I suppose I’ve had to talk it about it sooner or later. I’ve taken to using the term ‘Drama!’ very recently due to some of the Drama! coming from Waicon the other week. Whilst I’ve stated a lot of what I thought about stuff on a previous blog post *insert url link here*, I’m not going over that again except that today I’ve been pointed out to a notorious figure with the Australian costuming community and their perpetually bad behaviour1. I don’t want to comment about that particular person but it does raise some interesting thoughts I want to talk about.
I may have stated before that I personally believe that
Fandom and the many Fan Communities should be as open and welcoming as
possible, that no one should be excluded despite their age, gender, sex,
knowledge, etc we should all embrace each other despite our differences, or
maybe because of them. I honestly truly believe we can become a community that
transcends others in tolerance and acceptance if we do work hard enough. Well
enough of the hippy crap, because the hard and fast truth is there is still
going to be the ugly bad elements that haunt our community and cause no end of
It seems that there are numerous stories popping up over the
internet of people acting like jerks within fandom, mostly racial and sexist
charged attacks, and I think this isn’t a new phenomenon but people are being
more open about these jerks then every before. We’ve been given a platform to
speak up and be heard over the jeering idiots who want to bring us down and I
think it’s about time we put a stop to them. There will always be some sort of
Drama! within the community, there is no way to stop it, but we can diminish
it’s impact if we all pull together and maybe push out the undesirable elements
to the further fringes, where hopefully they might be able to pull their heads
out of their collective asses.
Strangely enough it’s relatively easy to achieve this as
time as shown that ‘Social Darwinism’ is a contributing factor in the evolution
of practically all social circles. It’s actually very simple, and you’ve
probably all done it at some time or another, that when there is an individual
that is an undesirable factor within any social element the group tends to try
to disassociate with that person, sometimes without realising they are doing
so. To put it even simpler, when someone acts like a jerk they tend to get
invited to less and less social gatherings2 where their behaviour.
There are of course always ramifications, but that’s maybe for another time.
This is not a call to actively ban or shun people from
communities and gatherings; more a reminder that, for the most part, these
things will eventually sort themselves out. Even after all the utterly
detestable behaviour I’ve read about this one particular person, I’m still
optimistic about our communities. Why? We are calling out this sort of
behaviour; we aren’t just keeping quiet or just hoping it will go away. I’m a
firm believer that the only way to combat bad speech is with more speech, not
less speech. If you see some bullshit, you need to call attention to it.
That being said whilst we need to be vigilant towards these
things, we need to still be tolerant with people (especially newer people to
the community), teach them why what they are doing is wrong, sharing knowledge
is better then condemning and/or ignoring someone. As for any continued
misbehaviour? Well I think that’s up to the communities to decide, not for me,
but for the most part they do seem to be self-policing.
1 – Do a Google search for ‘The Lily Files’ on Tumblr. This
post isn’t about her or her actions, only my thoughts on such behaviour within
2 – Strangely enough this even applies to gatherings of
jerks! If one jerk is either too much of a jerk or not enough of a jerk, the
other jerks will disassociate with said jerk.