In which I braindump some thoughts about a topic nobody cares about - Tactical Ninja
Sep. 16th, 2010
10:21 am - In which I braindump some thoughts about a topic nobody cares about
So I'm down to the last few packages for posting. Included in these are the ones for my aunties - one in Australia and one in England. I've met Margaret a few times, they came over twice when Mum was sick, and for her I've chosen the cathedral window quilt which Mum started when I was about 7 and finished when I was about 27and which won a national award, and a shawl in cable pattern, spun and knitted from wool shorn off Mum's moorit sheep Caramel by me. For Joyce, who I know less well (read: have met once 25 years ago when I was a bratty 15 year old), but who I've always seen as a classic English rose, I've chosen a blue and white hardanger tablecloth (which also won a national award), and a throw rug in textured pattern knit (two colours) with large flowers, also from wool shorn from Mum's sheep by me.
And I'm going to be really glad when I stop having to send parcels on a daily basis.
I was unsurprised to see ontd_f featured in a drama-mocking community yesterday, even though I missed the exchange that led up to it. On discovering what was up, my main feeling was one of schadenfreude. I am clearly an evil person.
Nothing major. It's educational, there are discussions of topics that are interesting and relevant, and for the most part the mods there do a very good job of keeping it from degenerating into flaming and inanity, and also creating a space to speak for those who might otherwise remain silent. No mean feat, given the subject matter that often comes up. But there are some areas of fail, and they're pretty big, because they're to do with integrity. Examples:
A week ago I saw the community, including mods, dogpiling someone for a post that was construed as 'enable me', even though the post addressed some important issues of marginalisation - yes I'm talking about the heroin post. I took myself out of that early because I posted before coffee and made a stupid factual error that triggered some people, so I thought it best to keep my mouth shut. But the fact is, heroin addiction is a health issue, the so-called justice system response does exacerbate the harms from heroin use, and heroin-based maintenance/treatment programs are helping a number of people get clean. All of this was ignored in the "You are a junkie therefore everything you say is suspect" response from the community.
Two days ago, someone posted another personal story, this time related to psychiatric evaluations pending custody cases. It read very much like a 'pity me' post, but like the heroin post, it had a valid point behind it. Someone read the post as 'pity me' and pointed this out, and the community (including the mods) dogpiled that person, saying that sharing one's personal history is fine to make a point, and one should not take a history of mental health issues to mean that everything someone says is suspect, and should stick to the point without attacking the person for their issues.
Additionally as part of the heroin thing, the person who posted got banned for repeatedly using an icon of a woman holding a gun to her head, because it might be triggering. The very next day, someone posted using an icon that says "Kill everyone". Not a peep from anyone. The difference? One poster is a Native American, the other a heroin addict. My question - should this make a difference in this space, and if so, why?
Next example: It is repeatedly made clear in that community that as a white, able-bodied, cisgendered, thin person I could not possibly have anything of value to say in many of the discussions. Mostly I'm ok with that and keep my mouth shut. But then I saw a post (since deleted) in which one of the mods objected to the notion that feminism is a bit broken because some people's voices are silenced and that thin women are sometimes excluded because by their very body shape they are obviously buying into the patriarchy (or some such). This mod came right out and said "Thin women are not excluded from feminism, ever". Except for the bit where I've already talked here about how I often feel excluded because my intersectional privilege automatically disallows my experience as 'not relevant'. But apparently it's ok to not only exclude me but to deny the existence of my exclusion. Nice one guys.
Another example: The little notes that have started appearing at the bottom of posts saying who's allowed to speak and what they are allowed to say. Not only is this insulting to our intelligence, but it also often pushes the borders of bigotry. Why is it ok for a certain mod to say that she loves finding fodder to snark on white women in a public post? It would never be ok for me to say that, and I wouldn't even entertain the idea of searching for snark fodder for a particular group. Yet it's ok to do that to me and because of my privilege, I can't say "Please don't, it's hurtful." And before the "Let me tell you internets it's so tough being white" gifs come out, yes it could be worded to be specific about what group is being targeted. As a white woman who had to look up 'antebellum' to find out what that meant and was then horrified that other people actually romanticise that stuff, I find being lumped in with those people as 'snark fodder' kind of hurtful. White women aren't a homogenous group either, folks, and while being treated as such is deliciously ironic, it's also a form of exclusion and silencing, which is the very thing such communities purport to be against. But if I say anything, I'll get dogpiled.
Finally, the post about rape on Native American land? You know how at the bottom we were told "Non-natives, don't speak in this post if all you have to say is "Gosh I didn't realise!" because that reinforces our invisibility and it's insulting and a slap in the face." And that's logical and fair enough. But then, have a look at this morning's post about the 'administrative detention' practices in Switzerland. Particularly, have a look at how many people are posting going "Gosh, I had no idea!" and how many others are identifying as Swiss.
So which things am I supposed to just know about and therefore not be able to express shock and sympathy, and which is it ok for nobody to know about? And how do these relate to whether the issue's happening in America or not? Just wondering.
So yeah. I stay because it's an educational community and I'm learning a lot by keeping my mouth shut and reading things. But I'm not sure I'd be going to that community as an example of the kind of integrity I want to emulate, and there's a big danger of falling into the mindset of agreeing with the prescribed/proscribed viewpoints in there because they come across as reasonable, and silencing my 'something's not right about this' voice. And I don't want to do that because if I don't question, I become a mindless drone and that's dangerous.
Speaking this there would add up to more angst than I need right now. I also don't have the knowledge or debating skills to hold myself up there, so I have, so far, kept my feelings to myself. But I reiterate, I was not surprised to see the comm getting called out, and personally I think it's about time.
And on another note that might actually be of interest to people, my blanket is at least 5 inches long! It will keep my ankles warm. And mah new wool arrived this morning *squee* - I think the first thing I need to make is a bag to put mah wool in, and also one for things like knitting needles.
Still want a loom.
It seems the monetary part of Mum's estate is about to be wound up. It's not a lot of money but it will pay off my car, double the amount I've been saving for The Kid's future, and leave enough for one trip to Hong Kong. I feel inappropriate about celebrating this but at the same time it's a nice feeling, to actually have money instead of always being "$50 till payday, can we make it?" I has a conflicted.