In House Harassment And Apathy: How Communities Kill Activists

29Jun10

Activists work together. Very rarely is there a lone wolf thing going on with activists. We can be pretty social (mostly by necessity, trying to do this shit alone is hard). Quite often a community forms around bloggers, lobbyists, small organizations and non profits. This community coordinates the efforts of individual activists, aids them, supports them and largely tries to use safety in numbers to enable more to get done and to do so in a way that doesn’t endanger its members.

And sometimes it becomes a giant tool of sexual harassment, trolling, fuckery and bullshit from fetid scumholes who really need a hollowpoint present through the esophagus.

Yes, I’m a little angry. You see, some people I like very much got chased the fuck off the internet by some fuckknob sexually harassing piece of shit. (More on the bullshit fiasco here). This is not uncommon. This happens in numerous communities, not just disability, not just the trans community either. Some fuckjob wants to play around, harass someone a bit, maybe troll them a little. The target does what they can to protect themselves and goes to the greater community, the people that link this scumfuck, that give them an arena to pull this shit in. And guess what the greater community does? Nothing. Sometimes the opposite of nothing. Sometimes they crack down on the victim. Yes, you heard me right, sometimes these shitmonglers tell the victim to GTFO or engage in apologist bullshit on behalf of the sexually harassing troll.

Not. Fucking. Okay.

Sexual harassment is NEVER acceptable. Trolling in house, using trolling on people of your own damn community who require the support of that community is NEVER fucking acceptable. And any community that allows this shit to go on is not a community. It is a tool. A scumfucky tool of oppression, bullying and harassment. And really, they don’t even have to make excuses for it. If they just ignore it, do nothing to stop it, they are a fucking problem.

How many fucking people have been chased out of activism by shit like this? More than I can count. So many blogs have just disappeared. So many lobbyists and non profit workers have quit and gone elsewhere. So many people have been hurt and have even committed suicide or self harmed because of this shit. And guess what? These cases so fucking often involve intersections of kyriarchy that this sort of cyberbullying, trolltastic, harassing snakefuckery is a case of oppression not just mistreatment. That’s right, often it’s men pulling this shit on women in disability, trans, pagan and etc communities. Often it’s cis pulling this shit on trans folk in these communities. Etc etc motherfucking etc. You get the idea.

And then, the fucking apologist excuses used for this behavior are just mind boggling.

Sometimes they call it “satire” (you edgy fucks need to look up what satire (m-w definition) means), others call it joking not realizing what jokes require to be jokes. And the rest try to play the Intent card to hide the fact that they’re fucking people over for shits and giggles.

Let’s be fucking honest with ourselves.

If you’re joking and your audience isn’t laughing OR EVEN BETTER feels fucking threatened by you? Get the fuck off the stage “Comedian” and [rethink your career path] – [edited for classist language ~RP].

If you think you’re doing satire, do try to read a fucking dictionary at least once in your life. Satire is a mockery of foibles and vices of society or the exposure of vice and folly using sarcasm, wit and scorn. Satire would be if I wrote a post mocking the shit out of your bullshit harassment. Like now. Oh look, an example.

If you think you’re just playing around and people shouldn’t be offended, do try to apply that when someone fucks you over. Let’s say you’re some scumfuck blogger in the disability community who’s sexually harassing autistic girls and really needs to be kicked down a well while someone screams SPARTA, as a hypothetical (of course). And let’s say someone treats you like shit for your disabilities. Try to remember when you told those people you harassed that it was just good fun and they shouldn’t be offended when you’re huffing and puffing your rage at some douchefuck abled guy telling you that you’re just a “faking useless [INSERT DISABILITY SLUR HERE]“. I guess hypocrisy must be attractive to some people. Maybe.

If we chase out all of our fucking activists because we can’t be mindful of intersection, because we just wanna fuck around and have fun at other people’s expense, then we don’t fucking deserve any consideration when we’re the ones being fucked with or being erased and silenced. Remember that, you snakeshit eating cuntguitars. These communities are for all of us. Not just you. Not just for your shits and giggles.

And I will fucking come down on your head like the fist of an rabid badger deity if I see you pulling it. Same goes for fucking communities too.



26 Responses to “In House Harassment And Apathy: How Communities Kill Activists”

  1. 1 GallingGalla

    How many fucking people have been chased out of activism by shit like this?

    Me, for one (driven out of local trans activism by rank misogyny).

    This shit is why I have not joined the disability community – because I *know* that I will be subject to misogyny (including the anti-trans kind), as well as “not disabled enough” shit coming from people who don’t understand hidden disabilities and the effect they have on one’s life.

    Hollowpoints would indeed be a good gift for some of the people that I encountered in the trans community (trans men who made it a point to slop their misogynist slime all over the place – and the cis women chasers who gave them a pass and defended their misogyny b/c it’s so “transgressive”).

  2. 2 Jemima Aslana

    Yeah, Kowalski’s situation is a classic one. And it’s so terrible. Especially ’cause so many in the autism community is excusing the harassment and bullying with “he’s autistic, you can’t expect him to behave himself”, well thank you for ruining things for autistics everywhere. There’s a difference between lacking social graces and openly calling a person horrible names and slandering her. Yes, I’ve done some investigating of the jerkwad who chased Kowalski off HBD, and that shit is seriously painful and triggering to read. It’s no fucking wonder she threw in the towel.

    I offered her to guest-blog on my place, where she won’t have to deal wit the nasty comments – I’ll handle those, but so far she has declined. My blog isn’t exactly high-traffic anyway, so I don’t blame her :-) it might not be worth the effort, if you only reach 5 people x_x

    The offer extends to you as well GallingGalla. Anyone who cannot feel safe with a blog of their own are welcome to use mine as their platform.

  3. 3 xMech

    Thank you.

    I got chased out of local trans activism not because I was directly targetted, but because I got so burned out from trying to defend my friends from misogynist slob, “not queer enough,” trolling, harrassment, and other bullshit things. It doesn’t just alienate the people targetted, but their friends as well.

  4. 4 joy

    Wow. Just wow. That was a huge cyst that needed bursting. I’m hoping you feel better now?

    I’ve not encountered this just yet, but I can imagine the effects on me if it were to happen. I’ve also imagined this more times than I can count, which is one reason I’m staying in the shadows.

  5. 5 GallingGalla

    Jemima, thank you for your offer. However, I’m not in a position to start blogging publicly at this point – I gave that up over a year ago and haven’t really missed it…

  6. 6 Jemima Aslana

    Well, in that case, there’s no reason to stick your hand back into that hornet’s nest.

    I use my blogging as an outlet. Sometimes the posts flow easily because my mind is cooperative with wording it. Sometimes… not so much. I have several posts lying around that have been in the works for weeks and even months. Some may never see the light of day. I routinely scrap those I haven’t touched in 1½ years.

    I constantly see what I learn online spill over into my daily life – and that’s not just a good thing. Because I’m really bad at picking the right time and place for stuff, I kinda frighten people away with my talk of social justice. Gods have I been unfriended on FaceBook often because (and I quote) I have “a pathological need to be the Messiah for every subculture out there”. Yeah, ’cause social justice is totally about subcultures. Living with a disability is like so camp, y’know? (Or whatever it’s called…)

    People are scumfucks. That’s my overall conclusion to that.

    Anyhow, back on track: Like I said, I use my blogging as my outlet, so I won’t tip all those loads of ranty social justice rage unto my meat-space friends and family, ’cause they get real intimidated. I don’t know what I’d do if I didn’t have that. Couldn’t have that. I’d probably go insane(r). It’s plenty bad enough not being able to be my openly autistic self in public ’cause that’d be awkward and I’ve been raised to act neurotypically. But to not have the outlet for the frustrations which the internet allows me? Christ Almighty. I might physically burst from unreleased agitation. Just imagining it hurts my brain.

  7. 7 Kynthia Alice

    I love you ! thanks. it needed to be said. in my community of 800I am the activist group. so at least I dont have to worry about any of my fellow activists sticking it to me just those other 799 redneck inbred intolerant gossip mongering wormshit assholes I live with ! keep up the writings and glad to have you back

  8. “Get the fuck off the stage “Comedian” and go back to bagging groceries.”

    Please, please, please rephrase. Your contempt for us proles is showing.

  9. Editing now. And, I happen to be a prole, btw (actually unemployed, so that might be a different class altogether)

  10. You should probably delete the offending part, not just cross it out. :/ It’s still there, still readable, and still able to cause damage to the self-esteem of people whose choices are bag groceries or starve.

    Just because you are a “prole” doesn’t mean you aren’t participating in the system of putting proles down when you say crap like that and continue to leave it visible after it’s been pointed out to you that it’s classist.

    Anyway. /ahem. Back to lurking <.<

  11. I’ve generally gotten more flak for completely removing something than simply crossing it out. But I can remove it, definitely. Leaving it visible wasn’t classism, it’s just how I make sure that my mistakes are not wiped clean, so there’s a reminder of what I did. But I’ll just leave a note instead.

    And yeah, I know. In fact I have no doubt I probably have some internalized classism against myself and my social class. That phrase had to come from somewhere.

    Anyways, it’s all cleared out now.

  12. 12 Jemima Aslana

    Yeah, the eternal dilemma – delete or comment/note. You’ll get flak either way. I think you ended up with a good solution here, though. It’s acknowledge-y and non-hidey but removes the -ist language.

  13. 13 Jemima Aslana

    Acknowledging that the language use is wrong in combination with having used it is actually the preferred method in large parts of the blogosphere. Mainly because taking it away completely is often interpreted as hiding one’s mistakes.

    Also, I would be very careful with lecturing people on what to say after what you just did on the I Hate Eating thread. You know… saying exactly the thing that was complained about.

  14. Generally if it’s something triggery, I’ll do what I’m doing now. If it isn’t triggery, just wrong, I’ll etch it and leave a note to remind me.

  15. Yeah really. I’ve watched shit storms happen over erasing mistakes on blogs before.

  16. 16 nome

    That’s a really good tactic to deal with fucking up in posts. I think I’ll use it when called out. It takes out the offensiveness, while still acknowledging that something busted happened.

    I was chased out of the anarchist and activist scene here for experiencing the lovely mix of oppressions slapped at female-assigned transfolks of:
    sexism and misogyny due to being seen as a woman
    transphobia and genderphobia for being seen as transgenderqueer.

    I’m never going back to that.

  17. Me. mental illness phobia in the framing of the depathologisation, by rape jokes (aimmed at non-passing/fem trans guys) by “but it’s not really abuse/rape”

    And most recently by being told their is no such thing as non-binary spasfic harressment/intertutional bulishit and being asked to cut myself open to prove a binary ided person wrong.

    I needed to read this, thankyou.

  18. Oh god, I have been dealing with this recently, I have ASD but apparently it is unfair to ask people to not sexuality harress people…..

    arrrrrrrr

  19. Also I have seen the same thing, along horizontal oppression lines, for example I watch a cis woc sex worker get torn down for messing up on trans stuff, it wasn’t that she was called out, because she was, and she apologised with “crap, I didn’t mean to imply that, sorry, let me fix that” and have her hounded and abused because you know, didn’t she understand privilege, their was no right way for her to react, no reaction that would be seen as other than a new avenue for attack.

    I have personally been in a abusive relationship (with a partner I meet though activism) who would pull this shit on me, like asking her to stop yelling at me was ablist (because she was mentally ill, like me) or classist (because I have a middle class background, and she didn’t). Abusers exist everywhere, and while more privileged ones have more power to abuse with, they will use whatever tools they have, including the language of anti oppression to maintain power.

  20. Yep and signing it makes it clear it came from you.

  21. 21 Jemima Aslana

    That is a really good point.

    There are some things I consistently fuck up on bc of my ASD. Thinking before I speak mainly (explanation’s a little more complicated than that mind you). Fast communication media like Twitter are not really good for me. But I will apologize. Always. Just because it’s due to my disability doesn’t make my fuck-ups less hurtful for others, so it’s not ableist to call me on them. Sort of the same with Intent, you know? Shit stinks no matter how you slice it.

  22. 22 Samia

    Thank you for writing this.

  23. 23 GallingGalla

    It’s plenty bad enough not being able to be my openly autistic self in public ’cause that’d be awkward and I’ve been raised to act neurotypically.

    Yes, exactly, same here. I’ve been trained to “pass” as neurotypical, which works only to a limited point (as in, on the street where others don’t know me, but it all falls apart when I interview for a job or go to a party or wev), and it’s stressful to have to do that.

    In a limited way, I’ve been allowing some of my autism to show in public a bit more. I have SID (sensory integrative “disorder”) as part of my ASD, and lately when i’m in a crowd and the motion, noise, etc overwhelm me? I just let myself freeze in place for a few seconds (sometimes literally in mid-pace) – that’s my natural inclination and it’s a protective maneuver for me, so why not let myself do it? People don’t understand and stare as they walk by? Screw ‘em.

  24. 24 Jemima Aslana

    Oh gods, I can recognise that. They didn’t put a name to that part of my disability, but ohhhhh dear. I don’t have any of those protective manoeuvres, short of fleeing in panic or having a tearfully sobbing breakdown. Best I can do is be in touch with myself and attempt to leave before I hit breaking point. Not always possible.

    I’ve never actually interviewed for a job. So I don’t know how I’d handle that, but I do know that I have a bad tendency to indiscriminately answer people’s questions, without considering whether it’s any of their business. That could be seriously bad at a job interview.

  25. 25 Reika

    XDD

    Loved your rant, very inspiring.

    Out 2 weeks, hope to transition soon, sure to see both sides of the fence more clearly.

  26. I’d seen talk about this on Ballastexistenz but I didn’t know what Amanda was referring to.

    Very gross. :(

    I’m reminded of Why Misogynists Make Great Informants: How Gender Violence on the Left Enables State Violence in Radical Movements.


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