I just saw someone in a community I moderate say “Adria Richards should go back in the kitchen.” I asked them to give me a reason why I should not remove them from the community for that, and they explained they were pardoying the harassment. Looking through the log again I found that that was a plausible explanation based on the context, so I said “thank you,” they smiled, and all was well.
Except, then someone completely unrelated jumped at me with “freedom of speech,” how “oppressing people” like that is “retarded” etc.
That’s a beautiful example of why it’s unrealistic to expect people to just address issues of harassment (or mild discomfort) directly, and why it’s good to have a harassment staff around to handle these issues. Because almost every time you raise such an issue, you get dragged into the same absolutely idiotic “I can’t insult people like I want to and shit all over the place where other people like to have a civil conversation, I’m being oppressed!” discussion. Usually including whether that specific comment really warranted that reaction now or if the reaction wasn’t slightly over the top maybe possibly.
I’m a straight, white male, and in that community I have moderator powers and can tell them “if you dun like it, go somewhere else.” That somewhat limits the stuff I get thrown at. If I was a woman, I’d have to deal with the added shit of “bitch,” “delicate snowflake,” “women just can’t cut it” etc. (funny how I never get “men just can’t cut it”).
And still, with all my privileges there, I still limit my involvement more than I would want to because I simply don’t have the energy to fight this stupid fight every single time.
Expecting random people to go through this shit is silly. Telling them that they’re “weak” or whatever other slur you can come up with because they prefer not to is pretty arrogant.
(Repost of a Google+ post as I thought it was important enough to save from the rather transient nature of Google+)