what is real is what we do.

May 23, 2010 § 1 Comment

some thoughts:

1. i do not agree or disagree with what someone says because i like them or because they are friend.  i agree with what they say based on what they said (or didnt say).  there is no one online, who i consider a friend or close associate, who i have not disagreed with publicly online.  and part of the way that i choose my friends and associates is that they can handle a respectful critique.

2.  when you get down to it, safe/r spaces, are basically an agreement among a group of people to not be abusive to one another, and to address abuse when it does happen.  i really dont care if you have a ‘safe/r space’ clause or not.  i will address the situation if i see abuse happening (acknowledging that  ‘addressing’ the situation does not mean ‘saving’ the victim, but finding ways to address the agency of the people involved).  my point being, that many safe/r spaces are created not to close down critique, but so that more relevant critique can happen w/o nurturing the abusive tendencies of human beings. simply because you do not call your space ‘safe/r’ does not mean that nurturing abusive behaviour and words will not be addressed.  echo chambers can happen anywhere, but they do not happen because a space is ‘safe/r’,  they happen because people are so afraid of being abused that they refuse to voice differing opinions.  there is as much diversity among communities, as there is within any one given community, and calling the space safe/r does not eradicate that fact.  in other words a anti-abuse space lessens the chances of that space being an echo chamber.

life is not safe.  people hurt each other.  we have a choice. to either support our own and others’ abusive behaviour or words, or to nurture respectful relations.

safety is an illusion.  what is real is what we do.  do we act out fear?  or do we act out respect?

3. after you have been abusive (intentionally or unintentionally…did i mention that yr intentions dont matter to anyone but you, and it is incredibly self-centered to keep bringing up your intentions.  no one else can truly know your intentions, but you. so why the fuck spend time defending them in response to someone addressing the abuse. i will come back to this later). the best thing is to

a. acknowledge that you have been abusive.

b. stop being abusive.

c. rectify as much as possible.

you may have the urge to add extra steps in there.  please. dont.  until you can do those three steps really really well. like a habit.  most likely any additional steps you put in, will in actuality be supporting abuse under a dift form or name.  this is a moral discipline.  it is also very good for your pr.

4. intentions. your intentions matter. yes. to you.  and they should. to you. the rest of us. dont give a fuck.  because we have no ability to know for sure what your intentions are.  and honestly, the ‘i didnt mean to hurt you’ only works a certain number of times, until i am going to start thinking of you as a liar.  because, it has been my experience, that if we truly are intending to be respectful most of the time, then most of the time we will succeed. and every once in a while, yeah, we’ll fuck up. this is when you go and do step 3.  but if you are fucking up a lot, like over and over again, and hurting people, then i got to wonder:

a. either you really do intend to hurt people or,

b. dont care if you hurt people or,

c. are not able to see that your intentions and your effects are not lining up very well, and yet you keep on creating the same intentions in your head, even though those intentions are not leading to the results you are aiming for.  and even though you keep hurting people, you think that you ‘intending’ to not hurt them, is more important than the actual harm caused.  which like i mentioned is incredibly self-centered and immature.

5. yes, it hurts when people tell you that you have been disrespectful and/or abusive.   you get defensive.  this does not mean you have been attacked by anyone, other than your own self-image.


§ One Response to what is real is what we do.

  • thank you for this! i have fallen for the ‘intentions’ excuse before.. i’m sorry you’ve had to spell it out, but this is such a valuable piece of writing. i will be referring to this the next time i have to deal with this kind of shit

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