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(expanded from a post on secret, some things shouldn't just be said anonymously[1])

I know I'm nowhere near the first to say this, and I hope to be far from the last - but I would rather wrongly uninvite someone from my parties than provide a welcoming space for abusers, or even give the appearance of being a welcoming space for abusers.

When I see people have conversations on this, I find myself more and more looking into the undertone of the conversation. Do they appear to be coming from a space of "how can I make my space/party/event/home/workplace/environment a safe environment?" or are they coming from a space of "how can I minimize the boat rocking," or worse, "how can I avoid hurting anyone's feelings[2]?"

It's bullshit that there's a default script and instinct in many situations to try to pick apart the story or actions of someone who's been abused by someone else. It's bullshit that there's such a strong push back when this gets pointed out. This is part of what rape culture looks like, and it is a social conditioning that permeates so much of our society.

I am certainly no saint on this front. My brain always, always wants to leap to the "best possible interpretation," assuming best motives, hoping for misinterpretation, etc... etc... However, this is the unobstructed, HOV on-ramp to gas lighting, and is something that, to this day, I still have to push back pretty hard against[4]. It is unclear to me how much of this is an innate attempt to find the best in people/situations, and how much of it is a social conditioning (see rape culture) that simultaneously manages to blame and disbelieve targets of abuse.

The conversations going around today are on the far edge of my social circles, but they're still connected, and while the incident in question did not happen directly in the circles I swim in, I fear it's more of a "not this time" than a "doesn't happen here"[5]. Which, in some ways, makes it feel a bit more important for me to raise this conversation in the circles which I am in more directly - because we should be actively working on being better about dealing with this, about the spaces we provide, about the people we choose to protect and shelter and endorse. All the time. Not just when a situation blows up in people's faces.

[1] though part of why I posted this there as well is because I suspect there are circles that secret reaches that need to have these conversations that my normal social media channels don't.

[2] because, you know, the feelings of an abuser are of more concern than their victims[3]

[3] The incidences of false reports is so stupidly low, that if you are going to prioritize protecting against false reports over the much wider scope of people who have been victims of abuse, well, you're telling me quite a bit about yourself. Things that you might want to sit back and examine a bit more.

[4] starting with keeping my mouth shut, stepping back and looking at things further, listening, listening, listening, and defaulting to a place of believing, or at least not skeptically trying to pick holes in, when I hear about something a person has done. And I apologize for the times that I still trip up on this.

[5] even as I feel that there are subsets of our greater social circles and climates that are trying to push back on this. There's still a ways to go, sadly.

Date: 2014-07-11 01:42 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] unseelie.livejournal.com
There are social events I don't go to anymore, because the hosts *know* that one of the regulars has on more than one occasion, been rejected by a woman and chose to simply socially force drinks onto them (including taking a mouthful of liqueur, kissing the woman and pushing the liqueur in to the woman's mouth with the choice of 'swallow or spill' until the woman no longer resists).

Going and finding a friend unconscious and naked in the bedroom post party and the person who was last with them has vanished is... not fucking OK.

When I have said to hosts "You know PersonX date raped person Y, right?" and get "Yes"
"And are you continuing to invite X over?"
"Yes, it's not the first time, it's not a big deal, if it was, Y or Z or A would have called the police on him..."
... ... ...
OK, so I am never going to THAT person's parties ever again....

The REALLY sad part is... I can name -2- serial rapists in the Poly Community of the Bay Area.
And one of them is still accepted at parties without any questions. It's fucked up.

I have spoken with Y and Z and neither wants to go through the both because if you look at the stats, less than 7% of accused ever see jail time, and that's out of what 40% of accused to get arrested? of Etc etc?

I am =so= angry. but frustrated. because, otherwise seemingly nice respectable safe people totally blow off the Sociopath* in the room.

*I have a form of Synesthesia. http://www.spring.org.uk/2013/10/synesthesia-could-explain-how-some-people-see-auras.php
I can -see- sociopaths. I Can SEE that person X has a flat, lack of affect on certain subjects. Its one of the reasons I like Aspies; their aura's are fascinating, and their behaviors are not as transmitted before the fact unlike 'nuero-typicals'

Date: 2014-07-11 03:26 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] moominmolly.livejournal.com
There's a ways to go. There will always be a ways to go. But I like that we are going, more and more.

Date: 2014-07-11 03:56 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tk7602.livejournal.com
This just shows how far my life has diverged from my former social circles. I can't recall the last party where I saw 2 people kissing, let alone people getting naked in bathrooms by choice or not. Heck, I can't remember the last part where I saw someone more than slightly buzzed from the local microbrews they are drinking.

A party now is something that starts around lunchtime and typically winds down by 10 or 11 at the extreme latest. It allows me to forget that the concerns you raise are even things anymore.

Date: 2014-07-11 05:25 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sol3.livejournal.com
Though, this applies to regular parties/gatherings as well, not just That Kind[tm] of party (Richard's examples above notwithstanding). Someone has a history of abusing their partners? They aren't welcome at my house, period. Not for a wild rager of a party, not for a movie night, not a weekend bbq, not for anything really, other than possibly sitting down and talking about the things they are trying to do in their life to change past behavior.

Date: 2014-07-12 04:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] maighread.livejournal.com
This makes me feel very sick to my stomach.

Hum, and also like I want to kick the unknown offender in the (non-gender specific) junk. Yay for that response!

I feel like I fall somewhere in the making a safe space, without hurting people's feelings, camp. But with the caveat that "not hurting people's feelings" means some really deep & tough conversations where truth comes to light and what is acceptable behavior is discussed, a consensus is reached, and action happens - and yeah, that might hurt along the way.

So what does that mean to me? It means that the actions of both individuals are discussed (hey, did you know that what you were doing is very much not ok? hey, did you realize what you were getting into when you put yourself into that situation?), as well as the general environment that allowed it to happen (hey, maybe we should have an open door policy during parties?). This is not really about blame. It's about being open and clear, and maybe learning something about ourselves in the process. It is my job to check in & respect the other person/people's boundaries. It is my job to stay sane & safe and not get into a situation I can't get out of. It's my job to be part of a culture who talked about these issues and does not sweep them under the rug.

But those conversation about what went down can't always happen, and may not be healthy to force for a variety of reasons. In the end, I want to spend time with people who I know have my back if I find myself in a situation that I can't handle. Who would not populate a party with a dingus who has been given the equivalent of a social high five for date rate. We all have our own level of what is or is not acceptable to us, and that's ok. But I think (hope) that everyone might agree pushing someone when they say "no", or taking advantage while they are under the influence, would be an unacceptable line to cross.
Edited Date: 2014-07-12 04:18 pm (UTC)

Date: 2014-07-16 09:38 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jhimm.livejournal.com
I was, fifteen years ago, on the wrong end of false accusations. I spent many, many years getting out from under that. In fact, just a few years ago when I sent out a huge array of apologies to all the people I'd mistreated in my 20's and 30's the _ONE_ person who didn't respond at all (and thus the only person to not respond positively) was the one hold out who, for years and years, would insist, in public, that I'd beaten my ex-wife.


And I still agree with everything you said here. Because that horrible situation I found myself in is _RARE_. And I'd have thought a lot less of "the scene" if they hadn't taken the situation so seriously.



PS: People still use live journal?!?!?

I saw the logo in Tuesday's weird al video and got nostalgic and was terrified to discover recent entries from multiple people.

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