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View Diary: Trying to change for the better (127 comments)

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  •  Two things: (11+ / 0-)
    Maybe I should talk about a subject I am stronger in - maybe video games, business models and strategies, and computers and software, since I am also a software developer.
    Always a good move, and especially when coming into an established community where many people are very close friends both in real life and on the site, and where folks tend to be protective of other community members.

    Two:  This is one of those topics where you're dealing with real people who have been deeply hurt (sometimes brutalized and damaged almost beyond repair).  And in a community this size, you're going to have people here who have had those exact experiences.  In fact, we have a couple of groups for survivors; I'm a member of them myself.  One of the things that many survivors endure is PTSD, and it can be triggered by all sorts of things - including diaries such as yours.  It can plunge us right back into the experience all over again - and it can take hours, days, or more to get back onto an even keel.  So this is not an academic discussion for a lot of folks.  

    So I'm going to say, bluntly, that on a topic like this (true also of racism, sexism, LGBTQI-phobia, religious persecution, and certain other traumatic hot-button issues), if you're not speaking from true first-person experience, the best thing you can do to be an ally is go and listen to those who are speaking from such experience.  You'll learn a lot - and a lot of it will be hideously uncomfortable, because it will uncover for you all sorts of forms of privilege from which you've benefited, simply by not being a member of that particular subgroup.  Your first reaction will likely be to protest, and to feel resentful.  Let your first reaction pass, and stick with it.  It's hard work, but as a member of privileged dominant-culture groups in some areas, and very non-privileged, marginalized out-groups in other areas, I can tell you that the commitment and work of allies is critical, it is invaluable, and it is very, very rewarding, once you get past the discomfort,

    Authentic Native American silverwork, jewelry, photography, and other art here.

    by Aji on Mon Jun 17, 2013 at 02:55:34 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  I did not know about PTSD (0+ / 0-)
      One of the things that many survivors endure is PTSD, and it can be triggered by all sorts of things
      and until I looked it up just now I did not know it even existed. I am so sorry for anyone I have offended in the way that I did, and I know I have said this before but this is going off too far. My bad reputation has clearly not got me onto the right tracks to be a good member of this community, and now I may be "forever alone" as they say.

      Regardless, I will still talk about the things that I have strong knowledge in and hope to get a better reputation in advance. Still, no matter how much I apologise I bet there is still someone out there that will continue to hate me, regardless.

      •  This: (4+ / 0-)
        there is still someone out there that will continue to hate me
        is just life.  It sucks, but there it is.  We all have to deal with that somewhere along the line.  Heaven knows I've got a few of those.

        The fact that you looked up PTSD and now see a bit of the impact your diary had upon rape survivors says something for you - and it should also explain a lot to you, if you think about it.  People who have been violated in such a way, when re-violated after the fact by something triggering, are not going to have the time or wherewithal to worry about whether reacting to it is going to hurt someone's feelings.  Nor should they.  And this is part of being a liberal:  Realizing that while our words and actions can have power for great good, they also have power to inflict great harm - and the kind thing, the right thing, the liberal thing to do is to do our best to speak and act in a way that's less likely to inflict it in the first place, rather than trying to pick up the pieces afterward.  Now, I'm not saying don't speak bluntly and powerfully about other topics.  But this is one, like certain others, that you can tell from jump has the power to induce great pain.  So better to start from a point of preventing pain rather than trying to repair the damage later.

        And one thing about this community is that, overall, it's very forgiving.  If you're sincere about wanting to repair the damage done (hint: that means accepting responsibility and no whining about hurt feelings, no matter how shitty you feel right now; that's just the way life is, and we've all had to do it, myself included), and you work toward that while writing about topics that you DO know well, you'll find that you get a much better reception hereafter a while.

        Authentic Native American silverwork, jewelry, photography, and other art here.

        by Aji on Mon Jun 17, 2013 at 03:14:53 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  The thing is, you do not have anything (8+ / 0-)

        remotely close to a "strong understanding" of the issue you chose to write about.

        If you had, survivors struggle with PTSD would have been something you understood.

        And you're still playing the poor me game.

        I'm not buying anything you're saying.

        "Compassion is not weakness, and concern for the unfortunate is not socialism." Hubert H. Humphrey

        by Onomastic on Mon Jun 17, 2013 at 03:17:46 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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