Magical Truthsaying Bastard Shadesong (shadesong) wrote,
Magical Truthsaying Bastard Shadesong

The last of my gathered thoughts on last week

* To highlight a good discussion in the comments: The hosts banned previous people after a pattern of years of sexual harassment and assault, and stated that my known rapist seemed like a danger only to me, despite his years of escalation; they banned him only after an unknown number of people complained about his presence. They banned me for saying, one time, in a text to someone else, that police presence would be a consequence of Judah breaking the restraining order I have against him. This shows an interesting set of priorities that does not go with mine, and it shows a history of said priorities.

* In the conversations at Wex's, we've been saying that the goal is a safer and healthier community. Just like Judah has to take responsibility for his actions before we can look at the restorative justice model at all, Scott has to take responsibility for his before that discussion can really include him or his gatherings. (I am not saying the latter behaviors are anywhere near as bad as the former; they are absolutely not. But people must own their behavior.)

* I cannot take part in discussions that are specific to mending Scott's relationship with the community. Not without an apology and a serious discussion. As the wounded party here, it is not my primary responsibility to patch up a branch of the community that has wounded me. My primary responsibility is healing and restructuring, which is why I hope this can be the last post I write on this for a good long time. This is not a flounce. This is a rape survivor needing to exercise self-care.

* When other people are discussing this and trying to divert it into "but what if someone's only a little bit creepy, we don't want to ostracize people," remember that that is not this situation. This is a violent rapist with a history of domestic violence and animal abuse breaking his restraining order, which he received for assault and battery. This is a person who heard "we are not going to have sex again because of your actions and probable STI status," lulled me into a false sense of security so I would take my heavy sedatives for sleep, and proceeded to penetrate me while I was unconscious. We're not talking about people who are clueless about social skills here. Don't let the conversation get derailed, those of you who are up to having it.

* Speaking of diversions, a certain commenter that a lot of you have had trouble with due to her victim-blaming has a well-known and well-documented crush on Judah. I don't know if they've already had sex, I don't care, I don't want to know. But when she offers you "more data", she is offering you the set of lies she has constructed in order (possibly with Judah's assistance) to make it okay that she wants to have sex with my rapist. Consider the source. Consider the motive. And yes, the fact that she's the long-term partner of one of the hosts should be considered in his responses, I think. (And this is what we see in victim-blaming; people not wanting to accept that someone they like/want could be a rapist, because if so, it'll make them look bad for being friends with/having sex with them. So they deny.)

* (Someone asked if this would make Arisia weird, given that we're all on staff. I don't believe so. We're all in different areas, and Arisia staff = over 100 people. Neither host has ever requested a Lit or Media track panel, and honestly I'm not sure what they do because track management is a big job so I keep my eyes on my own paper. But my chain of command is me -> Head of Programming -> Conchair, and they are in neither of those positions.)

* The goal is a safer and healthier community. The Boston geek/poly/whatever community is not a monolith; it is a Venn diagram. The hosts were only ever a tiny slice of that for me, with minimal overlap; I attended their parties to see people from other circles that I don't see as often otherwise. As far as I'm concerned, that slice that includes them is not part of my community anymore. It's something I fell into when I moved to Boston, but they first group you fall into when you go to a place doesn't have to be Your Community Forever. I have a lot of communities. I'll focus on the ones that want to be healthy and safe. I will skillshare with people who want to work on S & R's community, but I won't be trying to educate the people who have been outright nasty to me and continue to lie about me.

* At some point in August I would like to hold a gathering for people who actively want to do safer/healthier communities work. As time gets closer (after all of my frantic activity for the next few weeks!), I'll post asking for RSVPs so I'll know whether to host it at my house or book a meeting space. This will be for communities of all kinds - several people from outlying communities have asked to come already. We'll take notes and post them online. This is a process. The more people we have actively involved in it, the better able we are to build a better future. And that better future does not have to include elements that do not work in a safer community/consent culture model.

I greatly appreciate the support I've received here and elsewhere, and am glad that people who have no idea who I even am have helped highlight some of these core issues for people who might've been getting hung up on a false narrative due to being defensive regarding the actual people involved.

I feel like a lot of people are so accustomed to me speaking on these matters as an educator that they forget to keep in mind that I am a survivor. I am the survivor of years of emotional abuse at Judah's hands, culminating in rape and assault and battery. This happened only a year ago. I have been doing as well as I reasonably can, but I am not All Better, nor could anyone reasonably expect me to be. And when he suddenly appeared at a place he had every reason to believe I'd be at (injured in a way I find particularly emotionally precarious, as he knows) and no reason to believe I wouldn't be at, yes, I panicked, and panic-brains are not the most logical brains. My panic was a totally normal response under the circumstances. I was alone (Adam was out gaming with a dead phone), in physical pain, and terrified of my abuser. Those who are treating my decisions in those moments as perfectly calm and logical: Factor. That. In.

I had an excellent Readercon (it was so exactly what I needed) and have a lot of writer/editor thoughts and stuff to do, and that will be my focus for the foreseeable future. Readercon wrapup post will be the next post, after my orthopedist appointment this morning - fingers crossed that my foot is okay enough that I can get rid of The Boot!
Tags: david judah sher, judah sher
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