Originally Posted by jkelly
But, sorry or not, we all have dumb prejudicial ideas that we express from time to time, and that's not a huge problem as long as they don't just go unchallenged. When they do go unchallenged, the environment becomes one in which those groups of people are going to feel alienated and unwelcome.
This sums it up very nicely. Thank you, jkelly, for articulating my view so well and for bringing this conversation right into the issues at hand without being personal.
This generally feels like place that prefers prejudicial and marginalizing statements go unchallenged in order to create a safe feeling space. What tends to happen here is that when prejudicial statements do get challenged, it is often met with a whole lot of resistance and unnecessary drama. This can sometimes make it seem like the choice is to let such statements of prejudice go unchallenged or beat one's head against a wall. People who feel on the other side of those prejudicial statements tend to get extra signals that when they are feeling marginalized, it's not a legitimate feeling to have. Jkelly has offered some great insights about how that works and how people can shift how they see such challenges. This is the overprotectiveness I was referring to in my quote that FormerUnicorn posted on this thread.
There are all sorts of statements in this thread speaking to what my motivations are, how bitter I am, the fact that I bring this up over and over again (I brought this up in one other thread- a thread by a person who left that was about this very topic). I continued to discuss it in that thread for as long as people were discussing it. I raised it again in this thread only as a response to a statement that I felt wasn't encompassing the whole picture. I felt it important to acknowledge that the safe little bubble of trust that people have been working to build here does have a cost. I prefer to examine that for the sake of being able to expand that bubble.
For the person who has decided that it's a bunch of personal friends of mine that I'm referring to when I talk about people who have left the forum, I have one personal friend who left the forum and she didn't leave because she felt marginalized. She left because she felt it was useless to have these kinds of conversations with people who continually resist them. In other words, she chose to not bother beating her head against a wall. I certainly took a break from it myself. The other people I know of that no longer post here are people who I got to know through the forum but have never personally met. Some of them I am still in touch with. They did feel marginalized by the culture of this forum.
I find it interesting that there is some direction in this thread to make this about me rather than about the issues I'm raising. This is another example of how one can marginalize others when they bring up issues. Personally, such things do not make me want to leave. While they can be frustrating and ridiculous, I choose to not let such things affect my choice to post here or not. However, I can see how this would make someone feel unwelcome, or at least their point of view to feel unwelcome.
I had to think twice about posting my perspective and how I honestly felt because I was pretty sure that it would be met with resistance, dismissal, frustration, exasperation , speculations about my "agenda", lots of questioning of my motives and the legitimacy of my point of view on the part of many replies. I thought twice not because I felt that my views should be unchallenged, but because I sensed that my views would be unwelcome.
Originally Posted by jkelly
Sometimes doing that means deliberately cultivating some uncomfortable dissenting voices, and sometimes it means just, you know, listening for a while (or "stepping aside"), instead of using the social capital we have to shut down the conversations.
I feel this is the crux of the conversation. It could very well be that this would prefer to be a community that doesn't cultivate uncomfortable dissenting voices. It may have a limited tolerance for them, but my general sense is that this community tends to value these voices not being there.