Warrior put on her shield? (Also, the rest of her?)

I'm working on a Social Justice Warrior costume and am having a hard time choosing some symbols. Rainbows are an obvious choice, and I am thinking of having a round shield, but I am still debating what to put on the shield. I've considered the crossed out "no smoking" style thing over a picture of a fedora, or over the word "FUN", or just over nothing. I'm thinking lots of rainbows; I'll probably have a rainbow stripe in my scale mail. But I need more ideas for what symbols would work well where. The shield is the big one, but I will also have pauldrons and, probably, a belt buckle.

I was gonna go for the Venus sign upraised fist symbol, but I'm white, and I don't want to appropriate the Black Power fist like that.

Weapons suggestions are also welcome; my current plan involves a spear with rainbow fletching but I'm open to other ideas. I'm making this myself without a ton of money, so suggestions on where to get anything you're suggesting is great, though I already have how to do the scale mail + pauldrons down.
posted by NoraReed to Grab Bag (21 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Perhaps consider a classic heart symbol?

I suspect you could get a rainbow feather boa from a craft store for fairly cheap; it might make good raw material for various costume accents.
posted by NMcCoy at 1:12 AM on April 13, 2015

The raised fist goes a lot further back than Black Power and has been used by everybody and their brother. So in my opinion you'd be OK with the Venus fist.
posted by feets at 1:18 AM on April 13, 2015 [2 favorites]

When I think of a round shield I think of the old school logo for the National Organization for Women. Here's a rainbow version.
posted by irisclara at 2:07 AM on April 13, 2015

What about an equal sign?
posted by irisclara at 2:09 AM on April 13, 2015 [4 favorites]

Well is this a self-aware tongue-in-cheek kinda SJW costume, or a slightly more straight (excuse my wordchoice) rendition where you're being more generally celebratory? Because I personally love the confluence of pink triangle + illuminati pyramid (maybe with an exaggeratedly sparkly eyelashed eye) , but that's maybe a few too many layers of sarcasm. In that same vein, I think it would be hilarious if you could wear gloves with "metal" letters across the knuckles that spell "PROBLEMATIC" (but mirrored, y'know, so when you punch your foes the impression is left on their faces.)

Don't forget the black, white, greys & purples for the asexuality flag in among all that rainbow. (And there are lots of good symbols on that page otherwise, too.)

I think if you pulled from Athena related symbols you'll get somewhere. An olive tree, maybe, with the leaves or olives all different colors?
posted by Mizu at 3:22 AM on April 13, 2015 [6 favorites]

Here's something that might not connect obviously, but how about a stylized graphic of a block and tackle? Something like this:

posted by amtho at 3:55 AM on April 13, 2015

"Tumblr FTW"
posted by spitbull at 4:18 AM on April 13, 2015

Male tears.
posted by Metroid Baby at 5:15 AM on April 13, 2015 [1 favorite]

"=" was my first thought as well.

It doesn't seem to show up so often, probably because it isn't associated with a specific political cause, but covers more ground than rainbows or the venus sign.
posted by sibilatorix at 6:06 AM on April 13, 2015

Rainbows don't really say "social justice warrior" to me, even in a tongue in cheek way (I do social justice policy work for a living). The equal sign, the raised fist, your basic scales of justice and little stick figures all holding hands (hands in different colors) are the typical symbols I see on the websites, business cards and literature of organizations we work with.

The one I really like is a pie, carefully cut into EXACTLY EQUAL pieces, but that may be too subtle. I think a stylized mob waving a big flag would be an awesome emblem, but probably hard to render.
posted by crush-onastick at 7:17 AM on April 13, 2015

An Ulfberht sword except it says TUMBLR on it in stead of ULFBERHT.
posted by griphus at 7:39 AM on April 13, 2015 [2 favorites]

I stray away from too much rainbow because then it's just going to look like a Pride thing. The equality sign is genius. Also, random buzzwords like "diversity", "Progress" etc etc.

(Also I'm just chiming in that using the pink triangle (really???) and asexual pride colors as a joke, that just doesn't sit right with me. I don't know you or your sexuality, but if a straight guy went as Captain Gaymerica or something, I would probably wanna throw soda at him.)
posted by FirstMateKate at 8:18 AM on April 13, 2015 [3 favorites]

You might want to consider drawing a couple of rows of fedoras along the wrist of one glove or along your weapon (if you have one). They could represent MRAs/mansplainers "slain" the same way fighter pilots have those little foreign flags under the cockpit canopies to represent enemy planes they have shot down.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 9:40 AM on April 13, 2015 [4 favorites]

The raised fist goes a lot further back than Black Power and has been used by everybody and their brother.

Coming here to say raised fist. Raised rainbow fist. I love the idea of basically keeping a "slain" list somewhere on your kit. Breaking chains. Hands held together of different hues/ages. Maybe a star of some kind. There are some great slogans out there.
posted by jessamyn at 9:48 AM on April 13, 2015 [1 favorite]

I was thinking if I can manage to do pretty raised texts I have some excellent quotes I might use on the pauldrons. I really like the pink triangle illuminati idea, especially because tumblr has been super into illuminati jokes lately so it amuses me particularly.

I'm queer and on the ace spectrum, so no worries about co-option of that imagery.
posted by NoraReed at 11:58 AM on April 13, 2015

You can convert the Gaming's Feminist Illuminati shirt into a back-patch or standard/war flag.
posted by griphus at 12:51 PM on April 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


i'm gonna fucking do it

i asked elizabeth simins if it is ok if i use it and she said yes

this is gonna be so great.

i might also write something around the edge, like "in sarkeesian we trust" or something, if anyone has better ideas i am down to hear them
posted by NoraReed at 2:43 PM on April 13, 2015 [1 favorite]

Weapons suggestions are also welcome; my current plan involves a spear with rainbow fletching but I'm open to other ideas.

Some sort of anti-sea lion weapon? I'd say a club, but that's baby seals (and pretty morbid).
posted by brundlefly at 2:54 PM on April 13, 2015 [1 favorite]

(sorry to threadsit, will step away after this) i was considering a fake sealskin cloak but i thought that might be a bit morbid after the bad environmental stuff killing many actual baby sea lions and i didn't want to do anything that would make fans of the ~dogs of the ocean~ sad. i am not sure if that is enough of a general interest thing that people would actually know about it, though?

maybe a cloak of sock puppets with x'd-out eyes?
posted by NoraReed at 3:03 PM on April 13, 2015

pix pix pix pix
posted by Jesse the K at 6:53 PM on April 13, 2015

For a spear - you can get a light curtain rod pretty cheaply and paper mache it a pointy head; that will keep the weight down a great deal but keep it fairly sturdy. You can also pick a variety of rod textures and use curtain enders as detailing if you want.

For a fur cloak, personally I'd be tempted to go "coat of many furs" using stuffed animals. The variety alone could be a lot of fun, and could add or highlight spots of color if you make it last.
posted by Deoridhe at 5:15 PM on April 14, 2015

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