Really want to make a post about virtue signaling. But people in kink communities keep doing it so often that it’s impossible to do it without looking like you’re vagueblogging at SOMEBODY.

What’s “virtue signaling?”

@hypnovoyeur The phrase was invented by this guy, who was unable to understand how people (usually people on the left) could get angry about things that are bad, and assumed that people complaining about bad things must be doing so to make themselves look good. Not out of any desire to actually change things, or anything silly like that. 

It was immediately hijacked by those rightwing spaces that pretend to care about free speech while trying to deny the free speech of others-  anti-feminists, white supremacists, mra fucknuggets, gamergate-descendants, etc. 

They then unironically started using it in a way exactly described by the original meaning – to demonstrate solidarity with each other and broadcast that they were the good guys. 

They have a lot of pseudo-intellectual code phrases they use to dismiss other people for believing in things that they don’t, while appearing superior to them (like cultural marxist), and this fell right into their lexicon. 

So, in short, it’s now a phrase used by privileged people who claim they are being oppressed, when underprivileged people point out harmful things they’ve said or done.

A couple more links

People who accuse people of virtue signalling are trying to stigmatise empathy

Virtue Signalling has past its sell-by date

I hope that’s helpful!

Wow, that was an incredibly biased description.

At its simplest, “virtue signaling” is making noise to show how much one cares about an issue of perceived virtue, usually without actually engaging in any meaningful action about it.

Perhaps an example will demonstrate best. “REBLOG IF YOU SUPPORT HURRICANE MARIA RELIEF.” Reblogging this theoretical post sounds good, because it shows how much the person cares about it, right? The problem is that it actually does nothing. It’s not relief for hurricane victims. It’s not a charitable donation. It’s a visible signal of virtue with no substance behind it. It’s empty. It’s meaningless. And ultimately, it’s self-serving because the only benefit is to the person saying it.

This is a problem because this kind of action takes the place of really helping. It has the same “warm, fuzzy feeling” as actually doing something, but with none of the sacrifice or personal commitment. You don’t have to actually do anything hard to signal your virtue, you just have to talk a good game. Talk about how much you support disaster victims, but if you don’t donate or volunteer… what did you actually accomplish?

And there is the problem. If you talk but don’t do, YOU ARE NOT HELPING. If your big talk game isn’t backed up by real, meaningful action? You are not making anything better. If anything, you could make the problems worse. When talking replaces doing, the thing you’re talking about suffers and starves. If you spend your time talking, that emotional “warm fuzzy” you got from it satisfies the desire to do something, and it’s so, so easy to stop there. People usually do.

There’s a lot more to it, of course. That’s just covering good faith virtue signaling, where we’re assuming the person really does care about the issue. You also have people who don’t care but say the right things because it benefits them to do so, like a person who teaches ethics but abuses their spouse (and knows most people won’t believe the spouse if they are accused of abuse).

Ultimately, virtue signaling is talk without action. It’s form without substance. It’s talking about goodness without actually being good. If you want to actually be good, you have to actually act good. If you just want people to think you’re good, then go ahead and talk about it in public.

You’re both right. Like “social justice warrior” before it, virtue signaling is a term which used to have a useful definition describing a particular kind of behavior which allows someone to feel like they’re helping when they’re not, but it’s been hijacked by the far right and now means literally anything anyone does that isn’t based entirely on selfishness and hate.