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Old 08-12-2010, 07:50 AM
Posts: n/a

Originally Posted by redpepper View Post
People have left because of the atmosphere of this forum being a therapeutic environment rather than a "fuck you asshole you're wrong" fest as on other forums... why have you stayed...?

I do hope those who can't play nice have found other alternatives. I wouldn't want them to be left out, but don't encourage them to come here if they have that attitude.
I find it interesting that people who post in a way you deem acceptable are "playing nice" while other people who feel that posting their authentic views on things are seen as "fuck you asshole you're wrong." Perhaps this tone policing is what makes the space unwelcoming for many people. One of my feminist groups on Fetlife has a view on tone policing that I tend to agree with. It's about privilege:

Tone-policing- We recognize tone-policing as being a form of policing the human expressions of others. Anger, hurt, and even the occasional fit of all-caps can only be considered illegitimate expressions of an experience if we assume that full expression is limited to the privileged classes.

I know it may seem like words like "privileged class" etc are rather strong ways to express it. (Class? There are no classes here! It's an internet forum!) But there are certainly more privileged people than others here. There are certainly people who are more accepted than others here.

There are many ways that people put other people down on this forum without even knowing it. Yet it seems that in order to preserve the "therapeutic environment" here, those who have been put down have the obligation to check their feelings and "communicate compassionately" or "show maturity" rather than be truthful about how they feel for the sake of not making the person who put them down feel unsafe. As a result, they have to be the ones who don't feel safe. This dynamic has shown up plenty of times. I respect Y-Girl's blunt style of calling things out. For some reason, Y-Girl has been granted a pass on this by the powers that be. For some reason, Redpepper finds it acceptable to personally be a buffer for her yet chastise other people for the very same behavior. I do find that interesting.

Additional note: I happen to think that the type of bluntness displayed by Y-Girl contributes to a safe space. Generally, authenticity can be a safer way to communicate than being polite. Politeness is about having to check yourself and censor natural communication in order to be more acceptable to others. That doesn't sound terribly safe to me. This dynamic is talked about a lot among anti-racist and anti-oppression activists. There is a great article about the the privilege of politeness that sheds some light on it.
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