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On Abuse Within Community/Subcultures

In another post on someone else's journal, [personal profile] mac posted this link: The Revolution Starts at Home: Confronting Intimate Violence Within Activist Communities. It mentions a book that I currently can't afford to order, but also has a link to an excellent PDF of the zine version.

It is an intense read, but very valuable, IMO. So far I'm only a third of the way through it. One takeaway I have is something I knew at a gut level, but didn't really follow all the way through: Just because a person is an activist doesn't mean they automatically are not capable of being an abuser.

I know, peripherally, of incidents in various subcultures/communities I'm involved in that are not pretty. What I hadn't really internalized is how much it happens, but is ignored *within the community*. Sure, the outside will take a hint and make it a federal case, but ignoring it within isn't the solution either.

BTW, for those who wonder why I am bothering with any of this, since it's not my fight? Because I can. Because if someone hates me because of what I say on the net, it wouldn't be the first time. Because I have this obnoxious tendency to ask "Oh, really?" and be a bit sparing with my trust and credence. Not everyone whose journal I follow do I like or trust, either.

I'm sorry if I don't conform to your idea of what a pagan/feminist/queer/gimp/fan should be like. I'm not trying to please you or conform, and pushing me to do so just gets my back up and me being contrary. Call it crazy if you like.

But if I can inspire someone to think past their knee-jerk, then it's worth it.

That's why I've chosen to highlight this link/document - because it has made *me* think.

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
marlowe1
Aug. 2nd, 2011 04:32 am (UTC)
We all make excuses for behavior that is objectively wrong because we like the people and agree with most of their opinions and find things to respect and admire in their character.

It makes it that much harder when we turn out to be wrong.

We all could join cults because we all want to get along and defend our peers.
ravan
Aug. 2nd, 2011 08:59 am (UTC)
Yeah, and sometimes we turn out to be defending the indefensible. This is not a fun place to find yourself, but as long as you're willing to revisit your opinions, it usually sorts itself out.

But if no one sanity checked stuff, the other kind of cultish crap could happen. In the very distant past, I have been stampeded, locked into groupthink, behaving like a clone, and when I snapped out of it I was pretty disgusted.

So anything that smacks of it, even for "righteous" reasons, causes me to go "Stop, question, verify." Some folks get pretty damn nasty pretty fast when they get asked "Are you sure?" Not an easy position to take. Maybe if I was better at it, but I'm a geek, not a socialite.
just_the_ash
Aug. 2nd, 2011 02:20 pm (UTC)
Or, sometimes, because the offender is a sociopath running a long con, and they've become very, very good at con games. /ex-hubs
ravan
Aug. 2nd, 2011 08:30 pm (UTC)
What's worst is anyone can get sucked in by a con artist like that.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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