This is bri, from silly to pissed off in 30 seconds flat.

May 08, 2010 17:32

You don't know me. You don't know who I am, have never met me in person, will never meet me in person, and if you ever did, I don't think you'd care. I wasn't there. I don't know what happened. But I believe the people who said they were, and who said they do know.

I am a nobody in this fandom. No one will listen to me. I certainly don't have 1000+ people ready to drop whatever they're doing and jump to my defense.

But I don't give a shit. I'm doing this because what you're doing? Is irresponsible, childish, and wrong, and I can't sit back and keep my mouth shut.

Fandom, and the internet in general, is about as close to anarchy as you can get, and believe me when I say that's not a bad thing. No one knows who you are or where you live, and the opinions you hold and the things you do there don't follow you home. There are very few consequences for things done or said in fandom, and those consequences that do exist aren't really tangible.

Fandom sets your fantasies free and gives you a place and a peer group that you can talk freely about them without feeling the shame that the real world would bring down on you for them. Sex is celebrated, and the more the merrier. And in fandom, almost everybody's in to it. Those who aren't can just scroll on by.

But conventions aren't fandom proper. They are a hybrid of fandom and real life, and when those two things collide, they have a tendency to explode rather spectacularly.

If you go to a convention and you decide to bring your fandom fantasies to life, that is your own business. If you decide to seek out like-minded people to play your fantasy out with you, that's fine, too.

But if people who don't want to be there, who don't want to be part of that, get drawn into it on accident, they can't scroll past you. They can't hit the back button.

If their way out is blocked, even temporarily, even if it's not by you but by someone else you brought there? Then we have a problem.

If these people then tell other people the truth about what happened, even if they don't say who they are, they are not liars. No matter what they may say or who they may say it to, if they are speaking the truth about the events that transpired and their feelings about those events, then they're not doing anything wrong. They're not breaking the law. They're not trying to destroy you, or your husband, or your precious fandom reputation.

There is nothing wrong, in this purely hypothetical situation, with people who were hurt, or scared, or uncomfortable saying that they were. There's nothing wrong with them saying why. There's nothing wrong with them saying where they were, or who exactly was responsible for the situation starting in the first place.

And if these hypothetical people go to the organizers of this hypothetical convention and tell them what happened, and where, and when, and who was involved? These hypothetical convention organizers have not only the right but the obligation to make sure that hypothetical you is never given the chance to do it again.

Because when your fandom-safe fantasies cross over into real life, and they make real live people uncomfortable, and you refuse to acknowledge that, then you have crossed a line, too.

There are real life consequences for that. You were given yours. Listen to what you're being told; listen to what other people are saying and don't worry about if they sign their name to it or not. You were not punished for what we said about you; you were punished for what you allowed to happen.

When this all started, it was small. A few dozen people without names or faces discussing some other nameless, faceless person every now and then. No one listens to us anyway. But we listened to those people when they came to us and said, "This is what happened. I was there." We didn't know them, we didn't judge them, but we did believe them. And that is why they came to us, and not to you. Because the internet fandom is a much safer place than the real world.

It's gotten out of control. It's growing exponentially now. You started it when you aired your dirty laundry in front of 1000 people who probably had little to no idea what you were talking about. You gave them your side, and they believed you. You called us cowards, you called us liars, you keep calling us the "haters from that meme." And because of your labels for us, they never bothered to check and see what was actually being said.

Because if they had? Their opinions just might change. You and your husband were never accused of the things you claim you were, not by us. We are not guilty of the sins you've painted on our skin in your efforts to purify your own.

And now, you've managed to silence us. At least, you've managed to direct the flow of the conversations we have without our names. Maybe I'm just the first, maybe I'm one of many, maybe no one else will do this at all, but when you shut down a safe line of communication between people, they tend to find other avenues.

And they tend to get angry enough that they stop being scared of you. And they stop hiding, and they start signing their names and maybe, just maybe, you'll see that we aren't the cowardly, lying haters that you want us to be. You might even find out that a few of us are people you respect highly, some that maybe even have more "power" than you in this fandom.

You poked the hornet's nest when you made them tell us to stop discussing this. And you just might get stung a time or two because of it.

Your behavior has caused all of this. The discomfort at the original situation, the complaints made against you, and the banning, which is nothing more than the real-world repercussions of your own actions. You set the fuse on a potential panfandom explosion when you took this public. Because you were unhappy with a few dozen people talking about it, you exposed yourself to thousands.

And now you're paying for it.

I'm nobody in this fandom, and I know it. This just might be me putting the last nail in my own coffin, but I don't care. I love this place and the people I've met here, but if this opinion is enough to scare them away, then so be it. If I'm shunned or chased away, then I'll go.

But at least I'll go knowing that I've done something I believe in. And I'll go with my head held high because I refuse to bow down to the constructed hierarchy of an internet society built around a television show. I refuse to let internet fandom change the values that I hold in the real world, and what you're doing is wrong.

Someone needed to tell you that, even if it is a nobody like me.

ETA: The response I've gotten from everyone has overwhelmed, awed, and humbled me. Truly and sincerely. I am so incredibly grateful to everyone who has read this, passed it on, linked to it, and taken the time to comment on it. I cannot even begin to tell you all how much I appreciate it. I am trying really, really hard to answer all the comments. Please bear with me.

ETA2: To anyone who might still be reading this, this post took on a life of its own, and went so far beyond what I ever expected it to be. A lot of the people who left comments did something so incredibly brave, and shared stories that are so incredibly personal, that I feel that any response I could give would be totally inadequate. Please know that I have read them all and taken them all to heart.

You guys are amazing, really. I wish I had the words to respond to every single one of you with exactly the perfect words, but I don't have them and I can't. For that, I'm sorry.

rant: fandom, rant: pissed as hell

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