drwex (drwex) wrote,

Well that was an emotional day (part 2)

And that was when Judah showed up. Below I'm going to talk about my own emotions, using the things I think I know are true. If I err factually, I apologize.

For anyone who lacks the background, shadesong has written up her viewpoint on the events of Saturday, along with some history and a lot of speculation.

Judah has admitted to assault and domestic violence. There is a restraining order in place. Other legal proceedings are ongoing. In this context Judah showed up at the Beginning of Summer party, which is nominally an open invite and at which Song would reasonably be expected to be present. My understanding is that he cleared this with the hosts beforehand; my understanding is that the hosts assumed Song would not be present, though they didn't speak to her directly.

I don't know whether he knew she wasn't there when he arrived; I did not speak to him. What I did was go "HOLY SHIT!" and ping Song immediately. Because if she showed up with him there, unknowing, there would be chaos and harm. I told her because I did not want her walking into an unsafe space unaware.

There resulted a shitstorm, for which I feel some responsibility. I have been told that Song threatened to show up with restraining order in hand, and cops in tow. Judah disappeared some short while later. Some of my own thoughts follow.

1. On space, open parties, and hosting. I long ago went from open to closed parties. I admire the BoS party hosts for their continued policy of openness but that brings with it challenges like this.

Ironically, I had a conversation earlier that evening with one of hosts about some kid behavior. I was personally fine with what the kids (including my own) were doing but the host was clearly not. I explained to the kids that this was the host's house, the host's party, and therefore we would follow the host's rules.

I believe that it's not the hosts' job to create some "safe space;" this is a party at a private residence, not a convention. I believe that it's good for the hosts to be clear on what they mean, and to take steps to have the party they want to have. If they chose to invite or allow Judah then that's their choice. I could wish that they had communicated that choice to Song beforehand but my own communication skills have stumbled so often that I cannot fault others who don't manage perfect communication.

Unfortunately there is no way not to take sides in a dispute like this. If Judah is welcome at these parties then I and everyone else need to evaluate whether we feel it's a good and safe choice to come. Conversely, were he made unwelcome then there would be people who felt they were also made unwelcome.

2. On victim-blaming. I find it ironic that people refer to the way Song conducts her relationships in justifying their responses to her actions. I have my own issues with her, and her style is not mine. But the question here is not about the victim's likeability. That way lies madness, dear friends. Either we take it as given that principles are independent of actors, or we do not. If we're only going to extend safety and caring to people who are likeable victims then I think I'll be getting off the bus here.

It seems from what I know that Song chose to escalate the situation, rather dramatically. That's not a choice I would have made, but I'm a cis- able-bodied white guy with more privilege than I can shake a stick at. I'm not qualified to judge the level of fear or panic or outrage that Song felt. I just accept that they are her reactions and try to deal as best I know how.

I did tell Pygment that if someone had assaulted her the way Judah assaulted Song, and then that person showed up at this party, I would likely have tried to commit serious violence against that person. The irony of the fact that people in our society understand and even accept male-vs-male physical violence and escalation but don't understand female-vs-male emotional outrage and threat escalation is not lost on me.

I will have more to say but I'm losing net access now and I want to put this much down while I have the thoughts in my head. Comments, as always, are on. Please be gentle.
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