Tuesday, July 9, 2013

A Follow-Up: Apologies for Irresponsibility

Someone nudged me about my post about the Order of the White Feather. She pointed out to me that it was irresponsible for me to name someone as a sexual assailant without there being any formal accusations. So if you're looking for what I said about the certain someone, it's gone. I fully admit my actions in this.

I also would like to specify that neither Silver Goggles nor I personally are formally associated with the Order of the White Feather beyond solidarity; therefore, any attacks upon the Order of the White Feather are completely unjustified and nonsensical, as they are not culpable for my actions. 

Since it has gone up, with a record of a thousand pageviews in about a day, I'm given to understand that the situation has escalated, with emotions running high, lawsuits being waved about, and yelling, a lot of yelling, across the aether.

For this, I apologize.

I apologize first and foremost for the moral panic. My intentions don't matter, only the effect, and the effect was a moral panic and outrage, possibly a lot of unnecessary hostility. I don't know what's going on for sure, I'm not on Facebook or wherever you people are sharing my posts. But people I respect have approached me about this and told me that unnecessary damage is being done for no good reason. People I respect are not happy with me, and when I realized what I did, I'm not happy with myself either.

I apologize for naming people I shouldn't have named, creating undue backlash. Again, whatever my intentions, the unfortunate effect was that it created a space of suspicion instead of a space of honesty, where instead of examining hubris, it became finger-pointing. I implicated reputations and created a guilty-by-association tidal wave, rather than a rally-for-support space. I misjudged the outcome: I overestimated some stuff, and I underestimated other stuff, and bam, terrible situation. 

More, I apologize to the victims that I took attention away from. It's easy to point-and-accuse; it's less easy to do the more important work of centering survivors. What I did created an environment that not only allowed for but seriously encouraged hostility, derailing from what I should've been properly talking about, and I feel like a right fuckface about that.

What I also did was feed into an already-existing environment that can only think in terms of punishment in dealing with these issues. My actions combining finger-pointing, hostility, suspicion compounds the stress survivors and everyone around them already face. Due to all the factors above, what I did has not created the conversations I wanted to see happen, but in fact possibly stalled them.

This is neither productive nor useful. Survivors are best served not by white knights charging forward for them, but by a properly cultivated environment in which they feel empowered to step forward with less fear.

I wish to emphasize the need to carefully consider our most vulnerable members and their needs, which is what I should have done from the beginning. Thus, contrary to my usual policy, comments are locked to prevent further public hostility towards all parties. I encourage a ceasefire in which we all step back to reflect the series of events, how they came to be, how they unfolded, and how we might best move forward together.

I am interested in neither further accusing or defending anyone, nor in continued escalation, although I am sure that this is quite beyond my control at this point. I defer with humility to my betters who have advised me, and I apologize once more for my role in creating any untenable situation that certain members of our community find themselves in.

If this apology is lacking, I encourage you to yell into my inbox. I may not respond, but it might make you feel better.