In the first installment of my Social Justice thesaurus (about the world “problematic”) I said I would follow a certain structure when writing these posts. I don’t remember what I said, so I’ll ignore that and I’ll write this one following whatever order or structure may strike my fancy.
While the overuse and abuse of the word problematic are easy to detect, and it’s almost like a tribal badge for social justice berserkers, I suspect few people have realized that the verb “reinforce” (and, very rarely, the noun “reinforcement”) is a staple of social justice media/entertainment criticism. It is, however, a key concept of Social Justice rhetoric, and many of their arguments would be meaningless without it. If you pay attention, you will see that the word (or a synonym) appears in almost all social justice texts. Why? Because the key trick in any media criticism is to link media “exposure” to a behavioral effect or a change in beliefs, and reinforcement is the magical link. Basically: watch or play this, and it will corrupt you.