You have got to care about people.
Don’t get into social justice to prove a point, or to win an argument. Don’t do it for money. Do it because you want the world to be a better place, and you’re angered by how terrible it can be at times. You have got to care, about the person right in front of you who’s hurting and needs help, and about doing the greatest good for the greatest number of people.
If you don’t care enough to make amends when you screw up, then you have already failed. If you don’t care enough to change your language for the sake of inclusion, then you have already failed. If your morals are more important to you than people’s lives, then you have already failed.
The very second that you stop caring is when you need to get out, and leave the work of fixing the world to others. And if your actions ever really hurt people, you need to STOP, and back off, and rethink your place in whatever movement you’ve become a part of.
I say this especially to men’s rights activists, seeing as much of the MRA movement arose historically out of a backlash to feminism, and today it seems that it’s still organized around this contrarian view. Even today, I can go to the front page of the Men’s Rights subreddit, and 90% of the links are in the vein of ‘look at how the evil feminists are screwing up men’s lives!’ I would really, really like to see more MRAs interested in and proposing solutions to, say, the damaging effects of hyper-masculinity, or the demonization of gay men, or the ways in which men are implicitly punished for having so-called ‘feminine’ interests, or the high suicide rate of young men… and generally I don’t. Because MRAs seem to want to get one over on women, instead of actually making things better for men. Because the SPLC lists them as being ‘thick with misogyny‘.
If they really wanted to make things better, well, they’d be talking to feminists. The fact that they mostly see us as the enemy kinda makes me sad.