my thoughts on the recent tumblr stuff
July 17, 2013
It is good and I’m glad that (some) people are trying to hold themselves accountable for stuff they feel they’ve done. This is good.
I haven’t had much to say about this because, three months ago, i posted something about how i’ve been behaving.
i’m a slow thinker and it takes me a while to process this stuff. of the three people I feel I owe an apology to, I’ve apologized to one of them, the other i just finished writing my apology, but she’ll never see it and that is okay1, one more person person deserves an apology and I’ll get to it.
I still want to make a public apology to Taleth. And I need to do one for Lily – both privately and publicly.
This was largely based on my self-assessments for how I behaved in certain situations and knowing the sort of things that were going around in my head.
at the time i made my accountability post, only one person called me out. and that situation is complicated, so I won’t say anything about it. now i’m a part of Riley’s crew and, i guess, being marked as abusive or whatever from association alone2.
I spent a lot of time reading a bunch of different people’s posts about Riley. Because some people have legitimate reasons to be calling Riley out.
But it is incredibly difficult to separate those people from the people who are engaged in some kind of tone policing, accountability dodging, blame placing kind of manipulation. On top of some… really interesting ableism and identity policing.
I also noticed a bunch of really interesting historical revisionism. Riley is responsible for what Riley has done, but Riley did not do everything.
A notable example is that the eastafrodite situation has been raised. Except, most people are conveniently forgetting that it is twoc who actually started that callout. And so seeing a bunch of cis people say ‘well, i like her and Riley called her out over nothing” is interesting to me for the ways that apparently transmisogyny is excusable if you like the person but not the one calling her out.
And… yeah. The tone policing. A lot of people don’t like the way Riley calls people out. I’ll leave the question for whether or not it is abusive up to the victims. However, just because it happened in a way you didn’t like it, does not necessarily invalidate the oppressive behaviour being called out (see above).
The people I’ve really been trying to listen to are those who had significant off-tumblr interactions with Riley. Because, well, these people have specific accounts of their abuse from Riley. And I believe the victims (although, this is one of the areas where i’ve been majorly manipulative, since i’ve ‘supported’ people in private but not in public). This is real and this is important.
Additionally, what is being lost in the noise are groups of people who’ve also been calling Riley out for specific and patterns of oppressive behaviour, notably a bunch of twoc on tumblr. Quite a few have something to say about Riley being transmisogynistic. But I’ve seen very few of the people making lists and compiling ‘receipts’ pay any attention to that… which I find deeply suspicious.
I’ll never pretend like any human being is perfect or above being abusive or oppressive. Riley is not perfect. And accountability matters.
But I’m unclear as to how such a place can be reached – for anyone – if there is to be no distinction between the people who have something sincere to say and the opportunists who are seizing the moment to further campaigns of their own abuse?
Likewise, I am not perfect. People should listen to anyone who has been victim to my emotional manipulation and abuse.
I also hope that people pay attention from whom they are receiving their information and stories.